When Attachment Parenting Went Pop

The Highs & Lows of Social Mothering

PITNB‘S NEW popCULTURE CLUB: theoretically putting the “culture” back in “pop culture,” one post at a time…

Last week many of us wrote about the packaging of the one Ms. Nicki Minaj—how she is presented, how she presents herself and whether or not any of that is a reflection of whoever she really is. One question we asked ourselves (and each other) was, If Nicki’s not just a slut/Barbie/weirdo/gimmick/good rapper/bad rapper then what the hell are we looking at? I guess this is theory: the act or art of looking really closely at the things that are right in front of us. And then looking a little closer. Now I’m thinking and asking about the “packaging,” of motherhood—how we make it look, how the media makes it look and what it really is when we look at it closely… then closer…. then scary-close.


This piece was almost called, “When Attachment Parenting Went Pop: And Other Travesties of Social Motherhood.” But the more I read, the less I felt like it (the negative and positive conversations dubbed “Mommy Wars”) was a travesty. Instead I started thinking, no. This is ok.

It’s okay that the conversation about Attachment Parenting went Pop. It’s okay that TIME magazine used a time-honored (and kinda cheap) trick to generate discussion, controversy, and sales: a woman with her breast[s] out. It’s okay, because that’s partly what pop culture is about—taking big ideas like attachment theory and attachment parenting (which PITNBr Stephanie smartly pointed out on Trent‘s Alanis Morissette post, are two very different things), and turning them into bite-sized, readily-devoured morsels. It’s called “packaging,” and it’s okay. In fact, we all occasionally like our food packaged that way, otherwise we wouldn’t be here.
 

The 1990 Atlantic cover story on Attachment Theory. Note the focus on the child; the mother exists as a silhouette in the background.

Furthermore, it’s okay that celebrities like Alanis Morissette and ummm Jason Biggs weighed in. Yes, we mainly want them to do the things that they’re famous for doing—we want them to sing and act and entertain us. But occasionally celebs (like real people!) have opinions that they want and need to share. And that’s okay. A little weird, but okay.

And although many writers have come forward and asked for an end to certain elements of this discussion, I’ve decided that it’s okay that pop culture calls these open conversations the “Mommy Wars.”

Why has this concept bothered so many of us? Like that question on the cover of TIME: “Are you Mom Enough?” Yeah, I’m still pissed about that one, let me work through it… But, seriously. If it’s meant to pit woman against woman, it must be a reflection of a certain competitive energy that already exists. The Mommy Wars are not creating the “Are You Mom Enough?” mentality; these headlines reflect the physical headlines in out own minds. And yes, it’s kind of weak that they are playing off on it, but we know that this is what magazine’s do. Still, isn’t there a way for parents interested in this conversation to respectfully disagree with each other and talk about it openly?

In a way I guess I’m asking, “Can we actually have Mommy Wars in a real way, please?” (we can change the name). If nothing else, can we be supportive of the idea that we’re not always going to support what every mother is doing and if and when a mother chooses to share her parental stylings, we all have a right to talk about it? That means all parents, and even people without children (gasp!), and perhaps even children themselves(gasp!) get to contribute to the discussion, because that’s what social mothering means.

Ultimately, I liked the TIME cover. My first reaction when I saw it was, Yes. And a smile. Because if nothing else, I knew it would make us hyper-aware of another parental category. And some people don’t like that– that there are categories for the way we raise children. But as humans we like to categorize things. This can lead to very bad happenings as well as very good discoveries. The Mommy Wars are, perhaps, a result of our societal (maybe biological) need for categorization: working Moms v. stay-at-home Moms v. work-from-home Moms, v. attachment Moms etc. And why not? Why not categorize and theorize and discuss and challenege and re-wrok and re-think motherhood? Why not war, theoretically speaking? Because we’re Moms and people are talking about how much we do or do not love our children and that hurts our feelings? Fuck that, I say! We should be able to talk about all these facets of child-rearing and self-rearing (which makes up a good deal of child-rearing, I think). Maybe we will be judged. No, we definitely will be judged. But I think people can smell insecurity and dishonesty when we ladies doth protest too much. For example, when we claim that what we do is solely for our children, when we pretend that whatever method we’ve chosen is absolutely without a doubt the best method and has nothing to do with what our own mothers did and did not do– that’s what makes people attack, I think. Because it’s not completely honest. And then some people are just douchebags, but let that not get in the way of good, honest (like, really, creepy honest) talk.

