Are You Dad Enough?

time

Time Magazine has dipped a toe into the Mommy Wars this week with their latest cover. Actually, scratch that, they dove full cannonball into the pool to make the largest splash possible.

It’s classic link bait. Say something as outrageous as possible to inflame as much debate as possible. It’s like the Time publishers went to school on Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian in public manipulation.

And the internet has chomped on the bait hook, line, and sinker.

The article features a lithe 26 yr old mom of two proudly breastfeeding her 3 yr old. Inside the piece Jamie Lynne Grumet talks about how she herself was breastfed until she was 6. “It’s really warm. It’s like embracing your mother, like a hug,” she recalls. “You feel comforted, nurtured and really, really loved. I had so much self-confidence as a child, and I know it’s from that. I never felt like she would ever leave me. I felt that security.”

Breast is best, but … it doesn’t always work for everyone. I maintain that extreme behaviours like this do little to encourage breastfeeding as a norm, but they show it as some freaky outlying attitude. Breastfeeding is natural, perfect, and the best way to nourish children. This pose, and Ms Grumet’s experience and lifestyle, doesn’t promote that.

There is not much in parenting or lifestyle philosophy I share with Ms Grumet. A bias that was confirmed in a Q&A accompanying the article.

“I stay at home. I blog from home. And I homeschool,” she says.

She also admits to reading every single book by Attachment Parenting prophet, William Sears. “I feel like he really is doing this because he knows this (attachment parenting) is best.”

I’ve been vocal in my defense of Ad-Lib Parenting. Something I also feel is simply using common-sense. I don’t need a book to tell me how to raise my kids. I will listen to their needs, be attentive to their wants, and do what’s best in each situation. At times that may mean being a helicopter, at others I may be free-range. It’s situational, not gospel.

The only piece of wisdom she offers is at the end of the article.

There seems to be a war going on between conventional parenting and attachment parenting, and that’s what I want to avoid,” she concedes. “I want everyone to be encouraging. We’re not on opposing teams. We all need to be encouraging to each other, and I don’t think we’re doing a very good job at that.

So why did Time even bother with the piece? Oh, right – link bait. I just wonder if Time will try it again come mid-June.

More on this topic at Babble.com’s Kid Scoop: What Does Breastfeeding Have To Do Gay With Pride?

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Buzz

Buzz is married to Jennifer and has 2 sons. Zacharie was born in May 2007 and Charles in January 2010. Buzz is a radio guy who enjoys building bridges between old and new media. Follow buzz on Twitter @buzzbishop and check out DadCAMP on Google+

7 Comments

  1. I like what the website Mom Enough has to say about this. It’s not just about the mommy wars, but it’s about what is really best for your kids. There’s no attachment research that supports that the only way to get a good attachment with your kid is to nurse for 3 years. I work, I do not co-sleep, and I stopped breast-feeding when my kids were 1. I think I’m enough of a mom.

  2. I’m glad people are seeing it for what it is. Like you said “link bait” They’ve got magazines to sell and this is sure as heck gunna work!

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  4. Looks like child porn to me. A 3 year old? way too old for that!

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