By now I’m sure you’ve seen the above cover of Time Magazine, depicting a young mother breastfeeding her child. Of course, just looking at that first sentence without the picture, it would seem that there’s nothing wrong with it. I’m not sure I know anyone who would raise issue simply because a mother is pictured nourishing her infant child.
However, the picture does exist. You’re looking right at it, and if you are I think you can see what’s wrong with it…the kid is kinda old for that. I mean, look at him. It’s a little weird, innit? He can ask for milk using entire sentences and is still getting it from inside his mommy’s shirt? Does he pull it out himself at this point? Is she going to give him a breast pump with a krazy straw for his 5th birthday? Where does it end? No time soon, according to what the article calls “attachment parents”.
Attachment parents believe in keeping a baby, toddler, child (and eventually adult I guess) as close to you as possible, as long as possible. This entails things like wearing one’s baby around the house at all times, sleeping in bed with mommy and daddy, and breastfeeding until middle school. They believe this fosters an unbreakable bond between parents and child, and will form connections that will last a lifetime. I believe the same…kinda.
See, I could be wrong, but I could have sworn the entire point of being a parent was to eventually raise a functioning, well-adjusted, independent person who can contribute to society in a somewhat meaningful manner (like talking shit on the internet and writing polarizing but hilarious books…thanks mom and dad). To do that, you’ll have to detach at some point…and you are not doing that if your child is washing solid food down with freshly nippled breastmilk.
Before anyone even says it, yes, I may or may not have been fed that way back when I was just a baby asshollectual. (I don’t know because I refuse to ask.) The point is, I don’t know. I wouldn’t remember. I’m pretty sure I would be mildly traumatized if I did. My mommy did a damn fine job of bringing me up regardless, defying the odds the magazine set forth when they asked her and every other mother were they "mom enough" to pop a titty in their kid’s mouth long past time for a sippy cup.
In fact, she was "mom enough" to even raise someone like me…that act is worthy of more respect than attention-whoring on the cover of a magazine because you think you’re a better mother than others who do not take baths with their kids after they can run the water themselves. She was "mom enough" to let go. I know I'm still her baby somewhere in her mommy-warped mind, but she does not feed me as such.
Poor kid, too. Yeah, this magazine cover will totally evaporate into the sands of time by school-age. He will never hear about this again in his life. No, he will experience no backlash from cruel, cruel children after being exploited on a magazine cover as an honestly creepy example of extreme parenting. Luckily, the internet is temporary, right? Oh, wait. Yeah.
Only thing good for him is that the type of parent who would breastfeed her child like a walk-through milk bar is also the type of parent who would sue a school because her kid didn’t make the football team or something…so at least he’ll be popular with his peers, right? Glad she considered that before she decided to volunteer to breastfeed her damn-near school age child on the cover of an internationally published periodical.
Most jokes aside, I can understand wanting to be a good parent to your child. I’m even taking some adult learning courses on it myself. I’m just saying you can do that better if you cut the umbilical cord at some point and let your kid be a kid. By the time DX is 3, I’m hoping he’ll be running around knocking his head into things and forgetting we exist until he wants something like a normal child and not clinging to our laps like a neglected cat. How is your kid ever supposed to exist in his or her own skin if you barely ever let ‘em out of yours?
Maybe it’s just me. I don’t know, it seems clear-cut to me but apparently it’s a hot topic. In the end, I guess Time Magazine got what they wanted, everybody is talking about this including me. It was intended to provoke discussion, and that’s just what it did. I’m just glad I’ll never have to discuss anything like this with the mother of my child or the mother of my self. Could be just the way I was raised…oh well, I like not having that kind of milk in my moustache.