Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Breastfeeding Controversy

It’s been all over Facebook, a woman wasn’t allowed to breastfeed her baby in a Victoria’s Secret changing room after making a large purchase. After that several articles about breastfeeding started popping up.

It’s funny, as a former breastfeeder you’d think I would be all in the know about how controversial breastfeeding is, but really I had no idea. Apparently people find it terribly offensive or obscene…which is weird.

I suppose I didn’t realize the controversy surrounding breastfeeding because all of my mom friends are pro breastfeeding. I’m pretty sure nearly every single one of my friends who are mothers all breastfed their babies and those who didn’t or couldn’t had no problem with me whipping out my breast to feed Jack. I would offer a verbal warning before pulling it out and if there were men around I would use my hooter hider, but that was more for my comfort than theirs. Even if I’m feeding my baby, I don’t need half my male friends to see my boob.

I think what’s at the heart of this controversy is this weird idea that breasts are ridiculously sexual. Here in America (I can’t speak to other parts of the world) breasts are so over sexualized that it’s hard to see them as what they are really for, feeding our young. So when we see a woman feeding an innocent baby with her sexy, sexy breast something in our brain can’t seem to reconcile the two. Most normal people would politely avert their eyes if they don’t want to see such a thing. But then there are those people that think their opinion about something that is totally not their business, matters. And that’s where articles like “11 Things Never to Say to Breastfeeding Mothers” comes from. Here’s a total tangent but number 8 on this list really bothered me. It said “Your breasts should belong to your husband, not your baby.” First of all, pretty sure breasts were made to FEED BABIES, not titillate your hubby so your argument is really stupid. And second my breasts don’t belong to anyone but me. When Jordan and I got married I didn’t think “Haha! Now his penis is mine!” The way I see it, marriage is much like learning to share your toys. You’ve got rad toys and so does your partner. And while you can share your toys and let your partner enjoy them, they are always your toys, they always belong to you. Ok rant over, back to the boobs.

If you look at the rest of the animal kingdom I can’t think of one other species that uses breasts for sexy time other than humans. (If I’m wrong please let me know. I didn’t research this at all, just couldn’t think of any animal that sexualizes breasts in a similar fashion as humans.) Breasts are used solely for feeding their babies. So why should humans be any different and why should it be something we keep under wraps?

I really don’t get this controversy. I don’t consider myself to be a lactivist, but if I was still breastfeeding I would do it when my baby needed it and not give it a second thought. It’s not as if we’re having sex on the street. Or taking a poo on the sidewalk (like almost every dog in Seattle). We’re providing nourishment to our babies. If you don’t like it maybe you should drape a blanket over your head.

On a totally unrelated note through this whole post I couldn’t spell breastfeeding right. I kept forgetting the d or the a. It was frustrating.

Your Free Time

This week there has been a lot of down time. Lots of time for Jack and I to play and get stuff done. I haven’t been scrambling for sitters or running out the door every other day. I realized on Wednesday I think that’s how I like it.

I’m not opposed to going out every now and then; grabbing drinks with friends or hitting the dance floor is ok every now and then. But I realized on Wednesday when I settled down on my couch for a night of Red Dwarf* and applying nail wraps, that staying in might be one of my favorite things. While it might be one of my favorite things, I do think a balance of going out and staying in needs to be maintained to in order for it to stay that way.

Unfortunately, it never seems to be balanced. There’s either a rash of staying in all the time or going out all the time. Maybe it’s a matter of me needing to take better control and pick and choose the things I attend. I don’t have to say yes to all the things, especially if I’m feeling burnt out on leaving the house. In the same way I don’t always have to wait for someone else to invite me out, I can initiate that too.

I guess I was surprised to find myself looking forward to a quiet night in on Wednesday. It was refreshing to sit down after Jack went to bed and be content being alone; giggling at Lister and Rimmer, and that cat cracks me up!

It was a funny feeling mostly because lately I’ve felt lonely while I sit by myself in the evenings. But that feeling seemed to be gone on Wednesday. I’m sure it will come back (say around Valentines day) but for the moment I’m feeling fine being alone. And maybe that’s a good thing because I’m starting to doubt that Seattle has another man for me anyway. But I don’t feel sorry for myself when I think that, I just try to focus on what I do have. An awesome son, great friends and an awesome city to go out in…or stay home, whichever.

*I started watching Red Dwarf as re-runs on PBS in 2005. I was dealing with really bad insomnia and emotional crap so I was up for hours late into the night while Jordan slept (since he had a big kid job). Red Dwarf cheered me up. I was pretty bummed when I turned on PBS one night and found an infomercial in it’s place. When it popped up on Netflix Instant Streaming I immediately put it on my list. I forgot how cheesy and silly it is, which makes me love it so very much.

