Tuesday, May 6, 2014

"insert inaccurate inflammatory blog post title here"

I read this post the other day and felt so moved to write a response to it. Quite frankly, it infuriated me. Where to start?

1. I am so over the inflammatory and often inaccurate article titles that are used solely to increase traffic to the blog. You always end up disappointed. It's not the article you were hoping to read and it didn't discuss anything you were hoping to learn about. Lame. Let's look at the title of this article: This Young Mother Is Giving Up On Her Kids And I Don’t Blame Her. The author of this article is 29. The term "young mother" typically refers to a teenage or very early 20's mother. Everyone knows that. And I'm still unclear what exactly she is "giving up" on...

2. No one will never accuse me of being perfectly linear in my writing but I certainly cannot deal with Faulkner's stream of consciousness. The article starts off by lamenting the fact that the author's son couldn't take a toy gun to school and then made some other gender stereotyping remarks about how typical little boys behave. (All I could hear was "'Murca!" ringing around in my head.) Then it goes on to complain about all of the oversensitive and wimpy kids being raised today. ("If it were good enough for me growing up, then it's good enough for YOUR kids...") And then it somehow meanders its way into a rant about how she decided that it was her job to prepare her kids for disappointment in life by being the one to disappoint them. (It is her right, after all, as a woman who has so many facets to her life...)

Studies actually show that children who are regularly attended to become MORE independent and able to handle disappointment. Other developed and so-called "third world" nations continue to raise their children this way while we keep pushing our children away and shoving them aside when they don't fit into our busy schedules. And then we ask ourselves why they keep bringing guns to school and getting pregnant as teenagers. We aren't toughening them up. We are breaking them down.

Oh, and then there there was this little gem that a friend of a friend wrote up. (Oh, but don't worry, she's a nurse!) I am so sick of the American attitude that EBFing is just not "realistic", as in something that cannot possible occur "in real life". Excuse me, I live a very real life and am still breastfeeding at almost 2 years. I know I wasn't as successful with Lydia but I simply didn't know then what I know now. When you know better, you do better. "Don't feel like a failure if you fail at breastfeeding!" Just like everything else in American life, it must be someone else's fault! The long and short of it, and what I did not learn until the second time a round which is why I am more successful, is that breastfeeding is more than science. Too many moms, and consequently too many books and articles, focus on how to do it "right". 

The truth is there are lots of "right" ways to breastfeed. There is no one right formula and, by the way, formula, although not poison, does not help. It can help sick moms and babies but it does NOT help breastfeeding. It's going to start off slow. DON'T FREAK OUT! Just keep putting baby to breast. Work on getting comfortable, both of you. And enough with the books and articles! Find a girlfriend or make a new friend who breastfeeds successfully and see if she will let you WATCH her! It may sound weird to you now, because you are American and breastfeeding is "dirty" and "sexual". But believe me, most breastfeeding moms would LOVE to show off her skills and share the magic with a friend.

HAPPY NEWS: My most recent Bradley class had FOUR couples in it! They were an amazing group! One couple has already had their first baby in a hospital sans drugs or interventions. I am one proud mama :D

Thursday, January 2, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

So it's 2014! I hope your 2013 ended on a high note and you are looking forward to the coming year. 

We all know that coconut oil (CO) is my go-to cure-all for anything topical. I still love it, don't worry! However, I have 2 loves in my life: Melaleuca oil/tea tree oil (TTO)and grape seed extract (GSE). Rember folks, I am no kind of doctor. I am just speaking to the kind of success we have had here in the Beach household using these products.


 


The TTO I use to treat anything topical, usually in conjunction with the CO but not always. I especially like it as an astringent on my angry face skin or on my skin after I shave. I also use it directly on the skin when E has a diaper rash and also in the bum spray, mixed with water and CO, that I spray on at every diaper change. It is glorious.

The GSE is a relatively new discovery. I keep hearing about different friends of mine using it to help with immunity. I finally bought it from a friend who was selling it in an auction to raise funds for her adoption. She had been using it to keep healthy during her cross-continental trips for her mission work and to visit and pick up her son. Another friend was telling me that she uses it when she feels an illness first coming on to stave it off or shorten the life of it. I used it during The Great Stomach Bug Invasion of Christmas 2013 and it definitely seemed to help. We suffered much less than others seemed to. I regret not taking it more regularly.

Here is a sweet blog post circulating a lot of mommy and parenting forums lately. Body image for women in America is so difficult as it is and I know I have discussed this topic ad nauseam. But the proof that the issue continues to remain unresolved lies in the fact that every time someone writes about it, it continues to generate a lot of buzz! I know that I still get overwhelmed to the point of tears when I stop and think, really THINK, about my babies growing inside of my body and coming out alive and well. It's an incredible miracle each and every time and I got to do it TWICE. How lucky am I? But of course, there's a part of me that looks at this sad, flabby, lumpy bag of flesh that I wear now and I wonder "Is this just another kind of prison?" But I dismiss these self-deprecating thoughts quickly. I know they do me no good and, more importantly, are untrue. And a still-small voice in my head can't help but scoff at the 21-year-old writer "Psh, try being pregnant at 30 and see what it means to REALLY have your body be warped by pregnancy. Not the same kind of elasticity that is helping you out now." But that's just rude.

And this article was the shocker for the week. I do appreciate the author's commentary on couples waiting longer to have children and therefore tend to have their children closer together in age (for fear of "running out of time") and that can CERTAINLY strain a relationship, particularly when you have spent so much time in that relationship living a certain way; as a couple. I do see that happening again and again. Babies do not fix relationships, they also do not inherently make them better. A relationship can be made stronger by having a child, only if said couple truly wants to have a child and has discussed it thoroughly together beforehand. (Seriously, too many new parents I know are arguing about discipline and parenting ideology AFTER the baby has already arrived. Hello!) That being said, I disagree with the advice that to "fix" this problem, all couples should adhere to a formula in which each of their children is at least 3 years apart. I wanted my children close-ish in age and so did my husband. It was something we talked about...BEFORE we had kids. We discussed what that would mean for our lives short-term and what it could mean for our children's lives long-term.

I also think that there is nothing rational about her ex-husband's behavioral response to having a second child. He sounds like an immature ass who's stunted emotional growth rendered him unable or unwilling to fully appreciate the ramifications of his decisions. No amount of "date nights", couples therapy, or age-gap formula was going to fix that.

And now, here's your warm and fuzzy mama moment for the day: you're welcome.