It’s Time (To End The Mommy Wars)

264 Comments

You have, by now, probably seen Time Magazine’s latest cover.


I thought it would be funny to make a mock cover illustrating the absurdity of the attention grabbing scene. So I did:.

I posted it on my Facebook page and took a shower. When I came back, I read through the comments. Comments like this:

” I am offended by this cover because not all women can breast feed and formula is the only option”

“I’m thinking there are a lot of moms that feel guilty about not giving their baby’s breast milk from reading these posts and this silly picture.”

“Formula feeding IS harmful for babies. Breast is best.”

“Unbelievable. SOME of us did not have another choice. Let’s add one more load of guilt on women who constantly worry that their every decision is damaging their children.”

“So, I’m a bad mom because I work? Thought I liked you, Scary Mommy. Unfollowing now.”.

You know how it sucks to tell a joke and then have to explain the punchline? Um, yeah.

For the record, I am a working mom. I formula fed all of my kids and my boys are circumcised. If a cover like that were actually published, (which, given the fact that half of the people thought it was real, doesn’t seem all that far-fetched,) I would be the ultimate failure of a mother. I thought that was clear.

The original Time cover is absurd and does little other than pit mother against mother over the most personal of choices. No, even if I could, I would not breastfeed my almost four year old. Most mothers wouldn’t. But, that’s not the point. The point is that we should not allow a magazine to divide us like this. Time knew exactly the effect this cover would have on the nation and it succeeded beautifully. News shows are all over it, Twitter is abuzz and it’s the top story in every paper. Mothers verses mothers, once again. Well played, Time, this will surely be one of the best selling issues of the year.

So, how about instead of allowing this to ignite the Mommy Wars, we fight back? Let’s not divide ourselves. Let’s not criticize one another’s choices and let’s not allow ourselves to feel like failures. Haven’t we had enough? They can publish whatever stories and covers they want, but we don’t need to buy into it. We can win this one.

I think it’s Time.

Comments

The Scary Mommy Community is built on support. If your comment doesn't add to the conversation in a positive or constructive way, please rethink submitting it. Basically? Don't be a dick, please.

  1. 1

    Monika says

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! From one of those AP moms that doesn’t give a crap about how your raise your kids as long as you take the best care of them that your can, THANK YOU. We all love our children, and we all want the best for them. Let’s support each other on this journey instead of tearing one another apart.

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    • 2

      Amy at Best Baby Strollers says

      Hear, hear, Monica (raising a glass to you and Jill both). I vote for moving beyond labels, too. Love your children. That’s all that matters. :)

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    • 3

      The Anecdotal Baby says

      Well said, Monika. We are all in this mothering thing and all of us, no matter our parenting ideals, are out to do the best we can for our children… whatever that looks like. Besides our children are individuals we should treat them as such. What works for one individual does not work for all.

      Scary Mommy, I think this was the topic of the week! I’m enraged over media in general, and Time just rose to the top of my list. Enough is enough.

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      • 4

        Carolyn says

        Monika, THANK YOU! That is so well put!
        As long as you keep your child safe and are trying to do a good job, then who cares which choice you make. Thank goodness we live in a world where we CAN chose!

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    • 6

      Sarah Anderson says

      I haven’t read the article. Even after breastfeeding five babies, I don’t care if others breastfeed or not. I also use cloth diapers, but I know it’s not for everyone. For me it’s financially motivated, for others it’s an unspoken contest to see who’s crunchier. Excuse me while I go put my baby in a sling and tour our local co-op just so I can reinstate my Good Mommy Membership.

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        • 12

          Joey says

          Ahh, my bad. I’m so out of touch. Still, it’s interesting to see that the people in charge of instigating such divisiveness in this case are women. I have done a little snooping around and I don’t think either of them are moms (although I could be wrong as shown above)…that should tell you something right there!

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          • 13

            Amanda says

            Don’t you think that’s a little offensive to the childfree, such as myself? I do not have children but I don’t think moms should be in constant competition with each other. Most childfree people are able to have an objective view of the “mommy wars” and see it for the ridiculousness it is. You are implying that all non-moms are out to get moms.

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          • 14

            The Anecdotal Baby says

            Amanda, childless or child abundant, every one has opinions. And I can’t tell you how many childless women I’ve met that have an opinion on child rearing. I have met women with and without children having opinions on whether flying with an infant is okay, how children should behave in restaurants, what parenting philosophies are best, etc… I don’t think Joey is implying anything about non-moms. In fact, to me, she is commenting about the cattiness that seems innate in many women, not all, but many.

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  2. 16

    Alicia says

    THANK YOU!!!! I am so sick of having to watch every little thing that I do now that I am a mommy. Because everyone has an opinion, and they make it known, and they don’t care if I want to hear it or not. Why can’t we as women stand, TOGETHER? And I am sick and tired of the media tearing us down and apart for $$$$. Enough is enough. End rant.

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  3. 17

    Elizabeth Flora Ross says

    I saw the reaction to your photo last night and was amazed. It demonstrated how emotional so many of us are over these issues. Which is EXACTLY what Time was counting on. It pisses me off majorly when the media pulls this s–t. Thank you! I’m with you!

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  4. 20

    By Word of Mouth Musings says

    Sadly, there is always an ‘us and them’ in every.single.thing.
    But on this one, even my kids, looked over my shoulder and said .eeww, what is that kid doing? The reaction to your ‘faux ad’ – kinda funny, don’t they know you are ‘Scary’ not ‘Crunchy’ ;)

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    • 21

      Arnebya says

      But you know, Nicole, I don’t think I’d want my kids’ reaction to be eeww because nursing, even at three or beyond shouldn’t be looked at as nasty or wrong, just…different. But at the same time, Time purposely put him on a chair to make him seem bigger, purposely had him look to the camera. It’s all so painfully staged and purposely argument inciting. I want to say to Time: So what he’s 3 and still nursing? I don’t give a shit. Him folded up in her lap in a rocking chair in his room wouldn’t have had the same dramatic effect, so of course you went for shock.

