Culture, Family, Life, Parenting

I don’t want to be JUST mom enough!

If you’re a parent, you’ve most likely seen the newest cover of TIME Magazine which shows a mother with her 3 year-old son breastfeeding while standing on a chair, with the headline “Are you mom enough?”.  I first took notice of it last Thursday when just about every other post on my Facebook News Feed had the picture of the cover on it with a tag line question such as “What kind of mom do you want to be?”  While most mothers reading this were uneasy with the picture or disagreed with attachment parenting, the majority of mothers were just plain disappointed with TIME putting out such a story, creating what is commonly referred to as “mommy wars”, especially so close to Mother’s day.  Some mothers were so upset that they didn’t want to comment on it one way or another.  While I understand their reason for concern, I think there’s nothing wrong with a healthy debate and conversation on parenting styles.  And so, buying into the hype, I went and purchased my copy the day it hit newsstands.

First off – the story.  I read it, and I have to say, it doesn’t really have anything to do with “are you mom enough”.  It doesn’t preach to say that attachment parenting is the best method.  In fact, it even says that some mothers who follow attachment parenting are so caught up in the details and they read too much into it, that it drove them to feel incompetent and perhaps, act out in extreme measures. To offer a  quick summary, Attachment Parenting, the idea brought to main-stream public, was made famous by Dr. Bill Sears in his book “The Baby Book“.

Cover of "The Baby Book: Everything You N...
Cover via Amazon

Sears’ theory is based on the following key points: 1) Breast is Best and babies should feed on demand, 2) Parents should respond to their baby’s cries immediately, 3) parents should share their bed with their baby and 4) the importance of baby wearing.*

Here’s my point of view on the whole topic.  When I first became a mother, I promised that I would never (again) judge another mom.  Easier said than done? Sure… do I think it’s weird that a 3 year-old is still breastfeeding? Yes.  Is that judging? Maybe… Would people judge me if they knew that I let my son watch TV and he’s not even two years yet?  Yes… (although no one has told me yet to my face).  Did people think it was weird that I swaddled my son until he was six months old?  Sure, but did I stop?  No!  And that’s my point.  Every mom, as long as they’re acting in the best interest of their child, no matter how different their method is from yours, should do whatever they have to do, if it’s the right thing for them and their family.  I can’t reiterate that last sentence, or underline it, or bold it enough.  Stop and re-read it again.  It’s so important.  Moms carry so much self-induced guilt and pressure as it is, the last thing we need is someone else to tell us what we’re doing is not right or what we should be doing is this and that.  Why do we always seem to be mothering other moms?

If a baby is fed, clothed and loved, does the HOW matter?  I don’t think so.  Being a mom is not a competition.  Being a mom is being the best mom that you can be; without comparison to anyone else.  Similar to the saying “Happy wife, happy life”, there should be a saying along the lines of “Happy mom, happy family”.

That’s why I’m choosing to be more than just mom enough.  I’m choosing to be the best mom that I can be!

PS. As the famous Zoolander once said “Lucky for me no one I know reads your little TIME magazine or whatever its called.”

* If you want to read the article if detail, leave me a message and I’ll e-mail you a copy.

16 thoughts on “I don’t want to be JUST mom enough!”

  1. WELL SAID! I applaud you for putting it the way that you have! I feel the same way! And I applaud your undoubtedly fantastic mothering skills! Way to go!

  2. Haha, I swaddled my little one until he was almost 7 months! It was kind of weird to me even since he was the size of a 1 year old and didn’t really fit into the miracle blanket anymore (had to leave one leg out). But he slept so well swaddled, and that meant I slept!

    1. Exactly! that’s why we did. People always asked me what our “secret” was to Kyle being such a good sleepr and I always attributed it to the swaddle.

  3. Here, Here, Maya! Beautifully said. The Mommy Olympics terrify me and I’m not even a mom! From the outside looking in, motherhood seems daunting enough let alone dealing with judgmental mommies who should be allies! I truly try and embrace a ‘live and let live’ philosophy and always hope that people aren’t judging me either.

    p.s. you’re the best mommy ever. will you adopt me??

    1. Awww – thanks Wendy. Being a mom isn’t “easy”, but it’s the most rewarding, amazing “job” that I could ever have 🙂
      I would love to be your adoptive mom. I promise to rock you, give you 3 bottles a day and tell you how much I love you a million times a day.

  4. well said maya! not only should each mom do what she feels is right for her child but i find that what is right for one child of mine isn’t always good for another child of mine. people will always have what to say, you just have to smile, nod and do your own thing!

    1. Great point! I guess it would probably be different for each child since personalities often differ. Thanks for pointing that out. I have become very good at nodding and smiling for sure! 😉

  5. Bravo Maya for putting it so well! As mom’s we all do what we think is best for our family, what works for our little nucleus. I’ve learned that as long as I & my husband feel confident in our parenting decisions, then that’s all that matters, and well… ‘let them talk’. Many people (including other mom’s) look at me as if I’m an alien from a far away galaxy when they learn my daughter only gave up her 2am feed at the age of 2 & 1/2 and that she still sleeps with in our bed. But we just… ‘let them talk’… We should really support each other in everything we do as parents. It’s the hardest job we’ll ever have, and no parent get’s it all perfect – no parent!

    1. Well said. Why do we even bother to pretend to be perfect? I will never know. I rather just know that when I look back at the time I had with my son, it will be full of happy memories and he will just remember love! The rest is secondary. Thanks for your kind words and message.

  6. well said. ye-shar coach. A chidf needs to feel that he is loved.The way to that depence on the character of the mother.

  7. nicely put, and yes I have to agree as long as the parenting works for the family, adult and children, then it is fine. But, that photo does look weird and I find it oddly offensive. And another BUT, it certainly got TIME a lot of PR and so we have to say well done to them for that.

  8. i agree, maya…we all do the best we can for our little ones – there is no ‘perfect’ approach! (and ps we let connor watch tv….and try to encourage it sometimes – sadly (can i say that – sadly?! haha) he is not too into it)…

  9. Really nice post. I couldn’t agree more. I have a 16 month old and motherhood is tough enough without having to constantly feel like we are being judged for our choices. There is no right or wrong when it comes to raising your children just what is right for you and your family!

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