Our Experience with TIME

I am often asked by my close friends and by people I have met through this process exactly how we ended up on the Time cover. Like I said in the previous post, now that the dust has settled and I am left with the people who are reading this blog to be a part of a community, I feel comfortable opening up and explaining what happened from our perspective.

We initially were contacted through Time via e-mail. (There is a rumor that Time did a casting call. I have no idea if this is true or not, but we were not a part of it). I assume they found us through this blog because I wrote frequently about breastfeeding in the hope to do my small part in normalizing it in our culture.  They asked us to call them back if we were interested in being a part of a story on attachment parenting. At this point we didn’t know Dr. Sears was involved, but we did know the story was on attachment parenting and they were looking for a photo to include in the article. They said (this was taken directly out of the e-mail): “We are planning to shoot one more picture for the story to try and illustrate the idea of attachment parenting.”

The morning of the shoot.

Intrigued, I called them and spoke to one of the photo editors. He explained that the story they were doing was on Dr. Bill Sears because it is the 20th anniversary of his book. Knowing about Dr. Sears and his spirit for encouraging families (rather than condemning) we were excited at the thought of aligning ourselves with him in celebration of his first book’s 20th anniversary. I spoke with an editor from Time a bit longer, and he explained to me how immersed everyone has been in the topic of attachment parenting since they started researching for the article. I addressed my concerns about a balanced piece and breastfeeding being portrayed correctly, and he went on to answer each one of my questions and let us know that Time was treating this assignment with respect.

I brought up the idea to Brian and we immediately discussed our concerns with the situation. Obviously, our first concern was for our children and our family. Prior to the cover, we were already very open on our blog about our parenting style and we had at that time received our fair share of bizarre and hateful comments from various groups (anything from white supremacists to anti-adoption communities) and realized the strange world we live in. We knew that there would probably be oddballs hunting us out, even if they used a lovely picture of us in the article and didn’t mention our names.

We listed out some reasons why we should participate:

Historical and iconic breastfeeding shots for inspiration (and some funny ones thrown in there to lighten the mood of the room).

  • Time had just been awarded “Magazine of the Year” because of their “achievement of editorial excellence both in print and digital platforms.” This magazine is not a tabloid and is considered by many to have journalistic integrity.
  • Time also had a specific audience that was not buying the magazine for sensationalism and entertainment purposes. However, we felt that many readers still would be ignorant to the normalcy of breastfeeding past infancy, and the article and photos may help normalize the issue for Time’s readers.
  • We wanted to align ourselves with Dr. Sears. We admire the Sears family so much (even more so after this all happened) and we wanted to help support a man that braved the cultural norm to help spread the message of a back to basics style of parenting with many American mothers.

We discussed reasons why we might be one of the more prepared families (during this time of intolerance for breastfeeding in our culture) to put ourselves out there to raise awareness:

  • My mother was a public breastfeeding advocate, and as a second generation attachment parent (before it was called “attachment parenting” it was just my mom doing what she felt was right for me) I felt I had a better understanding of AP because I had experienced it through the eyes of a child and a parent. I am parenting this way not as an experiment with my child, or to make up for a poor childhood I had, but because I had an extremely positive upbringing and wanted to give my children what I had.
  • Our family travels to developing areas of the world a few times during the year. In a few years when the boys are a bit older we will be spending a good portion of the year in Ethiopia while working with the Fayye Foundation projects, and spending another large portion of the year continuing to travel and teaching the children about being a part of a global community. We love the US and want our children to be proud to be Americans, but we are also teaching them that there is no one culture that completely has everything figured out about life. We need to learn the best we can about others. So, not only are my children going to be in cultures where breastfeeding and “attachment parenting” have been and continue to be the cultural norm, but they hopefully will be learning to be concerned about bigger issues than what other people think about something as silly as a magazine. We’ll be teaching our children that true concerns are people who don’t have access to clean water, food, or have no homes or families. Basically, our lives and perspective on life are a little different than many others who have voiced concerns about the future of my children.
  • Children’s minds absorb and learn material at a rate almost unfathomable to an adult brain. Much of what they learn is from what we teach them and through observation. For us, showing our children to place their concern where concern needs to be is important, but so is teaching them not to empower negativity. Even if our children were living full-time with children in the States and going to a conventional school, I still don’t understand why anyone would shy away from a cause they believe in because they are afraid of bullies. If someone backed down in fear that is empowering the very person spreading the message of intolerance and hate. We do not buckle for people who may say something negative out of ignorance, jealousy, or because they are projecting their own insecurities onto us. There is just no reasoning behind making family and life choices based on how someone may react negatively to it. We are taught to fear bullying and negative comments, but in reality they hold no power to people who understands their insignificance to our life and who we are. This is what we want to teach our children.

Brian and Aram roughhousing at Milk Studies. It was like being in a comfortable family room.

Next, our concerns about posing:

  • We knew we did not hold creative control. We assessed this as an educated risk, but a risk, no less. Time had so many diligent people working on the story that we felt that this was one of the safer avenues to use to get our message out.
  • We understood that with any publication, even a respected publication like Time, the goal is still to make money. They are a for-profit business, they aren’t telling these stories out of the goodness of their hearts. They are doing it with the hopes that a large enough portion of the population is interested in the topic and will want to continue on with their subscription and read their magazine. This can lead to some wonderfully captivating stories, and some very poor and sensationalized stories- but we thought we would deal with the former rather than the latter.
  • We weren’t there to help Time make money, and they knew that. We were there to help raise awareness for something that is grossly misunderstood in the West. Time and my family were mutually using each other for our own benefit, and we both knew that. The only problem is that the publication has the upper-hand with creative control. Not only that, but there are so many people involved that sometimes not everyone even at a magazine is happy with the outcome. There are many people who work on big articles like this and only a few who have the final say in how everything is portrayed.

Brian and I considered others before us who made a bold statement about a controversial issue in the hopes of raising awareness, saving lives, and building tolerance:

Aram checking out the view at the studio.

  • Elizabeth Glaser  gave public disclosure of her children’s HIV status to raise awareness about the truth behind the AIDS epidemic. She faced immense ridicule for speaking about such a controversial topic and giving her children’s HIV status to the world. She did this for the future. People still thought that AIDS was a disease of “sinners” and the research for pediatric AIDS was almost nonexistent. Because of her bravery and opening up about her family, she was able to help get the research and medication needed to help save her son, who is still living to this day. She also helped open people’s minds to the idea that individuals with HIV are not bad people, and that HIV/AIDS affects everyone, including innocent children. This, in turn, helped generate more funding and research for pediatric and adult HIV/AIDS treatments.
  • Hydeia Broadbent- Remember that little girl on the Magic Johnson Nickelodeon Special? She was seven years old at the time of the special where she makes a tearful confession of the hardships of living with AIDS and how she is ostracized in her community because of complete ignorance. Her adoptive parents were also criticized for allowing her on national TV (many claimed she was being exploited and was not old enough to give consent). Well, thank goodness her adoptive parents didn’t listen to the critics. Their daughter’s cries on national television started a conversation that ultimately led to more tolerance and understanding about socializing with HIV positive people (which evolved as the research progressed). She also lit a fire in Magic Johnson,”That very moment was both sad and inspirational. It made me want to do more to bring awareness to the disease and educate people so that no one would have to feel the way she did that day.” - Magic Johnson  Hydeia is now 26 years old and is an HIV/AIDS activist and Humanitarian. “…with all that we know about the virus, it is clear to me that contracting HIV/AIDS today is a choice and we can’t  allow anyone the power to make that choice for us!” -Hydeia Broadbent
  • Carolyn Twietmeyer (I love this woman!). I first learned about the Twietmeyers from an article I read in People Magazine. Carolyn’s family became outspoken advocates for adoption of children with HIV/AIDS. They were also ridiculed for disclosing their children’s HIV status to the public and to the media.  Carolyn’s non-profit, Project Hopeful, started seeing a huge spike in inquires to learn more about adopting a child with HIV/AIDS after Carolyn shared her story. She spoke from her heart and explained how they work as a family, and how living with a family member with HIV is not risky. Side note: One night I was thinking of Carolyn after the Time cover came out. I had never spoken with her before, but decided to send an email through Project Hopeful. She told me that when the TIME cover came out someone had emailed her to pray for me (we still don’t know who this mystery person is) and she said she had been praying since the cover came out. She is an amazing woman of faith, and knowing there was a community of people praying for me during that time (some I didn’t even know were) makes me realize why was so comforted and I was able to make it through a crazy couple of weeks and keep things normal for the boys.
  • Vito Russo, gay rights and AIDS activist. I remember reading The Celluloid Closet and it explained how the media was portraying gay people in movies throughout cinema history. Belittling and comedic characters were doing some real damage to the perception of homosexuality in society. We were thinking of how AP is portrayed in the movies, and at the time the Trailer for “What to Expect” was out (which was a funny movie and our very special friends are actually in it!). There was a scene where they were showing a woman they was portrayed as sloppy, dumb, and “overweight” who was promoting breastfeeding by saying she was breastfed until six “and look how great I turned out” to the horror of everyone in the room. That is one of many negative media portrayals of breastfeeding and breastfeeding past infancy. We were attempting to show a normal family who breastfed past infancy (which the cover did not portray, but it was a hope of ours).

