As a mom with a 6-month-old son, I like to think I have my finger on the pulse of parenting trends. I could tell you all about the baby gadgets you simply have to have and the ones you could go without. I could explain in great detail the color and consistency of poop and what each indicates. I could even write an exposé on the benefits of making your own baby food. But I will never be able to explain what goes through the mind of a mom who breast-feeds her child till age 3, or shudder to think, even longer.
Moms catch a lot of flack about breast-feeding. If you choose not to, you’re a monster. If you are simply unable, you’re a failure. I breast-fed my son until he was 3 months and then switched to formula for a variety of reasons. One: I was just simply not producing enough to keep up with him. I drank all the teas, took all the herbal supplements and even tried Reglan, but it made me crazy. Ok, crazier. Two: I went back to work as a freelancer, and my new workplace was less than pump-friendly. Three: It sucks. I love my son more than anything. I’m glad that I was able to provide him with a solid three months of breast-feeding. But good god was I glad when I didn’t have to have him or a pump latched on to me every second of the day.
I had a lot of guilt when I decided to switch to formula. Because that’s how the parenting community, and even some doctors make you feel. I thought I was a horrible mother. But then a friend reminded me that I wasn’t starving my child. I was still providing him with all the nutrients he needed to grow and develop. A horrible mother wouldn’t do that.
All that said, I am not defending Jamie Lynne Grumet. My opinion is if they have a full head of teeth, or they can ask for it, it’s game over. I’m just saying that I can kind of understand the pressure that can lead a mother to go to this kind of extreme. Yes, I’m disturbed by the image on the cover of TIME. I think it’s medically unnecessary and socially weird, if not even a little twisted. Not to mention the kid looks more like he’s 6, not 3. But I’ve always been a “to each his own” kinda gal, so who am I to judge?
What do you think?