“Time” To Read Another Magazine

Anyone seen the latest cover of Time magazine?

Chances are good if you were anywhere near Facebook today you may have caught a glimpse. If not, here it is.

On the cover: Jamie Grumet, 26, and her son, 3, whom she breastfeeds. Photograph by Martin Schoeller for TIME

Now, I know you are all thinking you know where this is headed, and if you think I am going to talk about how I am incredibly insulted by the headline of the magazine that will be hitting news stands just in time for Mother’s Day, then you are right.

“Are you mom enough?”

Seriously, Time magazine, seriously?

I certainly can’t imagine seeing that headline about fathers before Father’s Day or any other week of the year, quite frankly, so what makes you believe it is appropriate for mothers, especially on this weekend?

I won’t be purchasing your magazine or any other issue, thank you very much, but I will go ahead and answer your question.

Yes, I am mom enough.

You know why? Because I am a mom.

And that Time magazine is enough.

The act of actually doing is enough.

The only “style” of parenting that matters is the one where you are raising your children to be upstanding, productive members of society who don’t suck.

So, my dear, readers this is my Mother’s Day wish for you:

1) Don’t buy Time.

2) Know from the bottom of your own heart that even if your Mother’s Day card is written right in front of you (What? Huh? I totally don’t mean that could ever happen to anyone me), you are Mom Enough.

P.S. If you are looking for a way to feel really good about humanity this Mother’s Day, head on over and visit one of my favorite blogs on the planet and check out how they helped the world this Mother’s Day. They are most definitely Mom Enough,and I took great pride in doing my part to be one of their Mother Puckers!

 


Comments

“Time” To Read Another Magazine — 74 Comments

  1. This is so insulting, it makes my stomach a little sick. Like we don’t have enough pressure and expectations put on us, we need Time Magazine to ask us this. You are one of my favorite blogs and today’s post is just another reason why. I will not be buying this issue or any other issue in the future. Shame on them! Heading over to Mother Pucker right now.

    • You are so sweet AnnMarie! :) I take that as high praise coming from a fellow rock star blogger like you!
      I am definitely very disappointed in Time Magazine. I realize they seem to have gotten everyone talking, but I hope it was worth it.

  2. I have always believed that all moms are great moms–whether they work, stay home, have one kid or five kids, adopt, delivery vaginally or via c section, bottle feed or breast feed, etc etc. as long as they are trying their damndest “to (raise) upstanding, productive members of society who don’t suck.” Like one of your amazing recent columns pointed out, why are we as moms so judgemental and critical of other moms?!? We are all working towards a common goal so why do we have to be so hateful towards one another?!?

    So thank you Time Magazine, for driving the knife in alittle deeper. Please make those women who can’t or don’t want to breast feed, for whatever reason, feel like completely crappy moms. And make those who did what they could to nurse their child for one week, one month, one year feel inadequate that they did not continue to nurse them until they are driving themselves to school. Maybe the article is not solely about breast feeding (I won’t ever know because I won’t buy the magazine…EVER) but is about how those moms who are “attached” to their kids are better moms. “Are you mom enough” if you are more “attached” to your kid?!?

    ARE YOU MOM ENOUGH?!? Whoever came up with that should be fired. Tomorrow.

    • I just cannot even begin to tell you how much I love this comment. I have been thinking about it non-stop since I read it last night. There is almost no response that I could give other than AMEN, my friend, AMEN.
      Could not have said it better myself!!!

    • If you didn’t read it- then all you are doing is assuming what its about. Maybe there are interesting points to be made.

      • I don’t think it matters what kind of points are made. Anyone reading it is going to go into it with their defenses up due to that ridiculous title.

        • Yes, exactly, Fraya, thank you. And had they chosen a different wording or even a different word order I would have picked up the magazine and read it. So, really, it was their loss.

  3. Oh. My. God. There is something more insulting about this picture than the ridiculous and UNBELIEVABLE question that I can’t even bear to mention…what the h— is up with that THAT picture!!!!????? Are you kidding me? Wrong. WRONG ALL OVER!!

