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The “Mommy Wars” – Enough is Enough – Frugal Novice

The “Mommy Wars” – Enough is Enough

Unfortunately, by now most moms have heard the term “mommy wars” and know exactly what that means, whether from first-hand experience or reading about it in the news. It’s a topic especially fresh on people’s minds at the moment thanks to TIME magazine’s latest cover, captioned “Are You Mom Enough?”

The image and wording on the cover of the magazine is purposefully controversial- a young mom stands while her 3-year-old (who, to myself and others I’ve talked to, looks to be more around 5) stands on a chair, nursing. To some moms, extended nursing is a completely natural thing, but this image is so striking and almost defiant that it seems to want to cause shock. And I’ll admit, my first reaction was just that.

This is exactly what irritates me. While extended nursing wouldn’t be in my plans, I’ve always tried to be respectful and understanding of other moms’ choices. As someone who pumped and supplemented with formula, I’ve been on the other end of the spectrum – not nursing, but still knowing I was making the right choice for me and my family. I want people to recognize that, and respect my decisions however different they may be from their own. And so, it’s been vitally important to me to remember there are a lot of “right” options out there.  This is why it frustrated me completely that I was driven to this gut reaction of shock, over a topic I’d already come to a conclusion on. The editors of TIME wanted to cause reactions, and, well, they did.

Aside from the image, the wording couldn’t be more polarizing. But beyond that, I think it’s irresponsible, when there are plenty of moms out there who already don’t feel like they’re enough. When you’ve got new moms out there, still finding their place, some dealing with postpartum depression or other levels of hormonal imbalance, it is wrong to imply that there’s some quality that makes a mom “enough.” You’re not better if you nurse, or better if you use formula. You’re not better if you cloth diaper or better if you stick with disposables. You are the absolute best mom for your child because you love them with all of your heart and are there for everything they need, regardless of how you choose to meet those needs.

I’m hoping the result of this controversial cover is to create enough indignation in moms that we, as a group, realize the ridiculous nature of pitting one “type” of mom against another. That we realize choices different from ours aren’t wrong, just different. That every mom is “enough”, and we’ve had enough of the mommy wars.

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  • Bailey May 11, 2012 at 10:38 am

    I agree – “mommy wars” are stupid. I went through postpartum depression after the birth of my daughter, especially when I had to stop breastfeeding after 6 weeks due to her being tongue-tied and her poor little mouth causing immense damage to my breasts. For a long time I felt like I wasn’t “enough” and that I was a poor mother because I chose to formula feed over the excruciating pain of breastfeeding. My daughter is two now and is happy and healthy, and I now feel like I made the right choice, and that no matter if she was breast or formula fed, she is loved fiercely and that’s enough for me.

  • Avry May 11, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Very well said! I didn’t breastfeed my son but did my daughter and I do not feel any less of a mother to my son then my daughter! I think it is sad what TIME magazine started. :(

  • McKenzie Ross May 11, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Girl, I love it. You put it perfectly. There are so many things out there that constantly make me questions my role as a mom. I wasn’t able to BF either. I went through a hard time wondering if I was making the right “connection” with Parker. Sometimes I still wonder… anyway it is so hard and I think it is very inconsiderate for the people who polarize breastfeeding to make moms who didn’t or couldn’t feel less of a mother. In regards to the TIME photo… my first thought was “that poor kid. His mom is busy proving a point and ruining him.” He will forever be “that kid of the breastfeeding TIME cover”

  • Janalyn May 11, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    The worst part about it (and there are so many bad parts!) is that it’s causing moms to attack other moms, instead of the corporations and lawmakers who deserve to be attacked. And I hate how this puts Attachment Parenting in a negative light by calling it extreme, and making it seem like only a certain type of person would want to do that, so many people discount all parts of it as a parenting choice. You don’t HAVE to breastfeed your toddler to subscribe to the other aspects of AP, but now that’s how the general public is associating it.

  • Tiff @ Babes and Kids May 13, 2012 at 1:24 am

    Every mom is ENOUGH, I couldn’t agree more. I also agree that the image is irresponsible and doesn’t give off a mothering feel, when that is the bond between mother and child. Thanks for standing up for moms and for this great post!

  • Rita M May 13, 2012 at 7:05 pm