Friday, May 27, 2011

breastfeeding is a lot like football

Breast feeding seems straight forward, baby meets breast and *POOF* baby eats, right? Wrong! Wrong, wrong, wrong! I breast fed my first child with formula supplementation due to a lack of milk production. I am exclusively breastfeeding my second now, but even having had experience and having done research there were things I wish I had known before I had started with either kiddo.

Forget all the cute cuddly stuff, breast feeding is like a full contact sport.

Breast feeding is about bonding, and don't get me wrong, it is special and beautiful and all of that. But if we are talking frank honesty here, and there are plenty of places to hear about how good breastfeeding is for both you and baby. If we are talking "girlfriend" advice here it is: Breastfeeding is a lot like football.

Yes, I said football. With football you have to practice, wear a uniform, have to utilize specific terminology, and its not always comfy. Breastfeeding is much the same.

One does not initially think of one's boobs as something to practice with. Yet, motherhood has a way of making you see everything differently, especially your body. With breast feeding the first time around I thought it sounded funny when they said I would have to practice and would get the hang of it all. But I did. And much like the sports I played in high school (disclaimer: football was not one of them) I didn't always enjoy practice, but I enjoyed the benefits of it. While breast feeding sounds perfectly natural, the reality is there is nothing about it that came naturally to me. I had to work at it, with both kids. After a couple bumpy weeks I did get the hang of it. While I do not consider myself a pro with it as of yet, I do not have anywhere near the difficulty I once did. In fact, it seems easier to me now than dealing with the nightmarish, smelly mess that formula felt like with kiddo number one.

In the beginning I also had no idea that this was a sport complete with lingo and equipment. Oh, but it is. And in no time, with said practice, you too will be using the lingo ("My colostrum has come in") and using the equipment (the word "pumps" no longer refers to your shoes!). You need pads, because you will not only leak like a cheap faucet in those first few days but any time you ever need to feed baby and have reached maximum storage capacity. You need a cape if you will want to feed where modesty prevents you from whipping the girls out. Feeding pillows are super, and while you may not have a "uniform" per say, you will look at clothes differently whether you buy actual nursing tops and bras or not. It is also critical that you, like the best of athletes, remain well fed and hydrated at all times.

Last, but not least, it is a full contact sport I assure you. My darling, beautiful, innocent little boy is precious as precious can be. I love him more than words can say, but that cute bundle of joy bites hard when he is mad (this is why children are born with no teeth) and will headbutt and scratch me when he is really fussy or overly hungry. Given his ravenous appetite I feel like I spend more time feeding him than anything else, and thus I get a wee bit tender even when he plays nice.

All of this said, I love breast feeding. It is worth it, every last leaky, tender, exhausting bit of it. The good far out ways any discomfort, and I will gladly continue feeding this way and would do the same for any subsequent child/ren I have. I would never talk anyone out of breast feeding, but I think it is important to walk in to it with eyes wide open. It is work, but its work well worth it.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Last Day of School

I think my 9 year old was defying gravity this morning. Seriously, he was floating.

Micah loves school, but is still kid enough to be a little thrilled at the idea of not having any for a while. He has phone numbers for his friends, so really there is little to be missed in his mind. Especially since having a teacher for a mom he knows I will have a reading quota and other "homework" for him weekly anyway -- gotta keep that brain working!

But as I was waving goodbye and pretending to cry because this was our last goodbye as a third grader I yelled out "Have a great last day!" as he climbed in the truck. To this he replied, "You too!"

And it got me thinking.

Usually I am counting down the seconds as much as he is. Its not that I don't enjoy my job, because I assure you no one could teach if they didn't love it to pieces. I love teaching, I love my students. But I assure you on the last day of school your child's teacher is skipping off campus just as much if not more than your child is.

But I am not on campus this year. I am still on maternity leave, until tomorrow that is. I have been a stay at home mom since I went on medical, then maternity, leave in March this year.

Suddenly, the last day of school has a very different meaning. Its not the last day I am at work with students (because I assure you it is not the "last" day of work for the whole summer by any means). Its the last day I am home all day without my oldest being home too. I am excited for him to be done, excited for the fun we will have, excited for him to get the break he needs, but for the first time there is that other element ... its my last day of only parenting one kid during the day, and this one is pretty easy to parent as long as I feed and change him regularly.

Summer is usually a relaxing thing, less work. But I am not so sure this summer will be LESS than what I have been getting used to these last couple of weeks.

So as I watched them drive away I realized that Micah was right, this is my last day too. And its a half day. Better go enjoy it!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Do as I say ...

While sitting in the parent pick up lane waiting for my oldest to get out of school the other day I watched a lesson in parenting unfold.

Understand that a parking lot at the end of the school day is actually a really dangerous place to be. Parents fighting for parking or vying for a good spot in line, kids darting around excited to get home ... it is a little chaotic, and I think my son's school has a pretty good system to control it so I can't imagine how much fun it is elsewhere.

Back to the point, this guy darts across the parking lot, not in a crosswalk, and narrowly avoids being hit as a result. Teachers are lining the parking lot politely asking him to use the crosswalk instead, which he ignores. A few minutes later I am a few feet further up in line, and this guy is walking with his kid, who darts in front of a car. Now the driver of that car was watching so nothing happened, but it scared the dad to see his kid move unexpectedly in front of a car. So he yelled at him. A lot. And while lecturing on the importance of safety and using cross walks I couldn't help but wonder if dad felt like a hypocrite or just was one.

Do as I say, not as I do is a cliche for a reason. However, while my kid may learn that I say wash the dishes and put them away immediately, he will also know that I do occasionally "soak" the as a way to deal with the problem later - or better yet let someone else do it! As a parent and teacher, I have seen this lesson play out in less humorous ways and it is frustrating. Parents who don't follow rules, who are disrespectful are then surprised when their kids don't follow rules or are rude to others. The parent who yells and swears at his kid's teacher is amazed later when their child holds no respect for authority. Go figure. Parents who don't follow the rules in the parking lot are amazed when their child follows their lead. Really is it that shocking?

There is wisdom to be found in the words of bumper stickers, and I am reminded of one here:

Big mean people make little mean people.

You can change the adjective to just about anything and this can be true. Big rude people make little rude people. Big respectful people make little ones. So while the rules may seem dumb or obnoxious to us as adults sometimes we just need to remember the example we may be setting, and recall that we don't want to be fodder for some one's blog rant about hypocrisy in a school zone.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

finally, a NOT pregnant post!

It is amazing how easily we forget some things. Like how precious the sound of a newborn's sneeze is; how amazingly calm you feel with your baby snoozing peacefully on your chest; how right everything seems to be with the world when you see that precious smile, whether it be genuine or gas-induced irrelevant to its beauty ... OR how amazingly little one can accomplish with a newborn around!

So it has been a mighty long time since I have blogged here, not an absence of my finding mirth in daily life, just an absence of two handed-typing-time! What time I have had I have tried to devote to setting up blogs for my kiddos, The Adventures of Jellybean for my youngest Kellan and DinoMicah for my nine year old boy-wonder, Micah.

At any rate, the little time I have for this post is fading quick (naps in between feedings are surprisingly short for my littlest linebacker) so I will have to bid you adieu again, but I had to toss something up here to at least address the fact I m no longer pregnant!
Read the Printed Word!