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I'll start with a preface to this post stating that this is merely a record of my thoughts and opinions on the subject, not the "be all to end all." I love to debate, but I love people more so I am very ready and able to agree to disagree on most subjects.
That said, my mind is going on overdrive on this subject.
I will not post this photo on my blog because, while I am in total agreement (read: TOTAL AGREEMENT) with breastfeeding a baby -- of any age you choose -- I don't want to be smacked (literally) in the eyes with a photo of any mom doing it.
I know you have boobs, Time magazine mom, and they were created for this purpose. Yay for you! I have a pair, too. But I also believe that God asks us to be modest with our special body parts. Modesty does NOT equal prudishness. Because, after all, ladies, we want to be treated with respect and not treated as a sexual object, and yet we whip out our breasts whenever it's deemed "necessary" to prove that we're "all that." It's like that old Bill Cosby sketch of Adam and Eve..."Com'ere...com'ere...com'ere! Go-away! Go-away! Go-away!"
Frankly, I think it's all a bit too confusing for the opposite gender -- especially as a mom raising two boys.
Okay. I'll expound more on that subject another time. Back to the photo.
So I'm looking at it and the first thing I think is: "NO WAY is this kid 3 years old. I mean, check out his sneakers. They're nearly the same size as his mom's."
I have a large 3-year-old. He is about 2 years ahead of himself size-wise...but -- wait for it! -- I'm 5'9" and my hubby is 6'7". And we're big people. So, like his extra-large siblings, he isn't gonna be a small guy.
And this lady? She's slightly built, with thin arms like spaghetti and small feet. You really want me to believe that she birthed this monstrously-sized kid who actually looks bigger than my already-huge preschooler? Really?
So I feel skepticism from the first glance at the photo and caption.
Now to the photo's subject matter (I didn't read the article because 1. I'm not a Time magazine subscriber and 2. I don't agree with attachment parenting, which is a whole different blog post...in the distant "someday.")
I didn't breastfeed any of my three babies. And I didn't discourage or "trash-talk" or criticize anyone who did. In fact, the feeling of "having to hide their breastfeeding from the world" that many moms feel was how I felt about bottle-feeding.
I bottlefed (with love, of course, as the formula containers state...as if there's any other way to do it, really) and usually faced stares and shaking of heads and even some cries of indignity...because I wasn't doing what was "best" for the baby.
Okay. And making sure a baby is fed isn't doing what is best for the child?
Without knowing or understanding a person's backstory, I really think we need to be careful how we judge. I'm not here to defend how I fed my babies. They're 14, 11, and 3...way past the point of worrying about that. They're all advanced learners, have no food allergies (praise God! not my choice of feeding methods), and have been healthy, happy, well-adjusted kids (again, praise God! not my choice of feeding methods).
But wait! How is any of that possible? I didn't breastfeed!!
No! And I'm cyberschooling them! Gasp! And we limit their outside involvements to one or two activities! Gasp! Because we want to spend as much time -- gasp! gurgle! choke! -- as we can with them.
But....that's our family.
Not your family...or our neighbor's family...or the Time magazine cover woman's family.
We all make choices for our own families and our own situations to fit with our own personalities. No one should judge another merely because she chooses something different for her family.
There's so much judgement and so much anger and so much criticism in the world today. Isn't motherhood (and parenting, for that matter) hard enough without adding in the worry of offending someone else with our own choices??
How's about some support for a change?
Walk with me. Hold my hand. Support me, if I need it. Give me an ear...and even a shoulder to cry on, if necessary. And I'll do the exactly the same for you. I've got your back because I love that you love a little person (or two or three or more) that much, too.
It just makes sense.