Forget the Boobtroversy: Why Does TIME Think Dads Can't Practice Attachment Parenting?

5 years ago

If you have been on the internet in the last twenty-four hours I’m sure you’ve seen this cover of Time magazine and heard some rumblings over it.

The headline asks “Are you mom enough?” and the snippet below indicates that “attachment parenting drives some mothers to extremes.” There are two terms in that small snippet that I would like to point out to you: “parenting” and “mother.”


I saw my Twitter feed blow up yesterday morning when Time released the story. Always a nosy person I wanted to see what the hype was all about because certainly a mother breastfeeding her kid on a magazine cover couldn’t be the reason people were getting huffy at Time.

Nope, it wasn’t the photo on the cover, rather the insinuation that mothering is a competition. It elicited a giant eyeroll from me. *Yawn* Haven’t we been done this road a thousand times before?? I went to read the article online but I wasn’t about to pay Time the subscription fee it would cost me to do so and I wasn’t going to run out to the newsstand to pick up a copy. I did however, read an accompaniment piece entitled “Behind the Cover: Are You Mom Enough?” The article explains how the photographer wanted to capture the subjects of the article on attachment parenting.

The photographer claims his goal was to show all different ways to practice attachment parenting (AP), so you’ll understand my confusion when I looked through the pictures included with the brief article and was unable to find a single photo of a man, a father, doing just that. The most obvious AP practice and easiest for a father to do that comes to my mind is babywearing. There are no pictures in the “Behind the Cover” article that show a father with his baby in a Moby or Ergo. In the same article I counted the word “parent” or “parenting” eight times, the word “mother” two times and the word “father” never even came up.

Where have all the fathers gone?

I’m sure there are fathers out there that are supportive of this way of parenting but you’d never know it by the cover photo or title of the article. It’s as if the author and the editors of Time just don’t factor fathers into the parenting equation that much.

I’m not going to touch on the main debate that just screams out from the cover that which is the mommy v. mommy; attachment parenting v. whatever the opposite of that is. I’ve blogged on here before about judging other parents and I’ve stood by my statements after hearing the rebuttal, but I’ve always made it a point to say “parenting” or “parent” because fathers are just as important as the mother in a child’s life. I don’t think it’s fair that a mother should be the sole focus of a critic nor should they reap all the accolades from their supporters… if two people are parenting a child, then two people should be included in whatever criticism or praise is directed towards them.

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