Archive for May 2012

I wanna be THIS girl!   Leave a comment

First of, let me say I still have a hard time saying I’m a woman. I am. Don’t get me wrong… I am woman hear me roar and all that. But to say “I wanna be this woman” still feels weird. Like I’m trying on a grown up word that I am too young for. Seriously, I’m 33 am married with a baby… I’m a grown up, but it still feels like the wrong word. Am I alone in this?

Never mind, it doesn’t matter….

So if sometimes I have mom envy and want to be that cool mom who does awesome things…. I also want to be the mom who is pulled together herself.  You know that mom who has her hair nice, a coordinating outfit and looks like she has seen the inside of a salon within the last 6 months. I don’t need to be super perfect, I’m not that girl and I don’t really care to be. I’d just like to make sure I remember to do some things for me.

It’s not about appearance or how I look so much as to make sure I remember me in the daily cycle of dishes, outings, cleaning, work, etc

So my second resolution is to do something out of the usual just for me.

Last week I gave myself a manicure and a pedicure. I love to go get pedicures and I get one about every month or every other… it’s my splurge. But I rarely do a manicure. Mainly because they don’t last on me but mostly because I’m completely insane when it comes to manicures. I always pick a color that I think I like… that I love, then I put it on my nails. I continue to love it for that day and then the next day I hate it. I feel like my hands don’t look like my own… it’s too dark, too bright, too something.

This past week was no exception. I chose a nearly black purple…. we had been watching Glee and I liked how the character Rachel’s nails looked.

Eh.

I liked it on me more than some other choices but not so much. It lasted 4/5 days before I took it off. But I did it. I took the time and did it. 🙂

So my two May resolutions are to take time to do something just for me every week and to do something fun, creative with LA every week... let’s see how this goes!

Advertisements

Posted May 29, 2012 by etainl in Culture, Life, Mommy-hood, Stay at Home Mom

I wanna be THIS mom!   7 comments

Every so often I’m searching the web, or lately Pinterest, and I see a blog belonging to a mom I totally envy. She is just SO cool! Her site makes it look like every day her children wake up to a perfect nutritious breakfast followed by a day of stimulating age appropriate activities. Of course they will then have a nutritional lunch and a perfectly timed, restful nap. Then some other educational outing only to come home to another delicious toddler friendly meal, bath and bed. Sigh…. this is no mompetition, this is mom envy.

I wanna be that mom. If I had a full time housekeeper, personal shopper and no part time job or outside interests I could probably pull it off! Alas, real life sets in. I do have to work, clean my house and I think it’s probably healthy that I do the occasional thing for myself, not to mention my husband. But I still wanna be that perfect mom.

And sometimes I feel like I’ve dropped the ball. I know in my head I’ll be pretty cool with the crafts, story telling and awesome art ideas when she gets a little older. She’s probably just still a little young to learn hieroglyphics or make paper. But then I’ll see these awesome posts about things to do with your 8 month old, 1 year old or 18 month and I think “Why didn’t I think of that?”

Don’t get me wrong, we do cool stuff. I’m really good at finding really fun outings and fun places to go. I let her run all over and explore. I don’t mind her getting dirty… I’m cool like that. But I feel like I could be doing more sensory and creative play at home. I just sometimes get so wrapped up in my “to do” list that when we are home I don’t think outside of the box of what she could be doing besides the usual.

The other week I was really desperate… I needed 20 minutes to finish something for work. LA was getting bored and I just wanted to be done so I could play with her and start dinner. So I grabbed a muffin pan, put a towel down and filled cups with some water and her Elmo foam soap. Then I gave her a spoon and straw and her her go at it.

She had a blast!

… and bonus was I got done AND got dinner started before she was bored with the activity. I even had time to sit down and play too!

SO with that in mind I’m making two resolutions (I know it’s late for them but I can do what I want!), the other resolution will be in another blog.

This resolution is that every week I will do at least ONE cool toddler activity like the ones on Pinterest or my favorite Mom Envy blogs.

Here is the link to my Pinterest board where I’ve been posting ideas in case you want some for yourself. Also, here are some blogs I love Lasso the Moon, Play Create and Explore, and Play At Home Mom.