    • The picture is obviously meant to be the thing that everyone is talking about, and it certainly is working, but it was the headline that threw me over the edge. It is just so insulting.

  4. Glad you posted this. I was totally disgusted by this cover. And NOT for the photo. Whatever. Any mom who has survived having more than one child, or even only one child past Kindergarten age knows that this is just bogus and BULL$H*T. I cannot agree with you more about TIME degrading every single facet of motherhood with this cover. Pitting moms against one another, doubting any mother’s strength, ability, or worth. There are too many inherent FLAWS in this single image to count. Poorly done. Tastelessly done. My grandfather used to revere TIME magazine as one of the best. With this issue, TIME just became lower than grocery aisle tabloid status to me. Whores for ratings and nothing more. Absolutely no substance here. Move on.

    • I also remember when TIME was regarded as one of the best. When it was head and shoulders above Newsweek. Well, as you so perfectly put it, not anymore.
      And you are also so right about the fact that there are too many issues with the cover to even properly highlight.
      It is so disappointing.

    • See, this is the issue. “Did you see that Time magazine article?” hasn’t passed the lips of anyone younger than your grandfather since his early days of subscribing. This is a blatant attempt at marketing and creating buzz for a magazine that desperately needs it to survive. It’s not journalism, it’s playing to the lowest common denominator. I, for one, refuse to bite.

      • I totally agree with you Stacey. I am not playing their game. It is attempting to manipulate and like you, I refuse to take the bait.

  5. Totally agree with you, Ashley! As if we moms aren’t critical enough of ourselves, we now have Time magazine to fuel our insecurities!

    Proof is in the pudding, or rather in the form of our healthy, happy, loving kids who continue to prove on a daily basis that we are “mom enough”!

    • Thanks Jen! Yes, nothing says Happy Mother’s Day like this magazine cover.
      And you are totally right about the proof being in the pudding…speaking of pudding, that sounds delicious, I think I will have some! ;)

  6. Time is a joke. It stopped being a real magazine a long time ago.

    Did Dose of Reality see the story on CNN about the chowderheads in Arizona who forfeited their game because the other team had a female player?

    • I did see that story briefly, but I will have to go back and look at it more closely, as I cannot imagine how ridiculous they must have looked or how angry that would have made me. Ooohhh, I might feel a blog post coming on! ;)

  7. I agree – that cover title is so very insulting. As if mom’s need yet another thing to feel guilty about. But. What’s interesting is Jamie Lynne (the mom on the cover) would agree with your sentiment as well. Yes, she and her family do attachment parenting. Because that is what works for them. She would never say that all moms/families should. Everyone should do what works for them.

    • You what I find to be the most interesting aspect of your comment, because I have read a few other places that the gist of the article is just that, would be that they chose to make the cover so controversial on a piece that apparently is not controversial at all. Seems like they went for the shock value over the long-term value, and I cannot get on board with that, especially where women are concerned.

  8. I don’t believe the title is supposed to be read straight. I interpreted it as the representation of a societal question, of the question that’s always in the back of our minds, and I don’t think that unless we’ve read the full article we can determine the voice or intent of the piece (and as it’s a play on “are you man enough,” this is something asked of fathers/husbands/men in our culture often.) I’m guessing a lot of moms who practice “attachment parenting” will come out in anger over the use of the term “extremes,” and those who’ve used formula will be offended by the implication that breastfeeding is “mom enough.” This cover is doing exactly what it’s meant to: it’s creating conversation, controversy and publicity.

    • I agree with your assessment of the cover.

      However, there is more than enough fractionation of mothers/women in society, and this cover doesn’t do anything interesting or thought-provoking.

      The focus is on angering people, which is a tabloid tactic.

      We really need to be uniting so that society isn’t a complete shambles when we hand it over to our children.

