Article
5 comments

Tit Terrorists?

Breastfeeding Nazis. Being called superior, condescending and judgmental. These are just some of the not-so-nice things I have heard said about lactavists.

I have counted myself amongst lactavists for the past 4 years. In the beginning, my first thoughts when hearing those kinds of insults about lactavists were defensive ones. People that would say that about lacatvists obviously don’t understand. They don’t understand that we are coming from a place of passion! If they really knew what I KNOW then they would feel the same way I feel. Blame it on ignorance, because we all know that if every woman were as smart as me, then they would obviously think exactly the way I do. (Sarcasm) I say that sarcastically now, but there was a time where I really felt that way.

Some people might assume that those kinds of remarks would come only from women that are hard-core promoters of formula feeding. The mothers who formula fed all their children and firmly believe that there is no notable differences between the two. I have been noticing though, that that doesn’t alway seem to be the case. There are many women that support breastfeeding, have breastfed their children or are currently breastfeeding their children, that don’t have positive feelings towards lactavists and wouldn’t want to count themselves amongst them.

Why is that?

Recent events have shown an upsurge on Facebook amongst  lacatavists , posting about the horrors of formula feeding. I really have to take a moment to thank a friend of mine. Reading her blog this past year about her trials, her thoughts & feelings about a breastfeeding relationship she had originally wanted and ended up not having and the emotions she has felt through it all, has gone a long way to opening my eyes about the WAY we talk about breastfeeding and the profound effect that it can have on all different types of women.

 

These ads were created to demand honesty in formula advertising. Who is the demand being made to though? Are formula companies seeing these ads? Or just thousands of mothers across the internet? False advertising isn’t a new idea. Check out most items on any given shelf in your grocery store and you will see some. If we want there to be more honesty in advertising, is this the most productive way to try and achieve it?

Is this about educating mothers? Pretend for a second that you are a mother who doesn’t know about the awesomeness of your breasts and how amazing breastfeeding is… yadayadayada. What would you think if you saw this posted somewhere? Do you feel educated after reading it?

Does it strike you as condescending? Or would it?

This is the ingredients off of the back of a formula can. So, what if this were captioned along the lines, “Another baby died from formula this week. Crap in a can.”?

So, what does that make mothers feel? To read that? For us breastfeeding mothers, it surely makes us feel even more awesome and superior for our choice to do “what is best for our baby”. What about every other mother out there?

Do we care?

I love breastfeeding. I breastfed my son until he was a few months shy of 4. Those last 3 months for him, he was tandem nursing with his sister, who is still nursing at 22 months. I probably have quite a bit more nursing to look forward too. I think that it is important for women to breastfeed in public so that other women can see it. The more often it is seen, the more it will seem less of an oddity. I think sharing the positives about breastfeeding is important. There are so many. I just also think that the way that we approach talking about breastfeeding and formula feeding should be and can be done in a more thoughtful and considerate way.

Think… COMPASSION. Because at the end of the day you can’t force women to think the way you do. You can’t strong arm them into it. You can’t treat them like they are stupid in hopes that they will believe it and then want to be “smarter”. Just like you. And many of them do know what you know. Maybe they made a different choice or they didn’t really HAVE a choice.

Obviously, not all women will be offended by those kinds of lactavist tactics but I think the numbers are higher than most of us would  think. Some people will be offended no matter what you say or how you say it, but I know it is hard for me to remember that not everyone thinks and feels the way I do. Or the majority of the people that make up “my world”. My world view has become very narrow. I know that in the past I have made similar types of posts or said things that weren’t very thoughtful. It makes me wonder how I have made people feel. My friends? My family?

Article
2 comments

Get Real: “Perfection” Part 2

Wow. The amount of support I have had in regards to my Get Real post has been amazing and very touching. You guys have no idea how much it means to me.

When I wrote that blog last night it felt incredibly freeing. The emotional release was so strong that I cried the entire time. And even though I had felt so sure in my motives going in, I hesitated to actually publish it and put it out there when I was done. After I did, I started shaking. From nerves, I guess? Or fear? I wanted to be brave but in the end it was really hard.

I have spent so much of my time wearing my mask of normal. The more I confronted my imperfections, the more I realized that I have been setting up others with the same insecurities that I feel. I think I have overcompensated for my weaknesses by taking on more and more so that I could prove that I can handle it all. Pretending to be supermom, who can handle anything.

