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Magic House Day Trip

This is one of those posts that is in lieu of keeping a scrapbook!

As one of their prizes for the summer reading program at the library, the kids got free tickets to Magic House, a children’s museum in St. Louis,. In an unusual stroke of convenience, three of our St. Louis area friends (two of which have Magic House memberships already) were all available to meet us there on the same day at the same time (when does this ever happen without major machinations?!). And, the kids’ best friends from our own town were also able to go and met us there. It is a chaotic, loud, and crazy place to meet if you think you are going to get any quality friend visiting in, but it was a lot of fun for everyone and I’m still a little in shock that it worked out so well to meet everyone! I’ve never been there before (our kids went with Mark a couple of years ago), so I staggered around in kind of a sensory overload daze looking at everything. Thank goodness my friends were familiar with the place and could steer me around when I stood still for too long. I expected that our families would end up getting separated from each other at some points–too many people to coordinate all walking around together–but I didn’t expect to divide by age more than family. So, I ended up following Alaina around to the sections she wanted to go to with my two friends who also have little children and Mark ended up taking the boys around to the parts they wanted to go to with our two friends that have bigger children and sometimes we all overlapped!

Because I was mostly with Alaina, I don’t have many pictures of the boys doing cool stuff, but here is a gallery of the few pictures I did get from our expedition:

After using our free tickets for Magic House, we then took a quick trip to Hobby Lobby (despite wishing to boycott, they were right on our way and we had things we needed to get!) and unashamedly went through the line as five separate transactions thus getting five 40% off coupon purchases. The kids have never been to an IHOP and there was one right there, so we decided to go there for dinner before leaving the city. Handily, kids eat free at IHOP from 4-10. I had no idea, so that was a nice surprise! However, the power went out shortly after we placed our order and resultant delay in getting our food meant that we got five dinners, plus bonus plates of toast, happy face pancake, and lemonades for the road for $7 total. I think this was officially the cheapest little day trip we’ve ever been on! (The waitress said the lemonades were because we were the only people who were nice to her about the wait.)

Me to kids while waiting at IHOP as they were getting antsy and writhing around: “this is what is called a public place.”

Alaina, loudly: “no, this is called a BUTT place.”

Apparently, many of hours of fun at Magic House do not contribute to beautifully behaved three-year-olds, because after this incident, she also peeked over at other diners and stuck her tongue out at them when they waved nicely to her. At least she was useful in getting 40% off by going through the line with her little handful of money at Hobby Lobby. 😉

Third Birthday!

“Growing, bearing, mothering, or fathering, supporting, and at last letting go…are powerful and mundane creative acts that rapturously suck up whole chunks of life.” –Louise Erdrich
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Somehow, my little rainbow girl is THREE today! I can hardly believe it!

(As is my tradition…Alaina’s Complete Birth Story)

On January 2nd we had a family photo shoot…in the snow! It was 14 degrees outside. But, my brother and his wife and my sister and her husband and my parents could all make it work to get pictures taken together, so we did it! Alaina was really cold and we only got part of her face in the outdoor shots…

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This was the “act cold” picture, but we didn’t have to pretend much!

When we went over to the photographer’s house, we got some cute indoor shots of the kids too though:
JanuaryMollyBarb 089 JanuaryMollyBarb 102 JanuaryMollyBarb 127One of my favorites is actually this picture of our family’s socks together (my mom is a world class sock-knitter and we all wear them!):

JanuaryMollyBarb 165Just look at that little person in her pink sparkly socks!

Here are some things to remember that I’ve written down over the last couple of weeks:

  • Heard Alaina yell at Zander (while working on making a marble maze together): “you ruin my ex-perience!” ;-D
  • Made brownie cookie sandwiches and she said,”these so strong they make my ears jiggle!”
  • Has excellent vocabulary and communicates well, but still says “me” instead of “I.” I haven’t worked on it too much with her, because she is the last little, “me do it” person who will live in our house and I’m not quite ready to stop hearing it! I wish I’d taken more videos of her talking (I’ve tried and they just don’t turn out. Or, she says “poop” too much to put them on youtube!). I missed out on video of “Happy Hall-o-yeen!” and “Merry Cwistmas” both and now those moments are past!
  • Later realized that when Alaina talks about her “experience” she actually means experiment! Pretty cute! (We were working on a make-your-own-bouncy-ball kit and she kept calling them her “experience.”) She can also open doorknobs now. I remember writing that milestone down for each of my kids at about three AND it usually exactly coordinated with a big leap in drawing skills. Better get this girl some paper to experience with…
  • She loves making “sacred bundles” lately and currently has three that she carries around and puts on my altars, says, “have yittle ceremony, Mama?” and, “me want make this yittle bundle for tiny baby.” (my sister-in-law’s baby) She plans ceremonies all the time and want to sit around with candles holding my hand.
  •  She likes to help me with my sculptures too!