      • Thank you both so much for your insightful and thoughtful comments. I appreciate them so much. :)
        I have to tell you that one of my favorite aspects of writing, especially something about a topic that I think really matters is hearing what people actually think about it. So, I really like when readers engage in an actual dialogue about the subject, because it reinforces exactly what I want women to be doing for each other, which is talking and validating and supporting. Great job! :)

  9. I get what they were trying to do. Really, I do. As an MSW/therapist, “normalizing” what seemed to be “weird” was about half of my job. But the way they are going about it is absolutely wrong. The sensationalistic picture and judgmental headline are, as another already pointed out, akin to tabloid headlines. So long as you are trying your hardest and not being neglectful or abusive, your methods are fine. They are more than fine. They are admirable. Being a mother, or a parent in general, is the hardest job there is. You are responsible for every aspect of another life. I am sad to say that I subscribe to Time. I am doubtful that I will renew that subscription.

    • Thank you so much Amy for this great comment. Time did the opposite of attempt to normalize something that seemed to be weird with the picture, which is really a shame, since they certainly could have. And they absolutely chose a tabloid style, divisive headline meant to incite, which it did, but I still wonder at what cost?

  10. Thank you for this.

    My daughter was not able to take breast milk. I work outside of the home while my husband stays with her. Sometimes we have pizza for dinner. I have gone to sleep while my kid was watching TV with my husband. The list of ‘infractions’ is endless, and she is only 15 months. I already feel bad enough, and get judge-y people throwing looks, comments, and advice on a daily basis while we are just trying to raise a normal, happy girl.

    In all honesty, with the war on children and women by certain factions of society, and our educational system broken, mothers should be uniting on fixing these issues, rather than succumbing to the media-driven mommy wars.

    • Thank you Molly for this excellent comment. I hope you clicked over and read my Mommy Wars post from a few weeks ago, too. http://www.thedoseofreality.com/2012/04/17/you-want-a-real-mommy-war/
      It speaks to so much of what you said in your comment, and I think it would be a great way to give you a boost of validation right before tomorrow! :)
      One of goals, maybe my singular goal of writing, is to continually drive home the point to women, in particular, that we are all in this together. This is about being a united front. The key is validation, and it is our job to make it happen for each other. :)

    • GREAT comment! I also feel that with girls ages 8 and 4, I still manage to wear the mom hat, even though my boobs are now my own again! ;)

  11. I haven’t picked up a Time magazine since my mother-in-law mailed me a copy of the issue picturing a woman in a suit swaddling her briefcase on the cover. I was 32, working in a law firm, making 6 figures, and trying to get pregnant with my first child. Insensitive then. Insensitive now. Thank goodness I didn’t struggle with fertility or I would have really resented that cover.

    • OH.MY.GOD. Clearly, I somehow missed that issue. I was probably too busy swaddling my actual baby…or just trying to get a shower for the first time in three days! ;) Seriously, though, that is insane.

  12. I didn’t even think of the “Are You Mom Enough” title in this way when listening to pundits on tv talk about the cover/article. I’m sick of writers/editors continually trying to fuel the fire of the “mommy wars” by playing off the insecurities that we have as mothers. If it’s not working moms vs stay at home moms then it’s attachment parenting advocates vs traditionalists. Most women I know are pretty informed about different ways to parent, choose what’s right for them, and don’t take every opportunity to judge their friends for making different choices. We support each other, try to offer help when needed, and grow with and learn from our friend as we parent.

    The thing that hit *me* about this magazine cover was that I heard overwhelmingly was how “gross” and “weird” it was to see a 3 yo breastfeeding. I heard words thrown around like “perverse”, “disturbing”, and “sickening”. There’s nothing perverse or sickening about seeing a 3yo nurse. Nothing. I saw someone on tv even exclaim that moms who breastfeed once the child can walk (so somewhere after 10 -12 months on average) were doing it only to fulfill their own needs and were actually *damaging* their children psychologically. DAMAGING THEM. Good grief. (I wanted to type something much stronger that good grief, but I showed restraint. Yay me!)

    It grosses me out that we as a nation have no problem with photos of women in skimpy outfits that leave nothing to the imagination. Nobody even bats an eye. Okay, but then we get completely “disturbed” seeing a woman breastfeed. It’s infuriating to me that in 2012, showing a woman breastfeeding is still considered so titillating and strange in this country and it cause an uproar and controversy—which is obviously what TIME intended to do with this cover. It was their plan and it worked. Blah.

