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the great divide

May 18, 2012

I went back and forth on this cover. Several times. With the voices in my head.

Voice 1: This picture just seems…shocking. On like 100 different levels.
Voice 2: Just because you don’t necessarily agree Ameena, it doesn’t give you the right to judge.

Voice 1: I feel bad for this little kid because nobody asked him if he wanted to be on this cover. And when he gets older the teasing will know no end.
Voice 2: Talk about calling the kettle black. You say terrible things about Maya on your blog…how is this any different?

Voice 1: It’s obviously different. My blog has a substantially less number of readers than Time.
Voice 2: True. Okay. I’ll give you this one.

I’ll spare you the rest of the conversation in my head. Because what I eventually realized is that it doesn’t matter what me (or my scary voices) think about this cover. It doesn’t matter what I think about attachment parenting or Dr. Bill Sears or co-sleeping either. It doesn’t matter what I did or didn’t do, what I wish I had or had not done. It also doesn’t matter what Jamie Lynne Grumet is doing or not doing.

None of this matters. Why?

Because this whole thing boils down to the fact that Time needed to drum up sales by publishing a controversial article. And in doing so they managed to once again have us arguing about who has “the best approach,” who is “the better parent,” and “which kid will succeed because of his/her upbringing.”

But how about this: instead of criticizing and feeling superior, maybe we should support each other and appreciate our differences. Because that’s exactly what Time doesn’t want us to do.

89 Comments leave one →
  1. May 18, 2012 12:37 am

    Oh wow. Yeah, if people just lived and let live think of all the wars that never would be fought…

  2. May 18, 2012 1:03 am

    Even I shocked when I saw and read the article online. But I agree with you completely Ameena. We should accept each other’s differneces and learn to appreciate them

  3. May 18, 2012 2:01 am

    Well said 🙂

  4. May 18, 2012 3:06 am

    i was trying to avoid this cover on yahoo news but alas Ameena, you introduced it here!! i am also shocked…as much as they try to portray the ‘cool’ factor, i think its more cringe worthy.

  5. May 18, 2012 4:38 am

    Props to you for going anywhere near this magazine article. All of us do things differently and even when things seem crazy based on our own set of experiences and circumstances, all this really boils down to is that parents are constantly trying to figure out how to do the best by their children. And I used to work for Time Warner (Time magazine’s parent company). You’re right: they really just needed a little shock value to sell some magazines.

    • May 18, 2012 9:14 pm

      How did you like working for Time Warner? I would LOVE to work in their Columbus Circle location. 🙂

  6. May 18, 2012 4:54 am

    “Because that’s exactly what Time doesn’t want us to do.” i love it!! 🙂 you know, i saw this magazine cover, and didn’t even give it a second glance. i did not realize at ALL what was going on there. wow.

    • May 18, 2012 9:15 pm

      Yes, it’s been all over the news. Although, I am a bit late in addressing it. What else is new? 🙂

  7. May 18, 2012 5:14 am

    Love your perspective. And honestly, when I first saw the cover, all I could think about was that poor child. I bet no one asked him what he thought. I hate it when magazines pull this kind of crap at the expense of innocent people.

    • May 18, 2012 9:15 pm

      Thank you Parita! I love that you love my perspective. 🙂

  8. May 18, 2012 5:24 am

    That’s what I thought too, it’s just Time’s lame way to gain more readers. To be honest though, I don’t understand why that woman agreed to be photographed with her 3 year-old son in the cover of magazine like that (in that kind of pose). It’s different to breastfeed as long as she wants (it’s her right), but to pose like that exposing herself and her own son, it’s just selfish. IMO, she’s just hungry for attention and fame!

    • May 18, 2012 5:26 am

      It’s just me, sorry. Funny thing happened again with my account 🙂 Have a great weekend!

    • May 18, 2012 9:16 pm

      I never thought of it like that…that she might be interested in her own fame. Really good point!

  9. May 18, 2012 5:39 am

    Extremely well put, Ameena! I’m thinking serious emotional damage to the little guy. He’ll never overcome this. What was the mother thinking. Talk about it, Ok…Show the photo…the woman must be nuts!

    • May 18, 2012 9:17 pm

      I wonder if I do damage to Maya by putting her on my blog? I’m totally rethinking some of the things I say/do now.

  10. May 18, 2012 5:39 am

    I tried to keep without opinion on the subject because I’m not a mother, so I really have no real knowledge on the subject.

    But I’ll agree with you on the kid. This is going to ruin his high school career.

