Browsing Tag

breast feeding

Parenting, Ramblings of a Suburban Urbanite

Courage of Conviction

October 7, 2012

I saw a documentary aaaaages ago about birth, and the different choices women make.

There was a lesbian couple, a single lady, a woman undergoing about her 10th IVF treatment, someone who had elective caesarian, someone who had a home water birth, a lady who loved her nephews infinitely but never wanted a child of her own….you get the picture, right?
A mixed bag of all sorts.
It was a beautiful study into the wealth of choices we have available to us, but time and again I heard loud and clear that whatever your choice, there was always someone standing in the wings to judge you.

I had two natural births. I practiced the Calm Birth technique, that I’d practiced for a weeks in advance, and I managed to get through the experience with nothing more than a suck of gas.
Am I Captain Smug Pants?
Am I amazing?

If I had another child, would I have another natural birth?
I don’t know. I think I’m done on that particular experience (especially asking me now, 5 months after my last -not long enough to forget).

I have a friend with a babe two weeks younger than my daughter, Kiki. She elected a caesar, and is not breast-feeding. *sharp intake of breath*
I like to think I’m open minded to anyone’s choices but my inner Judge Judy knitted her eyebrows at this news, and went into vicious debate with my open minded self.
What kind of woman does this????

You know what kind of woman?

A woman who has the benefit of experience to know that she didn’t want to experience a long and potentially fruitless labour, or a hungry baby losing weight.

A woman who has the benefit of options available to her.
Watching this gorgeous mother sing her baby love songs leaves absolutely no doubt that the method used for baby expulsion has nothing whatsoever to do with the type of mother you are.

Is she amazing?

I have another dear friend who was all ethno-bongo with her first labour, but it all went wrong at the last minute and everyone was very lucky that we live in the 21st Century, else the outcome may well have been drastically different.
With the labour of her second child she was scared going into it. She decided she wanted an epidural at the first contraction, thank you very much.
Does that make her less ethno-bongo?
It makes her damned lucky that she has the opportunity to embrace the birthing experience in whichever way she feels is the best for her…..and she had an awesome birthing experience that is no less inspiring and beautiful.

No matter what you choose, in any aspect of your life, there is always someone waiting to judge you.
Whether it’s something simple like the clothes you wear, the way you live your life or the way you raise your children, someone else thinks they’re way is better, cooler or right.

The biggest gift we give to ourselves is courage of conviction. You need to back yourself.

You need to stand strong in your choices and stick by your guns. Only you know the best way to live your life, and provided you’re doing it with integrity and love, then no one has any right to judge your actions.

Live your life.

Your way.

Henri Matisse said creativity takes courage, but you know what?
Life takes courage.

Parenting, Ramblings of a Suburban Urbanite

What’s Weird About Attachment Parenting and Human Cheese?

May 28, 2012

Ever since Time Magazine published the image on the front cover of the almost 4 year old breast feeding on his very yummy mummy’s teat, I’ve been ruminating about attachment parenting. That picture itself certainly didn’t phase me. It created quite an uproar but it was designed to. It was styled to be a controversial image and they got the reaction they were aiming for.
It’s such a polarising subject, with many attachment parent-ers apparently going underground so as not to be judged by others. I’ve already blogged about us giving each other a break in ‘Why are we our own worst enemies?’ so that is not what I’m talking about today. What I am talking about is the WHY? Why is it seen as weird to breast feed for longer than what society deems as ‘normal’?

Let me preface this by saying I breastfed for 12 months with D Man, and I loved it. I may even go a little longer with KiKi if I have the opportunity to. I personally think it’s kinda funky to breastfeed your kid over about 3. Seeing a full sized child walk up to their mum in public and reaching for a breast is a little confronting for me.
What I want to know is why do I feel this way?

Why is it deemed perfectly acceptable to feed your children toddler formula (man-made milk that doesn’t even taste like milk), or cow’s milk, but odd to give milk from the very species that we are? When you read about all of the health benefits of human milk shouldn’t be bottling the stuff and selling it in supermarkets? Actually, that would probably open up a whole can of worms about ‘mummy farming’ and all kinds of wacky Twilight Zone stuff, but you get my angle, right?

Cow’s make milk to feed their calves, so they can grow into big strong cows. Sheep make milk to grow lambs, pigs make milk for piglets and soy beans make milk for…..well, soy milk is just plain wacky. It’s packed full of phytoestrogens and is actually a known carcinogen. Scientific studies have revealed that it may increase the risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer, yet it is hailed as a healthy alternative. I get that mammals have a natural weaning time, if left to their own devices, but why is it that there is a whole industry of other animal dairy products and not so for the very species that would actually best benefit us health wise?
Why is it so weird?

I’m a massive cheese fan, and I’ve wondered for many years about pig cheese. It even sounds challenging, doesn’t it? PIG CHEESE. I love me a bit of goat cheese, and sheep, and I’d even try camel without so much as a flinch, but pig? Yeah, nah, I don’t know. Apparently, pig milk is very high in fats and flavour but it is not economically viable to have a dairy farming pig as they produce less than a quarter of the amount of milk daily compared to cows. So it could be an artisan type thing, no?
Which leads me to my next question – you know where I’m going, right?
What about human cheese?
Aside from the obvious issue of needing quite a large amount of milk to make a decent wheel of Mammenbert (at least 2 litres according to my sources – Mister H on google), why is it such a wacky concept? There was a restaurant in the UK who had breast milk ice cream, called Baby Gaga, on their menu. It sold out, and then they were clamped down on pretty quickly but after extensive scientific testing were allowed to put it back on their menu. I’m certainly not suggesting we all go out, make breast milk ice cream and feed it to our children until they’re 21, but what I am suggesting is perhaps next time you’re quick to judge, you question yourself as to why you feel the way you do.

