First let me say, I am a huge advocate of breast feeding. I have worked on committees that target business to establish breast feeding rooms for nursing moms and breast fed both of my children. So when TIME magazine brought attention to the topic this past issue, I was glad. But I was disturbed by the cover photo.
Maybe I have seen too many pathological people in therapy over the years but that cover (see the photo) feels like it sexualizes children. The photo looks too sensual and distracts from the message. I kept thinking of all the child predators who love that photo and the pre-teen boys who see it in the grocery store and aren’t sure what to make of it. And looking at the Twitter comments, I am not the only one who felt this way. The x rated jokes will follow that poor child into the classroom in a few years.
According to the Center for Disease control, fewer than 15% of babies are breast fed through the first six months (CDC). “The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mother and baby desire. The World Health Organization recommends continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond. Breast feeding is good for mother and baby. ”
Dr. Bill Sears,well-known pediatrician,, is an advocate of “attachment parenting” which includes breast feeding until the child weans. The approach is controversial.
If the point of this cover was to get our attention, it did just that.
So what did you think?
Will it forward the cause of breastfeeding?
Will it make breastfeeding more accepted in public?
Or will this do more harm than good?
Awhile back, I sat down with Joyce Meyer on her TV show, Enjoying Everyday Life, to talk about how to embrace your body and make peace with it.
Here is the You Tube interview, “You Are Beautiful Inside & Out, Part I”
In this week’s lead up to Mother’s Day, an adult daughter asks…
Every Mother’s Day I have a hard time honoring my mom for this reason. She left our family to be with another man when I was 14. It still hurts when I think about what my family experienced as a result of her decision. Consequently, I never know how to approach Mother’s Day. I think I am still angry with her for what she did. And my mom wants to have a relationship with me now.
I would ask you to examine your heart. Have you really forgiven her for what she did? If there is any unforgiveness still in you, release it to the Lord. Forgiveness is a choice you make. It doesn’t condone what she did or minimize the impact on you. We forgive because Jesus forgave us when we didn’t deserve it. He asks that we do no less. Then, ask yourself if you are still judging her. Yes, her choice was sinful. But she must answer to God for what she did. Next, think about the impact her choice had on your life and decide if you want to confront her with this. Perhaps you need a conversation in which you tell her how her choice affected you. That said, do not have any expectations about her response to you. The point is to let her know what happened to you as a daughter. If she makes a move to ask for forgiveness, accept it. Then reconciliation may be possible. However, reconciliation takes the work of two people. Discuss a next step and decide if you are both willing to risk it. If not, at least you have moved through the forgiveness and can approach Mother’s Day with a forgiving heart. This will improve your life and own mothering. If your mother refuses to ask for forgiveness and denies the impact of her actions on you, then you will need to grieve the loss of an intimate relationship with your mom and trust God to fill in that gap.
For more help, order Dr. Linda Mintle’s book, I Love My Mother But..
One of the common areas of tension between mothers and daughters involves boundaries. Boundaries are important because mothers and daughters often have different expectations about their relationship. Mothers tend to want more time and attention than their adults daughters can or are willing to give. Therefore, boundaries need to be negotiated and set.
Establish a time to have a conversation with your mom that begins like this, “Mom, let’s talk about what you expect from me and what I expect from you, given our lives and all that is in them.” Try to come to an agreement and then work on putting that agreement into practice.
Instead of becoming angry and defensive when the agreement is broken, revisit it. For example, “Mom, remember, you weren’t going to do that.” Then, when the agreement works, positively note the change and willingness to work together. It takes time and intention to change family behaviors and patterns.
When an expectation seems unrealistic, you will need to be assertive and clarify the expectation. Keep in mind that daughters often have unrealistic expectations of their mothers. Daughters want moms to be all-knowing, all nurturing and meet every need. When moms fall short (and they will because these are impossible tasks), daughters become upset and irritable. But rather than complain and feel bad, ask yourself, are you expecting too much? It may be that only God can meet your expectation of complete unconditional love, anticipating your needs and knowing what you need every day.
Clarifying expectations and setting boundaries go a long way to establishing a healthy mother-daughter relationship. It takes conversation and negotiating but is so worth the effort. When the mother-daughter relationship is healthy, it can be one of the most enjoyable relationships in your life!