I’ll then blog about how it went and if it worked.

With this in mind I already let her help “wash the dishes”… We really need a learning tower but she basically played with bubbles and water while I did the real dishes. I gave her a cookie sheet to scrub but she wasn’t interested… she did have a blast and I got the kitchen clean. I’m liking this idea already 🙂

PS that is the first outfit she’s every demanded to wear. Normally she only cares about her accessories…. but that day she wanted to wear her swimsuit/gym outfit 🙂

….pss if a week goes by without a post I need you all to nag me. Seriously… I need naggers 🙂

Ok one more…   Leave a comment

… seriously, we’re behind Pakistan!!!

Posted May 26, 2012 by etainl in Culture, Education, Stay at Home Mom

Writing Update- Week five   4 comments

Yet another month of writing class. I am an absolute failure with my resolution thus far, but I am trying. I am getting more into the groove of writing. Thinking of the story more and working out plot points in my head. I just need to get better about actually sitting down and putting it to paper. I am in the process of doing things around the house so hopefully when I’m done I can devote more time to the novel because I still would like to be finished by the end of next year.

For this class I submitted the next five pages of the novel. It included the main character starting to tell her story from when she was a child and it takes place in Atlantis. The story opens with her describing Atlantis as her father and her travel to the outer port city.  In stories they usually tell you not to start with a description so although this is 7 pages into the novel it is the opening of her telling her tale. And I was torn because you need to understand some of the geography and situations of Atlantis to understand the story, even from the beginning. So I submitted it as is and was curious to see what my teacher thought.

It went over really well. The other gentleman in the class (we’ve shrunk from 10 people to 2 lol) was so intrigued by the description that he drew a rough map. I had edited down the description so it was simpler but he said he thought I should leave it longer because it was “intriguing.” There was a lot less negative comments (because I got to spend a lot more time editing lol). And he said that again he wanted to read more and to find out where it was heading.

The map 🙂

My teacher kept using the word “fascinating.” “This is fascinating stuff, just fascinating.” He said that he did think I should open with a bit of action and we talked about what I thought would work, which he agreed with, and then move into the description which he also said he thought that while usually less is more for descriptions in this case, since Atlantis is so rare and unique, that more would be great for the reader.  So he said “I think you really have something here.”

We then talked more about my story and the other students.

The head of the program was there again and we found out that she would be teaching our last class. Instead of submitting the next five pages we are to write our one page query letter (for agents or publishers) and a one page synopsis that would go with it. We then spent the rest of the class discussing publishing, getting an agent, getting published etc.

And then she said something amazing!

She said that workshops and classes like this were good because the teachers often worked in publishing and knew people. For example she said she had not yet read my story but from hearing it described it was intriguing/fascinating (lol) and that it sounded well written from the comments. There were three things needed for publication 1. Timliness (and she said the story was timely as nothing had been put about Atlantis in a while and the subject was close enough to the hot topic of vampires but different enough to not be a copycat) 2. Talent and 3 I can’t remember lol. Anyway she said that from hearing what she had she could think of at least two agents who would LOVE to read my novel. And she gave me their names! Of course she said nothing could be sent to them until I was 100% totally done and edited but still! I’m still giddy over this news!

Two agents who would love my book! yay!

She then chastised me that I hadn’t told her my topic. I just said that she hadn’t asked 🙂

So now I have to get to work on the query letter and synopsis. I have a small problem concerning plot. There is a bit over arching plot with smaller incidents along the way. In my head I can see this as a 2 or 3 book series. However she said agents hate to see books presented as a series. So I have to make sure the first one stands alone, but can hint at more to come. I think what I have in mind will work, but I’m not certain.

I really want to send those that asked/offered to read pages to see what you all think. I’ve just been so slow with editing. But I haven’t forgotten. Feedback helps me so much!

But again, still floating on the high of her comments!

Posted May 22, 2012 by etainl in Writing

This is what moms should be fighting about   2 comments

Still up on my soapbox, last one for a while, promise. I’ve already written about Mompetition and how Time Life thinks we are in Mommy Wars (or they are trying to start one) let me tell you now what I think we SHOULD be fighting FOR.

