An open letter to Time

Dear Time Magazine,

Please shut up.

We are too busy parenting our own kids to get all riled up about some hackneyed feud with other parents that you're making up to sell copies.

It makes you look out-of-touch and desperate, not to mention misogynist and patronizing.

And no, I'm not going to link to your inflammatory cover.

If you're taking requests, how about doing a piece that will actually help parents instead of setting us against each other.



91 thoughts on “An open letter to Time”

  1. Hooray for Moxie! Thank you so much for posting this, and I hope you sent a copy to the editorial board at Time.

  2. SO this. Seriously, 98 percent of everyone I know doesn’t give a rat’s ass about details like where other people’s babies sleep, how parents transport said babies, or what the babies eat. It’s the whackadoos who are bound determined to show THEY KNOW BEST that ruin it for the normal people.

  3. You tell ’em, Moxie! Sheesh, first Newsweek attempts to become edgy by giving space to Katie Roiphe, and now this.I like most of the women I know. It’s lucky I know them in ways unmediated by desperate newsweeklies.

  4. Oh, sister, I am SO with you. I just wrote a post about making mothers into caricatures, and I still clicked it without thinking.I am fed up with this.

  5. I can’t decide what I’m more upset about. I hadn’t looked at the cover until after I read Moxie’s post; I’m confused about what their point is. When I think of Time magazine, I think of world-wide issues that are years in the making, big picture type of stuff. I don’t know if I’m going to cause a ruckus here, but in the U.S. women BFing past 3 years seem like an outlier, or atleast not numerous enough to be on the cover of this magazine. I could see exploring how we can increase extended breastfeeding rates in this country, the ways that our health care industry could do better to support moms who want to breastfeed, etc. But saying are you mom enough right before Mother’s Day? That’s just low. It’s the same old crap. Mothers are expected to be all, do all, please all, win all, be the best at everything, keep it all together all the time, and look fantastic while doing it. It is ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS the way our media beats up moms. Don’t get me started about dads either. OK I guess I’m not confused anymore. Just pissed.

  6. THIS! Yes! Thank you! I mean, way to avoid actually having a conversation by painting such a grotesque caricature.

  7. @Vacationland Mom, I nursed past 3rd bday twice and what made me furious about the pic was what a set up it was. Standing on a stool? Ridiculous. You want pic of a 3 yo nursing? 95% chance someone’s in pajamas.Total red herring. So many more important things to discuss.

  8. Love this post – thank you, I needed it (already) as I dread the aftermath of whatever lies inside the cover!!

  9. Sigh. My parents subscribe to Time and I suspect they’re going to leave it for me to read. I’m not sure if I should read anything into that.And yay Vacationland Mom. Just YAY.

  10. Yay Vactionland Mom and I’m with Kate–a how-to better navigating the little support there is in the US would be a welcome article.

  11. Anyone in the U.S who breast feeds past your 3 month maternity leave is a hero to me – I don’t know how you do it. Let alone the sleep deprivation etc etc… least in Canada we have a year to get the hang of it.

  12. @Kate- totally with you on the pajamas thing! And I think that’s fricken awesome that you nursed your kids past 3.I bet it’s intentional (the way the pic is set up), maybe to make even people who are totally fine with extended breastfeeding feel vaguely uncomfortable and not know why. Like “something isn’t right here.”
    An acquaintance was talking to me yesterday about how she saw a woman BFing her 5 year old and she thinks it’s ridiculous, etc etc. Because I was already riled about this, and because I’m PMSing, I was like: “I don’t really care what other people do.” She didn’t say much… UGH I can’t even write all my thoughts, so much ugly, I get wicked pissed when people say “Well are you going to be nursing him until he’s 10 years old or something??!!” as if because I’m still nursing him at 18 months that means that I’m going to go another 8.5 YEARS?! Why does BFing beyond a year automatically extend to 10 years??? OK I’m done. On to more important endeavors.
    P.S. We are all rockin moms, doing the best we can, making the choices we think are best for us and our families. Everyone else can suck it 🙂

  13. Amen. There are so many other, more important things to discuss about parenting. Their article and cover are totally off the mark.

  14. Oh, my, also do not read Time because there are better sources of current news out there and more in depth stuff is better elsewhere too… so hadn’t seen the cover but boy is it offensive. Thank you Moxie!

  15. Long time lurker from Australia here. Just chimming in to say right on Moxie!The best response I have seen to the stupid cover/article. The sad thing is that TIME will be petting themselves on the back for this article because despite being a load of crap it has gone global and will make them a fortune. As I said I am in Aus and EVERY SINGLE NEWS SHOW covered this cover for atleast 20mins. It is still on this evening with women from both sides flexing their muscles over the issues it raises.
    So my thanks is both for the awesome letter and not linking to the cover – it doesn’t need any more hits of encouragement.

