Woo hoo, I remember to get my Homeschool Mothers Journal post up this week. It has been a rough week here, but a surprisingly peaceful one at the same time. If you want to share your home school week head on over to iHomeschoolNetwork and link up your post too!Read More
Why is it everyone is offended by the phrase "Are You Mom Enough," assuming that it is meant to place guilt onto the masses? Why is it, mothers everywhere are not staring at this message (like me) saying "Yes, I am mom enough to stand proud of my parenting choices in the face of a brutal unaccepting society, just like Jamie Lynne Grumet." I have never seen a phase that should make mothers think proudly of their convictions evoke so much anger.Read More
I am not naive enough to think that TIME's had much interest in the natural reasoning behind extended breastfeeding. I'm positive this bold cover was hands down about selling copy. Nevertheless, I commend them for bringing some much needed attention to the topic. In honor of the issue and Mother’s Day tomorrow I invite you to embrace extended breastfeeding. Take the time to study up on a little anthropology and learn the real weaning age of humans, the benefits for both child and mother and dig your head out of the vain, materialistic world that most Americans live in.
Image adapted from photo By mikecoghJust a quick note to share that it is not exactly easy to detach from the digital world and accomplish real life things when you and your 8 year old suddenly get sick. Swollen glands and fevers don’t exactly lend themselves to productiveness and I can’t exactly wallow in the bed all day when my girls are still running around healthy and wired up. So, digital world, I embrace thee still, and thank you for keeping me sane when I would much rather sleep!
I read a post this morning from Sisters 'N Cloth on how breastfeeding isn’t always easy in honor of World Breastfeeding Week, and boy is she right.
I’m a long hair kind of gal. Rarely in my life have I had my hair shorter than shoulder length, it just does not suite me. Working on trying to convince my 33-month-old daughter that she doesn’t need her “ba’s” anymore literally has me wanting to shave my head bald though.
You see, I’m very much for child-led weaning and a strong advocate for extended breastfeeding, but even I get to a point in the process when I’ve just had enough. With my now six year old, it was around her third birthday. I was pregnant with Little Red and nursing just became horrendous for me. We were at the point where she would only nurse twice a day, to take a nap and at bedtime, obviously comfort nursing, but those two times were awful.
I would find myself wanting to crawl out of my skin within second of her latching on. I would sit there, grit my teeth for five minutes, and unlatch her within five minutes because I just couldn’t handle it. I was lucky enough at this time though to have a great helper in 20 year old who was staying with us because we were helping her out. She LOVED playing with the kids, and would do so for hours each day, which quickly became the distraction I had been looking for that allowed Goldilocks to wean on her own without a bat of an eyelash.
Now, my Little Red, she is a different story. She has absolutely NO interest in being done, would latch on all day if I would let her, and I starting to get to that skin crawling point again.
Don’t get me wrong, we have our good days, the ones where she stays occupied and won’t even ask for the ba at naptime. But then there are the days that she tells me “I’m sick, :::cough::: :::cough:::, I need it!” and sticks out her pouty little lip. Or the newest phrase, “Please, it’s my birthday!” I can’t help but giggle at that one, but the point is she does not want to give it up easily obviously and is going to make this a chore for me.
So what does my hair have to do with it you ask? Well, as I slowly convince her that she doesn’t need the ba, she instead wants to “play” with my hair. I use the word play loosely because this often results in her wrapping a chunk of it around her hand and then repeatedly pulling.
I already cut my hair from being half way down my back to shoulder length again because she has been a hair baby since she was infant. Some kids have a blanket, a stuffed animal, a pillow but not my Little Red, her lovey has been and still is my hair.
So, as we go through this emotional process of letting go of breastfeeding I find myself wanting to shave my head bald before she has the chance to pull it all out herself.
Are you extended breast feeder? What challenges have you faced when weaning your child, or allowing them to wean? What advice would you give to a new mom about extended breastfeeding?
If the Doll Offends You, By all Means, Shelter Your Children from World Culture & Art as Well!
My six-year-old daughter, Goldilocks, has uttered those exact words to me many times. Each time it warms my heart to know they we are raising her in environment where she knows that “Just” being a mom is okay, because it is a truly amazing job.
I found myself steaming mad last night though, as once again the over sexualized and media crazed state of our society reared its ugly head, threatening the future my daughter has envisioned for herself.
It All Begins With a Doll
The Breastmilk Baby Doll to be exact. You see, after a video of it was shared on Facebook I scrolled down to read a comment calling the doll “disgusting.” Disgusting, really, what is so disgusting about it? It allows children to roll play with their baby dolls and I find it no less offensive than having to listen to the sucking sounds of a baby doll that has had a fake bottle shoved in its mouth.
But you see, when called out how natural and normal breastfeeding is, the commenters quickly counter acted by sharing that little girls should not be “pretending” to breastfeed or “acting” like little mommies. They are children, we should let them be innocent and this kind of play is wrong.
Irrational fears were brought up that little girls who play with these dolls are going to end up pregnant at the age of 13 and it teaching a young child to masturbate because we are teaching them the importance of breastfeeding was even shared, using the comparison of the both being natural.
Public Scrutiny and the Media are Winning
To me it all boils down to the fact that through commercialization and the media, breastfeeding just is not accepted for what it should be, a healthy natural normal process for feeding human babies. Instead, as much as we fight it, American citizens still gravitate to placing anything related to the breast in the “sex” category thus labeling an innocent baby doll as disgusting and causing a loss of innocence.
