Thursday, June 12, 2014

42 REASONS WHY BREASTFEEDING IS A BIGGER DEAL TO OTHERS THAN IT NEEDS TO BE....

Mommy Proof #42: I mind my own nipple.

Recently, a mother's picture was taken while she was nursing her infant daughter. Then, a firestorm erupted. This woman's choice to breastfeed her child during her graduation was deemed inappropriate and people went as far as to call her derogatory names. A few individuals asked me what was my opinion on the photo that has been shared repeatedly on the internet. The truth is that I really do not care where or how this woman chose to feed her child. The baby was hungry. The baby ate. That is all that matters to me.


Congratulations, Karlesha Thurman!


Why? I was the woman nursing a baby during an awards program. I have nursed in front of children playing at the playground. I have nursed while walking through outlet malls with three older children surrounding me. I have nursed while grocery shopping. I have nursed at my aunt's wedding. I have nursed during religious services. I had one child that would absolutely have destroyed a room's sound barrier if he did not get fed when he deemed necessary. So we fed him. At the zoo. In the mall. In a PTA meeting. It happens. Babies get hungry. Someone feeds them.

While I have nursed, I have heard some of the silliest comments known to man, well, woman. Here are 42 reasons why breastfeeding is a bigger deal to other people than it is to the nursing mother. Most of these statements stem from a lack of knowledge. These statements and the way society views a woman's breasts are the reasons why nursing has become taboo in public.  Contrary to popular belief, some women cannot pump. Some women call their breasts by their proper name. Some women do not view breasts just as sexual objects. Some women choose to bottle feed. Some women choose to formula feed. Some women choose to exclusively nurse. I have formula fed and breastfed.

42 things I have heard while nursing in public:

 1. Ewwww...
 2. Is she....OMAGAHD....she got her titty out. (This is after they leaned over and studied the baby to see why I put a blanket over her head.)
 3. Why didn't you just pump?
 4. Isn't pumping easier?
 5. Aren't your breasts too small to breast feed?
 6. That's nasty.
 7. That is gross.
 8. There is a bathroom with a couch on the other side of the mall. (Because everyone likes to walk a mile with a screaming baby to find a bathroom to feed said child just to eat while smelling fecal matter. That sentence didn't make any sense? Neither did that suggestion.)
 9. Doesn't that feel funny....like...you know.....weird?
10. I could never have a baby sucking on my nipples. That is...sexual.
11. Does he cry like that every time he gets hungry? (Don't all babies cry? That is how they communicate.)
12. I could not have my baby ONLY want ME.
13. You have to get up during the night for every feeding? (Obviously, formula fed babies make their own bottles. Oh, wait, no, they do not.)
14. How does your husband help if the baby is breastfed.
15. I know your husband can't wait until you stop.
16. You don't think it is wrong for the baby not to be fed by daddy, too? What about their bond?
17. I could never just whip out my TITTY for anyone to see. (For the record, I have never "whipped my titty out." I have discreetly latched a baby on to my nipple, though. Go figure.)
18. I mean, how does that taste? (After I answered...) You mean you tasted your own breast milk? (After answering that question and asking them if they have tasted their own child's formula...) That is just nasty. (O.o)
19. Why don't you just give him a bottle? (What exactly would my baby do with an empty bottle?)
20. You ONLY give them breast milk? (The baby was 9 weeks.)
21. You don't give them water? I am surprised your child doesn't have kidney damage.
22. How do you sterilize your nipples?
23. You should ask the doctor if your breast milk is enough...
24. Are you nursing? There are children here! (My response: There is a child here, too. She is trying to eat. O.o)
25. You are nursing again?
26. She is still hungry?
27. How do you know she is getting enough?
28. Why are you switching sides? There is milk in both of them?
29. Do you ever run out of milk?
30. Why would you want to do that?
31. You are going to stop after 6 weeks right?
32. You are going to stop after she gets teeth, right?
33. You are going to stop once he starts biting, right?
34. You are going to stop once they start asking for it, right?
35. I couldn't have someone on my breast after they learn how to talk...
36. What if you leak?
37. Now no one will be able to watch her.
38. You could just give him formula. That would be easier.
39. I didn't nurse, because I wanted my baby to be independent.
40. I would just start formula now or transition to whole milk. (The baby was 9 months, mind you.)
41. That is more of a comfort for you than it is nutritious for them.
42. Poor people breastfeed. I can afford formula. You should get WIC.

