Time magazine has recently used the inflammatory question, “Are You Mom Enough?” to set the media on fire. Mothers everywhere are weighing in on the article, the accompanying cover photo where a woman is breastfeeding a three-year-old, and everything in between. Clever ploy to stir controversy? Most definitely.
As I see it, the question, “Are You Mom Enough?” is just about the worst question you could ask any mother. I know very few mothers who don’t second guess every choice they make.
Well, Time magazine, you can suck it.
I am mom enough. Why? Because my children go to bed each and every night knowing that they are loved. They have food to eat, a place to live, clothing to wear and a mean mom who does her best to ensure that they are growing into strong, healthy, self-sufficient people who will be productive citizens in society.
I am mom enough. I sing to my children, read books to them, play board games with them (until I’m way past bored), color with them, and play dress-up, Star Wars and Legos to spark imagination. I teach them about music, art, sports, computers, and safety.
I am mom enough. We chose to move into the country to teach our children about the land where we live and how agriculture is in our bones. We raise chickens and ducks. We plant a garden together, harvest our food, and eat it on the table that belonged to my great-grandmother.
I am mom enough. I breastfed all four of my children (with varying degrees of success). I formula fed three of these same children, too. I used disposable diapers for two of my kids and cloth for the twins. Some of my children love or loved to be worn, some did not. I co-slept with one child in a rocker for eight months because she refused bottles at daycare and nursed all night long. Two of my kids were in full-time daycare, two haven’t been.
I am mom enough. I am teaching my children that being a family isn’t a contest. That parenting by the book is different for every parent and every child. That expectations should be fluid and individual because no two families and no two people are the same. Parenting techniques that worked for my son do not work for my daughter and the twins are an entirely different entity altogether.
I am mom enough. Instead of choosing to wear my McJudgyPants and criticize other parents for their choices, I give them the benefit of the doubt. I do not know their situations and couldn’t presume to understand how their family works because I’m too darn busy trying my best to take care of mine.
I am mom enough. I simply don’t care how long anyone else breastfed their children. Or if they co-sleep or babywear. I don’t care if you use disposable diapers or feed your kid an organic macrobiotic diet. If you are following your parental instincts and not doing anything harmful to your child, how on Earth does it affect me?
Tsk, tsk Time magazine. If I were your mother, I’d be putting you in a time-out for trying to ignite the Mommy Wars. Don’t you know that many mommies do a great job of being critical of other parents without your help? But you didn’t get to me because I am comfortable in the choices I have made as a mother. And the mistakes I thought I made? It turns out that children are pretty darn forgiving. They don’t remember that I agonized over something as simple as when to start feeding them solid food. Come to think of it, neither do I.
So, Time magazine, this is one mommy who isn’t going to engage other mommies. Oh, H-to-the-E-to-the-double-baby-booties NO.