 

 

Parenting, Going Paper Free & Trip Planning

This week has been an interesting week. Nothing truly notable happened, mostly just small things that have made a big difference in my days. Here is an overview of those small things that I’ve come to consider big deals.

Going Paper Free

My roof started leaking during a big storm. Which I thought was weird since we’re on the ground floor. I woke up one morning to find puddles on the kitchen counter and window sill. I also found that our roll of paper towels had done it’s darnedest to catch all the water it came into contact with. It was soaked down to the cardboard core. I was annoyed but thought to myself, ‘I don’t really need paper towels to survive right?’ So I didn’t go out and get any more. We also happened to be out of napkins. Still I was confident we could do it. I have a stack of cloth napkins and plenty of tea towels for the kitchen.

At first I really hated using those cloth napkins. I knew I’d have to wash and iron them (they’re %100 cotton). Of course this was the week when full glasses of milk went flowing across the dinner table and on to the carpet. But what started as annoying has quickly become habit.

It was interesting for me to see how often I reached towards the paper towel holder. I’ve decided not to go back. At least not for the time being. I’m probably going to go out and purchase darker colored napkins that don’t need ironing, but after seeing how much waste I produced from my use of napkins and paper towels I can’t go back. Even if I do throw them in the compost instead of the garbage they have to come from somewhere right? So I’m giving them up for now.

Parenting

I’ve done a bad thing as a parent, something I think to be a bad thing. I let Jack snack as much as he wants while he watches TV. This week, I read an article about how French kids eat and then I felt annoyed. Not at the article but at my own laziness. I was annoyed at myself because it made me realize a second bad thing I was doing. I’ve been ignoring Jack quite a lot.

It sounds terrible and I hate it. I couldn’t focus at playtime. I was thinking about a million other things while we played. Most times I would start to play then leave after five minutes to “do something real quick” only to get so wrapped up in it that “real quick” turns into an hour. So the poor kid gets bored, asks to watch a show then almost every time asks for a snack while he watches his show.

I was ashamed. I made a new resolution as soon as I realized what I was doing. My new resolution, to slow down and actually be present with my kid. He won’t be a kid for long so be there while he is.

I also made a new rule that we talked over at breakfast one morning, about eating meals only at the table and no snacks/dessert/food of any kind in the living room, especially while watching TV. We’ve been following this rule all week and I have noticed a bit of a change in the kid. He seems less quick to fly off the handle, more willing to stop a freak out, and he seems to be eating more at meals. I’ve also noticed changes in me. I find I’m becoming a bit more patient and willing to simply wait out his more intense emotions. I’m making it a point to ask him what he’d like to do during the day and actually do those things if we can. (But there’s no way we’ll go to playground if it’s pouring down rain.) I’m becoming more aware of what I’m putting in my body and my child’s. I’m beginning to realize there is always another time to do the things I think need to be done right away.

I’m feeling like a better parent which in turn, I think, means I am becoming just that.

Trip Planning

I started planning a big trip for this summer. A big, big trip. I’ll be taking Jack to Ireland & Scotland. I’ve been to Ireland before so we’ll start there and end up in Scotland. I’m really excited. Jack is excited too. I told him about our trip last night and all morning he was asking when we were going to go on our vacation. It will be his first international trip. I hope it will be the first of many.

Then There Was 2014

The rush of the holidays is over. The New Year has been rung in and I have celebrated my 32nd year on Earth. Gifts were given, resolutions were made and drinks were imbibed.

As I reflect back on 2013 I actually feel a little older, a little wiser, a little bit more content with my life. I can’t say I’ve actually felt older after a birthday but this year I do. But it feels good. In 2013 I started trying to be a better person, someone people want to be around. I’m focusing on letting go of things I can’t control and being positive about life in general. Those things feel good to me, even when it’s hard to do.

I started focusing on that about mid-2013. It’s something I’m going to carry through to 2014, one of my resolutions of sorts.

Some people don’t do resolutions, I used to be one of them. I used to view resolutions as giving myself unachievable goals. They were usually physical goals too, like stop biting my fingernails, or loose some weight. I’ve always had trouble with the “loose some weight” resolution. It’s so vague and doesn’t name a way to do it that seems manageable on a daily basis. “Loose some weight” is equivalent to “write a novel.” Writing a novel seems ridiculously hard, even for an experienced writer. But, “write for twenty minutes a day” seems much less intimidating.

So this year I have quite the list of resolutions, but they’re pretty manageable. The hardest for me will be remaining positive (especially during my funks, it’s ridiculously difficult to stay positive when everything seems grim) and giving up control of uncontrollable things.

Did you make any resolutions this year?