So not to be all preachy but there are some things I feel that should cause us to start Mommy Wars, Moms vs the system. There are things that should change to make things better for ourselves and our children, especially our daughters who will be dealing with this same nonsense in 20+ years (40+ years if LA’s Daddy has anything to say about it lol)

Since I’m still up on my soap box let me tell you some things I think we should fight to change.

First of all Americans seem to think that because we are one of the biggest and the richest countries that automatically makes us the best in everything. This fascinating study appeared in the LA Times last week concerning the ranking of the United States in regards to women and children’s issues this week. This study places us at 25th place for best places for a woman to live and 31st for the best places to be a child. That is unbelievable to me! I am amazed by the fact that it has not been picked up by the media. I would think that argueably one of the greatest/richest countries in the world being ranked so low for such important issues would be news. But then again I always am amazed at the power of denial in America. Since this study wasn’t done by us the ethnocentric thinking would be that it doesn’t “count.”

This is not the first study of its kind that has come out. I remember when I was pregnant the World Health Organization came out with a similar study that placed us even lower. We actually rose 6 places this year… impressive.

What amazes me is that many of the items we were marked down on could be easily fixed if we simply recognized that there were problems.

The US was ranked poorly because of these things- Mothers Mortality Rate (1 in 2,100 risk pregnancy related death, the worst of any industrialized nation), High Infant Mortality Rate (ranked 41st), poor education concerning prenatal care, labor and breastfeeding, relatively low political status and benefits for maternity leave for women the fact that the US is one of the few countries that doesn’t guarantee paid maternity leave.

Now the benefits for women with regards to maternity leave is huge. I totally believe that women should be given at least minimal paid maternity leave. I still remember a former boss of mine saying in regards to a discussion on if a coworker should receive a bonus the rest of the teachers had because she was on maternity leave “Well, she shouldn’t get the bonus… she already has her reward.”  Of course she has her reward, what is better than a baby… but really? Not receive the bonus? Because babies come with a financial gift as well and have no costs attached? But that seems to be the attitude from the system. Just get back to work faster. No one is giving any credit to the fact that these babies are our future work force if nothing else and there are countless benefits for a woman to be able to stay home and develop a healthyrelationship not to mention attachment to their child. It benefits us all to have our country peopled by healthy well adjusted adults.

Concerning the mother mortality rate I am often appalled by the attitude of women going in to have their children. I am shocked that it is so very high in this country. I had no idea. But I do feel if we better educated ourselves we would all fare better. So many women are completely uneducated about the process of birth or what happens during a medical or non medical birth. Even before I became pregnant I educated myself  concerning what would happen to my body and what I could expect.  Recently I saw a woman I know on Facebook ask “Should I even bother going to the birth class or is it a waste of time?” Another woman posted, “Why bother? Just get the drugs and do what the doctor says… after all, they are the ones who went to school for this.”

There are so many things about that statement that made me angry. First of all, this is a miraculous thing that you are doing… you really have no interest in even knowing what is going on? And two, yes Doctors went to medical school but that doesn’t make them gods.

I know women who have spent more time researching what type of shoes to buy and where to get a good deal on them versus what is best for them and their child regarding birth!

And that’s the thing, when we decided to have LA in a birth center my husband and I both received all sorts of push back. I was being irresponsible to not have my baby in a hospital where “babies were meant to be born.” I even had one person tell me that I was recklessly endangering myself and my child so I could prove I was superwoman. Which is ridiculous. My birth center was less than five minutes from a hospital and I was just as safe there. Actually according to recent studies on infection and other issues I was safer at the birth center than the hospital. Most women are. There are countless studies that home birth or birth center births are safer for women than hospitals. They are certainly cheaper. My birth cost around 6000 vs the minimal 15-20k required at a hospital birth (and that’s if I didn’t have medication or other procedures).

There is a reason for insurance companies and hospitals to push the myth that having your baby there is the best, “Safest” decision…. it’s big business. There are also countless studies showing how much money birth rakes in yearly. It’s astounding, but not so much when you do the math. Half of the population is likely to give birth at least once… they get a ton of money each time we check in and it’s relatively quick and easy for them.

