A post I’d written a year ago … I felt it was appropriate to revisit, especially today, on Mother’s Day.
There I was at the checkout counter about to finish up my biweekly grocery shopping while running through the list of things I still had to do before picking up my son from preschool, and as I was about unload a basket of groceries on the counter, I caught a glimpse of TIME Magazine’s latest cover.
There it was, yet another controversial banter that challenges and attempt to demean motherhood. Last month it was Elisabeth Badinter and her archaic views about how women’s decisions to be a stay-at-home-mom undermine the status of women; few months ago, it was the ‘Mommy Wars’ surrounding Hilary Rosen’s comments about Ann Romney being a stay-at-home-mom; and last year, it was the preposterous statement and judgment from a law-professor-turn-self-proclaimed-parenting-guru Amy Chua, who claimed that the so-called ‘Chinese’ way of parenting is far superior to ‘American’ parenting.
It seems that everyone who is looking to make a buck these days has jumped on the bandwagon of pointing finger and chastising mothers for … well, being mothers, and TIME Magazine wasn’t immune from taking potshots at one of the most sensitive topics in our society (by that I mean American society, as I don’t know too many people elsewhere in the world who are losing sleep over co-sleeping with their children).
However, I am tired of this discourse, and even more so, these ridiculous topics dominating, every gathering with friends, play groups, and even a visit to a Dentist’s office where I’m forced to listen to my Dental Hygienist rambling on about her theory on breastfeeding.
It has become not only excruciating to read these preposterous statements, articles and mediocre books that without such outlandish claims would be overlooked or end up in the 99 cents bin, but even more annoying to have to listen to all the discussions and discourse that surround them.
As it is always the case, the more ludicrous the thought, the more media coverage and attention it receives, and the latest claim takes the cake. There it was a picture of a young attractive white woman, looked to be in her 20’s, with a young boy about 4 years old, sucking on her breast.
This somewhat disturbing photo … and of course, the ever-so-combative title above that said, “Are You Mom Enough?”, is alluding that if we, mothers do not breastfeed our children until they are old enough to drive, then, we are not living up the expectation of what MOM should be. Of course, this is merely my own interpretation of the cover and my guess as to what the article is about, as I have no intention of purchasing the magazine, which I’m sure is what TIME is banking on most people doing.
I am certain that my friends with children in Germany, South Korea, Nigeria or any other countries in the world are NOT engaged in or obsessing over such topics as we are here in America. And although Ms. Badinter’s antiquated and culturally exclusive views have stirred up a bit of discussion in France, I doubt that mothers in Asia, Africa or elsewhere in Europe are worried that being a mother who does not work has any recourse on their status in the society.
It is as frivolous and ludicrous to think that being a full time mom and being there for your kids 24/7 is detrimental to the feminist movement as it is to think that breastfeeding or co-sleeping your child(ren) until they enter grade school is going to make them a better person, better human being … or make us better parents. A child … like life … truly IS like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get or better yet, how they will turn up. All we can do as parents is to nurture and raise them in the best way we can, and only when they become full beings, we can determine and reflect upon our decisions and actions as parents.
Therefore, although all these outrageous statements and analysis may sell magazines, books and even readership, nobody has the answer to being a good parent … a good mother. And it is time that we, as a society stop buying into these ridiculous banters and give forum to such idiocy, which is about as relevant as whether or not Kim Kardashian will marry again.
As I make my OWN choices in parenting our 4 year old son … who by the way has not been breastfed for over 3 years … I like to reflect upon a quote by Khalil Gibran, a Lebanese-American artist, poet, and writer.
Your children are not your children.
They are sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.