There were a number of parenting issues that sparked controversy in 2012.
The infamous “Are You Mom Enough?” TIME magazine cover with the mother breastfeeding her three-year-old son ignited a flurry of debate about attachment parenting. Whether you’re an advocate or a naysayer, the cover certainly got people talking. While I breastfed my daughter until she was 14 months old, I would be hard pressed to take it to three years and beyond. That said, I don’t think public breastfeeding should be treated as taboo either. I mean, you’re feeding your child, not doing anything clandestine. Besides, most mothers I’ve seen are so discreet about it, you wouldn’t even know it was happening.
Another controversy came with the story, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” by Anne-Marie Slaughter in The Atlantic. She basically confesses to the many family sacrifices she’s had to make to succeed in her high-ranking career, and why she decided it was more important to be with her sons, thereby sacrificing her career. I thought it was a really honest account of her personal struggles, but it struck a nerve in the public because people don’t want to hear that they can’t have it all.
It’s rare to hear stories about a successful career woman and how she had to give up so much of her family life to achieve her career goals. It’s more typical to hear about how a woman gives up her career to stay at home to raise her family, but these accounts generally reaffirm the mother’s decision to do so, rather than discuss her misgivings about doing so. Sure, it is possible to achieve success both at work and at home, but the reality is, it’s really, really hard. I’ve always wondered whether Oprah would have conquered the world the way she did if she’d had a family to look after.
I’m still working on finding my perfect balance, and I have a feeling it will be a work in progress for a very long time.
So what did you think about these two controversies? Were there other stories that struck a chord with you?