Here is one of my favorite, honest comments on this issue. It comes from an article called, What Everyone Is Missing In The Attachment Parenting Debate:

My son was in college when he commented, “Mom, YOU WERE NEVER THERE when I was little.” I said I home schooled him. “No Mom, YOU WERE ALWAYS OFF IN YOUR HEAD SOMEWHERE.” I’d nursed him until he stopped at 3, kept him by my side at night, held him in my arms or in a body sling and never owned a stroller. I tried to engage with my kids like their father had (who died…), but I didn’t see that it was their father’s warmth, laughter, and conversation with them – it’s not the quantity or definition of what we do with our kids!!…

Come on, quit the defining, the qualifying and the counting! Catch your kid’s smiles and take your cues from there!

When friends or family members would applaud me for staying at home with my boys or for breastfeeding around the clock I would always laugh and think about how it probably wouldn’t make that much of a difference to them. How they’d probably end up, at some point or another, telling a friend (or a therapist) how they’re mother was always there but still didn’t quite _______ (fill in the blank). I’ll spend much of the next few years trying to convince my kids that I worked really hard to get a job that lets me work from home and they’ll know it’s part bullshit because it partly is! I always wanted to be a writer and I never really liked working for other people or around a bunch of people, so here I am!

If we are going to have open, honest Mommy Wars or whatever we’re calling it now, we have to stop pretending that we do it all for the kids. I cringe when I hear that lie, whether it’s coming from myself or coming from another dishonest mother: “I want to do it because I think it’s what’s best for my baby,” “I went back to school for my baby,” “I work so that my son can….” “I stay at home so that my children and I can…” I’m calling bullshit. We do it for ourselves, we parent for ourselves, we parent in reaction to how we were or were not raised AND THAT’S OKAY… as long as we are hyper-aware of when and why we’re doing this!

Now I was very scared to say these horrible Mom-unfriendly things until I found some back-up via Judith Warner at TIME: Ideas. Last month she penned the article,  Parents Do What’s Right for Them, Not for the Kids which is actually based on the controversial TIME article on the doctors who “invented” attachment parenting. Like all people and all critical thinkers, many of their ideas stemmed largely from their personal lives and their childhoods. And guess what? That’s okay!

Everyone wanted to be supportive of me when I went back to school four weeks after Jovelle (now almost two!) was born. They’d say, Well, you’re doing it for the baby… you’re graduating so you can be a good mother. I knew what they meant, but I tried not to participate in that lie. I’m going back to school for me, I would say.I would have felt like a loser if I didn’t finish; not because I wouldn’t have a degree but because I was notorious for not completing a task. For me, I wanted to follow through with Sarah Lawrence. Did completing that task make me a better person and in turn, a better mother? I’d like to think so, but I’m not going to lie and say I did it allll for my kids. And I’m not going to lie and say that I breastfed Jonovan for 13 (maybe 15) months for his benefit alone. I enjoyed breastfeeding– not every single time, and thank God for Lanolin nipple cream– but most of time I enjoyed it! But if I hadn’t enjoyed it, or if my mother hadn’t breastfed me, or if the people around me did not fully support me (and sometimes they didn’t), maybe I wouldn’t have been a breastfeeding mother.

Let’s stop pretending that pure, unadulterated love informs all of our decisions as parents. As parents we are still products of our environments, products of our races, classes, and cultures. We are lots of other things (products of books we’ve read, movies we’ve watched, friends we have), but we are very much products of our environment, and VERY much products of our parents; we define ourselves with or against them. We might love our children to infinity and beyond (Buzz Lightyear voice) but that is not what always informs our every-day decisions about them. Humans don’t function like that, and neither do mothers—super-humans that we are!

Ultimately I love the idea of a maternal pop culture theory, if we could all handle it. Are we Mom enough to admit that we are selfish human beings who also love our children? Are we Mom enough to stop defending our decisions long enough to think openly about the act or art of mothering? Even more to the point, are we Mom enough to stop worrying about the definition of motherhood long enough to focus on the art of helping another human being (the ones we mother) define and navigate through their childhood?

