Yes, Time Magazine. I AM ‘Mom Enough’. And So Is Every Other Mom I Know.

It is a ploy.  A trick.

To divide us.

To get us fighting and picking each other apart.

And unfortunately, it seems to be working.

Time Magazine released its latest cover and the Internet exploded with opinions.  With attacks.  With applause.

It seems to me that the point of this cover was purely to divide….as the title doesn’t appear to have anything to do with the image.   It hits at the heart of guilt: “Are You Mom Enough?” and provides a provocative image: a mom (a blogger like so many of us) breastfeeding her child…. but not in a shared, private moment between the two of them, one on display – taking a ‘stand’ about a particular style, if you will, of parenting.

It strikes me as a blatant attempt to troll for controversy…

I’m tired of it.  Aren’t you tired of it?  All this guilt and comparison and ‘who’s-style-of-parenting-is-the-best’?

Edited to add 5/11 Since I have been asked, “did I read the article?” I will confirm, in fact, I did.  And it is in large part BECAUSE I read the article that my opinion on this is such.  The piece itself, I feel, is fairly benign.  It focuses almost entirely on Dr. Sears, his history and the evolution of ‘attachment parenting’.  I didn’t feel it was saying one style of parenting was any better than the next.  In fact, the mom, Jamie Lynn, on the cover?  She is mentioned in a whopping ONE SENTENCE in the entire piece.  And yet – there she is on display with that title, “Are You Mom Enough?”.  This is Time Magazine spinning this piece to be provocative.

I would venture to say there are plenty of things I do wrong as a mom.  And also – plenty of things I do right.

One of them is giving other moms the benefit of the doubt and respecting their right to parent as they choose.

What do you think?  Was Time’s intention to start a thoughtful conversation about attachment parenting?  Or set the stage for Moms to once again take sides on parenting styles?

  • Vicki Boutwell

    Ugh – another attempt to become relevant by just being provocative. Even if the article is smart and thought-provoking and balanced, Time completely undermines its own cred with that image.

  • Vicki Boutwell

    Ugh – another attempt to become relevant by just being provocative. Even if the article is smart and thought-provoking and balanced, Time completely undermines its own cred with that image.

  • Amanda @HighImpactMom

    Oh friend. Thank you for this. I have sat back appalled all day by what’s going on. Shame. Shame on Time and Shame on Us for allowing it to continue. Thank you for speaking up and for being beautiful and gracious in the process. <3

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=718381352 Nichole Snider Smith

    Interesting. I took a rather different view of the whole thing.

  • Danielle Smith

    Well Vicki, between the image and the title – I agree – the intent strikes me as provocative.  I love thought-provoking – just not when it feels as thought it is aimed to divide.

  • Danielle Smith

    Nichole – that is a tease! :)  Happy to hear a different view – what is yours?

  • Danielle Smith

    Thank you for that, my friend – I so appreciate that.  I have always believed my job is to parent my own children and to respect the choices other mothers make.  The ‘taking sides’ is bothersome at best.

  • Julia Costa

    First of all, I`m sorry for my english.. I`m from Brasil and not practicing enough.. ;) Anyway… I agree with you. I`m a journalist and things are not different here. They do that  to get attention, not because they have good or bad intentions, just because they want to sell. Because, see my case… Now I want to read the article to understand what exactly theu meant… Because my commom sense belives that is not possible that they are actually doing that, placing us, mothers, in that position of right or wrong. I hope I`m being clear (because of the language). What I mean is that they have reached their goal. In a bad bad way, as you said, dividing us. 

    I love your blog, by the way! Usually agree with you. ;)

  • http://www.singlemomonabudget.com/ Jill

    I couldn’t agree with you more. 

  • http://lightspandigital.com Mana

    You nailed it, “giving other moms the benefit of the doubt and respecting their right to parent as they choose.” ‘nough said and well said. 

  • Danielle Smith

    Grateful, Jill.

  • Danielle Smith

    Mana – thank you for that.  I can’t imagine doing it any other way.  I’m a better parent for going with my gut and heart….shouldn’t I trust other mothers are doing the same?

  • Danielle Smith

    Thank you so much, Julia.  What is interesting is, the article itself is quite benign.  It truly isn’t that controversial.  In fact, the mother and son on the cover?  They are in ONE sentence of the article.  The entire piece talks about Dr. Sears and ‘attachment parenting’.  So, in theory, you would imagine a picture of Dr. Sears & a baby or child would accompany that article, but instead, we have that cover and title – asking, “Are You Mom Enough?”  And it is THOSE – the image and the title that are designed to fuel the discussion.  TIME knew people would react to that picture – they would love it or hate it.  And they would talk about it.  They would choose sides.  And they knew moms would have something to say about the ‘Are You Mom Enough’ title – they would feel guilty and wonder, “AM I ENOUGH?” or they would stand up and say, “YES, I AM.”  

    So yes, you are correct, they achieved their goal.  Appreciate you coming by and commenting.  And your English was great – you were very clear!

  • http://twitter.com/melissapierce Melissa Pierce

    Agreed, If your children are growing up and learning to respect others, you are doing it right mama. 

  • Danielle Smith

    Oh my friend – that is the very BEST I can hope for.  It is certainly my goal. Thank you for that.

