16. Do you think the TIME article/cover helped or hurt (or both) the effort to educate about AP?
I think a national conversation about AP was a good thing. The coverage probably convinced the critics of their opinion and the AP community of their need to stick together. I think offering an alternative to the way of parenting that is so pervasive is important. I love our AP life – AND it can feel lonely at family gatherings or on the playground when talking about – or talking TO – our kids.
I had a chance the day after the cover came out to speak to Dr. Sears about my concerns. He said that long-term he had no doubt this would be beneficial to AP. I respect him so much, so I took his positive message to heart. It was hard seeing all the negative reactions from this, but I do see the pendulum swinging the other way. This of course is due to the community I have grown to love so much standing up and giving truths about our lives. I think the cover was negative and complete shock factor journalism which got the world talking. The AP community took that dialogue and is turning it into something beautiful. I didn’t do that, my family was definitely taking a stand for something we believed in, but it was the efforts of my fellow APers that created the education currently going on in the world.
I think it got the word out there, even though it might have been in a controversial way. It is now a household name and people are learning.
Both, of course. But we are not TIME. We do not need to let TIME speak for us. We can choose to take the opportunity that TIME gave us – by putting AP and breastfeeding into the national spotlight – and turning it into a positive. Who would you listen to, the author of an article meant to sensationalize a parenting practice? Or a friend who lives it? Be the friend who normalizes it in your community.
I would like to thank everyone – Jessica, Jamie, Melinda, and Dionna – for responding to our questions. The TIME article has raised both awareness and controversy, and it might be some time before the dust settles. We applaud your efforts to advocate for breastfeeding and attachment parenting, and are proud of you for taking the negative publicity and leveraging it into something positive.