I think a lot of people will have heard about the Time magazine's cover of breastfeeding (Are you Mum enough lightbox.time.com/2012/05/10/parenting/) and the furore it caused.
Breastfeeding and attachment parenting have been all over the media. Films, interviews and statements came in from all sides of the arguments.
I took it all in and noticed I was emotionally not engaging - I had stepped back and observed.
What an interesting reaction.
Curious I started exploring what had led me to this course of action.
I noticed that I felt overwhelmed with all these different points of view, as most of them had something I agreed with or could at least follow up.
- Yes - it is great that it has started a discussion about breastfeeding and/or attachment parenting
- Yes - it was only done to up sales
- Yes - it is provocative (which is either viewed as brilliant or unacceptable)
and thus the list goes on......
What I was left with in the end is the question:
What is the impact on the women/parents who sit, like I did, in the middle of it all, trying to make sense of all the arguments?
- Do they find it supportive and informative?
- Does it help parents to sit back and reflect?
- Does it encourage dialog?
- Or does it invite a stance of: If you are not for me you are against me?
- Are the responses coming from a place of compassion, so that an opportunity like this doesn't end up as mud-slinging contest?
- Is it really opening the doors it needs? Or is it opening wounds and therefore closing doors?
As you can see - I am still in the process of making up my mind.
While I agree that there are plenty of discussions needed until our society becomes one that supports families in their fully informed choices, I also hope it will be done with compassion and mindfulness of the impact it might have.