You may not change your mind, but perhaps, at least you won’t just have a blind opinion. Speaking of opinions, I’d love to hear yours on this subject…..what do you think?

Ramblings of a Suburban Urbanite

Why Are We Our Own Worst Enemies?

April 2, 2012

If a subject is in my head and I try to push it away, it creates a traffic jam. I can think of nothing else except said subject and I may never, ever be able to spit anything else out if I don’t write it. That said, forgive me if today’s post sounds like Doctor Phil but without the PhD and the annoying speech cadence.

I was sitting in the physio yesterday trying to sort this poor ol’ overworked back out, when I read in one of the ultra trashy mags that Alicia Silverstone chews her food and let’s her one year old eat it out of her mouth. Now, my initial thought is ‘Eew’ however, in days gone by, before the birth of the food processor, I guess that’s what we did. Well, that and mashed, gruelly stuff, I guess. Cave women didn’t give cave babies mammoth bones to gnaw, so it’s kind of practical and portable, right?

Two pages later showed the divine January Jones, AKA Betty Draper, oh, she of the fabulous wardrobe, with her little munchkin and the article was about how she has had her dried placenta pressed into capsules that she ingests daily for nutritional benefits to support her busy lifestyle. Mmmmmkay……Now, do we think that Women’s Trash Idea Weekly printed this so I could get tips on child raising?

Nope. Was it even to highlight alternate forms of parenting?

Nope. It was so they could be branded gross freaks and judged by the world.

Are they doing these things (and telling journos or posting photos of spawn behaving like baby birds) to be freaky? Not at all. They’re doing these things because they truly believe that it’s the best thing for themselves and their family. Huzzah! That ought to be celebrated, even though it’s different from what we’re doing. Some people breastfeed still at 2, and at 3, and hell, even at 4 or more. Why is this seen differently to breastfeeding at 1? It’s not what I want to do, but what the hell difference does it make to my life if it floats someone else’s boat?

What is gross, really? Child abuse is gross. A horrible disease consuming someone you love, that’s pretty gross. A nappy filled with the results of too much dried fruit and last night’s fish dinner, that’s really, super friggen’ gross. Really, pre-chewed food and placenta pills don’t even rate on the gross-0-meter. Do I have an opinion on them? Of course. Do I think they’re odd? Quite. The thing I keep thinking is we judge ourselves, and others, so harshly, every day, and compare ourselves to others. Shouldn’t we just see that the world is full of kooky individuals and be happy that it’s not boring…..although I feel fairly well boring these days.

I had been mulling over this subject anyway, just even with regards to myself. I am judgemental, opinionated and I think I know best. There it is. I find myself judging people’s Facebook status’. The shameless self promoters or the inspiration-a-day types, or heaven forbid, the super- shameless people that sell their families out daily in blogs because they vainly believe the world needs to hear what they have to say (ahem)….sometimes I roll my eyes and think ‘puhlease!!’. The question I’m raising here really is why do we give a shit?
Why can’t we all just give each other high fives and get on with our day? Why don’t we applaud people for having healthy self-esteems, or expressing joy about their lives, their families or expressing themselves in whatever form works for them? Why? Why? Why, do we put each other down?

Not a few hours later I saw a link to Mayim Bialik’s blog (famous for playing young Better Midler in Beaches, and Blossom, not to mention some fairly interesting thoughts on attachment parenting amongst other things) who was discussing Alicia and January and kind of saying the same thing…..however I went on further to read her other parenting beliefs and they were wildly different to mine… nose began to crinkle up, and my eyes started to squint and across my mind ran the thought ‘What the hell is she talking about?’… the very act of researching my subject bought more judgement from me. Am I learning nothing from this process?

When we meet people on the street there is actually a sub-concious process that we do immediately that ‘puts them in their place’. Before we’ve finished shaking their hand, or indeed dropping an air kiss about five centimetres from their cheek, we’ve made a series of assessments.

  • Are they more or less attractive than me?
  • Are they of a higher or lower status than me?
  • Are they more or less smart than me?

We have no control over this. You can try to deny it, but we all do it when we meet ANYONE…….According to the UK’s Daily Mail when we meet meet other women you can add to the pile –

  • How does her body compare to mine?
  • How does her style/hair/make-up compare to mine?
  • Is her smile nicer than mine?
  • Is her partner more drunk than mine? (I made that one  up, but I imagine sometimes it’s apt)

These are just the subconscious ones ….so shouldn’t we try to be nicer about the bits we can control? I don’t have an answer. Perhaps it’s human nature, but it’s certainly worth thinking about. Let’s just give each other a break. Parenting, and indeed life, is bloody hard enough and we’re all just making it up as we go along. We’re just doing the best we can with the tools we’ve been given, and let’s face it, some of us are a few tools short, and some of us are just tools.

Enough Doctor Phil soapboxing. I cyber high five you all for the day, and I hope you all feel fabulous about yourselves, because you’re great in your own little freaky way.