…and the list goes on and on.

We decided it was something that was right for our family, and we wanted to help normalize toddler breastfeeding. This was our small part of doing that. Time ultimately invited us out, but asked us if I was okay only posing with Aram because they didn’t think the nation was ready to see adoptive extended breastfeeding. Samuel had weaned at that point and we were happy they weren’t pressing anything we wouldn’t be comfortable doing. This action also made them look like they were taking the topic seriously so we trusted them more.  Samuel stayed at home with the grandparents (we like to do one-on-one time with the kids sometimes and this was a great opportunity for the grandparents to focus on Samuel and for us to have special time with Aram) and we flew out to New York. Time does not pay subjects for a shoot (and I think it is pretty safe to say from what I know about the others, all four of the families who were selected would have not been comfortable taking money for a cause to which they are trying to bring awareness). Time did fly us to NY and back, but we had to pay for our hotel room.

The photographer and next to him historical visuals for inspiration. The shoot was anything but extreme and bizarre like that cover may have made it seem. The photographer and editors were lovely.

I had spoken to Dionna after I heard she was also selected for the shoot. We were playfully discussing our concerns. It seemed we had brought the same concerns up to the editor about how AP would be portrayed. We both seemed reassured the piece would be balanced and they were treating the topic with the utmost respect (which I do believe was happening with a lot of the editors and researchers). I was even more excited knowing I would see Dionna there and we were doing this together.

We arrived in NY and went to the studio for the shoot, which was named Milk Studios (perfect for the topic). The place was beautiful and the atmosphere was calm and soothing. Dionna and family were still taking photos when we arrived. They had a healthy lunch set out for us, and we waited while Dionna’s family finished.

I arrived with little makeup on (assuming they would add more) and the makeup artist apologized and said they were going to take all my makeup off. Not only were they going for light makeup, they were going for Plain Jane.  She put on concealer, an almost flesh colored blush, clear lipgloss, and powdered in my eyebrows in pretty dark. The makeup artist was so much fun. She worked for the Pussycat Dolls when they were still together and she could tell I was not feeling what she was doing to me, but we were joking about it because it wasn’t really her preference either. We spoke about our mutual interests in a more fun and flashy style, she even offered to redo my makeup before I left so I could have it the way I liked it the rest of the day.
Next they tried to figure out what clothes I brought that would work. I came in jeans, so they kept me in them and gave me a zip up purple hoodie they had from wardrobe. I asked what shoes I should wear as I pulled out my heels, and they looked a bit horrified. They asked if I had flats. I had some $5 sparkly target flats to walk around the city in and they told me to put those on. They were explaining they were going for an updated Madonna with Child, 2012 version. They wanted me to look All-American.

They pulled over the chair for Aram and I didn’t think anything of it. Aram has breastfed standing up before. Also, I loved the idea of portraying breastfeeding differently than how you would see it with an infant. Infant breastfeeding is completely different than toddler breastfeeding, and I thought that a standing picture showed that well.

We also had heard at this point that they were considering putting one of the AP photos on the cover, but played it down because nothing was confirmed or decided.

It was right at Aram’s nap time and he was totally comfortable in the environment. He jumped up and started nursing. They didn’t like the hoodie and decided to switch to a red American Apparel shirt. They put that on me and immediately stopped again and said “way too sexy.” That is when they pulled out the other tank that was used in the shot ( couple sizes too big for my small 5’3” frame, but it was all they had that worked). They also pulled up my hair to try to make me look a little more like how you would see a mom at the park. An average look, I assumed. The feeling I got was that they did not want it to be overtly sexual.

( Aram’s clothes they just kept him in. Those were the ones he was wearing when he arrived.)

Aram hopped up on the stool and nursed. They had me smile, but they didn’t want me to overly grin. The direction was to have me look confident, content, and happy with my choice. Aram had his arms wrapped around me while he was nursing, and I did for a lot of the photos, but some I was posing like I would in any other photo (hand on hip, to the side, on his back). A couple minutes in Aram started dropping his hands (he was getting tired and starting to doze.) I didn’t even notice. Sometime in that timeframe they took the cover shot, an out-take.  When the photographer noticed that Aram had dropped his arms, he asked Aram if he was ready to stop (Aram said no) and then he asked if Aram could put his arms back around mommy, which he happily did. He did this a few times before we all realized he was getting tired. We moved to me sitting on a stool for the rest of the photos where Aram was so cozy he fell asleep at my breast.

One of the editors showed me some of the photos they liked later. I specifically remember seeing the photo from Lightbox (which almost made the cover! It’s too bad it didn’t). It reminded me of my mom in her pictures from when she was a ballet dancer. That is how I felt they tried to style me, stripped down, dark clothing, hair pulled back, and ballet flats- American ballerina.

photo-23

Brian caught an almost identical image to the cover shot on his iPhone. Aram kept dropping his Arams towards the end of the shoot because he was getting tired. We changed positions shortly after the staff saw him doing this. What they ended up using for the cover was not pushed, and ironically the shot they used was the least posed probably out of all of the images they had (including the lightbox image, which was my favorite).

The photographer caught a moment in time, and Time used it. They did have every right to do so, but the image alone did not give an accurate portrayal of our experience in that room or what they explained they were searching for.

We spent the rest of the day seeing NYC with Dionna and her family. We joked about how we found out that Time doesn’t airbrush (we didn’t know until after the shoot) and our thoughts about the shoot. We both didn’t think our photos would be used. We just decided we made the most of a really lovely experience.

We flew home and it was only a couple of days until the magazine would come out. They kept calling me and asking me for information, and I started to suspect one of our photos had been chosen. Time didn’t want to say anything, because they can decide to switch it last minute, but the night before we got on the cover we had heard we would be on the cover. We also heard they switched from a cradling photo to a standing photo (which confused me because no one seemed to like the standing photos when we were doing the shoot). I figured they must have a good one. I did a quick phone interview with Kate Pickert while I was at a Mexican restaurant in Indio, Ca.  Then we were just told to check in the morning (a Thursday) to see the image. We saw it for the first time with the rest of the world.

We woke up early in the morning and went to Time’s website to see the photo. Brian immediately started laughing as I gasped. My initial thought was how funny and awkward Aram looked in it, then I moved over to my part of the photo and my face looked so harsh. “I look like a man!” I said.  Brian laughed. I told Brian, “There is no way this is the best picture they had! I know I’m not very photogenic, but I saw better ones even when I was there. This isn’t even a good one of Aram. He looks half drugged and he’s falling asleep and slouched really funny…” Brian just replied, “Well, they obviously chose it for a reason.” Then we looked over at the tagline. “What the heck is that supposed to mean?” I said.  Brian answered, “That isn’t going to go over well.” Then Brian said, “Whoa, this is the modern day mothering Hunger Games! Look at the picture! They made you Katniss, but instead of a bow and arrow they gave you a giant breastfeeding toddler! They are pitting you all against each other to fight about child rearing with that tagline. Way to miss the point, Time.” He had just finished the book so it was an even more funny comparison at the time. I still think that was pretty accurate when I consider all that came next. We knew there was a possibility that Time could take an image we didn’t like, but we really weren’t expecting the polarizing tagline to go with it.

*We signed up for this and knew there was a risk involved. It was really important to us not to slam Time in interveiws because we willingly signed up for this type of media uncertainty. With that being said, I feel I didn’t have my thoughts totally together because it all happened so fast, and we overly supported the cover. I should have been able to say I disagreed with the portrayal, while still respecting and appreciating the conversation and publication. – A live and learn moment.

leaving the studio to spend a fun day in NYC

At this point we had to leave to do the “Today Show”. I had agreed and was excited to do it because Dr. Sears would be there, and I could thank him. I had no idea we would be the focal point of the discussion until we arrived and that bizarre day had unfolded. We missed most of that day because we were flying, and I’m glad.

Brian and I realized when we landed how out of hand and crazy it had gotten. There was no way we could have prepared for or expected the magnitude of the coverage. People started contacting us immediately and wanting us to do certain “projects” for money. We had to decide right then that anything directly related to Time that we would not have done on our own was not to be considered. This was not about making money or generating coverage for our family. It was about raising awareness and helping other parents feel confident with a parental choice that has been stigmatized by Western culture.

We have learned so many good lessons from this experience. I have almost completely stopped watching TV (except movies and a couple scripted TV shows). I can’t even watch the news, after knowing the truth and seeing how it was reported so inaccurately, I just don’t trust it anymore. I also feel more empathetic towards almost everyone. Each move someone makes that I might not understand, I now immediately realize that I am not living in their shoes and I don’t have a clue what their life is really like. I think that is a wonderful reminder for everyone. We need to stop judging others and what we don’t understand (even if we think we understand, because chances are, we really don’t.)

AP Dads. Brian and Dionna’s husband with the kids in NY.