So, in other words, I mind my own nipple. Someone else nursing in public is none of my business. I may have done the same thing at some point during my almost ten years of nursing. When my 6 year old son saw the picture of Karlesha nursing her baby, he said, "Cute baby!" That was what he saw in the picture. So, if all you see is her breast when you look at this picture, you may be the one with the problem...not the woman that was handed a hungry baby and happened to smile while feeding her.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Is being a SAHM a dying profession?

MOMMY PROOF #41: The hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
-W. R. Wallace

Today, I am trying to find a job. I have been applying and applying with little to no skills to brag about. The resume of what my life has been for the last ten years is nothing that would impress an employer. I have been pregnant for 3 of the last 10 years. I have nursed for almost five of those years. The problem is that Human Incubator and Professional Wet nurse and Caregiver are not recognizable employment.

I was silly enough not to make myself more marketable once I entered the work force. I kept seeing the classes take the focus from my little ones and I put it on the back burner. As a result, I am stuck in a prison that I have created for myself. As I try to fill a resume, I am drawing a blank. In the last almost eleven years, I have been a nurse, chauffeur, scheduler, appointment maker, teacher, laundry operator, housekeeper, cook, facilities manager, daycare provider, and referee. I can get four kids presentable in less than 20 minutes as I make the effort to run out of the door and get them to class on time. I can wash sweat and dirt off of a wiggling, wet body in less than 10 minutes. I am extremely efficient with bath time and washing hair. I can make dinner in less than 30 minutes with all natural ingredients, no cartons or boxes, and no preservatives. What I cannot do? Find a job. A job that allows me to be at home when the kids need me. A job that allows me to be AWAY from home when I need to be.....

I better finish that NASM book and certification....

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mommy Proof #40: Be comfortable in your own skin...or nah

I am a size 2-4 and I hate my body. I mean hate, hate. I hate my skin. I hate my cellulite. I hate my stretch marks. I hate saggy breasts that have been ravaged of five years of nursing. I hate my stomach that has been stretched and deflated over and over and over and over again. I hate that I underestimated how hard it would be to keep my body toned and fit. I hate that I lost the interest to do something about it. But what I hate most may surprise most of you, I hate the compliments.

It bothers me when fellow women come up to me and comment on the size of my waist. I don't want you to think that it is offensive. It just bothers me when people speak about my body, because they don't see the truth of it. Others do not get to experience the sadness I feel when I disrobe, then look at how pregnancy ravaged my body. They do not realize that while those 40 pounds gained do not seem like a lot to them, it was a huge amount for me. They do not see where I burnt my nine month pregnant baby bump after spilling hot water on it while draining spaghetti. They do not take me seriously.
While you probably roll your eyes at this admission, it is something that most women go through. Most of us look at our bodies and see something we wish we could change. I laid in my husband's arms the other night and wept. For eight years, I covered up instead of wearing what I wanted to wear. I found clothing that would hide my flaws as opposed to working on myself. I have a confession to make: I'm disappointed with myself. I'm ashamed of the jiggling that occurs that no one can see, but I can feel. I'm angry with what I allowed myself to become. Not because of my body, but because I settled. I'm done with settling. I'm going to do what I wanted to do with my life. I'm going to spend the next decade living the life I wanted to live and I'm going to begin today...with myself. So, hold me to it and stay tuned.

Coming up soon: My bikini inspiration that I must fit into by July and the body that says nah...

Thursday, February 13, 2014

This is why Mimosas were created....

Mommy Proof #39: Your children can talk all day long and never tire out...