Motherhood (like womanhood, like manhood, or personhood) is about coming to terms with things, even as you love the ish out of your kids. You love them by strapping them to your body, you love them while you’re in the office, you love them while staring into a Mac screen, you love the ish out of them consciously and subconsciously. And if you’re a good Mom, maybe you try to come to terms with things in spaces other than your child’s subconscious. Maybe you find a way to deal with your issues (because that’s what we’re all doing, most of the time), in a safe space that doesn’t directly affect him/her. If that space even exists. I’ll try to make one for myself right now:

It’s okay that my birth mother did not, could not, or chose not to raise me. And it’s okay that I lost an amazing, adoptive mother to bullshit breast cancer that can go fuck itself (yeah.. still coming to terms with that one). And it’s okay that I became a mother partly (okay… largely) in reaction to these things. And anything anyone else has to say about these things is okay too, because I’m putting it out here in the name of maternal pop culture theory… or something. It’s okay because I know that the only real Mommy War is the one inside my head. The only other Mother I have to answer to is the one I’ve created in my psyche who is the Holy Ghost of Mothers. Don’t ask me to explain that fully. I just know that she’s there and she’s mysterious and the idea of her is comepletely and utterly cray. How she loves and blogs and mothers and takes care of home simultaneously is beyond me. Although, when I think about it, it’s probably a lot like how I do it, with some variation. And in that variation, we wage our Mommy War. And that’s okay too.

Words, phrases, and thoughts made possible (and impossible) by Jonovan & Jovelle (who are much bigger now)

Possible alternatives to the phrase ‘Mommy Wars’:

Mommy Words

Ummm, that’s all I got for now. Help me out in the comments.

And please share open, honest, or recklessly dishonest thoughts in the the comments. Also feel free to share your It’s okay/coming to terms with/It’s not my fault (a la Good Will Hunting ) moment as well.

It’s Not Your Fault

 

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  1. ladidaa

    i don’t get it. people read this blog because it’s a gossip blog. why are there SO many of these personal posts all of a sudden?

    • @ladidaa — “all of a sudden”? this blog started out as a personal blog, personal posts have been a staple of PITNB since it was created 8 years ago.

    • Bethany

      I’ve been reading this blog for almost all of those 8 years and I really enjoy the “new” articles by Melissa and Shannon. Not that I don’t love Trent (I mean, seriously… he’s freaking hilarious), but it’s nice to change it up sometimes. @ladidaa, if you don’t like it you can always read your gossip elsewhere.

      Keep up the good work, Trent (and team)! <3

    • Lauren

      I have to say that I love the personal aspect of PITNB, especially the new posts by Shannon. Keep ‘em coming!

    • Bethany and Lauren, so glad you’re both digging the posts! Thanks for commenting.

  2. good question ladidaa:

    “PITNB‘S NEW popCULTURE CLUB: theoretically putting the “culture” back in “pop culture,” one post at a time…”

    it’s one post a week– feel free to skip to the gossip :)

  3. Teri

    Ok don’t get me wrong I think breast feeding is a wonderful thing and take no issue with women doing it in public (discreetly) but the pictures of late such as the Time magazine cover and that headstand cover above make me sooooo uncomfortable!!!!

    • Teri, thanks for the comment– I, too almost fell over when I saw the yoga one. But for some reason I just couldn’t think of a better pic for this post, lol.

  4. Rebecca

    As a non-parent, I find this motherhood debate hard to swallow. It has, in many cases, made me question whether I want to enter motherhood and become part of the constant battle over what is right for children. But what I have observed is that the mommy club is exclusive and often infuriating. Non-parents are never welcome to have conversations about children. The ability to converse about anything other than their children has entirely dissolved, and the ability to relate to the world outside of what little Timmy is doing right this second no longer exists. This is not, obviously, all mothers. I have huge respect for moms who are able to branch out and still retain a sense of themselves while also taking on the epic task of raising a small human who will grow into a good adult. But there are those who become so absorbed in their children that there is nothing else in life for them, and those women worry me. I worry that some day, when that child grows up, they will lose all sense of purpose and have a mental breakdown. I worry about what happened to the woman in there who used to have interests outside of what style diapers to use.

