Archive for the ‘baby’ Tag

The Unexpected Intersection Between Motherhood and Womanhood   Leave a comment

“Motherhood brings as much joy as ever, but it still brings boredom, exhaustion, and sorrow, too.  Nothing else ever will make you as happy or as sad, as proud or as tired, for nothing is quite as hard as helping a person develop his own individuality, especially while you struggle to keep your own ~ Marguerite Kelly and Elia Parsons”

It is never easy … balancing between:

  • the family and self
  • career and home
  • the partner and the kids
  • time and money

And yet, despite it all … we should never give up.

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Why I write so passionately …   Leave a comment

My child asked me today, “Why do you write, mommy?”

It’s been ten years since she was born and yet, I remember it almost as if it happened yesterday.

Would I have done some things differently? Probably.
Would I have changed a single thing about her? No, because I love her exactly the way she is.

“I write for you, my child. There are so many things I have learnt which I want to share with you and yet, I know now is not the time but I fear, tomorrow we may never find the right moment. One day, you will read what I have written and understand the journey that brought us here. Hopefully, you will take these learnings to make your life even better once you yourself become a woman.

This is my legacy to you.”

Breastfeeding Boost Possible After Royal Birth   Leave a comment

Could the example set by the Duchess of Cambridge with the Royal Baby help reduce the stigma of breastfeeding and lessen the number of mothers who give up nursing shortly after leaving the hospital? How important is it for public figures to set the tone?

The Duchess of Cambridge is reportedly successfully breastfeeding newborn Prince George after a shaky start, following recent traditions set by Princess Diana and the Queen Mother. The efforts of public figures in setting the example are an ongoing source of inspiration for new mothers to persevere with their own efforts of nursing, especially when for centuries in the past, royal babies were traditionally handed over to wet nurses soon after birth.

US breastfeeding rates
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mother and baby desire. But the latest data showed only 47.2% of moms were still nursing their babies at 6 months and only 25.5% at 12 months.

Despite the numerous benefits, many new mothers give up nursing due to the stigma of breastfeeding – their fear of being able to nurse their babies discreetly in public; their reluctance to deal with society’s perception that breastfeeding in public is inappropriate despite the many laws passed in the United States that protect a woman’s right to breastfeed in any place, public or private, as long as she’s authorised to be there; or the lack of support from their employer to enable them to express their milk while at work.

So, how can every mom be expected to continue nursing her child when she is confronted with this stigma at every turn? …Read more

Looking For Equality Within A Marriage   Leave a comment

“Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave – Martin Luther”

Marriage equality

Pew Research Center recently conducted an analysis of each parent’s total workload, comprising paid work, child care and housework. It found that in dual-income households, fathers put in, on average, 58 hours a week, compared with 59 hours for mothers but the distribution between paid work, housework and childcare was quite different. In households where the father is the sole breadwinner, his total workload exceeded that of his partner by only 11 hours (57 vs. 46 hours per week) but in households where the mother is the sole breadwinner, her total workload exceeded that of her partner by about 25 hours (58 vs. 33 hours per week).

Is it any wonder that working mothers often perceive inequalities within their own marriages?  …Read more

Crazy For Milk – A working mom and her struggle   Leave a comment

It was past midnight and I had finished putting away all the dishes.  Everyone else was fast asleep and I was exhausted.  Growing up, when I was a little girl playing with dolls and toy cooking sets, it was all fun and games.  Later as a young adult, it was jokes and banter over the horror stories.  It never struck me that as a mother, a wife, I would be this tired and this lost.

It was now coming to the end of the fourth month since Emma was born.  Every morning, I dragged myself out of bed before the sun rose to breastfeed the sleepy little Emma and express as much milk as I could before work.  It was stressful, trying to get my breast pump sterilized, all the apparatus packed so I could express at work and Emma changed before I dropped her at the daycare.  I was going insane, rushing every morning in order to make it to work before eight thirty.

At work, I struggled as my body wreaked havoc on me.  Late morning meetings that dragged on to lunch time were the worst because by that time, I was literally dying to express and having massive let downs in my nursing pads.  It became nearly impossible to concentrate on whatever was being discussed during those times.

Just last week, I had not positioned my nursing pad properly and the milk had soaked through to my shirt.  It was bad enough having my now enhanced curves and cleavage scanned by the older, more lecherous males in the office whilst trying to pretend I didn’t notice or care.  But that was the worse day — those same men were watching the stain spread on my white shirt as I tried to pretend that there was nothing wrong.  Days like that, I really regretted waking up in the morning and going to work.

