You have, by now, probably seen TIME Magazine's latest cover.
I thought it would be funny to make a mock cover illustrating the absurdity of the attention grabbing scene. So I did:
I posted it on my Facebook page and took a shower. When I came back, I read through the comments. Comments like this:
" I am offended by this cover because not all women can breast feed and formula is the only option"
"I'm thinking there are a lot of moms that feel guilty about not giving their baby's breast milk from reading these posts and this silly picture."
"Formula feeding IS harmful for babies. Breast is best."
"Unbelievable. SOME of us did not have another choice. Let's add one more load of guilt on women who constantly worry that their every decision is damaging their children."
"So, I'm a bad mom because I work? Thought I liked you, Scary Mommy. Unfollowing now."
You know how it sucks to tell a joke and then have to explain the punchline? Um, yeah.
For the record, I am a working mom. I formula fed all of my kids and my boys are circumcised. If a cover like that were actually published, (which, given the fact that half of the people thought it was real, doesn't seem all that far-fetched,) I would be the ultimate failure of a mother. I thought that was clear.
The original TIME cover is absurd and does little other than pit mother against mother over the most personal of choices. No, even if I could, I would not breastfeed my almost 4-year-old. Most mothers wouldn't. But, that's not the point. The point is that we should not allow a magazine to divide us like this. TIME knew exactly the effect this cover would have on the nation and it succeeded beautifully. News shows are all over it, Twitter is abuzz and it's the top story in every paper. Mothers verses mothers, once again. Well played, TIME, this will surely be one of the best selling issues of the year.
So, how about instead of allowing this to ignite the Mommy Wars, we fight back? Let's not divide ourselves. Let's not criticize one another's choices and let's not allow ourselves to feel like failures. Haven't we had enough? They can publish whatever stories and covers they want, but we don't need to buy into it. We can win this one.
I think it's Time.
Follow Jill Smokler on Twitter: www.twitter.com/scarymommy