It actually feels good to write about all of this. I didn’t want to post anything when my blog was getting a ridiculous amount of traffic because I knew almost all of it was from voyeurs coming by to see a freak show. I didn’t want to post my point of view regarding what happened because I really didn’t feel I owed any of them an explanation. By not posting for awhile and allowing them to check out previous blog posts, I knew it would be only matter of time before they moved on, I’m just not that controversial, and I was sure I would bore them away (which I did). Now I feel the remaining viewers are truly interested in the topics discussed here. Explaining what has happened to my friends and now to this community has been very therapeutic.

Someone asked me the other day if we would do it again. I don’t really have a hard yes or no answer. Our choice was well thought out and we knew there was a risk. Perhaps the conversation wouldn’t have become global if they chose a photo that represented toddler breastfeeding in a better way. Perhaps even the tagline will have a future benefit, because now the media driven “mommy wars” has been exposed for what it really is, media and culturally generated.  It exposed the vulnerability and guilt that mothers feel is placed on them by society, and now that it has been exposed, perhaps the next step is healing. I don’t know… I would never have selected that photo or tagline and I still do not like it, but I also realized that in order for change to happen sometimes we do need to take risks. We did, it didn’t work out, but conversation ultimately started and in the end we have seen so much positive arise from speaking out. Time gave breastfeeding past infancy a platform it would have never had without interest. While I disagree with the portrayal, I still am thankful that discussion started through Time using an image of a breastfeeding mother on the cover.


Tags assigned to this article:
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103 comments

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  1. Melissa R 7 August, 2012, 10:40

    Thanks for sharing your experience with the photo shoot.

    Reply this comment
  2. OCMomActivities - Katie 7 August, 2012, 10:59

    Great post Jamie! Your post shows what a great perspective you have on the world. There aren’t many people that could hae handled the insanity whirlwind you went through with such grace and poise.

    Both your boys are very lucky to have such amazing parents! :)

    Reply this comment
  3. Terri 7 August, 2012, 11:10

    I agree with Katie. Your boys have amazing parents who are leading by example. I was thrilled to read this post and once again your wisdom and amazing worldview. I love learning from you via your blog! Thank you :)

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 9 August, 2012, 08:16

      Thanks Terri! I have been loving the discussions with you and your lovely and respectful view about…really everything! Thanks for being a part of this community. You are wonderful.

      Reply this comment
  4. Sarah 7 August, 2012, 11:27

    I like reading a longer post from you–it was really interesting and enjoyable.

    My son turned one month old yesterday, and right now we’re exclusively breastfeeding. We’re planning on nursing him until he self-weans, and I don’t know how my in-laws are going to handle it. I think my father in law will think of it as a developmental milestone to give up the breast and just make dumb comments about it. I think my mother in law might be genuinely freaked out after a point–I’m not sure. My husband and I are trying to figure out how we’re going to talk to our son about how Grandma might say negative things, but that she’s not always right. I don’t want him to let her bully him away from something that feels good and natural. She bullied my husband out of a LOT of normal life experiences growing up.

    Following the AP style, I always worry that we have to be ready to educate at all times. As well-read as I am, I don’t always feel ready to defend our choices (not that I question them myself, just, you know–knowing what to say to someone who’s already coming at you in a bad mood). I’m trying to learn how to do that by reading your blog.

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 9 August, 2012, 08:19

      Thanks Sarah! Don’t let the in-laws bully you out of parenting the way you and your husband know is right for your family! People freak out when they see something different for the first time, but it passes. Joking around about it and making light is a good idea because it makes people less defensive and lowers their cortisol levels. I’d try that first! Don’t belittle your parenting style, but making a light-hearted joke about parenting might be the way to take the edge off.

      Reply this comment
  5. Rayna 7 August, 2012, 11:48

    Thanks for your coursge, and for sharing your experience.

    Reply this comment
  6. Audrey 7 August, 2012, 12:03

    thanks for sharing. I especially took notice of your comments about empathizing with everyone because you don’t have the chance to walk a mile in their shoes. This is something I have tried to work on myself – not judging or at least not being quick to judge until I get more facts. I think if 90% of people stopped to think or get more information about you and the subject of attachment parenting instead of posting their gut reactions your inbox would have been much emptier or at least a lot nicer. ;)

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 9 August, 2012, 08:21

      Audrey, isn’t it hard? I seem to be good at not judging cultural and lifestyle differences. For me understanding people who are mean and judgmental themselves has been the hardest. I judge those people! I shouldn’t!

      Reply this comment
  7. Margie 7 August, 2012, 12:14

    Jamie, it’s far from a perfect world we live in, but I see you keep trying to make it a better place to live in.
    I know your intentions have been pure all along. That’s what matters.
    You keep up trying to do good in this battered world. Whether its wanting to nurture your own children or reaching out to complete strangers including extending a hand across the globe to Ethiopia ,you keep positive. You have many many people supporting you and praying for you. You are not alone. As you would say when you were just a little girl ‘You be you’!
    So Jamie, You be you!! We are with you all the way. Mom

    Reply this comment
  8. Jenny 7 August, 2012, 12:50

    Well-written, incredibly wise and insightful post. Thank you!

    Reply this comment
  9. Rosalinda 7 August, 2012, 12:58

    Hi Jamie,

    Thank you for sharing the background to the story. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your experience. Hugs from San Jose! :)

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 9 August, 2012, 08:22

      Hey Rosalinda! How are you?

      My pleasure to share it. I wanted the people sticking around here to know what happened from our perspective.

      Reply this comment
  10. Laura Catherine 7 August, 2012, 15:51

    Thank you for sharing your story with us, Jamie. I am one of the moms who discovered your blog through TIME, and have since stayed around. We are also an AP family and I tandem nursed our two little ones for 3 years. I can say with certainty that the cover got conversations started within our own family that would have otherwise never happened. Thank you for being so courageous and open.

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 9 August, 2012, 08:24

      Hey Laura! It makes me so happy to know that the cover started a conversation with your family! I hope it helped open their minds about the normalcy of the issue (perhaps the cover image wouldn’t do that, but the discussions that came from it definitely could).

      Reply this comment
  11. Meagan 7 August, 2012, 16:43

    I loved the photo from light box. Your almost 4 year old has the identical milk-drunk look of contentment my then pre 12 month now post 12 month baby gets when he nurses. The same look I suspect every baby/child gets. I think that look is among the top reasons I wasn’t ready to wean at a year.

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 9 August, 2012, 08:25

      Milk drunk! Yes! Isn’t it the best to be looking at them content like that? I really wish they would have used the lightbox image.

      Reply this comment
  12. Jen 7 August, 2012, 17:25

    Wow, Jamie! Very well put. Good job keeping your chin up! Your kids are so lucky to have two brave and well meaning parents.

    Reply this comment
  13. Maureen 7 August, 2012, 19:00

    That lady at the Mommy Psychologist blog is kind of scary. I feel this great hostility from her towards you. Really uncomfortable and uncalled for.

    Thanks for giving us some insight into the photo shoot and all. I was once interviewed by a reporter for the San Antonio Express News about participating in National Novel Writing Month some years back and her article made me and other writers sound like idiots. You really do learn the hard way with the media. That reporter twisted what I had said and I was very unhappy about it. You can go in with the best of intentions but those in control will always find a way to advance their own agendas. Still, glad you did the cover because I am glad to know you!:)

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 9 August, 2012, 08:36

      LOL I know. I am so stupid. I don’t know why I commented. Her blog doesn’t have many readers, I should just let her say whatever she wants..totally immature on my part, plus I was angry. It is never a good idea to comment, but even worse when you’re mad. It is pretty clear from her previous posts she does have a vendetta against me when she says things like “I am not against breastfeeding, just this woman.” I think her bizarre responses were defensive because she started getting called out for giving false statements about events and a person. I guess she put her comments on moderate soon after I left. I also received a few emails from people who said they sent really respectful comments about how the cover helped them and for the sake of everyone to amend the false facts and false opinions based on events that have been proven to never have happened. She wouldn’t allow them. When you start hand-picking which comments you like to manipulate your message it gets pretty shady. I understand moderating hateful comments or when profanity is used, but not respectful ones just because they don’t agree with you.

      It is nice to talk to another person who has “been there” with the media twisting facts and photos. I can’t believe they did that to you…except I can. It is so sad. I am so glad to know you, too!

      Reply this comment
  14. Kristin Fleck 7 August, 2012, 19:22

    can you even imagine the freakouts of people if samuel had been on the cover? So many crazies out there! It’s nice to see your thoughts on how everything went down, and also nice to see that you are feeling “back to normal” blog-wise :) I think I’ve told you before, but my husband and I have been going through unsuccessful fertility treatments, so adoption is definitely a possibility for us. I’d love to hear more about your bf’ing samuel! So interesting to me!! Let me pick your brain soon. BlogHer ’13? Let’s hug? :):)

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 9 August, 2012, 08:37

      Blogher 13 Chicago!

      I have wonderful resources for you to check out in regards to induced lactation, if you’re interested! Let me know if you want to chat privately about adoptive breastfeeding.

