Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are sure to have seen the now infamous photo on the cover of TIME magazine of a woman breastfeeding her nearly four-year old child with the caption, Are you mum enough?
Quite frankly, I’m bored by it. This here mum is *enough-ed* of it, actually. Every month, there appears in the media some latest mummy-write-up on specific parenting choices like breast VS bottle feeding, like working mums VS stay at home mums, like natural parenting VS I’m not sure – unnatural parenting?
And I have to say, these publications bore me because I believe they are totally manufactured and totally deliberate. I believe they are designed to provoke strong reactions in the women who either feel judged, or the women who want to voice their superiority for their personal choices. I generally steer well away from these kinds of debates. I roll my eyes and I flick to the next page because I believe these kinds of articles are intended to not only prey on the insecurities of women’s choices, but to turn women against each other in the most brutal of ways. And all the while, the publishers/broadcasters sit back and cash in on the hype that is sure to proceed.
It’s all very un-red-tent-ish.
And if we’re being honest, it is for this exact reason that I have avoided mother’s groups and breastfeeding associations and making friends with too many mothers. I’m just not interested. It’s hard enough as it is and I need support, not competition. Can I just say, who even has the energy to harp on about how they are doing it better? These babies, they suck all the petrol out of your tank the minute you find a moment to refuel, so by the end of the day, if one has the resources to sit on blog forums and invest the time, emotion and energy into a debate that will never end, I seriously need to find out who their coffee supplier is and relocate my $3.50 accordingly.
Friends, all I’m saying is this. Whenever you see the latest “mummy” article in the newspaper, whenever you watch the latest parenting debate on tv, whenever you listen to another mumma’s choices, just switch off. Don’t even go there. Grab your babies, smother them in kisses until they are squealing with delight and hold them in your arms until you’re sure that they know they matter. Like, for sure. Because you can bet your bottom dollar that they are not going to give two hoots if they’ve just been fed from a bottle or from a breast.
They only care that you love them.