    • May 18, 2012 9:17 pm

      I’m just hoping that by the time he gets to high school nobody will remember this article! For his sake.

  11. May 18, 2012 5:46 am

    I am tired of Time’s covers, we all talk about it when really we shouldn’t waste the “time”. The cover didn’t have anything really to do with the article a story basically on the Sears family that just made me feel happy that I go to work and detach. The funny thing is attachment parents have no time to read this article so it really is those of us who read, grumble and wonder if our children’s brains are different because we let them cry it out. Sadly, I’m not “mom enough” to feel guilty.

    • May 18, 2012 9:18 pm

      I am all for the cry it out thing too Lauren. I feel your pain. Love this comment.

  12. May 18, 2012 6:33 am

    That is exactly what it is.
    Nothing gets more attention than raging female hormones pitting against one another and judging each other’s choices.

  13. May 18, 2012 7:29 am

    Well said!

  14. May 18, 2012 8:07 am

    I loved your ending on this post!!!!!

    I’ve often told young moms- there will be 10 people who will tell you A and another 10 who tell you B and then a whole ‘nother 10 who tell you C– and each set of 10 thinks their way is the right way- but the bottom line- each person does it their own way & the kids will be fine. Just view the movie “Babies”?? Is that what it is called- where they feature four different babies from four different countries?

    Great perspective- and great post!!!! (as always)

    • May 18, 2012 9:19 pm

      I love your comment. There is no “one” right way!

      I haven’t seen “Babies” yet but I think I’ve heard good things about it.

  15. May 18, 2012 8:48 am

    It’s pretty pathetic (and slightly insulting to reader intelligence) that a respectable publication like Time feels the need to resort to shock tactics and “controversy” to boost sales – I hope regular readers see through that.

    Very well said about embracing each others’ differences – the way the media constantly tries to pit women against one another (whether it’s in terms of body image, diet and now parenting) just annoys me to no end.

    • May 18, 2012 9:20 pm

      It always seems that the same topics are being recycled, doesn’t it? Diet, body image, parenting, breastfeeding, etc. etc. So tired of it.

  16. May 18, 2012 9:13 am

    I agree with your voices… I do pass judgment, and it’s hard not to in a situation like this. First of all, the kid is so much older and is a boy, I think he’s going to have some f****d up issues when he’s older, especially when he’s intimate with a woman. I don’t agree with the cover just to boost sales, it would be much better to have a woman breast feeding a baby with her boob completely exposed, it’s just not right to put a 5 year old boy on the cover doing that. Disturbing to me, but yeah it’ll drive up sales!
    Have a great weekend too Ameena! 🙂 I do really love the topics you post.

    • May 18, 2012 9:21 pm

      Such a great comment. I thought many of these same thoughts. And came to no conclusion on the matter! Except that I want to stop judging so much.

      Thank you for the compliment! I love that you read and your comments are so insightful. I appreciate it.

  17. The Mom Chef permalink
    May 18, 2012 10:39 am

    As an adoptive parent for whom inducing wasn’t an option (we spent every dime we had on our child), this is definitely crap to me. (sorry for using the word crap). It even makes me angry. You just let those voices in your head out and let them talk really, really loud.

    • May 18, 2012 9:21 pm

      I know you are a really good mom because you apologized for using the word “crap.” 🙂

  18. May 18, 2012 10:53 am

    Amen Ameena. This picture just made me angry. I mean really, is that how the typical woman breastfeeds? Standing there with a stool? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it done quite like that before. I’ll be honest and say I do have a few friends that have done extended breastfeeding; never like that though. We spend too much time tearing each other down for our differences in choice and not enough time embracing what makes us all unique. Their only intent with that picture was to rile up all sides of the coin.

    • May 18, 2012 9:22 pm

      “Their only intent with that picture was to rile up all sides of the coin.” Well said my friend. Well said.

  19. May 18, 2012 10:55 am

    If not anything else, the cover photo shocked me out of my wits and I have hidden it in a place where my kids can’t see it. I do not want to go back and forth judging myself or any other whether we are doing things right, or as per the TIME, but I feel I am Mom enough and a good one when I remove TIMES pathetic sales strategies out of the vision of my children. For more reasons than one. Wondering about the mom who would allow the child to be on the cover… very disturbing.

    • May 18, 2012 9:22 pm

      I love your perspective on this. I wonder what Maya would say if she saw this? She’s likely have 1,000 questions for me…

  20. May 18, 2012 11:26 am

    I have to admit Ameena, as much as I have been an avid Times reader for years, I think they hit a new low with one –

    As a mom, as a breast-feeded-been-there-done-that, I cringe.