    I actually admire and respect your commentary on how mothers are prone to saying that they do everything for their children, because I also believe it’s bullshit. I think that yes, the well being of their children is always in their thoughts, but humans are inherently selfish people and they also do what is best and right for them. If I have children, I will never be a stay-at-home mom. And I won’t make that decision because working will provide more money and opportunities for my children and therefore I will be doing it for them. I’ll be doing it for me, because I enjoy my job, I work to give myself a sense of accomplishment. The only part of it that would be for my children is the part where I work because if I didn’t I’d go stir crazy being stuck in the house with kids all day and I might end up going over the edge and locking one in a closet. So I’m doing it for them to save them thousands in therapy costs sometime in the future. This commentary on the selfishness of parents does sort of make me feel better about my own internal debate that goes on about whether I’d be entirely too selfish to be a parent. I think everyone is entirely too selfish to be a parent, they just adapt and work at becoming less selfish, or selfish in different ways, like hiding a bag of Oreos from the kids and eating it yourself.

    I’m not entirely sure what my point is here, but the idea that everyone is allowed to weigh in on this, even non-parents like myself, or children, who are often very articulate and insightful when given the chance to actually speak their minds, is refreshing and I appreciate you opening the door for that sort of communication.

    • Rebecca, thanks for commenting! Lots of things change when you become a parent, but in a way you’re just trying out all the theories and ideas you had about parenting before you had your child. And you realize some of it pans out and some of it doesn’t. I’d like to think I had a few smart things to say before I got knocked up (I mean that in the most sacred sense of the phrase), and I’m not about saying that a particular person has no insight here if they’re not raising children. Of course, there’s a difference in perspective but that’s the case with all aspects of our being. I’m glad you feel welcome to speak your mind– You are!

  5. Cherie

    What is this blog becoming??? I’ve never felt the need to post a reply on this blog until now. I come here for celebrity gossip and pics, not “culture”.

    • Amanda

      It still is a gossip blog. One post a week on something less trivial than what law Lindsay Lohan broke today doesn’t change that. If you don’t like the culture posts then skip them – they’re pretty clearly labeled in the tag line.

      That said, while I am SO FREAKING OVER this parenting craze I enjoyed this article, Shannon. It seemed honest and has helped give me a sense of the real you. Also, thank you for calling out mothers who “do it all for their children.” It’s almost invarably a lie and when it isn’t it’s worse. That kind of martyrdom does NOT benefit the children (this coming from someone whose mother is the queen martyr) and is unhealthy for the whole family.

    • Thanks Amanda and yes, martyrdom usually involves some kind of death, right? Not good. There’s a fine, scary line between being a good Mom and killing yourself. I try to balance it out by always buying eyeliner. Always. I also made a small tray of cookies yesterday that I allowed no little boy (or big boy AKA Daddy) fingers to touch. They’d had theirs. It was my time.

      Glad you’re liking the posts!

    • Cherie, I hear you. ladidaa expressed similar concerns above. PITNB’s Culture Club “meets” once a week. Feel free to skip over these posts. They’ll always have the warning at the top for you:

      PITNB‘S NEW popCULTURE CLUB: theoretically putting the “culture” back in “pop culture,” one post at a time…

    • @Cherie — SMH

  6. Angela

    I’ve never felt compelled to leave a comment on this blog, but I LIKE as in REALLY LIKE this pop culture debate! Talking about pop culture doesn’t have to be only about celebrity watching, because ultimately the media leaches out in to the realities of all of our lives. So, thank you Shannon! I disagree with you only slightly on your Mommy Wars take. I also like the discussion, but man, I wish it could be more positive as well as honest. If women felt like they would be supported rather than judged when they made decisions about breastfeeding, working, not working, whatever it is, they and their children would be so much better off. Motherhood isn’t as easy as it being a selfish vs. selfless act. I hated my job, and I LOVE being a stay at home mom, so not working has been an easy choice for me; but I also believe being with me rather than in daycare or with a nanny was better for my infants. I DON’T think motherhood should equal martyrdom, but if you can meet your own needs such that you can be fully present with your children whenever you are with them, I strongly believe they will thrive, and maybe even thank you for it someday :)

    • Angela, thanks for commenting. And thanks for your thoughts on the Mommy Wars– I ABSOLUTELY believe there should be space for conversation that is entirely, solely supportive and caring and sympathetic. I’m just saying I’d ALSO like to see a space for “pure” debate and idea-sharing, ya know? And that space could all be in one place. But it’s tricky because the moment someone says “I think it’s better that my kids are at home with me,” another mother feels slighted and must “defend” her decisions.

