Just in TIME for Mother’s Day, a national news magazine is making headlines by publishing a controversial cover story with an even more controversial cover photo. The topic: attachment parenting.
Dr. William Sears’ parenting technique, explored in great detail in The Attachment Parenting Book: A Commonsense Guide to Understanding and Nurturing your Child, is a parenting style based on parental responsiveness to babies’ dependency needs. This can include extended breastfeeding, babywearing, and co-sleeping, among other practices. Dr. Sears believes that attachment parenting helps parents enjoy parenting, to know their children, and help them to feel nurtured.
TIME magazine has taken a different perspective on Dr. Sears’ philosophy. The edgy cover photo shows a young mom nursing her camo-clad almost-four-year-old child and asks the question: “Are You MOM ENOUGH?”
Frankly, TIME, that’s a question most moms, whether they practice attachment parenting or not, ask themselves daily. We always wonder if we’re up to the demands of the role, whether it currently involves a complicated pregnancy, a colicky newborn, an ornery toddler, a sassy kindergartner, or a teenager demanding permission for body piercings.
The cover of this magazine describes Dr. Sears’ parenting ideas as “extreme,” which gives away the magazine’s position on the topic before you even read the first paragraph. It’s all about sensationalizing the issue rather than exploring it in a balanced fashion. All this in an article about a doctor–not about this particular mother and her little boy.
As Mother’s Day approaches, the last thing any mother needs is to be questioned on her parenting choices. This is a time of year when we honor our mothers, regardless of any mistakes they may have made in raising us (and all mothers do make mistakes.) TIME has taken a family decision, turned it into a controversy, and printed an inflammatory photo denigrating a time-honored parenting practice. Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate mothers, not criticize them.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of The New Parents Guide or Internet Brands.