    (For the record, while I did breastfeed longer than the average in our country, I didn’t do “extended breastfeeding” in the way that folks who practice attachment parenting would define it. I’m not someone who practiced attachment parenting. This isn’t me feeling defensive because I’ve ever breastfed a 3yo. I haven’t. This just ticks me off.)

    • I could have written this exact comment — I tried to make those points in your second and third paragraphs, but I don’t think I was “heard.” The other moms were just too defensive and too quick to jump on the “perverse” bandwagon. The other magazines in the grocery store with too-skinny, air-brushed models in sultry poses are much more difficult to explain to my children. Or they would be if I made the effort to point them out and react to them.

    • personally, i don’t have any problem with brestfeeding beyond the “traditional” first year, it’s a beautiful, intimate, bonding time. but i think the way Time set it up, was purposely inflamitory. they, and the mom, knew it was going to get a lot of attention for a magazine that, let’s face it, is floundering. fine, whatever for the mom and the magazine. but what about the little boy at that photo shoot, who may have been asked to “assume the position” for an hour or more to finally get that shot? is that right?

      • Fantastic points made by all three of you! :) Love them all!
        Ultimately there was such a better way to have handled this entire cover and still covered the topic they wanted cover, and I wish they had done it differently.

  13. Oh, wow….sorry that above response was so long. It didn’t *feel* long when I was typing it. Geesh, I guess I had feelings about that, didn’t I?! :)

    • I loved it, and I am so glad you took the time to share such an interesting comment…clearly, readers felt it was as well! :)

  14. Check out my friend Stephi’s blog post regarding the difficulties women face in living up to the expectation to be the “perfect mom.” Very relevant on the topic of whether or not one qualifies as “mom enough.”
    http://stephicakes.com/2012/05/07/stop-pretending-to-be-the-perfect-mom/
    We had a great big discussion about this photo yesterday on my mommy message board. I fall in the camp of continuing to breastfeed as long as everyone in the bfing relationship is still comfortable with it, however long that may be. I was upset, however, that Time sensationalized extended breastfeeding and didn’t present Attachment Parenting from a neutral standpoint whatsoever.

    • That was a GREAT piece. I just left her a comment telling her so and telling her that you sent me there! :) I love the blogging world…wouldn’t it be great if we could take over the actual world? ;)
      Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment, because I totally agree with what you said here.

  15. I agree with all of the Mom’s who are feeling insulted by this cover/headline. Attachment Parenting, as a concept, is to make the decisions for your child based on his/her own specific needs and not on generic advice of a baby book. Sounds great! But to insinuate that that a woman is not “enough” of a Mom to continue breastfeeding well into toddlerhood is absurd. Doesn’t that fly in the face of making decisions for your child based on his/her own needs?

    Mom enough is giving birth and loving your child enough to give him/her to an adoptive parent to raise.
    Mom enough is giving birth and raising your own child.
    Mom enough is making the mistakes that we all make (because we’re human) and learning from those.
    Mom enough is crying yourself to sleep at night because you worry you’re not doing it right.
    Mom enough is getting out of bed – even on the days when you feel like you can’t do it.
    Mom enough is taking your child to daycare (even though you’d rather not) and working to help provide for your family.
    Mom enough is doing without lots of things because your family has chosen for you to be a stay-at-home Mom.
    And, in my own personal case, Mom enough is switching to a bottle after three months because the one and only side she would nurse from couldn’t keep up with her demand for food.

    • Awesome, Jen!

      Brought a tear to my eye (it could be hormones from pregnancy #2, but I prefer to think it is the beauty of your sentiments).

      Honestly, I agree 100%.

      • Jen, I am fully with Molly on this one! Brought a tear to my eye, except I can confirm with 100% confidence that it was from the beauty of your sentiments, as I am not pregnant! ;)
        Thank you for sharing those thoughts with me. I totally agree with everything you said. :)

  16. Honestly, I wasn’t offended by the cover in any way. Its purpose was to get people talking, and that is exactly what is happening here. I think we, as mothers, need to stop taking everything so personally! Instead of being offended by an article asking “are you mom enough” you should say, you know what, I AM mom enough. And so is she. And so is that lady over there. These “mom wars” are a crock. Dont buy into it!

