As everyone who watches the news, reads Facebook, or talks around the water coolers of America knows that Time Magazine has put out a controversial cover. What? The media being edgy and controversial? Shocking.
Let me first say that I’m proud of the moms who participated in this article and the photo shoot. I’m insanely proud of my friend, Dionna, whose tandem nursing picture was stunning. I know the negativity towards the mothers has not been light and that is unfortunate. We’re getting closer to understanding yet still so far from acceptance. Much love to the moms and kids!
However, TIME magazine made a glaring omission. They left out fathers. Fathers can be and are attachment parents. Never fear! TIME magazine may have left you out of their parenting contest, but I won’t. Here you go, Dads. A war all your own.
Are You Dad Enough?
Did you know there are about 100,000 stay-at-home dads in America, according to a statistic I found online and spent absolutely no time verifying? What about those other dads? Can’t they handle it at home? Why are so many men putting their careers ahead of the well being of their children?
Why are so many men staying at home and teaching their children to be dependent on someone else? Keeping the kids at home robs them of early socialization in a daycare setting and how will they ever transition to school?
What about single dads? Again, a completely unverified internet statistic says that 16% of custodial parents are men. They are either superior to married dads because they do it all on their own or they are inferior because children need a two parent home. I can never quite keep the single-parent thing straight.
Breastfeeding? A real man would attempt lactation for his children. What is stopping him? Other than biology and cultural norms, not a damn thing.
Here is our family’s first strike in the Daddy Wars.
A man. Wearing a sling. A FLORAL PRINT sling. In public. Put that in your magazine, and smoke it.
Lay Down Your Arms
As my children are older and don’t fit in the sling and (mostly) sleep in their beds and don’t breastfeed anymore (I put in 11 years between my 4 kids), AP is about remaining connected while letting go. Letting them make decisions and grow when their frontal lobe is still working things out.
People may have odd reactions when I was breastfeeding a child who was speaking in complete sentences and had teeth (that really seems to get some people), but the most over-to-top rude comments I have gotten have been in the area of discipline. I view discipline as something you have rather than something you do to someone else. I believe that children act out of inexperience but not because they don’t deserve or know what they need and want.
Maybe I’m just saying lay off me. Yes, I nursed my toddlers and let them sleep in my bed. No, I don’t think they’ll be too dependent on me. No, I don’t spank or use time out. No, my kids are not “in charge.” No, my kids aren’t perfect. Yes, they’re learning how to function in “real life.” (hint: this life we’re leading IS real life). Yes, if my kids repeatedly break a rule, we reevaluate the rule. No, I don’t think that is the same as letting them make the rules. Yes, I stay at home. No, I don’t think my daughter is getting the “wrong message.” No, I don’t think all mothers should stay home. Yes, I think parents’ needs are as important as the child’s.
Just as ridiculous as my faux Daddy Wars sound, we mothers sound just as ridiculous when we engage in such banal drama. And with the current climate in the US for women, can we really afford to divide ourselves into Mommy classes?
Let’s sign a treaty. We are all women enough. Done.