We live in a time where fantasy is often the more accepted norm and it truly is disheartening.
Let Them Play
For those that take issue with a child simulating breastfeeding with a doll because children shouldn’t pretend to be “mommies” I have this to say
Take away the cowboy hat, the firefighter’s jacket and play kitchen,
Take away the legos and blocks,
Take away the crayons and paper,
Take away the Barbies and the action figures,
Go ahead and take away all of your children’s toys, because everyone opens up the opportunity for your child to enter imaginative play and if even for a brief moment they are mommy, a police officer, an architect, an artist or a fashion designer.
If you are not going to this, by all means, let go of all of your media fueled misconceptions and just let them play!
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So, I ran across a tweet from Dagmar Bleasdale last night that directed me to the heated debate going on in the comments of one of her blog post that discusses the how she is nursing her four year old.
At first, I was thrilled to see all of the wonderful encouraging replies she received of other mothers who have nursed or are nursing their children who are two to four years old. Then the negativity began to pour in which posters shared their disgust, claiming that these mothers must be physiologically damaging their children.
Image via Wikipedia
After reading, I decided I am going to share with you my blog friends and all of my friends and family on Facebook who are visiting for the first time, how our family operates, our beliefs and how I manage to offend so many people simply by parenting my children the way nature intended.
Let’s start from the very beginning, childbirth. While I was never brave enough to attempt a home birth with my three children, all three were delivered naturally (meaning through the vagina) not by C-section, with as little drugs and intervention as possible. A mid-wife in the hospital delivered my third. If a C-section had been required for mine or my children’s safety I would have agreed, but do not believe in voluntary or scheduled C-sections. My second, Goldilocks was two weeks late, and while we decided to be induced at that point, the thought of removing my sweet baby girl via C-section simply because she was not ready would have never happened.
I would also like to point out that I did not agree to any extra testing while pregnant or a 3D sonogram, as they are not necessary and have the potential to cause more harm than good.
Now, let’s move on to feeding the baby. Yes, I breastfeed, and yes I am an extended nurser. While our first was on soy formula until he was two and did not breastfeed, our middle daughter weaned at the age of 3 years and 3 months and our youngest is still breastfeeding at the age 24 months.
GASP….pick you self up off the floor now while I share with you a few thoughts and facts on breastfeeding. Firstly, for those of you that just found yourselves flabbergasted and disgusted, chances are you are stuck in the modern concept that society has warped into that associates the breast and the human body as sexual objects instead of what they are intended for. You are probably the person that scowls if you catch a glimpse of a mother feeding her baby in public. This is not natural, and it is beyond me how society has managed to become so warped that they would allow what is best for their own kind to be swept under the table.
Now, let’s move on to the facts. Dr. Katherine Dettwyler of Texas A and M University, sums up her finding quiet well here, which are that “The minimum predicted age for a natural age of weaning in humans is 2.5 years, with a maximum of 7.0 years.” A simple study of science of and human history, supports the findings and reveals how socially warped the world has become. So for those who choose to present with the question of “really, your still nursing her, shouldn’t she have stopped a long time ago?” I am simply going to begin replying with “really, you’re not nursing her, are you that uneducated?” Harsh, maybe, but I feel that women who choose to parent the way nature intended have been ridiculed and made to feel ashamed by society long enough.
Next….for those of you that do not do this yourself and did not know that I did, it will really blow your mind….I cloth diapered. Yes, my kids pooed in diapers and I actually put in my washer and cleaned them each day. Mind blower, I know! Really, people, it’s quite simple, we were not meant to have plastic and chemicals wrapped around our bum 24 hours a day. Not only is it an incredibly smart choice for your child it is cost effective and SO MUCH BETTER for the environment.
If I haven’t managed to freak you out or click away yet, here it comes, I DO NOT VACCINATE my children. Sure, they have some of them, Hep vacs and such, but really, why would I voluntarily pump my innocent little children full of chemicals, most times 5 different shots in one visit? It is NOT Natural! Many of the shots given to children are just not necessary in my opinion. They were developed in a time when hygiene was lacking and clean water supplies were not always available. We do not face these issues today and my children deserve the chance to grow up the way nature intended without a slew of chemicals coursing through their veins.
Now to round out the life that I live and love that leaves many feeling as if I just drug my nails across a chalkboard. I stay home and educate my children at home because that is what my husband and I have chosen to do. My life’s dreams do not include a successful career, large beautiful home or summer vacations to Europe. My dream is to raise my children in a loving home, teaching to appreciate the Earth around them and how to live a much more simple life.
With the exception of one or two meals my husband may make during the week and the few times we eat out, I cook for my family three meals a day, every day and 75 percent of that food is home-made, not processed garbage out of a box or freezer aisle and we sit and eat dinner together as a family every night.
Through the inspiration of Charlotte Mason, my children will leave my home when they grow up with the skills and knowledge to cook for themselves, how to grow their own food, how to mend their clothes if need be and so much more. So while my choices in parenting and natural living to do offend so many on a daily basis, they are mine and my families choices, and you do not have to agree but I suspect you are capable of respecting them. For while I may not agree with yours, I do the same. For deciding how we are going to carry out our life on this tiny little speck in space and what our true purpose is, is an individual choice for each to decide.