Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Autumn Terror   5 comments

Fall is here!!!

As much as fall creeps into Florida. Unfortunately we are deprived of the nicer aspects of fall… but still Starbucks is selling Pumpkin spice so it must be fall. Plus the grocery stores are selling those yummy cinnamon brooms so it smells like fall. If it sells and smells like fall I’ll call fall! Generally my favorite time of year.

I also know it is fall because I now need to go on my annual television boycott/remote control vigil. Not my favorite time of year.

Every year between mid September and the end of October I will be safely watching a warm fuzzy child appropriate (but adult program) or some innocuous day time television program and suddenly (and without warning) there are disturbing and scary images on my television.

I’m not sure if the rest of the country is inundated with commercials for Busch Gardens Hallowscream and Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights but we sure are. At least one commercial out of every break seems to have a blood dripping clown, zombies, people with shattered faces grabbing unsuspecting victims and people running in terror. Oh and screaming… a lot of screaming.  They frighten me so I sure as heck don’t want my two year old to watch them.

They would have terrified me up until the age of 8, at least. Yeah sure, I may have been a sheltered child but I was a CHILD and I shouldn’t have to be exposed to that sort of thing.

These commercials used to irritate me during the fall season. I don’t like them. I don’t want to see them. But because they are commercials there seems to be no avoiding them. I also hate the giant billboards that are in the same vein and the signs everywhere… but that’s another issue.

However, now that I have a child they make me angry. Very angry.

It’s not fair that I have no control over them. This isn’t like “Well if you don’t like it change the channel”…. they pop up usually BEFORE you can change the channel. And besides the kids channels they are EVERYWHERE.

I try to limit her television viewing period and when she does watch TV it is usually a DVD, something from the DVR or on a kids channel so she is safe. But God forbid I want to watch something while she is playing in the room. Yesterday my grandmother was over and wanted to watch The Chew and The Doctors…. there was a scary commercial nearly every single break. Thank goodness LA was sleeping. But what if she hadn’t been?

And how do I avoid all those billboards….? Don’t drive down the road?

Ok, so I can avoid the billboards or hope/assume my child won’t see them as we zoom past… it is the commercials I really object to.

Don’t these things have ratings? Shouldn’t they be confined to evening television? After 8 at the very latest?

There are ratings for television programs but it seems any terrifying 60 second ad is allowed on at any time of the day. It’s not fair and it is something I dread every year. I think it’s very irresponsible of Busch Gardens and Universal to put them out to be shown during the day time at all. I think it’s more irresponsible for stations to air them at all times of the day. If they were on in the evening I personally would still hate them but I’m a grown up I can deal.  Children don’t have the same abilities to deal with scariness.

We are always talking in this country about loss of innocence and children growing up too fast. About desensitization and violence. Um, hello? We are showing commercials that some adults find disturbing when any child could see it on accident. And there is no way (short of not watching any channel other than Disney/Sprout/etc) to avoid them. If there is please tell me how?!

Right now LA is dealing with night terrors. I can’t help wondering in the back of my mind if it has started because of something she has seen on these commercials, signs, posters or statues that are put out in the fall. I know that they would have given me night mares when I was a child.

I don’t know what to do. Contact the stations? The parks themselves? Up until recently I thought I was the only one who dreaded this time of the year for any television watching… but apparently I’m not.

Look I get that Halloween is a fun time for a lot of people. And I may even be in the minority because while I love the imaginative dress up aspect of Halloween I hate the open grave, rotting faces, jump out and say “boo” aspect of the holiday. People love it… great. But I don’t want it forced on me and I really don’t want it thrust on my child. I think the commercials are disturbing enough as is but if you are safely watching “Dancing with the Starts” to suddenly see people being chased by zombies or pulled into open graves is not the program I signed on to watch. It’s not fair to us adults who are forced/tricked into seeing it but it’s absolutely irresponsible to have it on when children could see it. There should be a time limit or certain station so that parents can do what we can to shelter our children from it.

I’m honestly shocked that they haven’t been sued yet for causing nightmares or distress etc. This is such a litigious society and this actually seems like something that could cause children trauma or at least some unnecessary fear.

Usually I’m a shrug “Well just avoid it if you don’t like it” sort of person”… but I have no idea how to successfully avoid all of this. Every year it is absolutely everywhere. I truly hate it.

Every year I’m disappointed in both Busch Gardens and Universal Studios…. these are supposed to be family friendly places. I think it’s great/fine that they do this. Awesome… if it’s fun for you then have a great time. I object to how they advertise it.

So anyway… that is my fall pet peeve.



Posted October 4, 2012 by etainl in Culture, Life, Mommy-hood

Family Traditions   4 comments

I wanted to write about some of our family’s unique traditions but in the meantime I was wondering what are YOUR family traditions?

I love a good tradition… I love the familiarity of knowing what will happen on Christmas Eve or my birthday evening. My family was big on traditions and I want to incorporate them into our family life as well as create our own.