1. "Can I have some cake?" (at 7:55 am)
2. "Can I have some breakfast?" (at 7:55 and 32 seconds am)
3. "Can I have some cake for breakfast?" (at 7:56 am)
4. "Why can't I have cake for breakfast?" (at 7:56 am)
5. "Why did you eat cake for breakfast?" (at 7:56 am)
6. "Can I have waffles?" (7:57 am)
7. NOT DIRECTED AT ME: "Isn't it funny how cake and waffles have the same ingredients in them, yet one is a breakfast food and the other is a dessert?" (8:30 am)
8. "We are going to go play!" (9 am)
9. "Mooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooom!" (9:10 am)
10. "That is not fair." (9:10 am)
11. "NOOOOOOOOOO!" (9:10 am)
12. "Give it back!" (9:10 am)
13. "That is mine!" (9:10 am)
14. "That is MINE!" (9:10 am)
15. "That is MINE!" (9:10 am)
16. "That is MINE!" (9:10 am)
17. "Mooooooooooom! Mom! MAMA! Mommy!" (9:10 am)
18. "Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad!" (9:10 am)
19. When giving the option to go to their separate rooms: "We are going to go play!" (9:11 am)
20. "I'm hungry!" (9:15 am)
21. Send the baby in to say, "I hungry, Mama!" (9:15 am)
22. "Can we have some cake?" (9:15 am)
23. "I don't want an apple." (9:15 am)
24. "I don't want an orange or a banana or some water." (9:15 am)
25. "Why do we have to get out of the kitchen?" (9:15 am)
26. Someone mumbles, "But we aren't in Africa...." (9:16 am)
27. Someone else mumbles, "But we ARE starving..."(9:16 am)
28. "Can I have an apple?" (9:24 am)
29. "Yay!!! Mom said we can have an apple!" (9:24 am)
30. "Mom, can I have an orange?" (9:24 am)
31. "Yes, she said I can have an orange!" (9:24 am, like those aren't the same snacks I offered them less than 10 minutes before.)
32.  "Let's go play?" (9:30 am)
33. "Let's go play with the train set." (9:30 am)
34. "Let's go play with the train set and make the Hulk attack it." (9:30 am)
35. "MOM! They are making the train set into a Barbie train set and won't let the Hulk attack it!" (9:44 am)
36. "Mama. Dey not stop touching my train set." (9:44 am)
37. "Dat's my train set." (9:44 am)
38. "I not share!" (9:44 am)
39. "I not sit down." (9:44 am)
40. "Can I get outta time out?" (9:48 am)
41. "I sorry. I love you. I be good." (9:48 am and the toddler is giggling and sniffing back tears as he joins his siblings that are calmly playing with the train set.)
42. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" *shrieking* (9:50 am)
43. "Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! I broked the train set." (9:50 am and yes that is the toddler that said he was sorry.)
44. "Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! NO TIME OUT!" (9:50 am)
45. "Good. Now, we can play." (9:51 am)
46. "No fairs! No fairs! Noooooooooooooooo fairs!!!!!!!!!!" (9:51 am and toddler is back in time out.)
47. "Stop!" (9:51 am)
48. "That isn't what we are playing!!!!!!" (9:51am)
49. "Why do we have to go to our rooms?????? We weren't all fighting!" (9:52 am)
50. "Mom, can we have lunch?" (10:00 am)
Mommy Proof #38: Snow days are STOOPID!

I have learned a few things after being cooped up in the house with four children.

 1. Snow days are STOOPID!
 2. Snow is STOOPID!
 3. Falling precipitation in freezing temperatures is STOOPID!
 4. Time can literally stand still.
 5. You may not cherish these moments.
 6. Your kids are not as cute as you may have thought that they were...
 7. Sayings like, "He got that from his father's side..." have never been more true.
 8. You can't run away from home in 7 inches of snow and ice. You have to walk very slowly. That gives kids a chance to catch up to you.
 9. Snowball fights shouldn't be initiated by a mother that has cabin fever. You may maniacally do it as a torturous comeback for everything they did to you that day.
10. Make them hot chocolate and cherish these moments. :-/

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Mommy Proof #37: LEARN CPR and FIRST AID!

I can't wait to say farewell to 2013. In many ways, it was filled with funny and fleeting moments that passed too quickly. We felt very scared and helpless when our nine year old needed emergency surgery. We nursed little wounds and big heartbreaks. We triumphed when our children excelled in school and beat the odds.

I cried many nights when I realized that we had a series of "lasts" that I will never experience again. I achieved my goals of nursing to age 2. I mourned the fact that there would never be another crib in our home or swing in our living room. I packed up the last of their newborn clothes and gave them away. We will never have a baby that tiny in our bassinet again. Then, I began to look towards the future again.

Three weeks ago, I sat beside my youngest child and peeled an orange for him. I had just checked on dinner, but he just couldn't wait until it was done. (It is a perfect snack really. They are described on the commercial as easy to peel and eat. We love them!) My oldest son was on the couch watching a movie. My oldest girl was in the den appreciating some quiet time. My youngest girl was napping on the couch. I looked down at my youngest to see if he was ready for another slice of orange. My heart stopped.

My precious boy was silently choking. Not a sound was emitted as he gagged and heaved, tears and drool running from his eyes and mouth. I looked at him and froze. I choked. I couldn't move. I said a quick prayer that he would be able to gag it up, that his father would walk in from work, that I could go back in time and never peel that orange, but we all know that last thing couldn't happen. His face began to turn colors and I shot into action. I used a finger since I could see a portion of orange to sweep his mouth and airway clear. I ended up pushing it farther back.

