hang up the gloves

gloves

When it comes to motherhood, all bets are off. Any woman out there will tell you that having a baby changes everything. Motherhood is an incredibly important job AND an incredibly hard job. There is no instruction manual to follow. No step-by-step guide for guaranteed success. We all just take a deep breath and jump in.

That being said, there is an enormous amount of pressure for us to do everything the “right way” when it comes to raising a family. This pressure comes from expectations we’ve set for ourselves, as well as from outside sources such as our own moms, family members, friends and yes, even strangers. And probably the harshest critics of all: OTHER MOMS. No one tells you before you become a mom that you will soon be entering the Mommy Wars. A place where everyone has an opinion of what you’re doing wrong, what you should be doing instead, and why they want to punch you in the throat.

I think one of the hottest topics when it comes to bringing up babies is breast-feeding. There seems to be this ongoing war between moms about the pressures to breast feed, the successes and failures, how long to do it (short-term, extended), and the thought that bottle-feeding (not only formula, but breast milk as well- yikes!) somehow makes you inferior as a mother. This is all a bunch of malarkey. While everyone clearly understands that breast milk is best, there are barriers that keep 100% of all moms from breast-feeding. Some of these include milk production (or lack thereof), premature deliveries, latching problems, medications, single-parenting, working full-time, lack of support, etc., etc. Add to those the fact that breast-feeding is certainly not all sunshine, lollipops, rainbows, and lemon drops all of the time.

Breast-feeding is hard work. Bleeding nipples, cracked nipples, inverted nipples, flat nipples, blah, blah, ouch. Exhaustion, confusion, infection. Cradle hold, cross-over hold, football hold. The list goes on and on. You know what else is hard work? Yep, you guessed it- everything else that goes along with having a new baby in your life.

I am a breast-feeding mom. I extended breast-fed both of my children well past one year of age. I was extremely lucky and my babies were perfect little latchers. I had a great supply (I seriously could have fed a small country) and everything just seemed to click for me. What does this mean for you? Really, it should mean nothing. I am not in competition with you. I do what’s best for my kids and my family and I would expect you to do the same.

The greatest caveat to achieving and maintaining the health of my children and myself is AWARENESS.  It is unacceptable for me to “just go with the flow” so to say when it comes to decisions that impact my family. It takes education, tons of reading, mucho support, and positive assurance to stand firm in my beliefs. I take what I learn and apply it to my life as best I can. If others warrant my opinion or advice, then I give it. I’ve created this blog to help, not to divide.

The bottom line: Be informed, confident and secure in the choices you make for your kids and there will be absolutely no room for others to knock you down. Be willing to have an open mind and to think critically outside that big old box.

I can only hope that sometime soon we see motherhood as a journey we’re all facing together.

So ladies, whatta ya say-

Shall we hang up the gloves?

Hang Up the Gloves is an oldie but goodie. It was published March 2, 2012 on newhealthom.com

TIME: “Are You Mom Enough?”…..what????

Blogger Jamie Lynne Grumet is on the cover of TIME magazine this week nursing her three-year-old son.  The cover is bold.  It came out this morning and Facebook and Twitter and every and all major media outlets are overflowing with comments.  Some positive, some negative, and some downright awful and offensive.

The article in this issue is about parenting guru Dr. Sears and his attachment parenting method or AP (which encompasses a lot more than just extended breastfeeding by the way).  I have to admit that while I’m almost positive the photo was used for “shock” value, what really annoyed the heck out of me was the inflammatory headline.  “Are You Mom Enough?”  What?  Am I mom enough for what?  To raise my children the way I see fit?  To teach my children about health and wellness and life and love?

If this was their way to get moms to learn about and embrace AP, TIME did a terrible job convincing.  As a matter of fact, I might go as far as to say that they knew MOST wouldn’t get past the cover or headline long enough to read the actual article.  We are a society that needs images.  We LOVE to send and share and ‘like’ on Facebook and Pinterest and Twitter.  Therefore, the real issue will be the COVER and HEADLINE and not the interview.  Is this what they intended?  Did they want to ignite the “Mommy Wars” just to sell their magazine?  I’m thinking, HELL YES!

Also, as a mother who breastfed her little girl until she was two and her little boy until he was three, I think Jamie Lynne is brave and amazing for putting herself out there.  I applaud her efforts to raise awareness and to let other mommies know that we don’t all have to parent the same way.  And that’s A-OKAY!

Thoughts ladies?

lisa

update: Friday May 11, 1012. Here are some more photographs that were taken, but did not make the TIME cover:

ps. On a lighter and funnier note, my earlier post: Own it then OM it part deux!!

peace, love, no more mommy wars

[begin rant...

With the declaration of January Jones eating her placenta and Alicia Silverstone pre-chewing her baby's food, the 'Mommy Wars' seem to be back in full swing these past couple weeks.  Just when I thought we had hung up the gloves, now I'm doubting this will ever happen.  At least not anytime soon.  And after reading some comments from the many blog posts written about this last week - I'm really starting to understand why this will never happen and it's not as simple as pure disagreement.  I think I figured out at least a few important contributors-

1.  "Fear" or "discomfort" with the unknown.

2.  Lack of knowledge.

3.  No desire to acquire said knowledge.

4.  Ignorance.

I'm sure there are many more factors that breed this divide, but in my experience as a mother (a whole five years of it, I know I'm far from expert status) I really feel that when women [and men and grandparents and aunts and uncles and strangers] are indifferent to each other’s parenting ways – it’s mostly because of a general lack of understanding.  What works for my family may not work for yours and I get that, but do you?

