The Thing about the TIME Magazine Cover


My first Parenting Without a Map workshop on Tuesday in Staten Island, at 5 Boro Power Yoga, went exceptionally well. And in the wake of the TIME magazine cover of a sleek, beautiful mom breastfeeding her toddler son (who has to stand on a chair to clamp his mouth over his mother’s bare breast), I think the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

For the truth about parenting is that it is a very personal path and there is no right way. There are many philosophies and idea to choose from but really, each parent is the expert on his/her child and no one outside of the family unit can better attest to what that family needs.

The TIME article, which I finally read on the plane back from New York, focused on my personal favorite parenting guru, Dr. Sears. I found his perspective – keep baby close to you, a baby’s cry is a cry for help not to be ignored, etc. – refreshing, empowering and right-on.

But not every parent does. I loved breastfeeding and believed fully that it was best for me and my children. I did my research. I made my decision. But I never told anyone else that they had to do what I did or they’d be a bad parent. My sister never breastfed and her kids are remarkable as is she as a mom. Some of my friends breastfed their kids until they were 4. Some are disgusted by the idea. And I love them all.

And it’s not just about breastfeeding. It’s our decisions to stay home or send kids to day care. How we give birth (with drugs or without). The foods we feed our children. The amount of TV/video games/computer we allow our kids. It goes on and on. So many would rather judge others than focus on their child right before them (who, by the way, is only given to us for a very short time before they venture off into the world – why waste that time judging others?).

What it all boils down to is that it’s none of anyone’s business what another parent choose to do most of the time. If you beat your kids, yell at them (especially in public), are rude or nasty or otherwise unkind, if you neglect them or feed them soda pop and potato chips at every meal, I may very well say something – because that is harmful to the child. And to society.

For when a child is mistreated early on in life, he grows up to mistreat others.

There is something deep, deep in me that aches when a child is hurt, whether emotionally or physically. They don’t ask to be born. They come into this world trusting and seeing good everywhere. We teach them hatred and neglect. We teach them indifference. We break them if we are not mindful in our approach to parenting.

My Parenting Without a Map workshops [Next one: THIS Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Karma Yoga in Bloomfield Hills – join me!!!] are designed to help parents be mindful, be purposeful in their parenting decisions, be deliberate. And the wisdom therein teaches parents to accept and love themselves along this very challenging path we call parenting.

The first one went off brilliantly at 5 Boro Power Yoga in Staten Island. I’m booking them around the country. Because it’s the future of our world in our hands – that’s how important our parenting approach is. And it’s not about whether you breastfeed or carry your baby in a sling – it’s about looking your child in the eye and truly seeing them as an individual who’s been entrusted to you to raise. A gift. A joy.

  13 comments for “The Thing about the TIME Magazine Cover

  1. Sarah Price
    May 17, 2012 at 11:26 am

    When are you doing one in Florida? Seriously!

    • Lynne Meredith Golodner (formerly Schreiber)
      May 17, 2012 at 11:39 am

      Let’s get planning, Sarah!! I’d love to. 🙂

  2. Bobbie Lewis
    May 17, 2012 at 11:26 am

    The flap about the TIME cover was not the content of the article — though one COULD argue that a kid should be weaned before age 4 — it was the photo and the fact that the cover was designed to titilate. Do you think they would have shown a shlumpy, overweight mom breastfeeding a 4-year-old on the cover? Hah! And TIME undoubtedly achieved its goal — how much more press and discussion is this issue getting, compared to the usual?

    • Lynne Meredith Golodner (formerly Schreiber)
      May 17, 2012 at 11:38 am

      So good for them! Their plan worked. My only problem with it is that people are reacting in such a juvenile fashion – where does anyone get the notion that it is their right and responsibility to tell other parents what to do? If the mom wants to nurse until 4, it’s no one’s business. And we really can’t say whether it is truly harmful to do so. Formula’s first ingredient is corn syrup – you can’t tell me that newborns are perfectly positioned to digest that ingredient but I’m not judging parents who decide to bottle-feed. We should really respect every parent’s rights to parent in their own best way.

  3. Katey
    May 17, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    I really respect your acceptance of others, but I do think it’s vulgar to publish a photo like this. I try really hard not to judge other moms, because I certainly hate it when others judge me, but (right or wrong) -I really do think that there’s a time when breastfeeding makes a transition from natural to creepy. This little boy will no doubt be ridiculed by classmates for years to come, too. I wonder if his loving mother took that into account before having him suck on her breast on a magazine cover :-\

    • Lynne Meredith Golodner (formerly Schreiber)
      May 17, 2012 at 10:16 pm

      Thank you so much for reading my blog and sharing your feelings. I think the word “vulgar” is a bit harsh – as the picture itself is aesthetically beautiful. The mother is beautiful, the boy is beautiful and all you see is his mouth on her breast. We accept in our society women dressed scantily but we can’t accept a mother’s choice to breastfeed her son? I dare say that none of his friends will taunt him in years to come; children don’t judge others – they learn that from us.

  4. Katey
    May 18, 2012 at 12:21 am

    I think if it were a picture of her lovingly cuddling her son while breastfeeding, I would’ve called it “unsettling” instead of “vulgar.” It’s obviously intended to be provocative and it just doesn’t impress me. In fact, as a nursing mother, it really offends me to see something I find beautiful and sacred look common and tawdry.

    • Lynne Meredith Golodner (formerly Schreiber)
      May 18, 2012 at 12:23 am

      I hear you, Katey. Thanks so much for the dialogue!

  5. Katey
    May 18, 2012 at 12:49 am

    I love a good debate 😉

  6. May 18, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    I have yet to read the article, but I can easily say that the only thing that I am offended by is the headline, “ARE YOU MOM ENOUGH?”
    Mom enough for what? That’s my issue. TIME knew they would be feeding into these so-called “Mommy Wars”, and while I have to give them kudos for that brilliant strategy to sell more magazines, they are just adding fuel to an already excessively burning fire.
    Moms judge each other non-stop. Even those of us who claim not to do it, we still do it.

    It is time for it to stop. We are all the same, yet our true beauty lies in the differences between us.

    The cover is controversial at best. I love the naked female body. I see nothing “vulgar” or “offensive” about it; especially one that looks like the woman on the TIME cover.
    I also love breastfeeding. I nursed my son until just after his first b-day. I was pretty bummed that he self-weaned, because honestly, I was hoping to nurse longer. I left it up to him to let me know when he was ready.
    I do NOT, however, sexualize breastfeeding in any way, as many people have said about this cover. It’s ridiculous.

    We mommies needs to support each other more. We need to judge each other less. And we need to mind our own damn business if we don’t have anything nice to say. 🙂

    • Lynne Meredith Golodner (formerly Schreiber)
      May 18, 2012 at 5:16 pm

      Well that’s a blog in itself, Karin – excellent!!!

  7. Chaya Gourarie
    May 18, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I agree with the commentators who found this picture offensive. There is something very un-sacred about it. It’s not honorable to the woman or the child. This “vulgarity” distracts the reader from the merits of breastfeeding and thereby undermines the whole debate.

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