I was so excited when I saw the latest cover of my favorite parenting magazine, Pathways to Family Wellness:
Pathways to Family Wellness is a great read, and most of you know they hold a special place in my heart.
About a week after the cover of Time was released, Attachment Parenting International connected me with Pathways and they wanted to lay to rest the public’s misconceptions about toddler breastfeeding. I’m not sure if it was generated by the photo, or if it merely was that the photo did not help clear up already preconceived misconceptions about toddler breastfeeding, but it made a big enough impact for people to be vocal about their own views of toddler breastfeeding. Pathways took it as a great opportunity to spread their truth, and they wanted to let us have creative control.
This was at a time when the media was manipulating the information about the photo shoot, our family, and breastfeeding in general. (The media was even manipulating our view of manipulation, claiming we said we were “manipulated by Time” and it was very irresponsible for those “news” outlets to to write such false inflammatory statements. The irony is the manipulation we were referring to were articles written like that.)
Anyway, because of the mass manipulation in the media, we were scared to work with anyone, but wanted to get our message out about the normalcy of toddler breastfeeding and other causes we supported. We took a tiny leap of faith (Pathways was supported by pretty much everyone we respected) and we are so glad we did. We are so grateful Pathways gave us such an incredible opportunity.
Not that the photo on Time was wrong, but Pathways to Family Wellness let us work with the amazing Lori Dorman and let us take a photo inspired by a photo hanging in my parent’s home of me breastfeeding my mother. It was not necessarily a “redo” of the Time cover, but it was more us saying, “Hey, if we got to pick, we would have done it like this.”
The article was written by the brilliant Lisa Reagan, and they allowed us to really tell our story, and also mentioned our upcoming trip to Ethiopia.
Because Pathways is a quarterly magazine, the cover wasn’t released for a few months. It happened to be released the day we returned from our September trip to Ethiopia. They were so lovely that they allowed us to write a follow-up about our trip and the Awassa Children’s Project in their winter issue.
It editors at Pathways to Family Wellness went out of their way during the time their publication was getting so much coverage to help promote what was happening in Ethiopia. They didn’t need to do that and it wasn’t expected of them by any of us, but they did it, and that says a lot about the people working at Pathways.
So, when I think back at the 10,000 people that received access to clean water in December, or the national coverage for the Awassa Children’s Project, I do understand that none of that would have been made possible without Time using the photo of us for their cover, but the real work started when Pathways took an incredible risk and wanted to tell a story that was not provocative, but truthful, about breastfeeding, the stigma attached to so many healthy parenting styles, and basic human rights.
They gave us all our voice.
Their risk paid off; their altruistic efforts landed them with three Hermes awards. One for the cover image featuring our family, and the other two for the amazing article that accompanied it.
It is so great to see a magazine that promotes and celebrates attuned conscious parenting given such a great honor.
It is about time!
For more information of Pathways to Family Wellness Magazine please visit their website: pathwaystofamilywellness.org/
or their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/PathwaystoFamilyWellness
Also read more articles from Lisa Reagan: kindredcommunity.org