  16. I know – my first thought was really, Time? REALLY? So desperate and pathetic, jumping on the mommy wars/breastfeeding train. It’s bad enough to engage in a mommy war baiting game by challenging people to trash talk extending BF (since we know the majority of people in the US think BF past 12 months is gross), but then to add the title was just too much!What I love about the Moxie community is that it is the OPPOSITE of all that. Thank you, guys, for rocking motherhood in all its variety of shapes, forms, philosophies.

  17. I haven’t read the article, only seen the picture – and I’m judging it. My judgement is not about BFing vs not BFing – I agress with Moxie on this.But it bugs me that a decision was made to put a child on the cover in this context. He has no choice in this – he is being used by another party to endorse their adult point of view and their agenda. That p***es me off.

  18. The problem is that the KIDS DO NOT MATTER.To the folks at Time, all that matters is readership and publicity. To the people who fuel this nonsense and provide the fodder that feeds such articles, it’s about BEING RIGHT.
    Think about it. Cover art of this sorts takes a number of people. And all of them agreed, or acquiesced in something that has a very high chance of doing the child real damage! It’s not even like they tried to hide the name of the mother. Which means that an internet search of the name is going to lead to this kid’s picture for the rest of his life, most probably. Great stuff, no?
    It doesn’t make a difference what stand, if any the article took (I didn’t read it.) The issue is the image that will be stuck to this child. Publicly posting any image of a child is something that needs to be thought about carefully (and is all too often not thought about.) Post such an inflammatory (and titillating) one is simply not fair.

  19. What bothered me about the cover is that it isn’t representative of *any* of us…not even of the woman and her son depicted on it. Does she nurse her son like this? Please. The photographer, editor, etc., set this up to make the mom look defensive and hostile and the kid to look like an unwitting player in the whole thing.It certainly doesn’t represent me, someone who IS actually still nursing a 3-year-old. Extended nursing usually happens for 3 minutes a day, once or twice a day. It’s not a big deal, it shouldn’t be a badge of honor for anyone, nor should it be used against anyone. It’s one tiny fact in the novel of me as a mother.
    Time somehow managed to infuriate every woman out there…women with no kids who find the picture disgusting…women who didn’t/couldn’t nurse…women who do nurse in an extended way but aren’t represented in that photo. Way to go, Time, way to go.

  20. BINGO! THANK YOU……I am so sick and tired of mothers being bullied about what is a natural thing to breastfeed your child and cuddle with your child in a sling! Really, and for Mother’s Day? I wish I had a subscription just so I could cancel it to relieve me of this anger. As a mother who breastfed my children to the age of two, when they decided they didn’t want to anymore, not me, they are all wonderful, secure, educated children and, one, a mother of a 2 year old with another on the way. It is time not to judge women on what choices they choose, no matter what the choice. If you don’t like it look away! As long as a choice is made with love, no matter what the choice, cloth diapers vs. paper, breastfeed vs. bottle feeding, sling vs. stroller, and it doesn’t hurt anyone else, be quiet. I thought we were trying to teach our children not to pick on people? How is this ever going to be accomplished if every dinner table conversation due to Time Magazine is now ridiculing a mother who chooses to breastfeed their child beyond a few months??? Seriously, people are calling the Social Services on this woman on the cover!!! Get your mind out of the gutter, breasts do not belong to the men in our lives, they are not just sexual objects secured to our bodies for their pleasure! Hello…. this is what they were designed to do! They are acting like immature 12 year old boys!

  21. Holy F*&K. Thank you.I want to post a link to this on every stupid comment board where the Time article is discussed. But I’m too busy…breastfeeding.

  22. My problem with the cover photo is that it detracts from the article with which it is associated. I like Dr. Sears–I’ve read many of his books and find that his general message resonates with me. I’m not sure how the TIME cover photo depicts his parenting views–and regardless, we’re all now talking about breastfeeding and what we may or may not think is appropriate in terms of an outer age limit, rather than supporting each other in the choice to breastfeed at all, or with the inevitable challenges one faces when nursing. Because the photo detracts from the substantive conversation about nursing and parenting, and from the substance of the piece on Dr. Sears, I agree that it was a poor choice by TIME, if it was meant to complement the article. I suspect that was never the intent . . .