      Reply this comment
  15. Lara 7 August, 2012, 20:55

    Jamie you are wonderful & anything but boring!
    I learned of you & extended breastfeeding from this article, & can I tell you I have learned so much from you & feel so empowered by your stories.

    My hubbie & I first saw the photo & we both expressed such awe at how beautiful the shot was!
    I have no idea what fears other people have about themselves & their own body, but the photos of you & Aram, & the other mothers & children were all beautiful, natural & joyous.

    It was such a lovely & empowering story for women & men – perhaps the fear of women rising up once again to take their power & role in society scared the many that seek to hold women & their natural instinct down.

    I have shared some of your blog post with my husband & we have discussed our desire to nurture our future children in the same manner – it just all makes sense & feels so incredibly natural, we just had no idea that it even existed.

    We both were in tears after reading the letter your father gave you for Valentines Day, & please tell your dad that he is teaching many from afar. And now anytime anything gets a little heated we say to each other, “will this matter in 5 years time?”

    Oh, & boy did we sob out little hearts out reading & watching Samuel’s adoption, what an amazing journey for you all. That moment when he is introduced to Brian & he puts his arms up for Brian to take him up in his huge frame, oh my goodness, you had me at “hello”!

    Jamie, for what may appear on the surface to be a somewhat negative experience for you all, please look away from those that exude shadow & throw fear, & look at all of the beauty that see’s you & your beautiful family with love & joy.

    And especially see that you have enlightened, opened & engaged many very good people that look at you with light, love, compassion with open ears & eyes to learn & grow. For we see you & acknowledge that you put yourselves out there for all to see, regardless of the outcome, & we are so happy & proud, & thankful that you did, that’s for sure!!! And if you ever question why you put yourself through all this, please email me & I will remind you of all that you have taught & given already, let alone what you at yet to do.
    With much love from Australia!
    Lara xox

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 9 August, 2012, 08:43

      Thanks Lara! My mom also saw your comment and said how great it was.

      Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful words. I appreciate it more than you will ever know.

      I am so happy that I am able to build relationships with people like you and it was a direct result of the TIME cover. I am so glad to be getting to know you!

      You’ll have to let us know where to visit when we come to Australia!

      Reply this comment
  16. Yvette 7 August, 2012, 22:05

    Thanks for sharing the behind-the-scenes info…very interesting. Great post ;)

    Reply this comment
  17. Heather 8 August, 2012, 03:22

    Hi Jamie,

    Just wanted to say that there is a little girl over here in NZ who is really glad you did the TIME cover. My 2nd daughter was born just before the cover came out and I knew I was going to be an AP mum again (after a colicky/reflux 1st daughter who taught me there was no other way!), but the whole TIME furore came at a good time to remind me of what AP is really about and why it feels so right. It led me to all sorts of cool AP info, so this time I’m confident about co-sleeping, and confident about feeding on demand. So my little girl is getting the happiest start in life she could ask for, thanks to you. And she is SOOOO happy ;)
    It also made me incredibly proud of my husband, who at the time said everyone at his work was talking about extended breastfeeding and attachment parenting (mostly with a bit of yuck factor) and he told them we were attachment parents and explained what we do. Becoming AP parents was more my decision than his, as I’m the stay at home mum and I was the one dealing with our horribly unhappy first daughter, so I was so proud of him for standing up for what we have chosen to do.
    I often feel like society tells me I’m too ‘soft’ and that’s why I can’t leave my kids to cry. It is great to hear voices to remind us that we are right to trust our instincts when it comes to parenting. I remember my first daughter crying in her bassinette at only a few weeks old and feeling like I mustn’t pick her up because some awful book told me not to. And every bone in my body was screaming “pick her up! pick her up!” Discovering attachment parenting was such a relief. If only one other mum out there has discovered AP because of you then I’d say the TIME cover was definitely worth it! Thank you Jamie.

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 10 August, 2012, 09:59

      This comment made me cry. The whole point of trying to normalize this is for our kids. It is wrong to force mothers to parent in a way that they know is wrong for their child. I am so grateful you were able to feel encouraged and have the strength to parent the way you know is right for your daughter. You are right, it was totally worth it.

      Reply this comment
  18. Chasity Channell 8 August, 2012, 06:27

    I admire you that’s all! Thanks for the post.

    Reply this comment
  19. Rachael 8 August, 2012, 09:52

    I did find your blog as a result of the TIME coverage, but I am so glad I found you and that I’ve continued reading! I’m expecting my first wee one in a couple of months and feel so inspired by your blog! Thank you for sharing your journey.

    Reply this comment
  20. Kallah Rachel 8 August, 2012, 17:23

    This was such a fascinating post! Thank you for sharing!
    Its too bad they didn’t use that other picture of you sitting nursing Aram – that is so precious, and natural.
    And also – I never watch the news – I keep up with events for myself online. Its easier to filter through things that way! :)

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 10 August, 2012, 09:41

      Thanks Kallah! I am glad to know I am not the only person who doesn’t watch the news.

      I am bummed out they didn’t use Lightbox picture either. The editor was really excited and loved that position during the shoot.

      Reply this comment
  21. Lisa 9 August, 2012, 08:53

    I also found your blog through the Time cover! Just wanted to say a big thank you, because even though it was probably quite a stressful experience for you in many ways, you have so succesfully drawn attention to a way of parenting that seems to be ‘dying out’ in the western culture. I live in Ireland and I am currently tandem feeding my 4 year old and 15 month old. Only a few close family members and friends know this and I wish I had the courage to talk as openly about it as you do! There is a long way to go before breastfeeding is normalised in our culture, especially nursing beyond babyhood. You are an inspiration

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 10 August, 2012, 09:34

      Oh gosh, The Irish Examiner had the most BEAUTIFUL cover that come out as a result of the TIME cover. That was when I remember being so excited because I saw positive portrayals of breastfeeding that came straight from the hype of the negative portrayal TIME did. I think you guys are ahead of America in this. It sounds like all of the West has a long way to go, though! You are brave! Don’t be scared to talk about it. Granted, the topic probably doesn’t come up much! However, if it naturally does I encourage you let people know, so they will find out it is more common than they think! You don’t need to get in a debate, but just even saying you find it normal and natural (not even saying you practice it) can plant the seed in people’s minds.

      Also, my husband is Irish and we’ve been working on scheduling a trip in the next year. Let us know where we should visit!

      Reply this comment
  22. Lilly Rose 9 August, 2012, 11:14

    I am often in contact with the media, and I hear often the , yeah, well that story is not going to sell where , we would rather you keep on saying what they want to hear!
    I felt it was something else that started the hatred, the attacks were personal. The picture was beautiful. You were looking like a young woman, not with a “mommy body” ( meet lots of woman blaming the breastfeeding as the reason why they have not lost weight),
    If a woman is in an unconventional position and she has the bad luck of being pretty, she will not be forgiven.
    It is because of the title that I went to read the article, what do they mean mom enough?
    I saw that picture, found it beautiful, went to read your blog. Discovered i was was doing attachment parenting without knowing it. Since that I regularly read your posts, I like your upbeat spirit. You are real and you have a beautiful family ( I find that your two sons are very look a like, they have a wholesomeness , and air of plenitude, of contentment that tell me you are doing something right), everything that matter.
    People are weird, unhappy and they take it out on others, it makes them feel better.

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 10 August, 2012, 09:28

      Hey Lilly…

      Thanks for this comment. I am glad to know there are people who understand how the media works. You’re right, if someone is that judgmental towards another person who never did anything hurtful towards them (I understand the tagline was hurtful, but those were not my words and I don’t agree with it at all) it is from their own insecurities. There is just no reason to have such bitterness about a stranger. Allowing such ignorance and hate into your mind and your home is what is doing the real damage. Children are observing that and we are creating future intolerance.

      Reply this comment
  23. sentayehu 9 August, 2012, 17:56

    I found your blog a year ago from my cousin (“P” who is Ethio/Eri as I). She use to participant in the “big ethiopian adoption board” before she got tired of trying to support the transracial adoption community from the eyes of an American-African. She always describe you as 75% like her in attitude but with a bit of nutty mixed into your batter (lol). She always speaks highly of you even when she didn’t always agree with something you said, did, or stood absolute on. When she saw you on the TIME cover and on the Today Show, she was cheering for you. She even got into an argument at the beauty salon with a few of our habesha friends because of your convictions (you should have been there. She won the debate) which means you are a winner. I continue to be a silent reader (except for the blogger giveaway) but felt the need to let you know that there are many people who may not agree with your family’s parenting style or decisions, BUT as long as you are not hurting your children in some sick, twisted, or sexual way, then believe in and do you. Please, don’t let the rest of the world’s “shade throwing” get to you or pull you down. You have a mission to see through that requires staying focused on the prize which is being a defender of the weak. I (as well as my cousin “P”) send you thirteen months of sunshine!

