Nearly four months after becoming the poster mom for “attachment parenting” by breast-feeding her 3-year-old son on the cover of Time magazine, Jamie Lynne Grumetsaid the fallout left her “really, really sad” but now excited about the second chance to deliver her message.
“I definitely don’t agree with the [Time] cover and don’t agree with the article,” she said.
“Our intentions were to help relieve the stigma attached to breast-feeding past infancy,” Grumet, 26, said. “The photo I saw wasn’t one that we were trying to pose for.”
To set the record straight, Grumet is doing it all over again. For the cover article of the nonprofit quarterly Pathways to Family Wellness , she appears breast-feeding her 3-year-old son Aram, now 4, this time with her husband and their adopted Ethiopian son by her side.
Grumet told ABC News the Time cover image was an “outtake” that – especially alongside the blaring words “Are You Mom Enough?” – looked “confrontational and detached.” This polarized mothers in the “media-generated mommy wars, which I don’t even know if they exist in real life,” she said. “It made me really, really sad.”
Grumet said the new cover portrayed toddler breast-feeding more realistically, incorporating the husband and siblings. This and other points made in the accompanying article humanize and explain the practice in a way she had hoped the Time article would, she said.
Grumet acknowledged that she and her family were willing – if media-unsavvy – participants in the Time article, and that it had given her a platform.
A representative for Time said: “We’re pleased that Time’s cover story encouraged serious debate of these important decisions facing millions of parents.”
The Time photo sparked mommy-blog flame wars, dinner-party debates and jokes on late-night TV.
Grumet herself was breast-fed until she was 6. In the article for Pathways to Family Wellness , there is a photo of her breast-feeding Aram with one breast and the adopted Samuel, 3, with the other.
Moms are weighing in on blogs all over again. Some say the pictures are beautiful, and others ask whether Grumet is simply “milking the moment,” as one Babble.com article put it in its headline. (Parenting website Babble and ABC News are owned by Disney.)
Grumet said there’s nothing exploitive or indecent about the photos.
“That’s just the ignorance of not understanding full-term breast-feeding and knowing that it’s really normal in other cultures,” she said. “It’s just not normal here.”
Grumet also wants to harness the publicity surrounding the photos to shine a light on an issue close to her heart: orphans in Africa.
“If we focused all that attention onto issues that really matter, like the children who don’t have food and don’t have parents; that’s where we are going to see the change,” Grumet said.
But don’t look for her to appear in breast-feeding photos again to support her causes.
“No, no, no,” she said. “My sons are both practically weaned.”