Now, does this mean I am saying that all doctors are evil and hospital births are wrong? Of course not. Doctors and hospitals are lifesavers for women who have complications or children who need more. Births that have problems. But that is the rarity not the norm.

If a woman feels more comfortable birthing in a hospital that is her choice too but my point is it should be a choice made by women who are educated. Not just because “that is how things are done.” I know some of my friends who were just more comfortable there or who wanted drugs, which are unavailable at a birth center. Which is great. That is what is best for them as long as they made it for a reason and not because they didn’t know about other options.

Here we are right after LA was born in our birth center

I also know a girl who was pushed into a birth center birth by her parents because it was cheaper. That isn’t right in my opinion either. A woman should be able to choose how she gives birth as long as she is being safe considering the needs of her pregnancy.

Ok, so say that most women still want to be in a hospital because they feel safer there or because they want that epidural. Fine too. But still be educated about it.

For example most women don’t know that getting that epidural in most cases will slow labor down. Many women don’t know (until after) that it will not block all pain. They do not know that the more they up the epidural the more pitocin will be used to speed things up. The more pitocin is used the more pain they will feel because the contractions are becoming more intense artificially. This will often put a strain on the baby and can lead to a Cesarean. The Cesarean is labeled necessary and maybe it is now but only because of the steps that led to it.

By the way here is a fascinating article on pitocin…. it has the actual instructions and warning label from the manufacterer. Did you know that it says it is not to be used for induction unless the induction is medically necessary? Did you know that it increases the risk of post partum hemoragging or a pelvic hematoma? … the makers of pitocin don’t even recommend it be used unless necessary. So why is it used in nearly every single hospital birth? It’s become standard to hurry births along.

Pitocin can be used to save lives and is so important. But that doesn’t mean it’s necessary for every birth!

There are countless US studies that induction and pitocin will lead to Ceasarians. And no matter how normal Ceasarians have become in this country they are a major surgery that can cost the lives of women…. hence our mortality rate (or part of it).

The World Health Organization estimates that necessary C sections should be around 10-15 percent maximum. In the US it hovers between 30 and 50 percent depending on region. There are several US studies concerning how most C sections are done in the hour before a shift change. Do women really think it’s coincidental that the C section becomes medically necessary right before it’s time for Drs to go home…. or is it just for convenience?

If you didn’t have information about pitocin, epidurals, C sections etc a Dr coming in and telling you that a C section was necessary would just scare you. You want to protect your baby, naturally, so you agree. But you don’t ask questions that could show that you don’t need that C section.

Again, I’m not saying Dr’s are evil…. even the Dr’s who do this. They have been taught that this is the way to go. Our country has seen so many lawsuits and so many things about convenience that this is the easiest way. But it does not mean it is the best way.

1000 years ago the most modern medical advice was that bleeding was good for everything. I feel like in the next decade the way births are rushed and treated to a one size fits all standard will be looked down on.

Also, I trust my Doctor. I love my doctor. But I intereviewed doctors before getting this one. A lot of women just go in and take the first doctor given to them. Doctors differ. Some have different techniques and different methods. Some are better than others. Some have different views.

Another thing I heard when having natural birth with LA was that doctors were more educated than I was so why did I think I was smarter than they were. I don’t. I am not more educated or more qualified than doctors. But I recognize that since all doctors differ I want to find one that agrees with how I feel. One who has read the same studies I have and who supports what I feel is best for me. If I was buying a car I wouldn’t say “Well all cars go so I will just get the first car I see and it will be right for me.” I would research and make a choice.

Induction is another issue that leads to C section. There are reasons that induction is necessary but it has become something done all too frequently. There are study after study that shows that even one week in the womb can finish off a child’s lungs or can cause them to have asthma or other issues because they weren’t ready. But in this country induction happens all the time. A due date is a best guess. Unless you only had sex once you do not know when your child was conceieved. Even if you only had sex once there is a 3 day window of when conception happened… so you can’t be sure. But in the US it’s become norm to induce the day of due date or the day after.

