Tag Archives: parenting

I’ll Stick with Breastfeeding, Thanks!

I have to admit, I’m very fortunate. Breastfeeding is once again going quite smoothly for me. It’s one of those areas where I’ve not had serious problems. It’s a bit of effort to get started, occasionally painful, physically exhausting at times, but really not bad at all.

I know I’m quite fortunate.

Selene is one of those babies who just took a look in the hospital and just latched right on. No hesitation from that girl! She didn’t master the right latch immediately, but did well enough to quickly get milk.

Our one problem these days is that I produce well enough that she can be a lazy nurser at times. We should all have such problems, right?

I have to be pretty firm with her about that, though, as when she gets lazy she can leave me in pain. Poor latch at those times, and just enough stimulation to really get that milk production flowing.

She’s also one of those kids who falls asleep halfway through a feeding, then wakes up a half hour later wanting more. Sweet rascal is a pretty deep sleeper after a feed, and so far I can’t wake her up to finish the job with any consistency, at least not if I’m being gentle with her.

I’m just starting pumping these days so that she can learn to take a bottle. No formula needed in this house. But I do like to be able to run errands with NO children along. Nearest thing I get to a break most of the time. Showing off the baby is fun, but there comes a time when you just want to get things done by yourself and not have random strangers talking to you, even about a favorite topic.

The convenience and money saved is nice too. I know what formula costs, and must say I am very glad to not need to be paying for that! Pumping supplies cost a little, but especially since I have the pump from my other babies, pumping breastmilk isn’t much of an expense at all.

Overall, I love the connection created by breastfeeding. There’s a reason why I put up with the long nights, occasional pain, and chronic exhaustion. How can I not enjoy having those little eyes staring into mine as she gets started each time?

But some don’t feel so good about breastfeeding, particularly Hanna Rosin in her article “The Case Against Breastfeeding”. She sees it as not so feminist and not as beneficial as most people in the medical industry say.

Honestly, I think the problem is more about division of labor than breastfeeding. I’ve always thought formula feeding would be more inconvenient. All the preparation and cleanup involved. Maybe I’m too lazy to formula feed.

I certainly don’t consider breastfeeding to be a problem for a feminist. It’s a genuine difference between men and women. And if you’re really determined and your body cooperates, you can work while breastfeeding.

I do so at home. Two of my sisters did it while working outside the home, for about a year with each of their kids.

Even though I’m at home, I want workplaces to make more accommodations for women who are breastfeeding. It’s not that complex. A place that isn’t a bathroom set aside for pumping is ideal, if not possible for all businesses. A reasonable attitude toward the time it takes a mother to pump is also quite helpful.

That’s the part of breastfeeding that is relevant to feminism. The more comfortable it is for a mother to provide breast milk for her baby while at work, the easier it becomes for her to choose to work after starting a family.

The United States is well behind other countries in both maternity and paternity leave. Too many jobs are quite simply not family friendly at all.

No, being more family friendly won’t cause all women to breastfeed. It just doesn’t work out for everyone, for a variety of reasons. But giving up shouldn’t be about your work.

I know some will say that I’m biased, as working from home does make breastfeeding easier than trying to do it from outside the home. That’s true enough. But given all the benefits to both mother and child of breastfeeding, I’m firmly on the side of making it more possible. One less reason for women to give up careers they love. One less reason for employers to lose great employees.

Cloth Diapers vs. Water Use Reduction

Talking with my mother the other day about our plans for cloth diapering baby Selene once she’s big enough to fit the bumGenius 3.0 diapers we have brought up a very good point.

Cloth diapers take a lot of water to wash.

Recent storms may change matters somewhat, but all the talk has been on water restrictions lately. I’m really hoping this doesn’t turn out to be a problem.

However, I do have things I would give up sooner than my cloth diapers, if it’s left up to me. I’d be quite delighted if my landlord would let us just kill the front lawn, and maybe add in some drought tolerant plants instead. The gopher seems to be leaving things alone at long last, thanks, I would imagine, due to the hunting prowess of the neighbor’s cats. I know they caught at least one gopher.

I’ve also been scolding my husband for some of the ways he wastes water already. I don’t think he’ll go for a bucket in the shower just yet, but if things get bad this year he might.

If the discussed water restrictions hold this year, things could get interesting. I hope to see enough rain, or rather enough snow in the mountains, to get us out of the drought, but if that doesn’t happen I have no doubt that restrictions will happen.

But I just can’t see giving up the cloth diapers. My mother is concerned that it might be a sensible solution, even though she agrees disposables are more of a waste overall. Going to have to keep on planning as the season goes on.

Thinking Baby Sling

With two other kids around, I’m thinking this time around I really need to give a baby sling a serious try. The only thing I’m not sure of is… which one?

We had a sling with my oldest, but it really didn’t work out. It was one my mother picked up, and we just couldn’t get it to work. I don’t recall which type it was, but we just couldn’t get the adjustments right.

This time around I’m thinking with two other kids a sling sounds really nice.

Something other than a stroller to push when I pick my daughter up from school.

Something to keep my hands a little freer while still holding my baby.

We had a front carrier with my daughter, and it was pretty nice too, but not always comfortable. I’m thinking about comfort as well as practicality here.

I’ve heard good things about Maya wrap and Moby wrap, but no idea what’s best.

Any opinions out there?

Green Rainy Day Play

Rain has come to southern California at last! Yes, I know many of you have had lots of rain already, but the other day was our first really significant rain. It rained hard enough at times to make the back yard into a puddle.

rainy day play

I’m one of those moms who lets her kids go out and play in the rain, so my daughter was utterly crushed when I wouldn’t let her play in that storm. I had a good reason, though; she was headed to a friend’s birthday party shortly.

Under normal conditions though, I love letting them play in the rain. I did it as a kid. Lots of good memories from getting completely soaked.

Then comes the time to call the kids in, dry them off, hang up coats and umbrellas where they can dry, and find something more interesting than just staring at a movie on television for the kids to do.

1. Make a fort.

This works year round, of course! However, if the weather is cold outside it’s a nice way for the kids to have a cozy little place to play.

2. Bake.

There’s nothing like warm treats on a cold day.

3. Read stories together cuddled with a blanket.

Just so much fun to do something together while you keep warm.

4. Pull out rainy day activity books.

There are plenty of titles to choose from. Once the kids are done playing in the rain, new science projects, making play dough and so forth can help keep them and you occupied.

5. Indoor hide and seek.

This was one of my favorites as a kid. It’s generally best to have rules against running, ad if you’re hiding any presents for the upcoming holidays, make sure you don’t let them hide where you hide the gifts! There’s a reason why my closet is off limits to the kids for playing, and it’s not just the mess they make in there pushing things around.

6. Go to an indoor mall with a play area.

Not to shop, unless there’s something you really need there. When your kids are just too full of energy and still young enough for the indoor mall play areas, they can be a huge help.

Fast food places also generally have play areas, but it’s probably going to be harder to avoid buying treats if you go there. If there’s a children’s gym in your area that has open play times, they can be another good option to get the excess energy out.