Draft-Dodging the Mommy War

Time-magazine-are-you-mom-enough-coverThanks, Time magazine. You have made people absolutely lose their minds with your provocative cover photo of Jamie Lynne Grumet.

Instead of getting my recommended daily allowance of Kardashian gossip, now I have to worry about not being a good mom AND put on my judgey pants about Jamie nursing what appears to be an Army staff sergeant.

I don’t know if people have flipped their lids because Jamie is so pretty or because the kid has a five o’clock shadow.

I guarantee, if that had been me on the cover when I was nursing, there’d be a totally different response.

My body makes people either barren or celibate. You cannot look directly at it without being affected. I recommend a mirror.

Example: my sister-in-law was visiting us after I’d had my third baby. I was sitting on my couch, discreetly nursing under a light throw. Somehow the side of my abdomen was visible. These were the days before Snuggies, or I totally would have been using one.

My young sister-in-law, maybe twenty-one at the time, saw my side, gasped and asked, “Were you burned horribly in some sort of industrial accident?”

‘”No,” I said, “those are just fresh stretch marks. You should see my lower belly. Don’t worry, they fade from purple to silver. Wanna see the old ones?”

Once the EMTs revived her, she never did have a baby with my brother-in-law. Boom! I am human birth control.

Now I’m eleven years after my “fourth set of stretch marks”–I mean “baby”, I’m still waiting to “get my pre-baby body back”. I don’t know who has my pre-baby body, but they left me with this saggy, stretched out one and too many quotation marks.

I keep hearing about these Mommy Wars. It is supposed to be the Working Mommies versus the Stay-at-Home Mommies. The Public School Mommies should fight with the Homeschool Mommies. Now Time magazine wants all mommies who don’t breastfeed until high school to ask themselves if they are “Mom Enough”.

It’s all so tiresome. I think if you asked any parent, he or she would say that we are all doing the best we can.

Sure, I spent almost four years nursing, but they weren’t in a row. Three of my kids weaned at a year; one of mine was put on the bottle at six months because I had to work a crappy job with no way to express milk or my artistic side. And this was right for my family.

Let me spell it out for you. I DON’T CARE if you bottle feed your baby. I DON’T CARE if you use cloth diapers. I DON’T CARE if you put your six-week-old baby in day care. I DON’T CARE if your child goes to thirteen years (or even fourteen years, bless her heart) of public school.

I may have my own feelings about each of these topics, but if I keep them in my head it doesn’t hurt you at all. And that is what I expect for myself. If you don’t like what I do, keep it to yourself.

I assume you are making the very best choices for your family, while my husband and I are making the very best choices for ours. Let’s respect each other enough to keep our mouths shut and not let our differences affect how we treat each other.

Meanwhile, until I can find a cute, pink Army helmet, consider me a conscientious objector  in Mommy War II.

Join me in No-Moms Land? There are free drinks and the pool boy is Nathan Fillion. Before Nathan mixes us a mojito, I do have to handle one thing at home.

I caught my son with a copy of Time magazine. He swears he just gets it for the articles.

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