Obviously there are times this is necessary… but it’s become a real elective thing.

I know of women who were offered induction a week before their due date or on their due date… “just so you can see that baby sooner”… no medical reasoning behind that. Inductions usually lead to C sections…. most women don’t seem to know that.

I feel like I’m a bit all over the place but so many interesting articles and studies came out in the last few weeks. And it amazes me that they aren’t talked about at all, especially in comparison to that stupid Time Life cover, which just makes people argue. We should be full of righteous indignation rather than arguing over “How old is too old too breastfeed?”

Again, I’m not saying that I’m against inductions, doctors, C sections, making the choice for an epidural, hospitals or anything…. but I truly believe women need to be empowered and choose the birth that is best for them. Not some cookie cutter idea of what is most convenient for the doctor… or doing it just because this is the way it’s done. Every woman is unique and her birth should be too.

If more women were educated and doctors recognized that births don’t usually have to be sped up or kept to a timetable then we wouldn’t be ranked 24. While I was working on this blog I came across this new article from Consumer Report about 10 procedures that women should reject regarding labor and delivery. It’s awesome.  I could probably have skipped writing this post altogether and just cut and pasted this article here because it says what I’m trying to say… and better. But here is the first paragraph…

“Despite a health-care system that outspends those in the rest of the world, infants and mothers fare worse in the U.S. than in many other industrialized nations. The infant mortality rate in Canada is 25 percent lower than it is in the U.S.; the Japanese rate, more than 60 percent lower. According to the World Health Organization, America ranks behind 41 other countries in preventing mothers from dying during childbirth.” 

I mean, just the fact that we are so poorly ranked should take some of the god like status away from doctors and hospitals.

It just amazes me that there are all these studies that, to me, seem like a big deal. But they don’t get the coverage of other stories. They are not by fringe media or dubious sources they are legit, though non American, organizations. Why don’t they get coverage? Well, I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist but I believe they don’t get coverage because the insurance and pharmaceutical companies are big business and they put pressure to keep them away.

I recently read a study by the World Health Organization that showed a direct link to the number of vaccines given before age 2 and SIDS. The more vaccines given before age 2 the higher the risk of SIDS. This accounts also for the infant mortality rate in the US. We have a huge number (percentage not actual number) of SIDS versus other industrialized countries. We also give more vaccines before the age of 2 than any other country.

Again, I’m not saying vaccines are bad. But when we were kids we were given about 9 shots for 3 diseases before the age of 6. In 2012 if a parent followed the CDC guideline their child would receive 49 doses of 6 different vaccines before the age of 6. Out of all European countries we give the most vaccines before the age of 2 and more doses than anyone else. All other European countries have the same levels of outbreaks and deaths that we do. So why do we give more when it seems there is no benefit? Especially when new studies are showing it may increase our SIDS rate?

If a parent agrees with the CDC that the benefits outweighs the risks than go forward. Even my Dr, a mainstream pediatrician, doesn’t agree with the CDC schedule and he’s not the only one. There are countless alternative schedules because people are different. We feel most comfortable with the schedule on http://www.twoandtalking.com and we aren’t even doing all of the shots on that recommended schedule.

Also, please realize I’m not criticizing any other mother’s choice. I understand why moms are more comfortable with all the vaccines. But I’m not and that should be respected too. LA will get some vaccines, but not the whole CDC list and not until she’s over two. I actually have wanted to post a bit about vaccines before but I’m afraid. It is not something I even talk about regularly with my friends. Because I feel that I will be judged. I had one person tell me it was child abuse. The other side of things is that I don’t want my friends to feel I’m judging them if they get all vaccines. I understand why you’d choose to do that as well. But I shouldn’t be afraid of judgment if I feel good about my decision. And hopefully those that know me understand that I believe that we all make our own best decisions and I don’t judge others.

While women ranked 24 in the above study children ranked 31. The US is ranked 31 best/worst place for a child to grow up. That was based on access to pre school, nutrition and mortality rate. As I mentioned we have one of the highest mortality rates for children of any industrialized nation.

