That breastfeeding mom on Time magazine? She’s a mommy blogger (guest post)

Do you know anything about Time magazine's cover mom? The one who is causing debate, anger and support? Guest blogger Jessica Mouneimne gives insight. Jess is a mom, full time South African blogger at www.mommymatters.co.zawww.capetownmommylogues.com and www.hurricanehamza.com. Her work as been published in a number of South Africa’s leading magazines and she hosts a weekly parenting radio show on internet radio station 2OceansVibe Radio www.2oceansviberadio.com . She tweets at @mommymatters and @Jessmouneimne.     "Jamie Lynne Grume, the women featured with her boob hanging out on the cover of TIME magazine, feeding a rather large child is a mommy blogger. She is one of ‘my people.’ And, she is only 26 years old- my age, weird right? What a huge accomplishment for mom bloggers around the world.  In South Africa, mommy blogging is still growing steadily, but trying to convince sponsors and advertisers that their money is well spend with us, is still hard work. If there was ever proof of the influence that we have on opinion, consumers, the market place, here it is! So why are we hating on Jamie? I don’t know the girl personally -and I only breastfed for 4 months- so I’m not coming from an extended breastfeeding or Jamie Lynn fan angle. I think we’re hating on her because women are bitchy and judgmental by nature. If you think high school was tough, getting into and staying in the right mommy circle is high school on steroids. I have seen blogs on this issue refer to the media playing moms up against each other and that the TIME article fuelled the mommy wars.  Sure, our claws have really come out this time, because breastfeeding, whatever side of the pendulum you sit on, is a very personal and sensitive issue. But really girls, we don’t need an excuse for a cat fight do we? WHAT BOTHERS ME ABOUT THE COVER Just like many you who have commenting on the cover, I loathe the pose used by the magazine and have read that Jamie Lynn would have wanted a more natural looking pose, but from a media perspective, the impact just wouldn’t have been the same. I also don’t like the idea of her son’s face being used as the poster child for what seems to be such a controversial issue. I think as parents we often think it’s ok to project all of our beliefs and values onto our children, but I think how long you choose to breastfeed for, should be up there with your political affiliations- choices to be made when you’re an adult. Does this make Jamie Lynn an unfit mother? Probably not, so let’s put out our pitchforks away for a little longer. Lastly, just like you, I can’t stand the title: ARE YOU MOM ENOUGH?  It draws that line in the ground that will and has fuelled the mommy wars to new heights -if we let it. When commenting on this story, one blogger wrote that we are all mom enough because we have been wee’d and poo’d on, given birth and stood over cots all night begging our babies to sleep and that it has nothing to do with how long you breastfed for. I agree, this earns us title of MOM. To me, the true test of being MOM ENOUGH is in how we treat each other and how we stick together rather than tear each other’s heads off at every opportunity. Being MOM ENOUGH is more than simply giving TIME the middle finger for this article, but really showing a united front.  It’s about sticking together and really being a sisterhood and not just in your click, but a global fraternity that celebrates achievements by others. A fellow blogger made such a valid statement on my radio show recently on this issue, “I will only judge you when you are putting your child’s life in danger.” She was referring to the trivial things that moms judge about: C-section or vaginal birth? Breast or bottle? Cloth or disposable nappies? Stay at home or go back to work? We are continuously feeling like we don’t measure up against other moms  and because of this we return the favour and make them feel as though they have failed somewhere along the way.  Maybe we should try and reserve our judgments for the things that matter, like buckling up your child when you drive? Or real child abuse/ neglect. After all, what you do with your boobs, is really between you and your family.. And I would do anything short of posing naked to get on the cover of TIME."

3 comments

  1. LOVE IT! What a well thought out written piece. The image and caption from Time mag bothered me as well and I think you’ve hit the nail on the head perfectly. I don’t like the image, not because I’m against breast feeding but because I feel like they went out of their way to be controversial and I don’t like the caption of being Mom Enough because it feeds into all of our insecurities as mothers and only adds fuel to the judgement fire.

  2. Excellent Post. You bring up so many excellent points. I read another blog this morning that refered to the picture as provocative….I’m not sure that I see it that way. But it just prooves how much different judgement get thrown around.

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