A great quote:

The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about. – Wayne Dyer

In general, when we are faced with something that may make us uncomfortable (in Momville this may include placenta encapsulation, elimination communication, home birth, co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding and so on) we tend to act with a quick rush to judgement without really thinking it through.

Some comments I found:

  • I really believe that so much of the crunchy mom shit is for the benefit of the neurotic mother and not the kid. Let’s strap the kid to me 24 hrs a day, and watch his face to see if he needs a crap instead of putting diapers on, and pre chew his food, and give him booby milk every time he cries till he’s 8, and basically anything else that is that most inconvenient way to do anything so they can be the Best Mommy Martyr and look down on those ‘mainstream moms’.
  • She’s still nursing her nearly four-year old child?  Talk about attachment.
  • Holy hell! I hadnt heard of “silverstoning” and I am beyond disgusted! What is she, a momma bird? If the kid cant eat it on his own then I have a great idea…. DON’T FEED IT TO HIM! She will probably continue to breatfeed him thru highschool as well.
  • …she still breastfeeds her 3 1/2 year old, all of her children sleep in the same bed as her and her husband, and none of her children have ever worn diapers.I’m not sure how that worked with babies in the bed with them! Nuts
  • THREE AND A HALF??? If you’re old enough to spell “T-I-T-S,” you’re too old to drink from them.
  • It’s not the co-sleeping thing alone that’s weird. It’s the no diapers plus co-sleeping!!!
  • Agreed. Also you should right about the extremists that use breastmilk for everything…I know a mom that shot it up her kid’s nose when he had a cold. I have also heard of using it for pink eye. Thanks but I’ll stick to the drops the doc prescribes!

So I ask all moms, how do we propose to open the minds and hearts of other women?  Is it even possible?  I realize that we ALL have different opinions on subjects such as parenting, but the judging and crudeness out there in Mommyland is alive and kicking.  And believe you me, I am well aware that it’s not just a one way street attack on ‘crunchy’ moms, this street has many twists and turns and likes to tear down SAHMs, working moms, bottle feeding, formula feeding, crib sleeping, co-sleeping, vaccinators, non-vaccinators, home-schoolers, private-schoolers, public-schoolers, soccer, helicopter – you name it.

Why can’t we as moms just accept that everyone will not parent the same way we do?   Why is that so hard to comprehend?   Why do we feel the need to be harsh and judgmental towards others?  Is it satisfying?  Does it feed our own ego?  Does it help make us feel better about our own choices?  Is it productive?  Entertainment?  What do you think?

…end rant.]

lisa

hang up the gloves

When it comes to motherhood, all bets are off. Any woman out there will tell you that having a baby changes everything. Motherhood is an incredibly important job AND an incredibly hard job. There is no instruction manual to follow. No step-by-step guide for guaranteed success. We all just take a deep breath and jump in.

That being said, there is an enormous amount of pressure for us to do everything the “right way” when it comes to raising a family. This pressure comes from expectations we’ve set for ourselves, as well as from outside sources such as our own moms, family members, friends and yes, even strangers. And probably the harshest critics of all: OTHER MOMS. No one tells you before you become a mom that you will soon be entering the Mommy Wars. A place where everyone has an opinion of what you’re doing wrong, what you should be doing instead, and why they want to punch you in the throat.

I think one of the hottest topics when it comes to bringing up babies is breastfeeding. There seems to be this ongoing war between moms about the pressures to breastfeed, the successes and failures, how long to do it (short-term, extended), and the thought that bottle-feeding (not only formula, but breast milk as well- yikes!) somehow makes you inferior as a mother. This is all a bunch of malarkey. While everyone clearly understands that breast milk is best, there are barriers that keep 100% of all moms from breastfeeding. Some of these include milk production (or lack thereof), premature deliveries, latching problems, medications, single-parenting, working full-time, lack of support, etc., etc. Add to those the fact that breastfeeding is certainly not all sunshine, lollipops, rainbows, and lemon drops all of the time.

Breastfeeding is hard work. Bleeding nipples, cracked nipples, inverted nipples, flat nipples, blah, blah, ouch. Exhaustion, confusion, infection. Cradle hold, cross-over hold, football hold. The list goes on and on. You know what else is hard work? Yep, you guessed it- everything else that goes along with having a new baby in your life.

I am a breastfeeding mom. I exclusively breastfed both of my children well past one year of age (ages two and three if truth be told). I was extremely lucky and my babies were perfect little latchers. I had a great supply (I seriously could have fed a small country) and everything just seemed to click for me. What does this mean for you? Really it should mean nothing. I am not in competition with you. I do what’s best for my kids and my family and I would expect you to do the same.

The greatest caveat to achieving and maintaining the health of my children and myself is AWARENESS.  It is unacceptable for me to “just go with the flow” so to say when it comes to decisions that impact my family. It takes education, tons of reading, mucho support, and a “BIG” set of balls to stand firm in my beliefs. I take what I learn and apply it to my life as best I can. If others warrant my opinion or advice, then I give it. I’ve created this blog to help, not to divide.

The bottom line: Be confident and secure in the choices you make for your kids and there will be absolutely no room for others to knock you down. I can only hope that sometime soon we see motherhood as a journey we’re all facing together.

So ladies, whatta ya say-

Shall we hang up the gloves?

dr . lisa