So let me get off my soap box for a minute… but the point of this blog is that studies like that scare me. Especially when so many people put blind faith in our system. That is my point… there is a purpose to hospitals and doctors and vaccines… but not a one size fits all purpose. And when we try to impose a one size fits all mentality to something as unique and individualized as health care we get results like the ones in the study.

This is what we mommy’s should be going to war about. This is what we should be fighting for….

Oh and after I wrote this whole thing one of my friends posted the awesome blog below about what she feels Mommy Wars should be fought about… and she’s totally right too! We have so many more things to fight for than who does it better!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kristen-howerton/mommy-wars_b_1510807.html?ref=fb&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009&src=sp&comm_ref=global_motherhood&comm_crv

I feel like I just gave you all a whole bunch of information to study and read 🙂 …. go forth and do your reading! There will be a quiz on Friday! (The teacher in me pokes her head out and grins!)

Posted May 19, 2012 by etainl in Culture, Education, Hippie Mommy, Mommy-hood

Thank you Time Life   8 comments

…. that is said both with gratitude and some sarcasm.

The cover has stirred up all sorts of issues. I feel like Time was trying to encourage this “Mommy war” that the media is always talking about.  A lot of moms buy into the Mommy Wars which is evidenced by the comments regarding the cover, not even the whole article. Comments about how extended breastfeeding is sick and child abuse. Others say the picture is pornographic and that the woman is damaging her son, who incidentally is only three. I feel Time chose a very mature looking three year old to make it looks even more extreme.

I would guarantee that the women making those negative comments have not done ANY research concerning the long term benefits of extended breastfeeding. There certainly is a lot of it.  LA still nurses at 20 months. For us this works. In my mind I have that we will start weaning around two years old… we are just about to start night weaning. For many of my friends this is way too late for their comfort level. For others I know this is too soon. But this is what works for us and it is, frankly, no one else’s business.

Many of my friends have told horror stories about friends and family bullying them to stop nursing, as early as 6 months. They push formula or mock them, they tell them they will spoil their child etc. I suppose I am lucky to have friends and family who have not done this to me. Although I have a friend who says I’m just so outspoken that if someone tried that I’d just dump a load of information on them to shut them up… this too is possible.

I do have one friend who messages me about every other month to ask if I’m still breastfeeding. There is no chatty email that this comes up in conversation. I’ll simply get an email that says “Are you still breastfeeding?” I’ll write back, “How are you? blah blah blah… yes we are. Things are going well.” I will get a reply that ignores all my pleasantries and says, “When are you planning on stopping?” It just makes me laugh although I’m aware she is expressing some sort of morbid curiosity or disapproval.

I suppose if I think about if I’ve received some disapproval of the fact that LA slept in our room until she was 1. I know a couple people who made negative comments that we didn’t sleep train or that I still fed her at night for comfort. But most of my friends respect my decisions, or at least keep harsh opinions to themselves. I don’t mind opinions or questions… just the ones aimed at making me feel bad.  And some of the negative comments I’ve received have been both sides… for example some of my parents who co sleep made negative comments that we did not and those that did cribs from day one were not approving of how we kept her in our room. I definitely received some comments from people regarding our decision for LA to be born in a birth center. Two that stand out are “Babies were meant to be born in a hospital” (which made me laugh because they only have been born in hospitals for the last 90 years, before that hospitals were pretty much where you went to die) and “Are you trying to prove something?”
You can’t please everyone… and that’s fine.

Even before this cover came out I was going to write a post about all these different labels we have for mamas- Tiger Mothers, French Mothers, Attachment Parenting, Disciplinarian, Baby Whispering… I’m sure there are others. Why do we have to label each other? I doubt anyone is 100% any one type.

I would say I ascribe to many Attachment parenting philosophies but after reading an article on French mothering I do many things, especially in regard to discipline, that they do… but again not all. When we label we have to pick. And when we pick one it seems none of us are mature enough to stop putting the others down. And there are things I do that aren’t any particular “thing” that I’m aware of.