      • I agree totally. It would be great if every woman could see that and laugh it off and say to themselves and each other, “Oh, look at that Time magazine trying to get us all riled up and fighting with each other, as if we don’t all know that we are amazing!”, but sadly I know that is not the case. It is my goal, however, for women to truly believe that from the inside out.

  17. I agree, Ashley. The “Are You Mom Enough” headline is sensationalistic any day of the year, but printing it the week of Mother’s Day is rude and divisive. In the interest of helping Time Magazine not suck, I would like to offer up these alternate headlines:

    “Is your husband man enough… to let you sleep past 7:30am on Mother’s Day?”

    “If we can put a man on the moon, can’t we figure out a way to make laundry fold itself?”

    “Does anyone have Mother Nature’s phone number? Because it is SERIOUSLY time for men to take their long overdue turn with menstrual cycles.”

    “Dinner: Why does it have to happen EVERY day?”

    “Which Toys will keep your child busy long enough for you to hit the bathroom alone!”

  18. I think the title is just attention grabbing – like the photo. The subtitle, though, suggests there’s going to be some interesting debate about attachment parenting raised. I followed a link on FB attached to this cover earlier today and it led to a very interesting article about the damage attachment parenting and other intensive mothering philosophies have done us as mothers and women. I’m not offended at all, and I don’t claim to be overflowing with mothering self-esteem. Just interested in hearing some new takes on an old topic.

    • I wish so much they had chosen a different headline, then, if what they were going for was a healthy look at mothering. Imagine if they had taken the same words, but changed the order a bit to say something like, “You ARE Mom Enough, Right?”. Still leaves a question to be answered, but not as inflammatory. And truthfully, I think I would be less inclined to be as incensed (don’t get me wrong, I would still have thought it was ridiculous) if it was not coming out at Mother’s Day.

      • I kind of think that the headline goes well with the photo despite – or maybe because it is – inflammatory. I’m not opposed at all to attachment parenting or extended breastfeeding. But within those movements there has grown up an element of “I’m a better mom than you because I .” Of course not all attachment parenters have this attitude, but I have met my share who do look down on other parents who do not follow their philosophy. There’s this competitiveness within the mothering community that I think the headline is confronting. Perhaps that’s why it really doesn’t bother me – it’s addressing something real that already exists.

        And I completely agree with you that as mothers we need to support and validate each other more, not tear each other down.

  19. I did read the article & it’s a very interesting article about Dr. Sears & the evolution of parenting styles. Maybe you shouldn’t be judging the book by it’s cover. I am a mother of 2 sons in their 20′s, so it was still Dr. Spock when my kids were young.

    • I appreciate your comment Gail, because you have a good point. In a perfect world, I wouldn’t judge the book by its cover, except I think that Time wanted me to judge this cover or they would not have chosen a cover so worthy of judgment. Sadly, because I have read several different pieces that explained the core of the article inside, it actually sounds as though the article did not need a cover so worthy of judgment. In fact, it sounds as though it needed just the opposite.

  20. Moms are awesome and have such skillage. Want to know why it is skillage? BECAUSE WE DO IT ALL. We carry the baby,we suffer through child birth and then we are expected to be up and running somewhere between the next day and 2 days later. And we continue to do it all,some of us get help from the Daddy some of us don’t. But we do it! Takes pure skill,pure luck and lots of insane giggling to yourself in the corner that you are drowning in tears to accomplish the raising of (a) child(ren).

    Since I seem to be rambling let me see if I can clarify a bit.
    1. We carry and give birth.
    2.We continue to care for the kid(s)
    3. We deal with our own insecurities as Women and Mothers every day.
    4. People tell us on a daily basis we are doing it wrong and blah blah.
    5.All we really want are happy healthy kids that don’t go to jail and have morals.