It actually wasn’t until late August that I acknowledged that the OCD/anxiety thing as a problem. I have literally joked it off and pretended it wasn’t a big deal for almost 5 years. I however reached a tipping point in having repeated manic moments in late August that made it hard to ignore. Since then I have been making a lot of changes to my life. I have been trying to take a step back from things and make everything easier on me in an attempt not to let myself get too overwhelmed. Most days it is still hard even while having less responsibilities.

I feel like just acknowledging the problem has gone a long way towards working through it. Talking about it with Michael has really helped me. It is helping our marriage and he tries to step in when he sees that I am back tracking. I am forcing myself to “do” less. Waiting longer than I want to clean things up, whatever it might be. Inside it it still hurts to do it but I feel like every day that I push my limits it get easier.

People have been sending me great advice and words of encouragement and I completely plan to use them to move forward. I just wanted everyone to know that I am thankful and that although I acknowledge my weaknesses that I don’t plan to let them rule my life and that I do also acknowledge my strengths too.

We definitely all have the good and the bad. 🙂

Article
5 comments

Get Real:”Perfection”

This morning I read this awesome blog called The Disease called “Perfection”. I cried like a baby while I read it. It was bluntly truthful and really resonated with me on something that has been bothering me a lot lately. The sense of guilt that I constantly feel at not being “good enough”. Looking at everyone around me and thinking that they seem to have it so much more together. Better mothering skills. Better behaved children. Happier marriages. The list could go on. 

It is long but really worth the read. I just wanted to highlight a few things he said in the blog here so the context of this blog makes a bit more sense for those that haven’t read it. You should REALLY read the whole thing. 
“What is the disease called ”Perfection”? Perhaps a list of its real-life symptoms will help you better understand it. We live in communities where people feel unconquerable amounts of pressure to always appear perfectly happy, perfectly functional, and perfectly figured….”
“Here’s your wake-up call: You aren’t the only one who feels worthless sometimes. You aren’t the only one who took your frustrations out on your children today. You aren’t the only one who isn’t making enough money to support your lifestyle. You aren’t the only one who sometimes says things that really hurt other people. You aren’t the only one who feels trapped in your marriage.” 
“Perfection” is a hideous monster with a really beautiful face. And chances are you’re infected. The good news is, there is a cure. Be real. Be bold about your weaknesses and you will change people’s lives.”
Then he asks, Will you help me spread “Real”? 


So here I  am. Spreading the real.

I joke a lot about my OCD type tendencies. Most people don’t know that I have had anxiety/OCD issues that started right after Haden was born and they have progressively gotten worse over time. I obsess over 2 things. I can’t stand to see messes, everything has its place. And I don’t like to see any kind of dirt, food crumbs or dog hair on my floors. This sounds like such a simple thing typing it out. The part that makes it sucky? I literally feel anxiety and stress when I see the kids pulling out toys and I rush to clean them up as soon as they are done with them. I don’t feel better until everything is back in its place. I do the same with cleaning the floors. I sweep and vacuum throughout the day. If the dog loses a clump of dog hair, I HAVE to pick it up. There have been days where the stress of looking at my house has made me cry in frustration. And when I say cry. I mean a full on sobbing mess. I have taken it out on my husband and on my kids in raging fits because I feel like they are fighting against me instead of helping me because don’t they understand that I need help??!!

I am a control freak. I think this is linked back to the other stuff above as well. But I want everything to be done my way and on my schedule and when it doesn’t happen that way, I get angry. When I do get angry, I am not a nice person. I generally say or do things that I regret. The way that I express extreme emotion is not good and now my children are learning that from me. I feel on many days that I am damaging them.

My marriage is not perfect. And not just from my craziness. Michael has his own issues. In the 8 years we have been together we have had our up times and we have had some REALLY shitty ones too. We don’t do that responsible “save your arguments for when the kids aren’t around” thing. Our fights tend to be loud and uncensored at times. I guess that is the “white trash” in me coming out.

If I take off my clothes, my body is not overtly attractive. My butt and the inside of my thighs are covered in cellulite and stretch marks. My ass is quite jiggly. Nothing is firm anymore. My boobs are droopy and weird looking to me, especially now that I am not making as much milk. I don’t like the way they feel when I touch them.