Since I’m looking to create some of our own I’d love to steal hear what some of yours are. So here are some of the ones we had growing up so that you can steal enjoy hearing them.

– We did the advent calendar every Sunday leading up to Christmas and on Christmas Eve we would light the last candle and sing Happy Birthday to baby Jesus.

– During the holiday season a little empty manager would appear and my brother and I were to put a piece of straw in the manager every time we did something kind or loving or that Jesus would approve of. It was a nice reminder that the season was about more than gifts and glitz. I remember my brother doing something nice for me and telling him excitedly, “You should go put a piece of straw in!” It was the honor system and not punitive, we were never told to take any out. On Christmas Eve we would put a little figure of baby Jesus in the manger after singing Happy Birthday and we’d also sing Away in a Manger. The kinder we were the softer his bed.

– Of course we left cookies and milk out for Santa and we always got a letter back from him the next day. We also left an apple or carrot for Rudolph 😉

-On Christmas Eve we were allowed to open ONE gift… that my mom picked. That was inevitably new pajamas or slipper or something adorable like that.

– Every year my grandfather or father would need to run to the store to get milk and then Santa would call to tell us he was on his way and to hurry to bed. I always felt so bad that Dad or Poppop missed that call …. 😉

– My father would always read Twas the Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve… to this day I have the entire poem memorized.

— We had Santa “peepers” owl shaped binoculars and right before bed we would go out and look for Santa’s sleigh and/or Rudolph’s nose. Inevitably one of us would “spot” him and this would be my parents queue to rush us off to bed before he arrived.

-We had to have our letter for Santa that said what we wanted for Christmas ready by the weekend after Thanksgiving, so he had time to make everything. We’d lay it in the fireplace before bed and in the morning it would be gone!!!!

-Christmas morning we were not allowed to get up until the sun was up, this rule was implemented as my brother and I got up progressively earlier. But we were allowed to hang out in each others room…. I would always keep the gifts I got for him in my room so when he’d sneak in I’d have something for him.

-My mom would freeze maraschino cherries and sprite into ice cubes on Christmas and Easter… some were red and some were green. It was the most awesome thing ever!

– Of course we dyed our Easter eggs….can’t think of anything beyond the usual for Easter. We were allowed a few minutes to check out our baskets before church and allowed to hunt for an egg or two for breakfast. When we got home we got to do our Easter Egg hunt for the real eggs. After lunch we did a Nana and Poppop search for the little plastic eggs full of goodies.

-When we were sick we had a special sick blanket and sick cup. Mom would make us a bed on the couch or on the floor of her room and would always make whatever we wanted for lunch.

– On our birthdays we always got to pick the restaurant, within reason, that we went to for family dinner. This became a HUGE decision that resulted from weeks of conferencing together… especially because my brothers birthday and mine are 10 days apart.

– We got to select ANYTHING we wanted our birthday cake to be and mom would attempt it. This resulted in my brother issuing some pretty crazy challenges for her.

-On Mother’s Day and Father’s Day we either made breakfast in bed for them (and they pretended it was good) or we took them to McDonalds (which they pretended was good as well).

-On Mother’s Day my mother and Nana got an orchid corsage to wear. All the ladies got them for Easter.

– We always took our photo in the same spot in front of the fireplace for the first day of school and any other big event.

– If we saw my mom or dad shopping for a gift and asked what they were getting they would tell us “Kitten britches” or “Kitten mittens”… that when when an overexcited 4 year old would blurt out “Daddy I know what Mommy got you for your birthday!” It was funny rather than ruining the surprise.

-On random days my mom or dad would show up to school to eat lunch with us, or take us to lunch. Either way it made me feel special.

-On random days my mom would leave a card or note in my lunch box 🙂

-On New Years Eve my parents would make pillow beds on the floor of the living room for us and we’d watch family movies of the previous year until it was time to watch Dick Clark… if we didn’t make it to midnight and fell asleep… no biggie, we were already in “bed.”

-Tuesday night was No TV night and Family Game Night.

-In the summer we tried to have picnics once a week.

-On vacations my brother and I would take turns buying each other gifts or souvenirs. We rarely bought ourselves anything but always got what we wanted 😉

-My mom always made our Halloween costumes…

(This was both my brothers favorite and my favorite costumes ever… Tiger and the Princess)

Oh man… I am just sure I am forgetting some things….
Oh well, my mother reads my blog so I’m sure she’ll remind me.

There are also some things I remember my parents, particularly my Dad, always saying…. not quite traditions but they stuck.

-When we’d leave for vacation, finally, after finding the last bag, remembering to turn out the lights etc he’d always say “We’re off like a herd of turtles”

-When driving he’d tell us whoever saw a cow first owed him $10…. If you’ve ever driven through Florida you realize this was a clever way to keep us hunched over and quiet with our eyes covered for a while. We never did pay him….