      I usually try to say to Moms, “it works for me to be at home with my kids, but that doesn’t make sense for everyone.” I think when we see it as a moral issue (and sometimes, sure, it is) it gets awkward for Moms. I guess I’m saying, let’s embrace the awkward and get it out there.

  7. Kelly

    Shannon- thank you so much for being so honest!!! I am a non- mother so I get really sick and tired of hearing certain people I know pretend that everything they do in this world is for their kids when really its one big cover up for their selfishness! It makes me SO sick because it’s lies on a daily basis! Oh did I mention it is family? Lol! BE HONEST people! Argh… My rant for the day ;) keep the posts coming Shannon! I just wish I could understand….

    • Kelly, I hear you and I’m also NOT BASHING ANY MOMS over here. Part of the issue is that we are CONSTANTLY being asked to prove that we are doing something useful– as if raising children isn’t. So when people judge stay-at-home Moms and treat them like they’re living THE life (you know, at home clearly doing nothing), it makes them defensive. I’ve been there! Even now, people in my family find it hard to believe that I’m actually working from home. I have to explain this in great detail sometimes. Similarly, Moms who work long hours are constantly asked to prove how much they love their kids, how much time they spend with them, etc. I’m not really about that.

      What I’m saying now is, can we stop being defensive (even though it’s warranted) for a minute so we can really be honest? Forget about trying to prove how hard we work as mothers– the people who don’t get it never will. But if we are going to be good Moms, we need to kinda keep it real.

      I’m glad you liked the post Kelly. Support your family members with kids! It will help them be more forthcoming if they know someone cares. :)

  8. Samantha

    As a non-parent that hopes to someday be a parent…I loved the Time cover! The uproar over that picture took me back to the Superbowl and Janet’s boob…Breast-feeding is such a natural thing and if a woman wants to breast-feed her child until he/she is old enough to go to college…I say whatever (kind of creepy but whatever) Society needs to stop being so uptight. Keep up the good work and thank-you for introducing me to this blog. Pink really is the new black!

  9. Crissy

    Shannon,

    Thank you for the great commentary! It is so refreshing to hear (read) someone who wants an open dialgoue, and not just a “mommy war”. Well done!

    P.S. Is it wrong that I’m totally envious of the yoga breastfeeding pose? She looks like a total bada$$.

    • Crissy, thanks for the comment and I’m so glad you’re into the dialogue. When I saw that woman (who is redefining the term “yoga mom”) I crinkled my forehead, then cringed and then thought exactly what you thought: total bada$$. Dollar signs and everything, lol!

  10. As someone who has decided not to have children the “Mommy Wars” is a really tiring and frustrating subject. I totally support women who have children and who breastfeed, etc, but I really don’t want to see you doing it! I am sick of all the covers, talk show topics, etc. There is more to being a woman than having and talking about children! So much more.

    I guess it is the point I am in in my life. Now that I am in my thirties EVERYONE is having children. I have never wanted children. Have known it since I was a child. I just never had the desire. I have been happily married to a wonderful guy for years and I have never wanted to add a child. However, so many women I know are having children now and so many of them just want to talk about their children! Can we talk about other things too, please?

    I applaud you Shannon for pointing out that many of the decisions Moms make are not just for the kids. I think people sometimes use the “Mommy” excuse!

    For those of you who are going to become Moms I urge you to keep interests outside of your children. Yes, you are a Mom, but you should have your own goals and desires. Of course this is probably just me being bitter because all my friends want to talk about is their kids!

    • Whitney

      I thought I was the only one who knew from a young age they didn’t want kids..YAY!

    • No! You are not the only one! There are lots of us! I don’t mean to complain, I like hearing some about my friends kids. It’s just sometimes it overkill.

    • dc

      Whitney & Meghan – I’m also part of the “have always known I never want to have children” club… I also find it reassuring to know that I’m not the only one.