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 9 August, 2012, 19:45

      LOL omg the big board. I forgot about that forum. Seriously, I even think I went nutty on that board. I found so much intolerance in most of the attitudes there I saw read and fired off…I don’t even think I agreed with some of the stuff I was saying. I just hated the attitude and judgment being passed there. That board was a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, we received great information on ethical agencies there, but they also scared us into putting our adoption on hold for a year because we were under the impression all adoptive parents were a little nuts…which also might have been a blessing because we were able to really slow down and be thoughtful about the process. Now that I think about it…There were actually some really great people on there that shaped how we viewed adoption and totally changed some opinions we initially had going into it. It is a shame a few people spoiled the whole place.

      As far as breastfeeding a three-year-old though…Yeah there nothing odd about it. It is so sad that people who do not have any personal knowledge about the topic give their hyper-sexualized perspective of it. There is nothing sexual about a breast being used to nourish and comfort a child. It’s a mammary gland for goodness sake. Hopefully it won’t take too long for the West to catch up with other areas of the world where they view breastfeeding for what it really is.

      …And thank you! I am so glad you commented! please don’t wait another year to comment again! I’d also love to speak to “P” too! Love to hear her perspective on the 25% she doesn’t agree on! I definitely don’t know everything, and it hearing someone as respectful as she sounds give me an alternate perspective might help me become a better person an a better mother.

      Reply this comment
  24. Emily 9 August, 2012, 23:10

    I just found your website through a co-sleeping support facebook group. I was working at a bookstore when the TIME issue was published. I remember all of my coworkers freaking out and saying awful things. And I admit, it weirded me out a little too. More the pose/facial expressions than anything, though! It’s great to know that your attitude is not at all how they portrayed you. I really appreciated this post, and will be following your blog. I feel very encouraged (through various FB groups, your blog, and other sites) to go against the mainstream and do what seems best for my little one (he’s two and a half months now), even when it makes me nervous (because I’m terrified of criticism and care WAY too much what people think). Thanks!

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 12 August, 2012, 21:29

      Hey Emily! I am so glad to hear that support pages and my blog are helping you parent your baby boy! Figure out what is right for your family and don’t listen to any ignorant comments from the world. People in our culture try to bring others down, and it is such a shame. You do not need to give into it or teach your children that is the way. We are all here for support! Feel free to contact me if you are feeling judged and just need to talk.

      Reply this comment
  25. Chelsea 10 August, 2012, 09:51

    My good friend just sent me a link to your blog and I’m so happy she did!! I applaud you for standing up for what you believe in, for your conviction and for simply being a loving mother! Even though the photo used wasn’t one you or I would have chosen, it did get peoples attention and get people talking. Because of you I recently became proud of breastfeeding my now 35 month old daughter, instead of hiding it and feeling so guilty about it! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I do have my concerns still yet….1. she ONLY goes to sleep while being nursed. 2. she still wakes and needs to nurse and 3. wants to nurse several times throughout the day.
    I had assumed she would have cut down the number of times she nursed by this age and it seems the harder I try to get her to wean down a bit the more she wants to nurse. It can be a bit draining and I often wonder if she will ever want to stop or if I should wean her now to make it easier on her. I recently found out I’m expecting another baby and am very concerned about how to go about weaning my almost 3 yo.
    I never knew I was an AP until one day I watched a tv show called “extreme parenting”. I was baffled as I watched, thinking what is so extreme about their parenting…then it hit me I am an “extreme parent” lol!
    Again thank you and I look forward to reading more of your blog and learning from you!

    Sincerly,

    Chelsea

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 12 August, 2012, 21:39

      Thank you so much Chelsea! Isn’t it funny how people try to portray how we parent as extreme? Haha, even by conventional standards it is anything but extreme…it’s actually pretty laid back. “Go with the flow parenting” is what it should be called!

      With Aram he only went to bed while being nursed until he hit about 3.5 years. That is also when he said he was ready to sleep in his own room. It was a smooth transition into his bed (he rarely comes into our room at night), but we also allowed him to decide when he was ready. There was no forcing him….but it wasn’t all him. It was us assessing what we say (him giving us signs) and giving him a gentle nudge in the right direction. He didn’t night wean completely on his own, he also didn’t learn to fall asleep on his own- it was us seeing he was ready and parenting accordingly. This is just our experience, but there was no fuss or fighting us because we waited until he was ready and it was a really natural process.

      I would start weaning her from night nursing if you think she is ready. A lot of mothers I know told their kids that they can nurse before bed, but they have to wait for the sun to come up to do it again because mommy’s boobies need rest. If you explain you are tired or uncomfortable that is normally enough for a child to understand. If she is in the bed with you and she is ready to be night weaned she should quickly find out snuggling is equally as soothing at night time.

      Let me know if you have any questions about it.

      Reply this comment
  26. davina 11 August, 2012, 07:28

    All the fuss reminds me of Vanity Fair’s cover shot of Demi Moore while she was pregnant. Both images are of women’s bodies doing what they do… it’s too bad that should continue to be stigmatized in this day and age.

    I have a three week old daughter and hadn’t heard the terms “attachment parenting,” “cosleeping,” “baby wearing” and all the rest of it until I started reading up during my pregnancy. I’m still stunned by the marginalizing and sensationalizing of what seem to me the most natural practices in the world. That they should be considered controversial says more about our society as a whole than about the people who choose to parent that way.

    Anway, thanks for sharing your experience. It was brave of you to undertake this process in order to educate people and open a public conversation.

    By the way, I just had to laugh reading you describe your look in the photos as “plain Jane” and masculine, when I think you look glowing and lovely on the cover as well as the Lightbox photo.

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 12 August, 2012, 12:01

      Hey Davina! The day the cover came out one of my very best friends, Alexandra said the same thing! Also, Bettina from Best for Babes used the comparison. I know the Demi Moore photo (because since then every celebrity has posed nude and pregnant and the reference is always back to that photo), but I was pretty young when it came out for the first time and I didn’t realize the same sort of controversy surrounded the cover. It is so sad, again, Madonna-Whore complex we suffer from in our society.

      I know, I can’t believe anyone would find AP extreme. It is one of the most normal and ancient parenting practices in the world. It is sad we have gotten so off track in our society where people are blind to see this is where we came from. That doesn’t mean we all have to parent like this. I think becoming a modern society allows for all of us to make the best choices for our families and allows for options we may not have had in the ancient world…but my goodness, this is natural and there is no denying that!

      LOL I just wanted to express how TIME really did try to downplay the makeup during the shoot. They were criticized so heavily for trying to sexualize us in the styling, when really I saw the opposite of that. (My goodness, I brought heels and would have had them put me in my normal makeup if I had it my way….I shudder at the thought!) I think vilifying everyone at TIME wasn’t right either. The photo the ended up choosing was not good and the tagline was awful, but that was not the consensus of a lot of people there, and I saw that first hand. That is why the lightbox photo was so beautiful.

      Reply this comment
  27. kristen 12 August, 2012, 19:39

    Thank you.

    Reply this comment
  28. Miriama 12 August, 2012, 21:27

    Dear Jaime, I found your blog after I watched the show 60 minutes that aired last night in New Zealand.
    Huge thank you for promoting AP, breastfeeding toddlers.I am BF my son (4) and my daughter (2) but after his third year I felt I couldn’t put with any more looks and comments about how weird I am and continue to BF him only in privacy .With my daughter I intend not to hide after your empowering Time article.
    I admire your courage, will definitely look forward to more articles from you :)

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 12 August, 2012, 22:43

      Hey Miriama,

      Thank you so much. I love that you felt empowered by the TIME cover. You are going to be inspiring so many other mothers by not hiding the way you are lovingly parenting your children! We need to stick together and win this fight. If and when our children have their own children and this is a non-issue we can sit back with satisfaction knowing they will not be criticized for parenting their children the way they know is right for their families.

      Reply this comment
  29. April 12 August, 2012, 23:43

    I’ve only scratched the surface of your blog here, but I really admire your advocacy and the stance you’ve taken. I had such mixed feelings about the TIME article but after reading this post and Kellymom post with responses from each involved family I have a better understanding of how the events transpired. And, how I feel about AP as well. I wanted to support the article and was excited by the topic but I feel like TIME botched the discussion with some under handed editing–which is disappointing.
    By definition, we are an AP family, though I’ve read little of Sears. Our approach to parenting (my husband and mine) is part researched, part intuitive, and definitely personal and unique to us. It is inspiring to read about others who also forge their own path. I look forward to following future posts!

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 13 August, 2012, 17:14

      April, oh I completely understand what you mean about not being sure about the cover. I know it was probably different for me because I was involved with it, but even I was unsure and needed to sort out my feelings when I saw the cover for the first time. I saw it with the rest of the world so I didn’t get to process out my feelings well. I knew immediately I didn’t want to play the victim because we knew there was a risk involved in doing this, but at the same time I felt like I didn’t have enough time sift through my thoughts before I did the interviews that Friday. I think I defended TIME a bit more than I should have or wanted to to convey the non-victim role (which I still believe is true). In the end I realized I could say I’m not a victim and also say I didn’t like or agree with the cover. I wish I would have come to that conclusion early on, but I think the whole thing was too overwhelming for me to be able to articulate exactly what I wanted to say.