    So in response to this cover, yes it was tasteless.That Mom is doing what she thinks is right for her kid so let her.Not all of us can breastfeed but maybe we wanted to. BLAH BLAH There are lots of factors wrong with this magazine cover.But instead of letting TIME win the little head game they are playing,why don’t we ignore their petty idiocy and just team up as Moms and help each other out? WE all know most of us have low self esteem as parents. We are Women. We are the Underdogs of the human specie. So let us all gather up our torches and end the stupid bickering between Mothers. We all do things differently so why not share wisdom instead of bitching about stuff in a magazine?

    (I’m not angry and I do agree with almost all comments on this post.I just think Mothers need to group up and share knowledge and such instead of judging a magazine by its cover and then judging the mom on it and the parenting style)

      • Sorry I’ve been busy or I would have been back sooner. I’m glad you agree with my post. Honestly I felt it was to long but it needed to be to get the point across. To bad a load of Moms with nod their heads in agreement with it nd not make a move to do anything about it. We are so ingrained into our ways and the societal norms of Mother hood being a battle we don’t know how to change it. If you have any great idea feel free to let me know! I personally think we need to get a “Mommy Army” up in every city so we can help educate ourselves better as Mommies. ;D

    • I do think it obviously touched a blogging nerve, and I am glad. I hope that Time sees the backlash and realizes that their sensationalism may have sparked some short-term buzz but that it will have long-term consequences.
      Thank you for reading and taking the time to leave a comment! :)

  21. Hi! I’m stopping by from SITS :) Love this post so much! I just posted something inspired by the TIME story as well. As a mom to two boys through adoption, this issue of “mom enough” manifests in many ways. I’m glad to see so many moms refusing to give in to the seemingly endless parade of pressures surrounding us and instead follow their own hearts to do what is right for their kids.

    • I am so glad you came by, because I loved reading your blog about this topic as well. I think that it was interesting looking at the list from SITS yesterday how many of us wrote about this. I hope that we all continue to stand up and demand from our media honesty about motherhood.

  22. I’ve not seen this cover… that headline is rather disturbing. I’m so tired of people being turned against each other in the race to be better mommies and better whatevers. Moms – and any other group of people – would do so much more if they supported each other.. Great points made.

    Visiting from SITS Sharefest :)

    • I could not agree with you more. I tend to focus on it with motherhood, but it actually applies everywhere. People need to be supportive of one another. Period. :)

  23. Wow, this magazine has truly reached a new low in my book. I will definitley not be purchasing any issues from them. Thamks for sharing, and to all the Mom’s, keep doing what you’re doing and Happy Mother’s Day!!!

    • It really is such a shame that they felt they had to resort to such low level “journalism” to attempt to sell magazines.
      Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment! :)
      Happy Mother’s Day to you also!

  24. I have not read the article, but the cover is everywhere. My sister practices attachment parenting and I must admit, at first, it seemed a bit odd. I don’t agree with all of it. But I it’s her choice – and my niece is the happiest, sassiest little girl. Parenting styles have changed and evolved (imagine if we still spanked and washed mouths out with soap), this pressure just feels like fear of that change. =D

    Happy Mother’s Day!

    • I have no issue whatsoever with attachment parenting or any other style, actually. My beef still resides with the headline and the timing. I think it is insulting and demeaning to women and mothers.
      I so appreciate your comment and the insight into your niece. She sounds adorable! :)

  25. Obviously you are onto something here Ashley with the # of passionate comments- speaking of which Jen is definately someone I could be “friends” with.
    What also really struck me is when you compared the article to FATHERS – SO TRUE and sad really.
    The media/society continues to drive unrealistic truths so it is no wonder every mom I know feels MAXED out – no matter her position and stance.
    HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

    • Thank you my friend! :)
      I totally agree with you about Jen, she sounds FANTASTIC! Definitely like someone we would hang around with for sure!

  26. Hi….Thanks for stopping by my blog for the SITS sharefest…I went back to the Sharefest to see which post you had shared but I couldn’t find your posting (or mine). It was weird because I know who had the first share and she was no longer first. Really odd. Anyway, I wonder how many covers have generated as much buzz in the mommy blog world as this one. And I wonder (I haven’t checked) if there was mom working on that article/cover. Everything about the cover just doesn’t work.

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