    So, I have do admit I don’t get to voice #2 in your head 🙂 To each his own. But not for me.

    I always love that you take the controversial bull by its horns. You’re my kinda girl 🙂

    chow! Devaki @

    • May 19, 2012 7:03 pm

      I agree…to each is own. But it’s not for me either.

  21. May 18, 2012 12:45 pm

    Yah . . . you make a really good point, and it makes me crazy that people can’t just step back and stop judging everyone. I look at my friends that have babies, and are doing a fantastic job raising them, and how easy it is for other mothers to attack them about anything and everything they can. It’s not right, and I don’t like it.

    But, as far as this picture, being on the cover of Time magazine – that poor child. All his little friends are going to know about that by the time they’re old enough to be mean, and it’s going to be awful for him.

    • May 19, 2012 7:04 pm

      I just don’t understand why we attack each other…I am definitely trying to be more cognizant of NOT doing this. I hope that I’m making progress. 🙂

  22. May 18, 2012 1:08 pm


    But ya know, I’m kind of with Voice 1. I breast-fed both my kids as babies, and think it’s a really good thing to do for your child if you can. But this photo just produced an “ick”reaction in me. And I agree about using the child in a way that he will almost certainly feel bad about later.

    • May 19, 2012 7:04 pm

      I think it’s a really good thing to do for your child as well! If you can.

  23. May 18, 2012 1:23 pm

    Amen sista friend! Boo on Time magazine for pitting moms against each other. Like we don’t have enough problems contending with diaper blowouts and bad hair days!

    • May 19, 2012 7:05 pm

      I have my fair share of bad hair days…but I’m pleased that the diaper blow outs are behind me. 🙂

  24. May 18, 2012 1:34 pm

    So true! you got right to the basic truth of the whole matter. It is a shocking pic. I will say that I don’t think it’s necessary to breast feed up until that age. I mean, the kid EATS FOOD! Why is having mama’s milk so important. But, I do agree to each his own. Who knows maybe sucking on a booby for so long will give him more respect for women or something. This pic could be extremely damaging later on b/c of kids teasing like you said.

  25. May 18, 2012 1:44 pm

    I hate Time. I choose US Weekly as my weekly brain trash. It’s much better…and, more entertaining.

    • May 19, 2012 7:06 pm

      I’m guilty of reading US Weekly at the nail salon. It’s a terrible, terrible magazine. But I can’t help it. At the nail salon. 🙂

  26. May 18, 2012 2:09 pm

    I agree with you on a lot of levels, but jeez. That poor kid is not going to enjoy being in school during puberty!

    • May 19, 2012 7:07 pm

      I just hope that by that time this whole thing will be long forgotten…

  27. May 18, 2012 2:12 pm

    Wow, you really nailed this one Ameena. You’re exactly right. The mom obviously has strong opinions and even though I don’t agree with them I am sure she is a loving mom who wants nothing but the best for her kid. That, I can relate to.

    • May 19, 2012 7:07 pm

      That I can relate to too. That’s all that most of us really want, right?

  28. May 18, 2012 2:32 pm

    ugh this is sick.
    you’re right, everything you said.
    all this here, and the voices in your head.

  29. May 18, 2012 3:49 pm

    I just hope that the fine print in the corner says that the boy is with his mother on the cover.

    • May 19, 2012 7:08 pm

      Oh my gosh…such a good point! I wonder if others wonder about that?

  30. May 18, 2012 6:01 pm

    well said

  31. May 19, 2012 5:23 am

    Ok let’s face it if she looked anything like the average mother she would not be on the cover with her tit out.

    I haven’t read the article and have no intention of reading and don’t really care what it’s about.

    For me anyone women who wants to pose with her young boy like that… Let’s just say who in their right mind thinks this is ok? I certainly don’t and I’m not afraid to say it.

    Shame on Time and the mother for putting a young child in this position because I bet she doesn’t go around Breast feeding him anywhere and everywhere. It’s probs done in the privacy of her home.

    Sad what lengths some people go to for publicity and sales. They call this parenting?

    She needs a good hard slap!

    • May 19, 2012 7:09 pm

      Funny…I didn’t even find this girl attractive. But other people pointed that out to me as well.

      Love the brutal honesty Laila. Thanks for the comment.

  32. May 19, 2012 8:41 am

    Amen, sister.

