Remember the mom who took the mommy wars to the cover of TIME Magazine back in May with that photo of her toddler son breastfeeding while standing on a chair? Jamie Lynne Grumet is baaaaack! This time we get to see her breastfeeding her 4-year-old on the cover of an actual parenting magazine (but at least she let him lie down and get comfy). As if we really needed another shot of her breastfeeding?
Paired with another tagline clearly intended to rile women up: "Mom Enough to Speak Out for Attachment Parenting" (it's a take-off of TIME's incendiary "Are You Mom Enough" coverline), the photo on the cover of Pathways to Family Wellness is actually rather sweet. Mom Grumet lays with her husband wrapped around her, their youngest son at her breast, their oldest son peeking in from behind dad. If only this were the only shot of her we'd ever seen.
With magazine cover two, Jamie Lynne Grumet has gone from "breastfeeding advocate" to "woman who wants to make sure everyone gets a look-see at her breastfeeding." She's crossed a line that makes it hard for moms who support breastfeeding as a whole to defend her.
Because Jamie Lynne isn't "just" breastfeeding. She isn't "just" breastfeeding in public either. She's making the act of breastfeeding into a spectacle, splashing it on magazine covers, trying to make some sort of point about how fabulous she is.
But that's more or less the opposite of what moms who breastfeed in public are looking for, isn't it?
From what I can tell, breastfeeding moms are looking for acceptance. They're looking to fit in. They're looking, if you really think about it, to be ignored.
Moms simply want the ability to sit in a restaurant or a park or a courthouse or a library and feed their child without anyone saying anything, without anyone giving them dirty looks. The idea is for breastfeeding to be a non-issue, just a part of the daily grind. After all, it's a kid getting something to eat, right? What's so strange about that?
I sat with a breastfeeding mom on Friday night in a public space -- our local ice cream stand. I ate my ice cream. Her son ate his breast milk. And we carried on a conversation as if nothing unusual was going on. Because, well, it wasn't. Her son was hungry. He ate. I didn't stare at her chest because who has a conversation with someone while staring at their chest?!
That's what breastfeeding in public is all about: being able to function in society and being able to function as a mom, all at the same time. It's not about getting people to pay attention to the fact that you're breastfeeding. But that's just what Jamie Lynne Grumet seems to be all about.
Where do you draw the line between fighting for the right to breastfeed in public and actually making a spectacle of the fact that you're breastfeeding? Has Jamie Lynne Grumet crossed your line?
Image via Pathways to Family Wellness
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