I’ve been reluctant to comment on the now infamous (and perhaps incendiary to some) Time cover featuring mom and LA-based blogger Jamie Lynne Grumet alongside the bold fighting words, “Are you mom enough?” because that’s exactly what the media giant wanted in the first place.
Here’s the thing. We know the print publication industry is suffering. We know that sensational titles a la the Wall Street Journal sell and lead to a lot of attention, driving eyeballs to their site, prompting people to buy the contested issue, and making them money.
Here’s the other thing. I think it’s irresponsible journalism—even though it might be an accepted industry or business tactic—and I don’t want to give energy or power to it. I don’t want to fuel the fires of the mommy wars like the magazine surely banked on. And I certainly don’t want to improve its bottom line.
In fairness to Jamie Lynne Grumet, maybe she had no idea the context in which the photograph would be used. I mean, the accompanying article is really about the life work of Dr. William Sears and his theory of attachment parenting. It is NOT about the superiority of one form of parenting versus another. In fact, Jamie herself says “There seems to be a war going on between conventional parenting and attachment parenting, and that’s what I want to avoid. I want everyone to be encouraging. We’re not on opposing teams. We all need to be encouraging to each other, and I don’t think we’re doing a very good job at that.”
On the other hand, maybe I’m naïve or assume the best about people, and she smugly knew exactly what she was doing by agreeing to pose for provocative photos. If that’s the case (although I kinda doubt it), shame on her and shame on Time. But beyond that, the cover represents just one person’s supposed opinion as presented by the media machine that demonizes motherhood, plays on parenting fears, and sends negative messaging that we’re always lacking regardless of the choices we make in an effort to make money.
You know what I say?
Let’s stop caring.
If we stop caring and reacting against these media falsehoods, maybe we will disempower such messages, rob them of life, and end the mommy wars altogether. It's then, perhaps, that we can begin to have meaningful, nuanced, and supportive discussions.
Please know that no matter what choices you make—independent or co-sleeping, formula or breastfeeding, organic or jarred food, cloth or disposable diapers, working or stay-at-home—we are all mom enough, every day, every night, every minute, every perfect and imperfect moment, for the rest of time.
~ The Other Sarah