-Eventually as we got older and cleverer we would say they weren’t cows they were short necked giraffes or long legged pigs or what not.

-When we got in the mountain and inevitably saw sings that say “Watch for Falling Rock” my father would tell us the story of Princess Falling Rock. How she ran way from home to be with her one true love and her father was still looking for her to this day, thus the signs.

For the Dads   1 comment

When I was pregnant with LA Steve was a very attentive father to be. He anxiously awaited word that I was craving something  and quickly delivered whatever “sounded good” to me.  I actually felt bad that I didn’t crave more… he was ready to spring into action.

He is not a reader but it made me love him all the more to see him lying on the gurney reading the Baby Book for Dads as he awaited his back procedure.

Every night he would talk to my belly and play games with Zygie (as we called LA when she was “on the inside”)… in the morning he’d wake her up to say goodbye before work- shining flashlights, tapping what we figured was her bottom. She would always turn to whichever side he was on and  press her hands against his mouth. (Side note- when she was born she immedately took her little hands and put them to his mouth just like she’d done before… so amazing).

In other words, he was a great, very involved dad. He even joked that I was “hogging” the baby.

We did everything as a team that we could. He even went to the breastfeeding classes with me. We read, together, the progress reports for our baby. He wanted to know all that I was going through. When she was born he was right there… I felt like I couldn’t have done it without him. He was even going to “catch” her if she hadn’t, in his words, “shot out like a torpedo.”

I am not sure how to put it into words but I felt like even though it’s a painful, messy business we women have the better end of the deal because we get to have the full experience.

I remember thinking that sometimes it must be very hard to be a dad. As involved as Steve was he could not experience all that I felt. Everything was through me. We did the best we could… he was right there every step of the way but he didn’t get to lay awake at night feeling our child turn inside. And after she was born he had to go back to work while I spent my days with her. He would always remind me to have the camera ready for first steps or words. At night he’d remind her that she should wait to do those things for when he was home.

Not sure how men would feel about that sentiment.

Some would probably vehemently disagree and some might agree, at least a bit. It’s gotta be tough to be the dad.

So this article that recently came out was great. It talks about how many fathers feel they receive mixed messages. They are encouraged to attend everything but they feel in the way. More men actually get post partum depression than women, which is fascinating. Father’s have it tough too!

No matter how much a child loves their father 9 times out of 10 a child will call for mama when they are hurt, tired or sad. While Steve was there doing everything he could LA still wanted me 75% of the time when she was under a year old. Mostly because I have the “magic boobies” (as they are called in our family) and because I was the one home with her all day. I kept thinking that must be hard for dads because they love them just as much as mama does.

I have loved seeing their relationship change as LA grows. She has to show him everything. I love watching her drag my huge husband around the house to show him her block tower. I love even more watching them build something on the floor or seeing him help her color. She loves her Daddy. He is the first person she looks for in the morning and when he’s already gone to work she walks around looking for him, as if he’s hiding.

When I was pregnant I gave a little talk to the health class at the high school where I taught. In one of the classes I said something like, “When my husband and I found out we were pregnant..” about that time some punk boy snickered and said something like, “Like He’s pregnant too.”

Usually when people say something stupid like that I’m pretty quick with a snarky comment. In this case words left me, I will blame pregnant brain. What I wish I had said to him was:

Yes… when WE found out we were pregnant. We… as in both of us. Because while only I am carrying the child we are both going to be parents. Because he is a real man and intends to be a real father his life will change too when this baby arrives. And because he is a good man he is just as involved in the preparation for this baby’s arrival. If you grow up to have half of his integrity someday you will understand that any man can make a baby but it takes a true, quality man to become a father. So yes, WE found out that we were pregnant.

Sometimes the kid gets called a punka– in the little speech in my head, but that wouldn’t have happened in real life.

Being a dad is a tough job. And many of the fathers in our generation have taken on even more. They are committed to helping in the house and being a more involved parent than many dads of yesterday.  They are staying home and raising children, either while mama works or on their own. They are setting aside their dignity and being silly with their children. They are working so hard … and sometimes I think Dad’s get a bit overlooked because Mama is just so glamorous 😉

So this weekend celebrate all the good dads. All the daddies who dance and sing silly songs with their daughters. The dads who build castles and racetracks on the floor. The dads who lead their sons into being quality fathers themselves someday. The dads who show their daughter what they should expect someday from their own husbands.

I know in our house we will be doing all we can to make our special daddy know how very loved he is.

Love at first sight

I think this is my all time favorite photo of him with her. The look on his face makes me fall in love with him all over again every time.


And, by the way, this commercial makes me both laugh and tear up every time. I look forward to the day I see Steve dancing with LA like this… but I promise not to post the video 🙂

Posted June 16, 2012 by etainl in Celebrations and Milestones, Culture, my cool husband

Tagged with

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.


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!

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

Ok one more…   Leave a comment

… seriously, we’re behind Pakistan!!!

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

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 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!

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.