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  5. 27

    Lisa says

    Thank you, thank you. my hub said to me last night “I assume you saw that cover of Time”. And I said “yeah, just another way to get us mommies fighting against one another in the so-called ‘mommy wars’…”
    But as you always manage to do, you took my thoughts and made them into a sharp, insightful satire. I love your fake cover and nearly spit out my coffee this morning when I saw it! Bravo!

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  6. 29

    Brittany {Mommy Words} says

    I didn’t see your Facebook post but of course it was a joke! So, since I don’t engage in Mommy Wars, let me just say that I know I am not the only one who hopes that little boy is not mocked for that picture in school. Our choices are our own, but a 3 year old does not know what could come of his picture being on the cover of Time Magazine with his mouth on his mothers breast. Kids say mean things and I do think as mothers we try to protect them from situations that might cause pain.

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    • 30

      JD @ Honest Mom says

      @Brittany – that’s EXACTLY what my husband and I were just talking about. Neither of us has an issue with AP or not AP (we do not practice AP) – but both of us worry about how that very public picture will haunt that little boy in the future. I think it was a poor choice of the mother to allow TIME to use that as their cover shot – if she actually had a say in it.

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  7. 31

    Vinobaby says

    I was shocked when I saw this cover yesterday. I couldn’t decide if Time was actually covering a legit issue going on now, the trend (okay, I know that’s word is going too piss people off, but it is a relatively new way of life for many) of attachment parenting, or just a way to sell mags. I suppose I’ll have to read the article to find out. But yes, it’s certainly going to stoke the fires, and I’ve been burned to many times for parenting my child “wrong.” Why get all the tempers flaring?

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  8. 33

    Sue says

    Thank you! Saw the irony in your Time Cover. This competitive parenting crap doesn’t help anyone! Recently saw a Facebook posting equating circumcision to giving your newborn a nose job. Give me a break!
    Such a different time from when I grew up (70s & 80s) when parenting choices weren’t up for debate amongst every and anyone. You did your thing and life went on.
    Just have to shake my head. What gives anyone the right to judge someone else.

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    • 34

      Heather B from SC says

      parenting choices weren’t in question in the seventies and eighties? In whose world? My mom chose to be a SAHM during a time when all her college friends thought that was giving your life away wasting your talents…and I had several friends who thought the same when I married and began having children. Thank goodness that’s become a little more of a “you have a choice to make, we’re fought for the right for you to HAVE a choice, but you get to make it” sort of sitch in the last decade… but yeah, human nature doesn’t change. And we still hear both issues continually rehashed in all the “parenting mags” and everyplace every single year… same war, different battle. Ask Anne Romney :-)

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      • 35

        Another Lisa says

        Heather, certainly the debate was already on in the 70′s & 80′s but the internet has just heated things up. It wasn’t as easy to criticize other moms back then b/c you couldn’t just jump anonymously on a computer and bash away. Now you can sit down at your monitor anytime and see a gazillion people judging you and your choices and it’s really disconcerting!

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  9. 37

    Mama Melch says

    If we’re busy fighting each other, we won’t have time to fight the bigger important battles like maternity/paternity leave without having to use vacation days and affordable quality daycare for ALL for example. I’m not taking the bait either!! Thank you for your snark Scary Mommy.

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  10. 39

    Chris says

    Maybe reading Mad Magazine growing up helped me recognize the parody… I thought the mock cover was hySTERical! I recognized my own anger, disgust and exasperation with the continuous war against WOMEN that is being fought on every front: how we look, what we eat, what we do with our days, what we do with our nights, how we engage in romantic relationships, our ability to parent (or choice to not parent)…. every fiber of our being is judged. It’s about time it’s thrown back in the face of male-defined “convention”. Yay you!

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  11. 41

    Tanya says

    I think it’s sad that there are STILL MOMS ON THIS THREAD JUDGING! Way to continue the war. If your kid says “eww” to the Time cover, why not say to your kid, “that kid and his mom are just different than us, what works for us doesn’t work for them and vise versa, and there’s nothing wrong with that.” And just leave it at that. You’re raising stereotypes in your kids that make these mommy wars possible.

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    • 42

      By Word of Mouth Musings says

      OMgawsh girl, I never judge and I never fight – each to his own. I homeschool, I am a liberal, my husband is an atheist, my youngest is adopted and African American, I am a Brit living in the States – for derision – trust me I have heard them all. My point here was A. people jumped on the bandwagon and thought that Jill was really posting her idea of a cover and B. that my kids saw him as a big kid, and since they are at the eww, who would kiss a boy, and eww, who would ever have sex, and eww what is that young boy doing – it opened the door to a talk. Because that is what we do over here in my house – we discuss things – open minded, never judging and being accepting of all things. Read my blog – I am not judgemental – ever.

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  12. 43

    Karen says

    I agree. I wasn’t able to breastfeed my children and honestly, I’ve never felt guilty about it. My kids have always been healthy so why should I feel bad? Any decision a mom makes is tough. We have to listen to the advice we tell our kids: believe in yourself. I think it was obvious that your magazine cover was a spoof. And no, I won’t spend money on the real TIME. It’s just a great marketing strategy. And it’s working.

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