It’s Mother’s Day. I’ve gotten breakfast in bed and adorable trinkets made just for me, as well as a special gift from my dear husband. I’ve also broken up one fight and sent three whining children to their rooms for much-needed late-morning naps. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my day. And yet, something’s missing… Oh, right—I’m supposed to don my battle dress and take my position along the front in the latest “Mommy War”.
Last year it was the Tiger Mom controversy. This year, “Are You Mom Enough?” It seems at least once a year, some media outlet, in a desperate bid for more attention and ratings, launches some provocative pseudo-exposé centering on women. (Mothers, in particular, as criticizing parenting styles is the perfect way to tap into what one blogger referred to as “insecurity porn”.) It’s Time’s turn, with their idiotic, sensationalized cover. I’m not even going to link to it, I’m afraid it’s gotten way more attention than it deserves. I will say that Time was one of the last journalistic magazines I still respected; that respect is now gone, though I don’t pretend to believe the folks in charge actually care. For them, this newest controversy is all about the money, not about any serious journalistic endeavors. And we the public, particularly women, have played right into their hands.
Anything I want to say about the cover and about parenting, attachment or otherwise, has already been written by bloggers much more eloquent and timely than me:
But I do want to say, in response to the question, “Are You Mom Enough?” —why yes, yes I am. I am “mom enough” to respect that others have different parenting philosophies than I, and that their way isn’t a better or worse way than mine. I am “mom enough” to know I am not perfect, and that I fail on a daily basis to live up to my own self-proscribed standards, but that if the day ends with everyone still alive and my last words to them are “I love you”, I can chalk it up as a success. I am “mom enough” because I don’t need to have a toddler dangling off my breast nor do I need to have babies who put themselves to sleep in their own cribs in order to be validated by some segment of society. I am “mom enough” because I love my kids, I do the best I can by them, and they want for nothing—especially encouragement and emotional support.
So if you don’t mind, fellow mommies, I’m going to leave my Kevlar in the basement on this one. My family needs all of me more than Time needs my outrage to sell their magazines. I’m “mom enough” to let this go now.
Guess what? So are you. Happy Mother’s Day!