Monthly Archives: October 2015

Me, you, and the boob.

So it’s time to hate on breastfeeding. I’m not going to include links because they annoy me but articles came out that have basically said this: Breastfeeding not all it cracked up to be, we put too much emphasis on it, no real benefits, and, according to the new formula commercial that everyone loves, breastfeeding moms are bitches who judge formula feeding moms.

I asked a friend (who formula fed) about the last part because I really don’t see that. I got quite the flip out in return. So because of that, you all get to read my thoughts if you care. If you don’t then move along, no worries. Having a blog allows me to have a little soapbox, right?

  1. Breast milk is the best food for babies. Every single reputable study has said and confirmed this. Breast is best is the tagline because it is true. That being said, it’s not the only option and it does not mean formula is bad. Best doesn’t mean the only thing that is good. Best means favored option. Now science recommends that a lot of things are best. It is best for my child to sleep only in his crib- He does not. It is best for him to sleep on his back until who knows how old- He did not. It is best for us to vaccinate on schedule- We do not. Best does not mean only way. Best does not mean best for everyone.
  2. I actually give zero fucks what other people feed their kids. If I cared, I can tell you what it would not be about formula. It would be about soda and candy and other sorts of things that I am not going to list because again, I actually don’t care.
  3. If I would not have had support breastfeeding I would not have been able to breastfeed. There were a lot of rough patches in our early breastfeeding days and I was lucky to have my midwife’s support. If we had been other places in the county, if Gus had been born in a hospital, I don’t know if it would have happened for us. If a woman wants to breastfeed I want to do everything I can to help her reach the goals she has for herself. If in the end she stops, that’s fine, but I want her to have support as long as she needs it.
  4. I think physiologically a high percent of women can breastfeed. I don’t know the numbers – I have a guess but won’t put that here. That does not mean all these women WANT to breastfeed from the start nor does it mean that all these women have the support they need or want to continue once start. All of that is fine. But again it to me is about making sure women have the support they need.

In my conversation with my friend she told me she didn’t know if I would support a friend who told me she didn’t plan to breastfeed. There is nothing I hate more than people telling me how I will react to something, especially when it is shitty. “Oh hey, I like you and we’re friends but I think you are kind of an awful person.” So for you, dear friends, I will make sure this is clear: I DO NOT CARE HOW YOU FEED YOU BABIES. But if you want to nurse them, I will do everything I can to help you be successful. If you don’t want to, cool and I’ll help in any way you need me.

In the midst of these attacks I’ve been a bit shocked because I honestly thought that most breastfeeding moms felt that way. I guess not.

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NOOOOOOO!

for the first time since December 21st, 2013 I have just started my period.

I’m not ready! This is unfair!

To a point.

Lesley and I were having a conversation about co-sleeping the other day and I told her about this mad impressive bed I had seen on facebook.

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When I found it the next day I posted it on her facebook wall. The reaction from a few people, Lesley included, is that co-sleeping is okay – to a point.

I see the reaction to breastfeeding. While I haven’t heard it yet I know it is coming. Gus is one now and I have no plans to wean him. I don’t know when I will. I don’t know that I will nurse him until he is four but honestly I don’t know that I won’t. The reactions I see to breastfeeding are similar to that of co-sleeping: It’s great – to a point.

A few weeks ago I was out for a walk with Gus and the dog. I had Gus in the Tula and a woman commented that he’s getting too big for mom to carry everywhere. Because carrying your baby is okay – to a point.

I’ve been thinking a lot about entitlement. About how someone thinks it is okay to shoot other people. And I think some of it is our culture that teaches us we are special. We get participation ribbons as an award for showing up. We hold ourselves as better than others – we propose building walls to keep out our neighbors and refuse to help people who are packing onto boats because the sea is safer than the land. We believe we are better, individually and collectively.

And when that is the case why is meeting my child’s emotional needs okay only to a point? Why is making him feel safe and secure bad? I believe the parenting decisions we make are right for us because I want him to feel safe and secure so we can deal with the hard stuff. So we can talk through his feelings good and bad. I want him to be able to make decisions about his world and be there to support him when he feels bad. I want him to know disappointment and sadness and to learn how to cope with those things. And sometimes coping will involve my bed, boobs, or arms.

I think people argue that this style of parenting makes kids less independent. Those people have never met Gus. In all fairness, he is away from us during the work week but he has one on one care at childcare. Gus is fiercely independent and thriving. My hope is to nurture his emotional needs so that continues.

I was talking to a friend about taking a vacation this summer with us, them, and a third family. The problem is my friend and I have some issues with family three that make me want to have a limited interaction with them. They’re not bad parents but they’re not great ones either. My biggest complaint is that they do nothing to meet their kids’ emotional needs. They don’t pick up their baby when she cries. They don’t let their 3 year old make any decisions for herself. They punish the 3 year old when she is upset. Those things don’t work for me. And that’s okay. I bet a lot of our decisions do not work for her. I bet she looks at some of the stuff that we do and thinks it’s all okay – to a point. Maybe the difference between parents is really just where that point is.

Birth, Babies, and Birthdays

We’ve almost made it. Friday my sweet boy, August John, turns 1. Here are my thoughts on some things from the last year.

On Birth:
Do what feels right for you, not anyone else.
Surround yourself with people that support your choices.
If you plan on breastfeeding, know information about lactation consultants in your area before giving birth.
Hire a photographer and make a list of pictures you want. (We had a friend take picture’s during Gus’ birth. While they are amazing there are some shots I would have loved to have that I don’t. I wish I would have made a list.)
When you are in labor, if there is time, have you and your partner both shower. (In said birth pictures we both kind of look like drowned rats.)
Soup stock. In labor my midwife had me drink soup stock and it kept my energy up. This is my big tip for pregnant ladies.
Anything you are afraid of is not going to be a big deal in the moment. My friend was afraid of pooping during birth – she did, did not care. I was afraid of tearing – I did, did not care. Didn’t even notice.

On Babies:
Do what feels right for you, not anyone else.
You will not enjoy every second. That’s just fine. No one does.
Surround yourself with like minded parents.
Never talk about baby sleep on the internet if you don’t want to hear what people have to say.
Never talk about baby sleep on the internet if you think you want to hear what people have to say.
Push your boundaries to go out of your comfort zone and meet new people.
A pediatrician is there for medical help, not parenting advice.
You will never take enough pictures.
You will likely not complete a baby book.
Get a calendar to jot down milestones. You’re not going to remember to put them in said baby book later.
Try hard not to compare your baby to other babies.
Ask for help when you need it.
Talk with your partner (if you have one) about parenting decisions big and small. Get on the same page now.
All your relationships will change. I look at people now as part of my son’s life, not mine. I care very little about casual friendships – I want folks who will be in his life long term. I am less willing to put up with bullshit.
Don’t make decisions in the moment. Especially if those decision are about sleep and the moment is 2 am.

On Birthdays:
For the love, don’t have a first birthday potlucks. We had three first birthday potlucks in one day a few Saturday’s okay. You are asking parents with one year olds to bring food. Also, potlucks make it hard for people to ghost which is my preferred way to leave any party.
Don’t go overboard. We know two babies who got sick and missed their own parties. 😦
Don’t put too much pressure on things – this is a day for you all.
It’s okay to be excited and sad.

Okay, so those are my thoughts! Gus turns one tomorrow – I’m a bit shocked. We’ve got some great pictures from his first birthday photo shoot I’ll try to put up on WP tonight.