25 January 2012

Oh What's a Girl to Read?

If you've lurked around here the past year, you witnessed me rediscovering my love for writing whilst growing a baby. Pregnancy took me to all sorts of wonderfully frightening and exciting places that required lots of processing, both in my head, out loud, and on paper... or... on screen?!?

I'd like to go ahead an ask forgiveness for the deafening silence over the past few months...

Getting used to being a new mama, subsequently going back to work, all the while trying oh so hard to remember how to be a good wife, sister, daughter, neighbor, co-worker, and friend HAS BEEN REALLY HARD << let's not talk about the cleanliness, well, lack thereof, of my home >>.  And time consuming. My head spins so fast and so frequently that trying to grab hold of a string of coherent thoughts to share has been pushed to the lower portion of my list of priorities.

I'll let you in on a little secret here. Our boy is breastfed. He'll be 5 months old in about a week, and I hang my hat proudly on the Milk Jug Peg of that ubiquitous parenting hat rack. Indulge me to say, for the record, that our breastfeeding journey has been nothing short of the hardest thing I've ever done. There have been moments where I wished I could be having labor contractions instead of the pain I was experiencing with nursing. I'M NOT EXAGGERATING HERE << sorry for shouting, but I needed to be clear >>. Nursing isn't supposed to hurt, ever. We've dealt with a variety of problems, and we're to the point that, more often than not, I'm pumping and boy's getting his leche from the bottle.

Pumping... is... so... boring. Four months in I decided it was high time to invest in a hands-free thingie. It has made a big difference in that I can actually multi-task while pumping. I've done random things while pumping like put photos into frames, chop veggies, and fold laundry. Most often I spend time reading, whether it's on my Kindle or someplace online.

I've discovered a handful of blogs that I'm head over heels for, and I want to share them in case you don't have enough to read in your life.

Momastery This chick radiates love. She's got a colorful story to share; she's witty, she's sharp, and her writings inspire me to be a more loving mother, wife, sister, daughter, and friend. She inspires me in a very big, very bold sort of way. She writes letters to her kids. Here's an excerpt that I especially love.

I think that God puts people in our lives as gifts to us. The children in your class this year, they are some of God’s gifts to you.
So please treat each one like a gift from God. Every single one.
 Baby, if you see a child being left out, or hurt, or teased, a part of your heart will hurt a little. Your daddy and I want you to trust that heart- ache. Your whole life, we want you to notice and trust your heart-ache. That heart ache is called compassion, and it is God’s signal to you to do something. It is God saying, Chase! Wake up! One of my babies is hurting! Do something to help! Whenever you feel compassion – be thrilled! It means God is speaking to you, and that is magic. It means He trusts you and needs you.
 Sometimes the magic of compassion will make you step into the middle of a bad situation right away.

Next we have The Leaky B@@b. Huge fan. I'm a huge fan. Remember how I said that baby J and I have basically been through hell in our BFing journey? Well, enter online support I *never* could have imagined. Jessica, the main chick that runs the site and writes prolifically, has 5 babies of her own (oldest is 13 and youngest is 2'ish), and she's expecting her 6th. She's a major advocate for all things BFing. The Leaky B@@b Facebook page has all sorts of "Leakies" who post comments, questions, advice, and silly pics of their little nurslings. There have been many a late night/ early morning/ mid-afternoon meltdown coupled by a desire to give up breastfeeding, and then I'd make my way onto TLB all teary-eyed and BAM! Another Leaky would have just posted the same issue I was having, and other Leakies who had been there/done that had all sorts of suggestions, ideas, and encouragement to share.

Don't misunderstand me for a second-- the hubs, my family, my boss and co-workers, everyone has been supportive of me choosing to BF our son. The benefit of this particular blog/page is that other BFing mama's are all over it. In my close'ish circle, not a whole huge amount of my girls (did or) are currently nursing. So when I'm dealing with toe-curling pain or a fussy baby with a bad latch, there's not a lot of intimate understanding and recent experience they can share. But the other Leakies, they get it. Not only do they get it, they've survived it.

Modern Sentiment. A good friend of mine, Sara Martin, started writing a blog about creativity. She's sharp. Insightful. Thoughtful. And thought provoking.

We also have The Feminist Breeder. Boy howdy this chick is raw. She's opinionated. Sometimes she's snarky. And I find her writings to be refreshing, even when I can't always relate on a personal level to what she writes. She's got 2 boys and a baby girl, and her baby girl is a screamer. In one post entitled, "African Babies Don't Cry? I Call Bull...", she talks about how no amount of attachment parenting can console her.

I’m tired of people telling moms,
“If you only coslept, your baby would be happy.”
“If you only nursed her more, your baby would be happy.”
“If you only cut out dairy, your baby would be happy.”
“If you only wore her more, your baby would be happy.”
“If you only blahblahblah, your baby would be happy.”
I’m sure African babies teeth. I’m sure some African moms have an overactive supply or overactive letdown that upsets their African baby’s tummy. I’m sure some African babies are born with high needs. I’m sure, right at this very minute, there are thousands of African babies crying for no particular reason, and their African mothers can’t do anything to fix it. I’m sure they walk the floors with them at night, just as I walk the floors with my American, breastfed-on-demand, rides-on-my-hip, sleeps-on-my-chest baby.
Feed your baby on demand. Love your baby on demand. But don’t feel like an attachment parenting failure if your baby is still a screamer. Just come commiserate with me until we all survive this. I’m on facebook at 3 am if you want to chat.
Finally, I'll end with Emerging Mummy. This chick has a deep, tender faith in the same God that I do. She writes authenticity on any variety of topics. Here's an excerpt from a post I came across most recently:
The other day, I did an exercise video at home. You were with me, Annie, while the two littles slept and we leaped and kicked our way through jumping-jacks together. "Oh, Mum!" you glowed, "Even your tummy is having fun! Look at it jumping around!" and for a moment, oh, it stung. I just gave birth to Evelynn two months ago and so yes, my tummy is "jumping around" when I jump around and part of me wanted to sit down and cry for the sudden cacophony of worthlessness and shame that rose up but then you were there. You were there, looking up at me, having fun exercising and I thought, no. No, I will not cry about how I look in front of you. Instead I told you that this was fantastic and yes, my tummy was having a marvellous time. When you asked me why we were exercising, I had to lock my lips tight against the "to lose weight because I'm fat because I just had a baby" that threatened to spill out and instead spoke of having fun exercising for energy and playing together to be healthy and strong and hey, later, did you want to go bike riding?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the mention, girl! I love your blog, too, and was just enjoying catching up on this fine Saturday night (I don't even have kids yet and I spend perfectly good weekends catching up on blogs!). Hope you're doing good!