By Joslyn Gray, REDBOOK
Woman breastfeeding.You have to wonder how TIME's now-infamous "Are You Mom Enough" cover was planned out. I'm picturing their marketing and editorial departments sweating it out over late-night Chinese take-out at a conference table, trying to figure out how to drum up magazine sales.
"I know! Let's create some kind of controversy, where absolutely none is needed!"
"Great idea! Can we trot out the old working mom vs. stay-at-home mom debate? That one's always fun."
"Nah, that's old school. Let's make it more personal."
"Ew, no, not that personal."
"Breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding?"
"Oh! I know! Let's make everyone feel bad about every choice they've ever made regarding their own mammary tissue!"
"Sweet! Nothing sells covers like boobies."
Here's the thing, TIME staffers, and I say this as someone who happens to have kids and breasts: I don't care. I truly don't care what other women do with their breasts. Assuming their kids are being fed, why should I care if-or for how long-other women choose to breastfeed?
TIME seems to think that a photo of an attractive mom in skinny jeans, nursing her three-year-old son, will sex up a relatively dull story about Dr. William Sears and attachment parenting. The cover headline hollers, "Are You Mom Enough?" as if attacking my parenting choices is going to encourage me to buy a magazine? Sorry, TIME. I'm not buying it, literally or figuratively. However, I certainly will take the time to make fun of it, and enjoy the innumerable spoofs popping up on the Internet.
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Here are my top ten reasons I don't care about either extended breastfeeding, or TIME's ridiculous cover:
10. Well, for starters, they're not my breasts.
9. I'm not going to judge other moms for what they feed their kids when my own kids have had fish sticks every night this week.
8. I bottle-fed, and I breastfed, and before I knew it, they were all eating stale french fries off the floor of the minivan, and I was like, whatever, thanks for cleaning.
7. How about we just be happy this kid is being fed? According to the latest U.S. Census, 22 percent of children under age 18 are living in poverty. Children make up a disproportionate share of the poor in this country: Although they comprise 24 percent of the population, they are 36 percent of the poor. According to one study, as many as one in four U.S. children are living without consistent access to enough nutritious food to live a healthy life. Are you feeding your kid? Yay! Keep it up!
6. Why would I spend $5 on a magazine to have my parenting criticized when I can take my kids to the grocery store and get all that "helpful advice" from the old people there for free?
5. It's breast milk, people, not Red Bull mixed with Mountain Dew. With the CDC telling us that one out of three children in the U.S. are obese, perhaps we should worry less about breast milk and more about crappy sugary drinks.
4. TIME thinks breastfeeding a three-year-old is "extreme"? Pfft. Try taking all four of my kids shoe shopping. Fifteen minutes into it you'll be all, "Gee, I wish I was home nursing a three-year-old."
3. Frankly, the topic of extended breastfeeding isn't interesting enough to hold my attention when I could be surfing Facebook.
2. Hello, I'm a mom. I'm too busy trying to figure out how to get through my own day to worry about how long someone else lactates.
1. I got 99 problems, but a cover boob ain't one.
Joslyn Gray is the author of the humor blog stark. raving. mad. mommy. She writes about parenting four fabulous, hilarious kids with a quirky mix of autism, ADHD, and anxiety.
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