      Meghan, I love your comment. You took the words right out of my mouth.

    • Meghan, thanks for your comment. I found myself wondering if I’d– at any point– become that kind of Mom. But my friends and I have always talked about everything at great length– Moms, lovers, children, Kate Winslet, everything. Often in a single stream-of-consciousness type discussion. I almost wanna say that a person who can only talk about one subject– whatever it is– can’t be that interesting of a person to begin with. Unless you can find ways to parlay that one subject into many others, which is totally do-able.

      Here’s a good segue for your friends: “Oh My God, I’m sooo glad you just told me about baby ____ because I’d been wanting to know what you thought about _____.” If the two things are in no way related (like if you wanted to talk about the NSFW Magic Mike trailer Trent posted) jus make it work. Maybe your Mom friends feel like they NEED PERMISSION to talk about other things, ya know? Weird, but I kinda get it.

      What sucks about everyone having kids is not so much everyone having kids, but maybe that pressure– implied or otherwise– that THIS is the thing to be doing. There is no THE THING to be doing in your thirties. There’s only your thing. Do it. Keep doing it– it sounds like you already are :)

      Thanks for commenting, Meghan.

  11. Whitney

    Shannon, thanks for doing a great job again, the whole team does a wonderful job and that has kept me coming back all these years.

    I love this article, because it gets people talking good or bad and I just have to say I’m so grateful I don’t have children with my hubby. There seems to be so much drama anymore surrounding issues with kids and it seems you can’t make a move anymore without someone breathing down your neck and telling you what is right or wrong. So too all the parents out there I seriously wish you the best of luck, I couldn’t do it, but bless those that can.

    • Whitney, thanks for commenting. I’m a big fan of people having kids because they actually want to have kids, not because it’s a ‘logical’ next step in some sort of traditional life plan. It’s not logical, and it’s not for the faint of heart (if it’s too be done well).

      And like most things that are very personal, everyone’s got an opinion! But I think the conversation is fascinating and wanted to weigh in. Glad you enjoyed reading the post Whitney! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  12. Gretchen

    I’m sorry that this diverges from the subject at hand, but I believe that these “personal” posts ( I prefer to think of them as “personal, yet relevant to all”) are part of what gives PITNB dimension and intrigue. It’s easy enough to offer gossip without a lot of humanity behind it, but don’t we too often fall into the trap of thinking of celebrities and celebrity culture as “Other”? Why not bring some reality to celebrity gossip by focusing on what gives these human beings (with celebrity status) depth, character and poignancy? It also serves to bridge the gap between celebrity “Other” and fellow human being. I love PITNB for its dimension, and the excellent writing by all involved (ditto for sites like Lainey Gossip, whose writers also incorporate this speculative kind of reporting). Many, many thanks for your hard work and thought-provoking articles, guys and gals.

    • Gretchen, thank you! When I first came to PITNB I thought it was so strange to see very personal posts intermixed with basic celeb/gossip stuff and then I realized, No. This is brilliant! Trent is brilliant! In a lot of ways, it just makes sense–just as you put it in your posts. All of these things are related and it’ really cool to see them connect and collide.

      So glad you’re enjoying the posts Gretchen!

  13. SusieB

    I love love love Shannon’s posts, I’d read her commentary on paint drying! Great job at evolving the blog Trent!

    • SusieB: BEST. COMPLIMENT. EVER.

      (the paint drying bit). I literally thought of writing your words out on a sticky note and posting it on the cabinet that looms above my head as I write, lol. But then I thought, that’s how you get a big ego. Better to keep writing :)

      Thank you so much! So glad you’re enjoying the posts.

  14. jenny

    As a woman, I think breastfeeding is beautiful, more healthy for the baby, and a great bonding tool. However, I also feel that when they are old enough to verbally ask for it- its time to quit. It looks odd and strange having 2 year old and UP ask for the breast at home and in public. There should she limited to attachment parenting. Breast milk is beneficial for newborns and babies- after they are walking, talking, etc they are old enough to move on to bottles, zippy cups, etc. You can take breastfeeding WAY too far.

    • jenny, thanks for commenting. I personally don’t have an opinion on when babies should stop. I got funny looks with my 13 month-old (from my Mom, lol) and it was getting strange to me. I stopped because I thought it was time. And when I do see those big kids on the boob, I think it’s kinda funny. But I can’t imagine it being harmful, so I try not to judge.