  • Ashley Taylor

    Could not agree with you more. However, I did not read the piece and will not be reading the piece, based solely on the headline alone. You would NEVER see this written about fathers, especially at Father’s Day, so why is it okay about mothers at Mother’s Day? 
    http://www.thedoseofreality.com/2012/05/10/time-to-read-another-magazine/ 

  • http://waterwatereverywhere.net Sarah Hubbell

    Maybe I’m just naive to think that all the moms I know will see right through Time’s ploy to incite controversy? It must be because I’m surrounded by smart women like you that know better. My friends, in general, don’t give in to knee-jerk reactions they may feel from an image or title like that. You and so many others I’ve seen talking about it this week are proof of that. We have better things to do and talk about and battle against than each other. We’re too busy trying to change the world for good in between diaper changes. 

  • Danielle Smith

    Oh Sarah, you make me smile: “We’re too busy trying to change the world for good in between diaper changes.”  I love it.  I ceratinly hope you are correct.  I have seen a lot of evidence of it online. But unfortunately, I’ve also seen a lot of negative/hateful reaction to the cover in addition to much in defense of it (the ‘taking sides’ that bothered me yesterday when I wrote this and did the video)  But I’m going to continue to smile thinking about your comment.  Thank you.

  • Sue Richmond

    There is not a parenting manual that gives all the correct answers, you pass and now you are ready to be a mom. What ever happened to common sense and parenting your child the way that you think is best for them instead of making parenting a cookie cutter for everyone. There are a lot or great parents out there and a lot of great kids. Let’s applaude that and forget the stereotyping nonsense that Time and other media try to shove down our throats!

  • Melissa Beese

    I personally think the mommy wars need to end. We are good parents, we give our lives for our children. We care, we love, we support, we nourish, we provide, we give our all at the hardest job in the world, raising children. No matter what choices you make in how you raise your child, it is between you and your child and no one else. If you parent as best as you can and you respond to your child with love and compassion tuning in to their needs and being there when they need you, then you are succeeding at your job as a Mama…BRAVO!!!!! and CONGRATULATIONS!

    We need to support one another, praise one another and help one another rather than criticize one another. 

    We are all filled with guilt about what we could do better and what we aren’t doing right. Truthfully…I think we are all doing a great job. If you are reading this blog you are a parent who gives 150% and cares about your child 10X more than that. You are a FABULOUS PARENT! 

    That fabulousness should be commended, not criticized!!!!!!
    Now go be fabulous…..

  • Campbelldayton

    I agree. It isn’t about Attachment Parenting. I feel that Time purposely put this on the cover. Controversy sells issues. I also feel that the cover Mom may very much feel as if she had been “used.” Too bad.

  • http://www.misselaineouslife.com Elaine A.

    I am just SO confused by that statement next to that photo. I mean TRULY confused… I know it’s sensational and meant to sell magazines and probably  meant to divide us as a generation of mothers. But really, the photo and the statement just simply DO NOT go together to me.  

    I agree with you Danielle, we are ALL Mom enough. 

  • http://www.5minutesformom.com/ Susan (5 Minutes For Mom)

    I am sick of it and I also posted about my response to their blatant sales tactic to stir controversy, discussion and make money.

    I purposely did NOT read the article b/c my point is that I will not reward that photo and cover title with clicks, links or reads. I don’t really care what the article says, I’m mad at the sales tactic. 

  • http://www.HomeExchangeExpert.com/ Shelley Miller

    EXACTLY! Provocative is the new sexy. And it exhausts me.

  • http://www.HomeExchangeExpert.com/ Shelley Miller

    Wow! I’m SO impressed with all the comments here. This is my first time to this site and I feel at home. Intelligent, insightful women you are.

  • http://www.modernstylemama.com Nicole Laws

     I just wrote about this to…This covers frustrates me.  Once again creating controversy between mothers.  It’s very unfortunate, really.  I have talked about this issue so many times, hoping one day we can actually unite instead of forming judgments against each other.  This is just fueling the fire. There is no wrong or right parenting style, as long as child is safe & thriving.  No one should or really can for that matter, compare their lifestyle to another person’s.  Every mother is different, every child is different.  Every family has different circumstances.   We all have so many things in common.  At the end of the day we all have the same overall goal in mind.   We want to make the best choices we can for our family at any given time.   Putting forth every ounce of our being to give our children everything they need to thrive.  Every mother in this world who does just that, regardless of there choice in parenting,  is more that “Mom Enough!”  

  • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin margolin

    I think it was a stunt. And I was at a wedding last night and people were talking about it. Clearly mission accomplished, Time. I’ve had enough. We are ALL mom enough. And I can’t believe they did it on Mother’s Day weekend. Disgusting and makes me so angry.

    THank you for this post, Danielle.
    xoxoxox

  • http://lemomade.blogspot.com/ Sue B.

    Danielle, Thank you for your commentary on this issue. I actually debated writing about it because I didn’t want to feed into the media frenzy stirred up by the cover.  Then I saw your post and video and was inspired to put in my two cents. Here is a link to my blog in which I linked back to your video. As moms, we need to stick together!

    http://lemomade.blogspot.com/2012/05/mommy-wars.html