This is very opposite of what you are probably used to seeing in regards to the TIME cover. If it wasn’t the “kid sucking on his mom’s tit” that bothered you, it was probably the 4 words printed next to the picture:
“Are You Mom Enough?”
Well, are you? I’m not. Nor am I offended by those words. I’m not offended by the picture. I’m not offended by breastfeeding, by cleavage, or even by nipples. I’m not offended if anyone thinks I didn’t breastfeed long enough. I honestly don’t care what you think about how I mother my kids.
I’m not mom enough to breastfeed to age 3, maybe not even to age 2. It’s not that I think it’s abnormal, it’s just not what I want. I’m not “mom enough” because despite the fact that I have kids, I still very much respect the fact that I am still an individual. I am not willing to give my body up to breastfeed my kids into adolescence. I want to drink alcohol on the weekend, eat what I want, or diet how I choose and not worry about how it will affect my milk supply. It might be good for them, but it’s not good for me.
I also don’t share my bed. My babies sleep in their beds, in their bedroom, alone, all night long. Aside from the occasional nap, my bed is mine and my husband’s and it will remain that way. Heck, I have tried to kick him out too, to no avail. I don’t think they make cribs large enough to contain him.
I wear my babies, but I also push them in strollers. Sometimes I pull them in a wagon. They are not always attached to me, yet they are perfectly loved.
We cloth diaper, but we use disposables too. For every cloth diaper that is changed, another is thrown away. My babies have had diaper rashes, both in cloth diapers and in disposables. It happens to most babies, no matter what is on their butt.
My kids eat and drink from plastic dishware.
Sometimes they cry.
Sometimes I yell.
Sometimes they cry because I yell.
I am not at their mercy and they are not at mine. What we do, it just works. Sure, there are things I do that you might find extreme, like extended rear-facing to age 2 and beyond. But that is not extreme, that’s being cautious. Getting in a car accident is beyond my control. This small thing is a choice I can make to potentially save their lives if someone else isn’t paying attention to the road. That choice has nothing to do with parenting. It shouldn’t even be a choice. It’s about broken necks, people. But I digress…
I don’t care if you breastfeed for 4 days, 4 years, or not at all. I don’t care if you sleep with your babies. I don’t care if they sleep in a crib. I don’t care about your ring sling or expensive stroller. I don’t care if your baby drinks only out of glass bottles and only plays with wooden toys. It doesn’t affect me or my family and what we do doesn’t affect yours.
So no, I am not “mom enough” to fit into a mold someone else made. But I am a darn good mom with happy, healthy kids and to them, I am “mom enough”.
That is all that matters.