Parenting is unique. No two sets of parents will ever do the exact same thing, even if they ascribe to the same parenting style. There are many types of parenting styles. All of this will combine into various type of people… which is the point. None of us are the same. We are all different but different doesn’t mean that one way is necessarily better. It may be better for one mom, but totally wrong for another.  Unless abuse or neglect is going on and the parent has made the decision out of love and the best interest of their child (rather than intimidation, ignorance or coercion) there is no wrong decision!

For example, I know one mom who told me that she “couldn’t handle” her child getting up once or twice a night to feed still at a year like LA did. But her child got up at 6 am every morning, something I personally couldn’t handle. I far preferred getting up once or twice for 10 minutes a piece with the exchange of sleeping until 8 or 9 every morning. It’s all about what works for each individual family.

It’s not to say we don’t judge ever. We make our parenting decisions because we feel they are the right ones, so we have our reasons why we think the alternatives are not as good. And it’s natural to be defensive of what we are doing… because we are all doing our best. But we can keep in mind that other parents are doing their best too. And we can make choices about how we treat others. Even when I strongly disagree with what someone else does I remind myself “I will do my best not to make another parent feel bad about their parenting decisions.”

Because there are other factors in every family and what works for one does not work for another.

The only complaint I have about many parents I meet is educating themselves. I do tend to be hard on parents (and I should not be but I’m working on that) who do not educate themselves before making parenting decisions. I suppose also I’m hard on parents who know the benefits but don’t care because of convenience or other small things… but I suppose that goes back to what I said that no decision made from love can be wrong.

And as I said before I thank Time for making this a topic of conversation. Because when a topic becomes conversation usually some level of education is achieved. Based on what I’ve read of the article, the title and the picture I feel they were trying to sensationalize Attatchment parenting… the stranger it looks the better for their sales. I can only hope some mothers will read the article and takes what works for them and leaves the rest.

I’m annoyed with Time because I feel the whole idea of encouraging Mommy wars, especially the idea of “Are you mom enough?” is trying to pit us against each other. I’m about to post a blog post concerning recent ratings of the US in regards to womens health issues. If they keep us fighting each other we will never turn around and fight to improve things for ourselves and our children…. which is what we should be doing!

A friend of mine recently posted the following quote on her page. I don’t know where it comes from but I think it is perfect…

“Motherhood is — should be — a village, where we explore each other’s choices, learn from them, respect them, and then go off and make our own.” 

I wish we could all remember this….

 

 

 

 

 

Total side note… when I went on Pinterest to find the “Are you mom enough” response I had to search for it. A ton of pins of the original cover came up… most of the comments were “Wtf” “What is wrong with this woman?” and “Someone should go get that child a glass of real milk.” The last is my favorite because she clearly doesn’t know that mothers milk is far more nutritious than cows milk.

Personally I’m aiming to have LA weaned around 2 because that is where I am comfortable. To be totally honest the idea of nursing a child who could be in pre school or kindergarten makes me very uncomfortable. But that is my issue and my feelings and I wouldn’t impose them on anyone… and I wouldn’t make horrible comments on pictures judging that mom. I don’t do formula, and while I realize it has a purpose and is a blessing for women who need it I do not like that some women just choose it, not out of necessity, but because they want to keep perky breasts or can’t be bothered etc… however I don’t make nasty comments on pictures of children eating it from bottles. Even though I don’t feel it’s the best choice I leave that mother to parent her own child and am infinitely glad that the child is being fed and loved… even if it’s not how I would do it.

And that’s my point… it may not be how we would do it but it’s love and care and that is what counts!

PS Moments after posting this I saw this great article about how breastfeeding to 3 and above is anthropologically beneficial… and how in most of the world, the US excluded, it is the norm.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-05-11/breastfeeding-rates/54909940/1

Mompetition   8 comments

aka The Mom Wars.

I’m so sick of it. So excuse me if for the next few posts I climb up on my soap box.

So I recently read a little article that I rather enjoyed concerning what a Stay at Home Mom does all day.

