You’ve probably seen it by now: the provocative cover of TIME magazine portraying a young (and remarkably perky-chested, way to go mama) woman nursing her three-year-old son. The photo and accompanying article are making the media rounds, and in fact, I’ll be chiming in myself tonight on Prime News on the Headline News Network, where I’ll talk about my experiences with attachment parenting and breastfeeding older toddlers (I can’t say it ever remotely resembled the above photo.) Tune in around 6:30 if you want to follow the discussion!
I’m working on pieces about this article as well as the larger discussion going on about Elizabeth Badinter’s The Conflict, and I’m looking for input from the smart moms in this community. What always fascinates me about these “extreme” parenting discussions is how fervent the voices represented online and in the media are – contrasted to the in-real-life discussions I have with mom friends, who truly don’t seem to care who breastfeeds, or co-sleeps, or slings their babies, or for how long.
Maybe I’m living in a bubble. Maybe I’ve just become adept at tuning out negative voices or other people’s opinions. But I’m wondering if your experience is like mine? Do you regularly experience actual “Mommy Wars” with your in-real-life friends and acquaintances? Or do you think it’s mostly limited to online discussions or reactions to articles and photos like this one? Do online battles and sensationalist media make us feel that our parenting choices are always in the spotlight, when it’s possible other people don’t care nearly as much as we think they do?
Please chime in! I’d love to hear your thoughts.