      We love Dr. Sears, but my family has been parenting this way since the 80s. My mom will use the exact reasoning you gave as to why she parented me that way. I hope one day this style of parenting is relieved of the undeserved stigma to show how normal it is!

      I’m really excited to get to know you!

      Reply this comment
  30. Nikki 13 August, 2012, 21:33

    I finally sat down and read this, and am so glad I did. You are seriously an inspiration to me. I am amazed and how well you handled the stress of it all. I worry about 1 person talking about me at work and you handled the whole world’s criticism. Well, it never came from me. I think your story, the cover, and all of it together will mean that I won’t be making the choice to wean Gavin…he will. Despite what my friends (and eventually I’m assuming family) think about it.

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 13 August, 2012, 21:36

      Aw thanks Nikki!!!! That means so much coming from you. I am so happy the cover inspired you to do what is right for Gavin. That was what it was all about! I think we’re going to paint the town next year at Blogher. Chicago here we come!!!

      Reply this comment
    • Diana 20 August, 2012, 12:09

      It’s funny, when I first saw that cover, I was not sure what to think. I support breastfeeding – perhaps it is more accurate to say that i support parents feeling free and empowered to choose the path that works best for them and their family without being bullied or belittled by either side. But the cover photo Time chose, i felt, could easily be misinterpreted, and i thought, shame on them. And then I read your Q and A with Time and I thought, “what a smart, articulate advocate that young woman is”, so I hoped that people would look past the sensationalist firestorm and engage in a fruitful discussion. I soon tired of the ridiculous and ubiquitous “Mommy Wars” media blitz, but was happy to be introduced to your blog.

      I am really happy to read your post and see that the intervening months have allowed you some perspective, and that the online “passerby” have moved on from your community, leaving only the people who admire you and appreciate your candor and your courage. I am really grateful to you for sharing your story with us; your blog is uplifting and reminds me that there is so much good in the world. You are right to focus on the good that came out of Time’s sensationalist cover. I am glad your hero Dr. Sears was able to offer you encouragement personally, and I hope it sustained you throughout the difficult immediate aftermath.

      I guess what I really want to say to you is this: THANK YOU. I have gained the confidence in my own parenting choices by standing on the shoulders of brave people like you, who write beautifully and thoughtfully about your own experiences without preaching or insisting your way is the only way. You do a tremendous service to people by being open and respectful. I admire Dr. Sears, but as you pointed out somewhere on your blog, we need to be able to read these message from a variety of sources, not just one set of words repeated on a few different websites. It is valuable to read these words from a mom, firsthand.

      With my first child, I succumbed to pressure to wean him early and 2 attempts ended in such despondency for my little guy that I found the strength to say, “he’s not ready, I am not ready, there is no need to subject him to this grief, I will breast feed him for as long as he wants, and that’s THAT!”. And I did. I did allow myself to be talked into letting him cry it out at about 6 months, which I regret to this day. I succumbed to the notion that i was doing him a disservice by not training him to sleep through the night. I am at least consoled by the fact that over the next 18 months or so, each time he went back to crying in the night, I just went in and nursed him to sleep. And I turned to online blogs simlar to yours to find a community of people who offered me encouragement when I most needed it. With my second child, I feel so much more sure of myself, I am proud to say I will nurse her for as long as she wants and proud to say that when she cries in the night I go straight in, pick her up and bring her in to bed to snuggle and nurse. It is a joy and I love it. BUT I don’t judge my friends who make different choices with their kids.

      Anyway, thanks again for being willing to share, educate and foster such positivity in the world. You are making a real difference. What a gift.

      Reply this comment
  31. Misty 14 August, 2012, 21:04

    I am so glad that you wrote this post. I am a breastfeeding mother. Currently, I am nursing a 5-year-old, a 3-year-old, and a 6-month-old. I’m sorry for judging you. When we saw the picture we were so disappointed. My 5-year-old boy said, “mama, why aren’t they even holding each other?” and that was the first thing any of us said out loud. It made me sad for my son. I wanted to see ….. well, I wanted to see what it sounds like you hoped to portray.

    I appreciate reading your story. Thanks for being willing to be so public. I am thankful for the awareness. I wish it would have been sweeter.

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 14 August, 2012, 23:15

      Hey Misty, you are completely forgiven. I’d like to think I’d be discerning enough to realize what had happened if another woman was in my place and I was looking at it as an outsider, but I think I would have probably reacted in the same way you did.

      I think we knew deep down (and were reassured the day it came out by Dr. Sears) that this would help raise awareness regardless of how we were portrayed. That is why we agreed to do it in the first place knowing the risk involved. It still doesn’t make it easier to see that the risk you took didn’t pay off in the way you were hoping. I am really looking forward to this being normalized when are children have children of their own.

      Reply this comment
  32. Amber 14 August, 2012, 23:22

    I’ve breast fed all seven of our children and am currently nursing our four month old and three year old also the occasional comfort nursings for our five and six year old. Having been persecuted for breastfeeding our fourth child while covered years ago, I no longer cover. I want my daughters to be free to nurse their own children without a cover, without shame. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply this comment
  33. Carissa Jackson 15 August, 2012, 10:00

    Jaime- What a beautiful testimony and mother you are! Your strength is something your kids will reap many blessings from. Thank you for taking the risk and being transparent!

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 16 August, 2012, 21:18

      Thank you so much Carissa! BTW I have been reading your blog and love it! I am so glad you reposted my dad’s Valentine’s Day letter to me! I am grateful his words are encouraging other couples!

      Reply this comment
  34. Ronni 16 August, 2012, 10:49

    Jamie, you know you’ve had my support from the beginning. :) I think you’re doing an amazing thing. And maybe in time it will be seen as normal for moms to extend nursing, rather than the other way around. I personally can’t think of anything better for a child than momma’s milk for however long it needs to happen.

    *hugs*

    Reply this comment
  35. Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting 17 August, 2012, 20:05

    I am still so appalled by the bait and switch they pulled with you, but I am grateful you came away with what you did and learned from it. I loved the premise of their ORIGINAL article and would’ve loved it if it had been treated properly. I breastfed all my kids; my second youngest until almost four, and as I type this I’m nursing my five-month-old to sleep. :)

    Reply this comment
  36. Chrissie Statton 19 August, 2012, 01:35

    A friend was asked to talk about baby led weaning on the Steve harvey show…. I wonder if they will use AP type subjects to get publicity. It seems like the staff and producers are nice bur upper management has the profits in mind. Hopefully, it goes well.

    Reply this comment
  37. Tiffany 20 August, 2012, 13:01

    I really enjoyed reading your perspective. The media definitely puts a spin on things- sometimes such a spin it is so far from the truth it is basically fiction.

    I found your blog based on the TIME article, but I’ve stuck around because I appreciate so much what you have to say. As an extended nursing (we weaned just a couple months ago- shortly before my daughter’s 3rd birthday) and adoptive mama, I love reading your blog.

    Reply this comment
  38. Caroline 21 August, 2012, 13:49

    I’m glad I found this post (through BlogHer). I have seen your blog before and didn’t even connect you to the TIME magazine until your recently post on breastfeeding conversations. Anyway, I like what you said about not judging others becuase we don’t understand or know the full story. I owe you an apology as I did that to you. I saw that cover (never read the article) because I was ticked off by the title. I thought “shame on YOU for making people who don’t breastfeed feel like bad parents” when really that is pretty far from the truth or what you intended. I nursed my son for 10+ months and wish I could have gone longer. After exhausting EVERY effort to increase my milk supply I finally had to stop and felt like a total failure in the process (which was right around the time the TIME cover was published). So thank you for sharing your opinion here and for doing the photoshoot for the RIGHT reasons – I’m just sorry it got twisted around and couldn’t have come off in a better fashion.

    Reply this comment
  39. krista 23 August, 2012, 05:49

    Great post. i didnt even know about attatchment parenting until this article. very few people in my community breastfeed and i just assumed everyone stopped between 1 and 2 years. i am currently breastfeeding my 1 year old and feel much more confident now that i can stop wgen its right for us not when others make me feel uncomfortable about it. thank you and i thought the picture was great because it got attention and thats the point!

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  40. christina 23 August, 2012, 10:20

    I finally got a chance to read this, Jamie – what a wonderful job you did of portraying your day and what followed! I’m still very impressed by how you guys handled everything, and I agree so much with your conclusion about news/media – we haven’t ever had a tv since getting married and plain and simply ignore the news. we’ll check out stuff when we see it mentioned on Twitter sometimes or do our own research into random topics, but other than that, not worth our time. thanks for your humility and your real devotion to your cause. I do disagree with you on one thing – I think you are photogenic and I definitely don’t think you look like a man in the photo! I think you just look strong and confident!

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  41. Jackie 28 August, 2012, 12:49

    This moved me to tears! You are truly a beautiful woman inside and out! Just yesterday I was breastfeeding my 10 mo old and completely engulfed in the bonding moment. I said to my husband, “I don’t know if I will be ready to stop breastfeeding when he turns one.” My husband said, “Don’t.. it is the best for him.” Thanks to role models like you, I’m not going to stop until my son is ready to stop! You have helped me to see breastfeeding as the amazing experience it is through all of the ignorance! God Bless you and your family!