To me, it seemed the writer was answering the question for people who do not have children. Specifically those who seem to think that as a Stay at Home Mom you have endless amounts of time to organize your cabinents and create gourmet dinners a la Martha Stewart, run super successful businesses, or generally just morph into Donna Reed. I had some ideas that something like this could happen before staying home with LA… but being home with a toddler (and I only have one so I’m imagining the struggles with multiples) is hard! You have no control over your day or your schedule… one hour of less sleep or a rogue tooth or stomach bug and the most well thought out plans are POOF! out the window! It doesn’t really matter how organized you are… you are at the whim of someone who thinks Elmo is the coolest guy on the planet.

So I enjoyed this article because I could relate. She didn’t seem to me super complainy and I didn’t see any references to being a Stay at Home Mom (SAHM) or a Work at Home mom or a full time working mom. If anything it felt pointed at people who don’t have kids and are not familiar with the fact that responding to a text can take literally days.

Side note- this is not bc the actual text sending takes so long, btw, it’s because when the text comes in you almost are never able to answer right away. So by the time you have at least one hand and a few brain cells free to send the text you are usually involved in taking that 30 seconds and trying to do something productive like start dinner, sweep floor, close a ticket in my case, etc…. and when you never have a seconds that aren’t need for something else. So it’s just a matter of a. remembering to text back b. having time to text back when something vital isn’t happening and c. having phone handy so you can use that time to text before your child needs you again….

But when I read some comments there were all these nasty ones form full time working moms like “I do EVERYTHING you do and I do it plus a 40 hour a week job. I have no sympathy.” etc…. well, that one about sums it up.

Well first of all I beg to differ…. I have the utmost respect for Working Moms… because you come home from a full time day and your child is waiting and you have to jump into mom mode. Dinner, cleaning, tantrums, etc… BUT I will say that when you come home your home is as you left it. I can’t get mine to stay clean for 30 minutes least of all a whole day… and I NEVER get to come home to it clean.

And in many ways I think Working Moms have it rougher because they are trying to cram a days worth of quality time in with their kids in the brief amount of waking time they have with them…..
But I will say, that in my humble opinion, they don’t get (except on weekends and breaks) the constant, unending neediness of having kids at home with you all day…. especially if you are also trying to work from home. I just work Part time and it’s craziness, I can’t even imagine doing it full time with children home. I have worked full time and even on my craziest days there were usually at least a few minutes of breaks, or opportunities to step away… there are a lot less of them being home.

And at the same time I remember coming home from work and being emotionally and physically drained yet having so much to do around the house. I cannot imagine doing that again and coming home to my toddler who needs so much from me. So hard. Both ways are hard.

But why can’t you have sympathy? Why can’t all moms have sympathy for each other… We’re all working hard.

But my actual point is I can see both sides… and I truly don’t believe one has it better or worse than the other. There are trade offs … and what is easier for one might be harder for another. And on the flip no one can say “well I deal with that exact thing plus…” because we don’t. Because we are all different… and our children are different. And our jobs are different…. different being the key word.

What drives me nuts is the competition of “Oh my life is harder than your life” thing that moms do… AKA Mompetition. It’s ridiculous… and there is no reason that we can’t support each other. Lift each other up rather than trying to make someone else’s effort look weak in comparison.

And apparently guys are getting into this too… there were some nasty comments about Stay at Home Dads do the same thing with less respect. Less respect from whom? I give Stay at Home dads LOADS of respect.

It seems everyone just wants a medal and it’s sad.

Having a child is a lot of work. Having multiples is more… working while caring for them tough. Having to be away from them while you work really tough. Doing it without a partner tough…. There is always someone out there with things harder than you…. which means you are probably working harder than someone else. But we all have our battles in life… and we all have our trials and joys. Rather than compete for who has the best kid (which is a whole OTHER side to mompetition) or the roughest day can’t we all just get along?

I realize there is also a lot of defensiveness in the whole thing. Stay at home moms feeling they have to defend that they truly do work hard. And working moms feeling as if they have to defend that they need to work and also take care of their children… and it’s ALL true.

Anyway… that’s my two cents. I really think that we should lift each other up and unite rather than a competition to prove who has the least amount of sleep or what not….because I totally win this week 😉

;

and you can see how my toddler has taken over my house in the background… but who cares, look how happy she is!

Posted May 12, 2012 by etainl in Culture, Life, Mommy-hood, Stay at Home Mom