      Thanks for weighing in Ashley!

  15. Tracy

    Okay! These women are taking this to damn far. I do NOT support such disregard for other people. I don’t think it is about women wanting to feed their children, I think they just want to be nude in public and they are using breast feeding as an excuse. You just lost one women’s support the in your face tactic is not working.

    • Heather

      And what is wrong with public nudity, pray tell? Have you ever been to the beach in France? Boobs all over…it is just that our culture is so restricted. And what for? They’re just boobs. Seriously.

    • Tracy and Heather– I hear you both. Tracy might be on to something about using an in-your-face approach to get support for a cause. It’s risky, because people can get offended.

      But yeah Heather, I’ve been to Europe and it’s a different world. I also strongly doubt that those women are that in-your-face in public. I would like to think that they really are about feeding their kids and they have some kind of nursing sling.

  16. ladidaa

    i’ll definitely be taking my daily dose of gossip from a different blog. the only reason why i frequent this blog is cuz the celeb news is never written in a nasty and spiteful way (ie perez hilton) and i had always liked that about you Trent. i’ve never had issues with you writing about your personal life on this blog Trent. It IS after all, your blog.

    i wasn’t trying to be rude, or feel like my comment might’ve come across rude. i was simply stating that people go to different forums to read different material. when i want to get into a debate, i go to a site that deals with social issues, not a gossip site.

    i’ve lost respect for how you respond to your loyal readers. it’s nice to know that once you’ve made it big, politeness becomes unnecessary.

    • @ladidaa — Well, I’m sorry to see you go. I honestly have no idea what you mean when you say “once you’ve made it big, politeness becomes unnecessary”. I had no idea I “made it big” but I guess thanks for thinking so? I also feel that I am, to the best of my ability, as polite as I can be whenever I respond to comments — particularly, to your comment earlier. As I stated before, this blog has always been grounded in personal commentary. News is news, gossip is gossip but I think it’s safe to say that most of us like to enjoy the frivolity of gossy fun with a bit of intelligence and humor. I am happy to share my personal insights, I am happy to have other writers share their personal insights, I am happy that readers also share their personal insights about pop culture. Things will continue on as usual around here, hopefully you’ll find your way back. If not, I hope you find a site that suits your needs. All this gossip stuff is meant to be fun in the end. If you’re not having fun then I guess you’re doing it wrong.

  17. Stephie

    I loved this post and am a long time PITNB reader. Shannon, you are amazing. Keep doing what you’re doing.

    I’m 23 weeks pregnant with my first and hope to breastfeed, will return to work and plan on doing what is right for my family, which includes ME! I honestly feel like I won’t be a good mum if I am not fulfilling my own needs.

    Thanks again for the interesting post. I look forward to the next one!

    • Stephie CONGRATS! We all have to mother in our own way. I was just sharing my version of the story. I’m still not sure that I did the absolute right thing in going back to school right away, but I did it and I think we’re all okay over here, lol. You’ll have tough decisions to make too, just LOOK sure of yourself and everything will be fine :)

      Again congratulations, and thanks for commenting.

  18. Heather

    Great post, Shannon! I love that this blog covers the fun stuff and also makes room for its readers to get a little “depth” in their day. As for attachment parenting, I am not a parent and I can’t imagine EVER telling a parent how they should raise their child. If breastfeeding longer is making their children happy, then go for it. The only time people should ever judge another’s parenting skills is if there is something really inappropriate going on, like verbal or domestic violence. Otherwise, people really need to be free to discover what works in their own life. I’m really proud of that lady on the cover of TIME; that took a lot of courage to permit herself to be so exposed – physically and emotionally.

    • Heather, thanks so much for commenting. Ultimately, I think I agree with you about the cover. I keep imagining a woman wanting to breastfeed longer than “average” and also feeling like her child isn’t ready to stop, but not following her gut out of embarrassment or lack of support. I’d like to think THAT’S who the cover was for. The women were attempting to normalize attachment parenting (and yes, TIME probably wanted and enjoyed the controversy).

      Thanks for commenting Heather; I’m glad you’re liking the posts.

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