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  42. Summer 11 September, 2012, 07:40

    Thank you for sharing your journey. My husband and I consider ‘attachment parenting’ to be our method but don’t really feel the need to define it that way unless directly asked. I am a working mother who breastfeeds/pumps my 8 month old daughter and have a goal to continue to bf until she weans herself so when the cover came out many colleagues wanted my opinion because I am very open about my bf goals and my struggle (which is why I set some goals, to get through the hard times). I felt that the media wasn’t allowing your side of the photo and from limited interview I saw I knew the tagline wasn’t your idea. I truly thank you for sharing and inspiring me to continue to trust our instincts about our child. I will definitely be following your blog to see your wonderful children grow.

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  43. crystal hardin 11 September, 2012, 17:55

    Thank you for sharing your experience. When the TIME cover/articles came out, I thought you were very brave and wondered if we knew the whole story behind the making of the cover. I highly doubted it. I had hope that your family was doing well and thought about you quite a bit. Thank you for putting yourself out there for the rest of us. You are appreciated.

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  44. Christine Manzo 11 September, 2012, 22:16

    Thank you Jamie Lynn for your courage to promote the best thing in the world for babies: breastfeeding! I practiced attachment parenting with my son and we are closer than close. He weaned himself starting at the age of 3, ending beyond his 8th birthday. In other words, he nursed until he was 8. It was the most joyous experience of my life! He is extremely polite, gentle, respectful, intelligent and well adjusted. Being a mother is the most important thing in my life. God bless you for being a role model to other mommies!

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  45. Ashley Bean 19 September, 2012, 19:06

    I’m so glad I found your blog. I saw an article where you were talking about doing the photo shoot for the Pathways and it linked me to your blog. I’m an attachment parent as well. I just put my boys to bed by laying with my 2 yr old and nursing my 9 month old til they fall asleep. No CIO in this house =] I get ridiculed for keeping our second son intact (we didn’t know better at the time and had our first circ’d), not vaxing, breastfeeding especially when I mention I let them wean when THEY are ready, co-sleeping, ect. I made my mistakes with our first son and wish I had nursed him longer, but he weaned at 11 months when I was pregnant with his brother. Now though, we do what we feel is natural and instinctual, instead of trying to please everyone else. We are planning on adopting this year too and I plan to tandem nurse, which I’m sure will bring on more comments. We haven’t even told our family yet and we had the adoption plans since June 25th. Our friend is having a child she can’t keep, so she asked us to adopt him/her and of course, we said yes. Its a little sooner than we planned to adopt, but things fall into your lap sometimes. lol. I look forward to following you and getting inspiration from you as well.

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    • Jamie Lynne Author 22 September, 2012, 12:12

      Thank you Ashley! I am so excited to get to know you. There are some great people hanging out on here, too. It’s nice to have this community to get support. Those comments from family seem like they are awful, and just adds needless stress on to parenting. We are here for you!

      Reply this comment
  46. Shelley Garrett 21 March, 2013, 22:16

    I just found this post! And your blog!
    I am an AP mom (I seriously didn’t know it was as “thing” – I was following my biological clues for parenting), and I am breastfeeding an almost 28 month old. I will BF until he weans himself.
    That’s my background… Ok. On to the photo… I suspected there was much more to their choice of that photo than TIME led us to believe. I’ve never known AP parenting to fall into the range of feelings that picture gives so many (I’ve heard hard and militant- really? People? Ever heard of AP?).
    I hear the comments and questions about my breastfeeding that really upset me. I’m so tired of it being sexualized. So tired. I wish those folks would talk to my husband and ask him just how unsexual breastfeeding really is!
    My son has PDD-NOS, which brings with it an aversion to solid foods. He is still 95% breastfed. He’d starve otherwise. At 28 months, he is almost 39″ tall and 38lbs- I’d say human milk is serving him well.
    Sorry. I rambled again. Your cover photo, as disappointing as it turned out to be for you (backlash-wise), or as frustrated as you may have gotten, or as craptastic as I know comments were that you were barraged with— Please know it helped. It helped me open a dialogue with many people about AP and “extended” BFing. It helped me make others understand that we aren’t the only people BFing this long. It helped my breastfeeding be less of a “big deal” and a little more accepted by our friends and families.
    I can only imagine the pain and frustration your family has dealt with after the explosion of media coverage and tossing you on the front lines of the “Mommy Wars.” My heart goes out to you fit having to endure venomous ignorance. But you and your son made a difference to me and my son. And I thank you.
    And if my son could talk, I know he would thank you both, too. Then he’d sign for “more milkies” and probably shove his fist in my mouth and check for loose fillings. :-)

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    • Jamie Lynne Author 21 March, 2013, 22:35

      Shelley, Thank you! I am so glad you found me!

      I wish someone would have given me a heads-up with child-led solids. We introduced solids at his corrected age of six months (which was eight months old for him). We offered solids to him every day and he hated it…This experience would have been so much more rewarding and relaxing for all of us if I knew it was good for him to have his own exploration with solids, and that he could take them at his own pace. He didn’t start eating a regular amount of solids until 18 months old and he was SO HEALTHY *just* from breastmilk- yet, the conventional pediatrician we had at the time was trying to get him into oral therapy (they wanted to put a vibrator in his mouth)- when in reality his body just wasn’t ready. In his own time he started eating- skipped baby food…I think people need to realize how different all children are and how they each reach developmental milestones and stages of development in their own time. Anyway, that was a bit of a ramble, but yes! Child-led solids! We need to spread the word!

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  47. Andrea 22 March, 2013, 06:58

    Hi Jamie! I find it interesting that I never made the connection between the Time cover and your blog until you re-posted this. I found your blog through an Australian mom’s blog a few months ago and haven’t stopped reading since.

    I breastfed my first son until he was 13 months old, at which point he communicated to me that he was finished with it – in the form of biting. He once bit me so hard he drew blood. Ouch. With my second son, I went back to work early, when he was 8 months old (I live in Canada with a one-year mat leave). I’d been working part-time and pumping whenever I was away. Unfortunately, my supply dwindled and I couldn’t get it back, even after trying natural remedies. Because of this, my son then lost interest in feeding.

    So, based on my experience, I didn’t have to choose when to wean either of my boys. I’m not sure what I would have done otherwise but I do know that I found it traumatic and deeply emotional to give it up both times. It still affects me to this day. Do you ever want to ask for a “Do-Over?” Because I do.

    I loved what you said about judging each other, especially when it comes to breastfeeding. I’ve been guilty of it but I think it’s because the wean-don’t wean choice was not mine to make. Thank you for helping me to realize this. I may not agree with everything you write but you’ve given me the tools to be okay with that.

    I admire your courage, bravery, determination and compassion. I’m sorry you meet so much judgment , intolerance and resistance in your life. I would never ask a mother of someone who looked different than their child if they were the babysitter or nanny. EVER. I guess that’s my Canadian roots. :)

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    • Jamie Lynne Author 22 March, 2013, 09:16

      Of course I’d love do-overs, but we can’t think like that! Another poster on here commented that they find solace in knowing that they made the best decision for their family with the knowledge they had at the time. We will always make mistakes (although, from what you are describing it doesn’t sound like anything you mentioned was a mistake!) it is just important we allow those mistakes to be ours and not society’s.

      Thank you so much! – and I agree, I have made so many Canadian friends this year and it is tempting not to run the whole family over to the country and stay there for an extended period of time! This is a huge generalization, but Canadians are just plain nice. I’ve also found a lot of commonalities among Australian mothers, so it is really interesting that you found this blog through an Australian blog.

      Anyway, thank you thank you!

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  48. Amber 22 March, 2013, 09:28

    It was really interesting to ready your perspective on your participation in their story! Mostly, because as an “extended” breastfeeding mama who’s parenting style most would probably label “AP,” I was turned off by the cover and thought TIME had done a disservice. I hope I would have handled the situation with as much grace as you! :D

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  49. Sarah 26 April, 2013, 10:16

    Thank you so much for this article. I am not a proponent of attachment parenting, but when I read the Time article, I was infuriated by it. I am so glad to get this down-to-earth perspective from you, and I truly believe you were misrepresented and portrayed as a fame-hungering, self-righteous person instead of a genuine, laid-back loving Mom. Knowing that your mom practiced AP with you also gives me a better perspective of what you’re about. From now on, as long as AP parents don’t criticize my more independent style, I will never criticize their style. Congratulations on representing your cause well!!

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 26 April, 2013, 23:46

      Hey Sarah, thank you so much for commenting. I’m with you, “good” parenting is completely unique to the child and the family.