To make matters worse, my milk supply was dwindling whilst Emma’s demand for milk was increasing.  I wasn’t able to express as much at work anymore.  I used to be able to express at least eighteen ounces a day my first week back at work, but now after ten weeks, that had dropped by one-third and I was perpetually worried Emma wouldn’t have enough breast milk to see her through until her first birthday.  I really wanted to try and fully breastfeed Emma for the first year of her life.

I was fully engorged in the evenings by the time I picked Emma up from daycare — feeding her was a relief although I had to hold off feeding her when I got home until my breast pump was sterilized.  I needed to catch any excess milk that dripped out uncontrollably from the other side while she was feeding.  Every drop had become extra precious to me and I couldn’t afford to lose a single one now.

To read more, go to http://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Milk-lactation-confessions-struggling/dp/0991819403

Crazy For Milk – A new mother’s obsession with breastfeeding   Leave a comment

I had heard all the stories, the old wives’ tales, the dos and the don’ts.
I had read books and researched materials on the Internet.
I made sure I bought everything I could think of beforehand — the baby clothes, the baby bottles, the diapers, the diaper rash medication, the lotions, the soaps and the baby cot.
I planned upfront all the housework that needed to be done and did as much as I could before I entered the labour room so there would be less to do when I got home with her.
I had even meditated and got myself into a Zen-like-state so that I would be as ready as I could be to bring her into this world.
I wanted to be ready.
I had thought I was ready.
I really believed I was ready.
That is, until the milk came.

For more information, go to http://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Milk-confessions-struggling-ebook/dp/B00AQBDRFI

Dad’s First Father’s Day – Five Ideas to Happiness   Leave a comment

It’s three a.m. and the baby is still crying. Exhaustion, sleep deprivation and lack of intimacy with your partner have become a normal part of life over the past few months. With approximately 4 million babies born in the United States annually and Father’s Day just around the corner, is it any wonder that many new dads are asking themselves, “Is this what fatherhood is all about? Surely there must be more to it than just this.”

There is and it is possible to embrace life as a new dad.

But seriously – is embracing fatherhood really that important?

President Obama grew up without his dad, and has said that being a father is the most important job he has. According to the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC), an Office of Family Assistance (OFA) funded national resource, “fatherlessness is a growing crisis in America, one that undergirds many of the challenges that families are facing. When dads aren’t around, young people are more likely to drop out of school, use drugs, be involved in the criminal justice system, and become young parents themselves.” This is not a small issue since out of the estimated 70 million fathers in the United States in 2011, about 16% or 25 million men had children younger than 18.

So, where does one start?

It begins when the new baby comes home, and you adjust to life as a proud dad. No one plans to fail but many fail to plan.  Here are some ideas for this Father’s Day to all the new and not-so-new dads out there:

    • Chill out – You need your own personal space and the opportunity to retreat into your man-cave. The only thing is – make sure your partner understands why you are doing it. You don’t want her to misconstrue it and think that you are avoiding her. Be fair. Offer her the same time out for herself.
    • Take charge – Be responsible for some tasks. It will please her, make her appreciate you even more and contribute to the peace at home. If you can’t do it, get professional help. Hire a cleaning service. Hire a doula who can assist by providing information, physical assistance and emotional support. If your partner is having problems breastfeeding, don’t try to understand her stress. Just be as supportive as you can and get a professional lactation consultant to help.
    • Bring out the Don Juan in you – Missing the good old days? It’s true there’s a new love in her life but she still loves you. It may be hard to tear her away from her newborn (near impossible in the beginning, actually!) but time together – alone – can help rebuild the intimacy in your relationship. Give her alternatives she can be comfortable with, like getting a trusted family member or friend to help babysit for an hour or two.
    • Be Sherlock Holmes – Do you feel she’s not the same woman you fell in love with and she’s taking you on an emotional rollercoaster which you just can’t wait to get away from? In some cases, she may be experiencing some level of postpartum depression. According to womenshealth.gov, about 13 percent of pregnant women and new mothers have depression. Seek advice from a doctor. You can’t handle this alone.
    • Pay it forward – Take the President’s Fatherhood Pledge. That’s why President Obama is joining dads from across the nation in a fatherhood pledge – a pledge that fathers will do everything they can to be there for their children and for young people whose dads are not around.

So, how are you going to make your Father’s Day different this year?

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