  33. May 19, 2012 8:54 am

    People will always find a way to criticize.
    I agree w/ you.

    Katie 🙂

    • May 19, 2012 7:09 pm

      Thank you Katie! For agreeing with me. But also for the comment. 🙂

  34. May 19, 2012 10:10 am

    –You know what I say to that photo?

    “”More Power to ya, Baaaaaby.””

    The real question is: “Why Would This be Wrong or Dirty?”

    & that’s my 2 cents. Xxxx

  35. May 19, 2012 10:57 am

    I am totally in support of all parenting, as long as it doesn’t involve a 5-year old on your boob.

    No just kidding – I am slightly less judgmental than that. I do feel strongly that we should “live and let live” but I also know what works for me. I think in the end all that matters is if we love our child enough to raise the the best we can.

    • May 19, 2012 7:10 pm

      I’m trying really hard to “live and let live.” I find that it gets easier the more I practice. 🙂

  36. May 19, 2012 11:22 am

    As a non-parent, I can be totally judgemental. I do like the comment about the fact that they put a very attractive woman (using our societal standards) on the cover and not a dirty hippy…

    • May 19, 2012 7:11 pm

      Again, I didn’t realize she was attractive until others point it out. I think I was just so surprised by the cover that I didn’t notice the way the woman actually looks!

  37. May 19, 2012 8:04 pm

    Yes, true Ameena. While I can’t relate to this and I don’t think most Americans can, many in other countries can. But, in the end you’re right. We must stick together and learn from one another. That’s what I love about being a human so much. Just learning from other people’s differences, likenesses and all the rest in between. Thanks for the thought. Take care,


    • May 21, 2012 8:55 pm

      Thank you for the comment…as always, it’s so insightful. And in a strange way, so soothing. Does that sound random?

  38. May 20, 2012 10:46 am

    Well said, Ameena! Breast-feeding or not, we all have our views on what’s the ‘best’ approach so why not just accept & respect! Each to their own although I would be lying if I said that a part of me didn’t cringe at the cover!

    • May 21, 2012 8:56 pm

      I would be lying if I didn’t say the same thing. And yet, I am able to respect her decision. And frankly, her guts!

  39. anywherethereisanairport permalink
    May 21, 2012 4:47 am

    It’s all about the dolla bills that ring in with the cha-ching of the cash register. Support each other? We don’t do that in this society. “Support” makes no money. You know that! 🙂

  40. May 21, 2012 9:08 am

    Why does this matter? The only way this matters is the long term identity of this chld being DOCUMENTED…truly, most kids don’t have true memories until after 6-7. Before that, we “fill” in their memories with stories. The thing that bothers me is the mom’s willingness to allow them to print it. what was motivating that?

    • May 21, 2012 8:57 pm

      I wonder the same thing. Did she just want to be on the cover? Does she believe in her message so much so that the benefits outweighed the negatives? I’m really not sure?

  41. May 22, 2012 1:59 am

    You are so right. It is upsetting to see respected media resorting to sensationalism 😦

  42. May 22, 2012 4:03 am

    I’d read some tweets about *that* Time magazine cover but hadn’t actually seen it till just now! Wowzers… it definitely leaves an impression… nevertheless agree with you wholeheartedly that from the mag’s point of view, it created hype and sold well so was a winner, and that in itself kind of endorses “being judgmental?”

  43. May 27, 2012 1:57 am

    horrific. Doing idiotic things just to drum up sales – alas the way of the world these days I think. You are right about the need for us to support one another and to celebrate our differences. Instead we just want to make a quick buck…

  44. May 27, 2012 2:04 am

    This was quite horrifying! And all just to bring in extra readers! You are right – we need to support each other more – not try and get a quick buck of each other…

  45. May 30, 2012 7:04 pm

    Haven’t read the article, but agree with you that we should all try to judge less. What I did find shocking, though, was a TV segment – can’t remember the network and didn’t watch the whole thing – where they were talking about the cover and how it was so controversial, not because of the attachment parenting or extended breastfeeding issue, but because of the sexuality of the image. I find that comment WAY more shocking than the cover, because that did not even cross my mind when I saw the picture and the fact that the news commentator thought it was somehow sexual (it’s a mom and son) was disturbing to me.

    • June 1, 2012 8:39 am

      That didn’t cross my mind either…I think that is rather shocking too!

      Thanks for the great comment and input…I loved reading your opinion on this!

  46. June 1, 2012 7:32 pm


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