So there is some REAL. I hope anyone else who decides to read this will spread “The Disease of Real” around. 🙂
Follow up post: Get Real 2
Article
0 comment

Occupy Together

I don’t typically talk about politics or religion publicly unless I know I am with like-minded people. They are such sensitive topics that tend to get people feisty and I generally like to try and preserve my friendships by not going there. But I recently started waving my lefty flag more fiercely. 😉 I hope that my righty friends and family love me enough to not be offended by my way of thinking, as I try to do the same for them.So I thought I would put a compilation of my thoughts on OWS here, since so many people seem to be curious about it, weather in a REAL way or just in a way as trying to find something to use to tear it apart. 😉

The Occupy movement was started as a call to action against the fact that corporate greed and corrupt politics set our policies in this nation and the crisis that these have put us in as a nation. Most people want a more in depth answer than that though. I like this video, which is just a reading of a declaration made by the Wallstreet protesters tells you little bit more about why people are pissed off enough that they have amassed themselves in cities all over the US.
The thing that I find most interesting and also amazing about the movement is that you have people of all races, financial backgrounds, ages, etc. You have Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Independents, Anarchists, Socialists and everything in between.
Media and other public figures have done their best to try and put all occupiers inside of a little stereotypical box in an attempt to make others take the groups coming together less seriously and to put a stigma in place to deter people from wanting to get involved. They are a bunch hippies sitting around doing drugs and beating on drums. They are overprivileged white kids that are parasites on the world with nothing better to do. They are all unemployed lay-abouts that need to be out looking for a job instead of complaining. The list could go on and on… They are anti-capatalism. They are anti-government. They are pro-socialism. They are pro-Obama or anti-Obama. They are… they are… they are… people.  All different types of people, with different agendas but the end of the day they are people that seek change. It is unlikely that they will ever agree on how that change should be brought or what changes are the most important.
Some people seem to think that is what makes the movement weak. I see it differently though. I think that alone is what makes what is happening now so HUGE and ultimately what will make it successful. And the occupation itself, which a lot of people don’t seem to understand, in my opinion is the most important part of what is happening right now. It isn’t just the protesting and the marching. Those have been done before. The actual occupation of a public space keeps the movement at the forefront of the minds of all government officials. Makes them harder to ignore and eventually, if they want this to end… Change will HAVE to happen. Because regardless of what so many seem to think… they aren’t going anywhere.

These are just some of the pictures that I have gotten at Occupy Atlanta the few times I have been able to go. Although, I don’t completely agree with exactly how things are being ran throughout the movement and in Atlanta itself… I also acknowledge the fact that I am not out there every day, in the thick of it, volunteering the majority of my time to making it work. I think it is unproductive for people to sit around criticizing something that they aren’t putting much of themselves into. Until you do, you have no standing for judgement.

I have read so many great blogs and articles recently in regards to everything that is happening now, so I thought I would share a few of my favorites. 🙂What’s Occupying Us All from Psychology Today
Why I Support OWS 
Everything The Media Told You About Occupy Wall street is Wrong
Open Letter to that 53% Guy
Ambiguous UpSparkles From the Heart of the Park

You can learn more about what is happening at Occupy Atlanta from their website, http://occupyatlanta.org/ and by following their Facebook page. There are many ways to help contribute even if you can’t or do not feel comfortable to go out OCCUPYING!
Article
0 comment

National Breastfeeding Awareness Month

August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. I had quite the fun time during the first week of August sharing all my breastfeeding pics on Facebook and posting videos and articles everywhere to promote breastfeeding. I felt slightly sad during the process that I really don’t have too many breastfeeding pictures of Haden so I am going to make sure that I have plenty from little girl. Here is the most recent. 😉

I thought that it might be fun to pull together for this blog & post some of my favorites to say “I LOVE BREASTFEEDING!”

Haden is about 15 months old in this picture.
My one and only tandem nursing picture. 🙁 This was the day after Addison was born. Excuse my CRAZY hair!
Breastfeeding at this year’s Cutting Thru the Fear, Cesarean Awareness Rally outside of Piedmont.
 I was doubly getting my activism on! 😉

Great Links

This is a great blog post from Woman Uncensored about extended breastfeeding.- Sweet Milk, Sweet Memories

 Read 101 Reasons Why You Should Breastfeed your Baby! 

The Whip Em’ Out! Video

 

Do your best to help promote breastfeeding so that people will understand 2 very important things. Breastfeeding is Best. Breastfeeding is Normal. Enjoy!

 

“A baby nursing at a mother’s breast… is an undeniable affirmation of our rootedness in nature.” ~ David Suzuki