The now infamous TIME magazine cover has generated an unprecedented amount of press coverage for attachment parenting. Many in the pro-camp are disgruntled that the ‘Are You Mom Enough?’ tagline has pit moms against each other. Personally I think the tagline is entirely appropriate. The fields of sociology, anthropology, psycho-history, and biology all point towards this method of parenting being entirely biologically normal and necessary for optimum infant well-being. However, this intelligence is relatively new and, as yet, attachment or progressive parenting is not socially normal – yet.
Our current society tells us we should be put the mother before the child: heaven forbid that a mother should feel guilty or inferior for how they treated their child! That’s why I think every mother should ask themselves every day if they are mom enough. It’s not a popular view, I know. Every mommy support site out there will tell you to ‘not beat yourself up’ when you have been less than kind to your child, and never to judge one other. Just remember though that behind every mother who is condoned in this way there is a small child behind the scenes who maybe is left to cry-it-out, is being constantly yelled at, or is denied the breast or the warmth of his parents at night. I’m not just picking on women here – the whole of society has to step up to the plate. We moms weren’t meant to do it alone and we need a heap of practical and emotional support to parent this way and governments, dads, grandparents, aunties, uncles, neighbours and friends need to help us to undertake the most important job in the world – and for the world. So maybe the question shouldn’t be if we are mom enough but if we are all human enough to truly meet the needs of our young?
About Chaley-Ann Scott
Chaley-Ann Scott is a parenting author, sociologist, counsellor, and mother-of-four. She writes widely on parenting and education for various publications, and is the author of The Shepherdess; A Guide to Mothering without Control.