      Reply this comment
  50. Tom Leykis 26 April, 2013, 10:58

    You are totally and utterly clueless. Let me help you honey:
    Lets be VERY clear. Dr. William Sears has been entirely debunked and uses  peer reviewed studies (of which he has nothing to do with and has NEVER done a legitimate scientific study) completely out of context to justify his “beliefs” (they’re not legitimate scientific theories since they don’t follow accepted scientific protocols and don’t have any raw data, studies or legitimate peer review by qualified professionals). He’s a disreputable shill. His son, Dr. Bob Sears, has authored books against immunizations (also UNSUPPORTED by any data, studies or actual science) to make money also. They are bad fpr children. NOTHING they promote is based on actual science. None of they write is peer reviewed or published in accreditted journals such as JAMA, The Lancet, The New England Journal of Medicine or with a major University Medical Center. They are not good for medicine. Dr. Sears and his children have NEVER engaged in an actual scientific, peer reviewed study with test and control groups. Their entire premise is to sell books and promote “opinions” with no substance to support them and no actual data. The AAP, America Academy of Pediatrics, visibly distanced themselves from these circus clowns.  The AAP also states there is no justifiable benefit to breastfeeding after the age of 2.  There is NO science, data, peer reviewed studies or legitimate information from the AAP or other groups to support Dr. Sears.  PS:  “Anecdotal data/evidence” really isn’t.  He’s a quack. You will find the majority of accredited Pediatric Physicians and Surgeons realize Dr. Sears is a quack. It’s creepy to breastfeed a 4 year old. This is MUCH more about you, and money, than being a good mother. A good mother doesn’t breastfeed a 4-year old.  The irony is that so much of this seems to evolve from extremely religious groups.  They’re obviously preparing their children for the rigorous (lol) theological entrance exams of Azusa pacific and Liberty U and not a real, legitimate, challenging accreditted exams required to be there.

    1. The earth is approximately 4.5 BILLION YEARS OLD. Radiometric dating proves this beyond any scientific doubt.
    2. “god” and “jesus” are no more relevant than the Norse, Egyptian, Indian, Greek or Roman Gods and are just as real/true.
    3. The whole parting of the red sea, noahs ark, adam/eve, rising from the dead, walking on water, just like “miracles”, are all myths. Just an FYI.
    4. There is absolutely no legitimate, academically accepted peer reviewed proof that “jesus” ever existed. None whatsoever.
    5. Evolution and Global Climate change are scientific facts. Get over it. Our actual evolutionary ancestors are over 6 Million years old.
    6. How can anyone “hate” a myth? It’s like me proclaiming I hate “Batman”. Batman is just as real as “jesus”.
    7. The bible was written by men to control/manipulate and profit from man. It’s that simple.
    8. Roe vs. Wade is the law of land.
    I don’t care what myths or fables you believe in provided you keep them to yourself and don’t inflict them on others. Keep them out of public schools, science/math, public policy, foreign policy, law and jurisprudence. If you want to raise your children to flip burgers, dig ditches and believe in myths, bully for you. We don’t care as long as you don’t inflict them on others. A mommy blog contributes nothing to this world.
     
    Only people who enjoy going to an unaccredited school and who don’t have the academic chops to get into a real school go to “schools” like Azusa Pacific, Liberty University or a whole host of other equally rediculous schools teaching “Intelligent Design”, “Creationism” and other equally foolish and ignorant classes. 
     
    From Seneca, a Roman senator:
     
    “Religion is regarded by the Common People as true, by the Wise as false, and by the Powerful as useful”
     
    From Epicurus:
     
    “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.Is he able, but not willing?Then he is malevolent. If he is both able and willing? Then whence comes evil? If he is neither able, nor willing then why call him God?”

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 26 April, 2013, 11:22

      The money? YES! ….wait…money? Crap, have they forgotten to pay me? Why are we still living on a cop’s salary? Ludicrous I tell you ;-) – Tom we should sue. I’ll split it with you.

      Hm, Dr. Sears didn’t invent attachment parenting. Primatologist and anthropologist will gladly clear this up for you.

      I’m not sure if you’re comment is attempting to argue against attachment parenting or organized religion?

      Are you in college yet? I remember being as excited as your comment seemed when I took a class that really spoke to me.

      You must have worked very hard on that comment, so I’ll do my best to respond.

      My background is in physical anthropology (aka the evolution of human beings) and church history.

      1. Yep, I agree. The newest research recently came out stating radiometric dating is the most reliable source of dating the earth we have.
      2. Is an opinion, and a very strong one at that.
      3. They are religious texts/oral traditions that answered the questions of the time for the people, while integrating other mythological stories of surrounding areas. So, in a literal sense, yes?
      4.I’m still not sure how this is relevant to AP?
      5.They are strong scientific theories that I believe in. Okay, I’m over it, are you?
      6. This is a really interesting question. I’d like to ask you that. You seem to have very anti-christian rants on here. I will use the same argument. If God/batman doesn’t exist, why take the time to bash the idea? Stick with science.
      7. Hm, this is a very interesting theory, but I disagree. The bible is a collective work spreading out centuries that served various purposes.
      8.Yes, abortion is legal (if you go by the definition of the term I technically had one), and I am not disputing it. What does this have to do with how I am parenting my children (or better yet, how I was parented?)

      Wow strong words. A mommy blog…is that what this is? Fear not, I have a solution for you, stay in school, focus on science, and don’t click on a link or type in the domain of my blog. You will never have to read my illiterate words again.

      I went to two universities- one secular and Christian. I never had a class that taught creationism. I think it is easily avoidable…

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      • Bohemian Momma 26 April, 2013, 12:07

        LOVE your response Jamie! *Stands up and cheers!

        Reply this comment
      • Bethany 26 April, 2013, 12:43

        It’s glaringly obvious this turd is just trying to get under your skin, and based on what you wrote on facebook, he is doing it to any other number of people trying to challenge their “niceness” and make them freak out and look like fools. Good for you for handling it so well! it’s so hard not to get that angry eye twitch when people approach you this way, but you did it with class and grace and I salute you! Your response was well worded, thought out and generally cool as a cucumber. Go you! I look forward to reading more from YOU and less from turds like that.

        <3 Bethany @ Thesepiapuppy.blogspot

        (and btw, since when is there no place for Mommy blogs in this world?? have you seen how many there are?! lol)

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    • Laura Jennings 26 April, 2013, 11:44

      Tom, you lost me at “honey.” Not even capitalized, sheesh.

      Jamie you are much more patient than I will ever be.

      Reply this comment
    • Katy Bush 26 April, 2013, 12:39

      Obviously you have no children, idiot. I am a single mom & have not read any books on how to parent a child. All the advice I’ve been given all seems to contradict one another so I decided I’d do parenting according to my instinct & what I thought & personally believed was the best way to raise my son. I just recently discovered that the way I went with my instinct on parenting actually pretty closely aligns with attachment parenting. Whether Dr. Sears is just in it for the money or not, he obviously is on to something that is a more natural style of parenting & from what I’ve read about his family they seem to be very happy. I think it’s idiots like Tom that stoke the fires of the mommy wars & make parents feel uncomfortable doing what they should feel completely comfortable doing & that is being a parent the best way they know how.

      Reply this comment
  51. Michelle 26 April, 2013, 15:28

    Just found your blog on Facebook. I remember the picture, and all the hype, and was interested to read the real story. I am a partial AP parent. I am not totally sure how I feel about breastfeeding older toddlers, but I know it is not for me. (My oldest weaned herself at 14 months and my 4 month old is hurting me so I don’t know how long I will last.) I do admire your confidence in putting yourself out there. I also appreciate the message that parenting styles can be unique and different, without being wrong. Thank you!

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  52. Adriana 6 December, 2013, 17:07

    Amazing! Thanks so much for sharing this Jaime! Very inspiring.

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  53. Chelsea Anna 6 December, 2013, 19:41

    Jamie-

    I wasn’t yet pregnant when this whole event occurred, but I remember it well, as the topic came up among my friends who all have children. While their gut reaction was to show disgust, it truly made me think about extended breastfeeding for the first time in my life. I watched TV interviews you were in, and I knew, that you hadn’t done it out of any attempt to be a “celebrity”, and I loved the way you respected other parenting choices, even if they were different from your own.

    I also disagree with how TIME decided to portray AP, but I am so thankful that you and your family took that risk – it was what introduced me to re-thinking what “normal” parenting is, and to be brave enough to educate myself, and discover what I felt was right for me and my family.

    When I became pregnant shortly thereafter, I already had an idea formed in my mind of how I wanted to begin, and continue, my relationship with my baby.

    Funnily enough, I never searched you out online. I came across IANtB on the Facebook/blogosphere, and later found out that it was your blog! I love the community here, and am once again, grateful to all of those women, including yourself, that have spoken up about what they believe in – you never know who is listening.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 6 December, 2013, 20:04

      Thank you! Your comment made my day. How you said it ultimately affected you was our entire reason for doing it (and being excited to participate)…:-) Honestly, even this comment proves it was worth it. Thank you, thank you.

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  54. Deena 22 December, 2013, 16:46

    What a shame that time had it portrayed this way. I’m a first time mom to a beautiful healthy 5 month old daughter, and she loves breastfeeding. If that means she will want to keep doing it into her toddler years, then so be it, I don’t get why people are so against that. Thanks for sharing your story.

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