My breathing stopped and tears came to my eyes. I called for my oldest daughter to get the phone and call 911. I met eyes with my oldest son whose attention had been pulled away from the movie he had been watching. His mouth was moving rhythmically as his eyes and hands showed his quiet panic. When I could decipher his whispers, "Please don't let him die," my heart broke in a million pieces. He let out a strangled, "MOM..." And I sprung back into action. I saw what he saw. An empty bed in his room. A lifeless body. A stupid orange slice. A tiny coffin. A funeral. My baby. His brother....gone. All of the information flooded back into my brain from my CPR and First Aid class. I performed the motions that they described and showed to me. I detached myself and picked the baby up, mimicking the actions like he wasn't my choking child, but that silly doll. I caught eyes with his brother and said, "It's okay" as I did it. I finally took a breath when I heard an audible gag, then,wails as my baby caught his breath and the color returned to his face.

As I focused back into reality, I heard my daughter hysterically asking about whether she should dial 911.  I wiped my baby's face from saliva and tears. I comforted him and his siblings paying close attention to his older brother who was holding onto my waist. Then, we laughed as my youngest daughter woke up and asked what happened. Then we all froze when the baby asked for another orange slice. :-/

So as you enter 2014 with your little ones, whether they are newborns or pre-teens, sign up for a CPR and First Aid class in your area. Pay the fee and give yourself some peace of mind. I took that first class 9 years ago and would never have imagined that I would need it in an emergency, but I did and you just might. So let's make that the first thing on our "To Do" list. Share this post and spread the word. I'll be going back to cuddle my babies. ;-)

Friday, November 15, 2013

OUR VERY FIRST DADDY PROOF!

Mommy Daddy Proof #36: If you make a mistake, make it right. Make it better. Make it a lesson.

Our children's school hosts a Family week. A small chunk of time is set aside in the morning, so that children can begin their day with a smile. This week, I missed it. I felt horrible. The next day was Doughnuts for Dad. Our second grader begged my husband to come to her Doughnuts for Dad.

My husband was finally home on a weekday that would allow him to go for Doughnuts for Dads. Although it would take some rearranging of his schedule and possibly a penalty from his place of employment for the short notice, my husband called into work and told them he would be a little late. The kids were overjoyed. They woke up and didn't expect to see their dad there. He usually leaves before they wake up.

The kids left for school as happy as can be. My foursome were off to enjoy the morning, but, later that morning, I received a phone call that I didn't expect. Something bothered my husband as he left the school that day. It weighed heavily on his mind. I asked him how the morning went and he told me fine. He didn't realize that this event was also for our older child and he forgot to sign her in, but she spoke up in her true older daughter fashion. Our second oldest child was happy and had a great time. Then, my husband told me what was really bothering him.

He dropped our son off in the classroom the way he would normally do in the morning. As he walked our second grader to her classroom, she urged him to go back and get her brother. "Let him come to my class, Dad!" My husband responded, "No, he has to go to his class and we go to yours." As he passed back by his classroom, he threw his hand up to wave. Our son briefly looked excited. Then he realized that he had to stay in the classroom and his face saddened. That bothered my husband and he called to talk to me about it. As he rambled on about 5K's Doughnuts for Dad, I felt my heart drop and tears came to my eyes....

See, there was not going to be a 5K's Doughnuts for Dad. That isn't how it works. Although some activities are separated according to grades, that was not one of them. Our son missed breakfast with his dad. He missed out on his first Doughnuts for Dad. What made it worse is that he realized it and my husband realized it too late. My heart was breaking for the both of them. I kept on imagining my son sitting in that classroom dejected and hurt. I wasn't there to hold him and comfort him. I'm also not positive I could have made it better at that point.

We spoke about ways to make it up to him and then got off the phone. Around 15 minutes later, I received another phone call. It was my husband and he wasn't in the company truck. He was in his own and he was on his way to get our son out of school. He had only been at work for two hours, but he just kept on picturing that look on our son's face. He couldn't concentrate. It made him physically ill with the thought of it.  He explained to me that this could make or break his relationship with our son and he couldn't get to him soon enough.

He walked into the school and explained what happened. He went and got our baby who still had that same look on his face. He apologized and explained the mistake he made. He took him out to lunch and to spend the day with him. Everywhere they went people would inquire about why our son was out of school. Everywhere they went, my husband would explain the mistake he made...but he did much more than that. In the words of our son, "Every time I blinked, I thought I'd burst into tears. But then my dad came back!" So, that is the lesson learned. We live at a time when we have to spend time away from our children, so we should strive to make every moment with them count. If we make a mistake in one of those moments, make it right. Make it better. This concludes our first Daddy Proof. Good job, Daddy!

When we talked to our six year old about how he felt, he used his hands. "He heart 'broked' me, Mom."
"...But then my dad came back for me!"




(I'd like to also thank our son's teachers. They tried to soothe his broken heart.)