Mom Enough? What Does That Even Mean?

TIME Magazine: Jamie Lynne Grumet of Los Angeles and her son, age 3

In a way, I want to write about the TIME Magazine Cover that has my little corner of the world buzzing. You know, because no one has. Or rather EVERYONE has. And I’m a little over it.

It feels like the question “Are You Mom Enough?” is added to the tap water with the fluoride already. I didn’t really need someone to essentially sky write it. But there are two particular pieces I’ve read this week that I liked. They were thoughtful and non-hysterical.

Lisa Belkin writes:

And the shame of it is that the article accompanying the photo and headline has moments of nuanced exploration of the global social questions raised by the attachment theory of parenting. “The arguments for and against,” author Kate Pickett writes, “mirror questions about family and work that still divide America five decades after the advent of modern feminism, when nearly half the U.S. workforce is made up of women.”

So, let’s talk about that.

Rachel Held Evens makes the point:

But the way I see it, TIME gave us a something of a gift. By stripping that cover of all pretense, it revealed in plain language the lie behind so much of the media’s messages for women: If you aren’t a sexy, put-together, powerful, super-mom, who breastfeeds her kids until they’re four while baking apple pies, making crayon art, and investing in a successful career,  then you’re a failure. You will always fall short. You will never be enough. 

 Such an idea is so absurd, it should elicit laughter, not groans.  It’s like millionized lashes and fortified fruit science—too stupid to take seriously!

And yet a small part of us believes it.

I don’t actually know what being “mom enough” is. It’s like I don’t know what it means when they ask me at church if “God is the center of your family.” I mean, it sounds good and seems like a thing I should want, but what does that look like? How does is sound? What’s the smell and taste of it?

And isn’t it all just a little too absurd that “it” could be boiled down into something I cross stitched for my wall or a photo a magazine could publish for a week?



Filed under The view from here

2 responses to “Mom Enough? What Does That Even Mean?

  1. I loved the HuffPo article. I’m just gonna say “yeah that” about this whole thing.

  2. This is a great chance to meditate on being “enough” period. Thank you, friend!!!!