  23. I agree with Daphne on this. The cover is a really poor choice that doesn’t reflect some of the very thought provoking pieces in the magazine about parenting. And since most people will never read the whole thing, all they’ll take away is the image on the cover, and judge attachment parenting and breastfeeding based on that.The truth is that each one of us, Dr. Sears devotees or not, practice some version of attachment parenting. It’s inherent in our make up as mothers; our love and desire to do our best for our kids creates the bond between us. And if we are parenting with that as the guiding principle, then hell yes, we’re mom enough.

  24. (applause)Time has become such an irrelevant magazine. It is easy to imagine them deciding which demographic needed targeting & then deliberately coming up with an eye-catching “polarizing” cover targeting said group

  25. Plus the picture of itself is soo wrong. When we breastfeed we look at each other, are in the moment. We dont stare at some camera!The picture takes the good out of the whole BF experience.

  26. Great response, but also at Sarah’s comment – one of the most sensitive and sensible comments I have seen. Thank you so much for reminding everyone that while it is about mamas, it is also (if not more) about children.

  27. I guess I’m not mom enough… I read a huffington post in response about how mom’s can’t win. Moms are polarized. Nurse too short or too long. Formula versus breast milk. The worst part is that there are women (ME) who soooo much wanted to nurse that long but whose bodies wouldn’t let them.I honestly liked the photo. But the title pisses me off. I’m not mom enough if it means making other moms feel guilty for whatever they deemed the best choice for their family.
    Moms! Feed your babies how you see fit for as long as you see fit,

  28. Didn’t read the article…just saw the cover. Think the cover photo is appalling. My husband had a different point of view (as a photographer) he said it was a great photo – art wise. Not me, it’s manipulative and a poor representation of BF’g.

  29. It just reminded me how far we still have to fight for women’s rights–over our bodies, minds, lives, etc. “Are you mom enough?” is an absurd title that takes us way back to the 20th century and before. I just kept thinking– I breastfed my baby for 8 months and had mastitis 4 times and was engorged the whole year. It was a miserable time. Am I not “mom enough” because I was relieved to stop after that? Really. Mother’s are isolated and lonely enough we don’t need a media incited “war” to makes us question our sense of motherhood and womanhood. If you worry about the health, development and livelihood of your children, you are a great mom. That’s what I think.

  30. I am too busy and tired for the mommy wars. Women who breastfeed feel attacked, women who bottle-feed do, too. Co-sleep or not, baby-wearing or strollers, reusable diapers or disposable, work or stay-at-home, blah, blah, blah.Everyone needs to treat this more like my friend Angela and I do: she’s AP/homeopathy all the way, and I am more midwestern/traditional. Yet we are friends and try to support each other whenever possible. I do wish she would vaccinate, but it’s none of my business. She probably wishes I would take my eldest to a chiropractor for her asthma. See, we realize this, the responsibility of a parent to choose her/his child-rearing philosophy and the right to implement it. Time should, too.

  31. The truth is that each one of us, Dr. Sears devotees or not, practice some version of attachment parenting. It’s inherent in our make up as mothers; our love and desire to do our best for our kids creates the bond between us. And if we are parenting with that as the guiding principle, then hell yes, we’re mom enough.

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  33. What a sketch! It is hard to beevile that it was 30 years after this movie that our hospital policies even STARTED to change to reflect views similar to the fictional, but sensible, Dr. Nordell. I am almost positive that I was the first mother at our local hospital to have rooming in with our baby Ruth. That was in 1983.

  34. The Kazdin method is not somnehitg I’m familar with, but what is described above sounds a great deal like a book I’ve found to be a god send personally- Its called The Secret to Parenting , by Anthony Wolf. (Similar approach ?) where you IGNORE/ withdraw your attention, (silently, quietly), and you do not engage while the behavior is occuring.. of course if the behavior includes hitting or hurting, then this requires a different response, but overall the ignoring practice has been working amazingly well for me, and then praising the good, too, as mentioned above, as much as possible. The book I noted is a quick and easy read and has been a great resource for me (and my extremely willfull daughter!)

  35. What I’ll do is to model on the behaviour which I would want the child to exhiibt. Ie: Show her what questions she is to ask, what she should say and do. Most often they still misbehave in the same way as they do not know the alternative , and more acceptable behaviour, in the given situation.It does work as there are lesser incidences of my 2.5yr old melting down and misbehaving.

  36. Your list of topics susetggs that you may have a key parenting topic uncovered child protection. In today’s world the child predator community is organized, assertive, and ruthless. They have infiltrated our Churches, schools, youth camps, families, and neighborhoods. Mindful parenting in our day requires not only warning children about stranger danger but more importantly teaching parents how child predators operate. Only when parents understand the danger will children be safe. Today’s predators are educated, motivated, and skillful. They know how to build the trust of parents so they can access victims. You can help wake parents up to what is happening.

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