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She still nurses, but we night weaned at some point in the last couple of months. I find myself increasing unenraptured with the toddler nursing experience and have been actively discouraging it in recent weeks. We go many days now with no nursing during the day after morning wake-up snuggle time. This also coincides with sleeping most nights in her own little bed from about midnight until 7-9. She is still the same little night owl she was the day she was born. Early this week she actually fell asleep on her own waiting for me to come to bed and I moved her to her own bed where she slept until almost 9:00. When she woke up and climbed in with me, I realized that that had been the first night in almost exactly three years that she hadn’t fallen asleep on my arm. This little girl has slept in my arms every night of her life until this one night! And, while I have a little pang of nostalgia and memory to see that time in our relationship slipping away, I’m also pretty ready. I’ve had a child sleeping in my arms for most of the last ten years and it feels like a good time to now just sleep. 😉

All that said, last night on the eve of her birthday, I had Mark take a couple of pictures:

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Nostalgia. I so enjoy this little person as she is now and that I feel is quickly passing by, but I also think about the boys and I know that who my kids are now fills me up so much, that I rarely ever have much time to miss their old selves! There is a special poignancy though to this little girl’s infancy and then toddlerhood and then little girlhood. I have marveled at her existence and some element of her sweetness every single day of her life. Consciously and genuinely. I do not remember this sharp clarity of daily appreciation with my other kids. It may be as Barbara Kingsolver wrote, that the last baby trails her sweetness through your life like a final flag of surrender. And, it definitely isn’t that I didn’t appreciate and marvel at the the boys—I remember plenty of sweet moments of appreciation and marvelment of them too—but when Lann was little I felt like I struggled so much with the adjustment to parenthood and the struggle over my own identity and sense of loss, that that is almost my main memory. When Zander was little, I also had toddler Lann to occupy much of my attention and time and I was much more splintered between the needs, sometimes conflicting, of two small kids. The age difference is big enough between Zander and Alaina that I simply have more energy to savor her than I did with him.

“A mother’s body remembers her babies–the folds of soft flesh, the softly furred scalp against her nose. Each child has its own entreaties to body and soul. It’s the last one, though, that overtakes you. I can’t dare say I loved the others less, but my first three were all babies at once, and motherhood dismayed me entirely. . . . That’s how it is with the firstborn, no matter what kind of mother you are–rich, poor, frazzled half to death or sweetly content. A first child is your own best foot forward, and how you do cheer those little feet as they strike out. You examine every turn of flesh for precocity, and crow it to the world.

But the last one: the baby who trails her scent like a flag of surrender through your life when there will be no more coming after–oh, that’s love by a different name. She is the babe you hold in your arms for an hour after she’s gone to sleep. If you put her down in the crib, she might wake up changed and fly away. So instead you rock by the window, drinking the light from her skin, breathing her exhaled dreams. Your heart bays to the double crescent moons of closed lashes on her cheeks. She’s the one you can’t put down.”

― Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

JanuaryMollyBarb 137She wanted to have a tea party for her birthday today and specified it be with “little girls,” so that’s what we did! She did not get a pocketknife like she requested, but she did get a ferocious mom and baby t-rex as well as many other lovely and thoughtful gifts from family and friends. 🙂 I was glad to have a friend and my mom who took some cute pictures for me!

 

After the birthday extravaganza she requested music so she could dance in her new “mermaid dress” (hand-me-down from friend). The girl has moves and I videoed them (random radio music happened to be Material Girl):

20140119-220628.jpgAnd, then it was time for bed…

20140119-223808.jpgYes, those are three t-rexes nestled lovingly in her arms.

Happy Birthday, sweet girl! 🙂


Postscript: after originally posting, I remembered a couple of things. First, she totally had a big girl overnight at my parents’ house in December! Somehow I forgot about this while waxing nostaglic about her sleeping in my arms. We didn’t expect her to stay and kept waiting for “the call” telling us to come back and get her, but she stayed all night. I was freaking out! (And, I couldn’t fall asleep. It was totally a shock that she stayed.)

I also wanted to remember her adorable way of calling bamboo “pandaboo” (!! The cute!!!) and her speculation that dog toys “prob-ly have dognip in ’em.” Less adorable is saying, “get out of my face” to me recently while making cookies and I told her not to dump all the chocolate chips in yet. And, flinging herself dramatically on beds or couches or in cracks between furniture and sobbing loudly when told she shouldn’t have done something or that she is, in fact, in the wrong about something (such as slapping Zander’s face while playing dinosaurs and then yelling at him that it is his fault). Back to adorableness is the frequent reminder that, “me only little person” when asked a variety of things (such as, “why did you do that?!”) or when requests are made she does not want to fulfill (such as, “please don’t throw string cheese wrappers on the floor, take them to the trash”). But, it is also often a very good reminder. And, finally, we’ve noticed within the last week that she can roll her tongue! Mark can roll his and I can’t roll mine. It has always been a tiny little sore spot for me, because I just don’t like not being able to do something. My dad can’t either and said when he was a kid he was pretty sure only bratty people could roll their tongues, so we exist in non-tongue-rolling, recessive gene solidarity together. Lann can’t roll his either, but Zander can and now Alaina can too! (I feel a little betrayed ;-P)

And, when we toured Bass Pro in conjunction with a homeschool field trip to Askinoise Chocolate Factory in Springfield last week she did get a little pink pocketknife after all.

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Product Review: Squeez’Ems

There’s something about kids and squeezable pouches of food. There’s also something about toddlers and not eating. Therefore, when I got a Screen Shot 2013-08-14 at 8.31.28 AM copyrequest to review Squeez’Ems reusable food pouches, I suspected this might be a winning combination. At around 2-3 years old, I’ve noticed that all of my kids sleep better at night if they eat a good bedtime snack. This is also the age at which I night wean them, but then find I’m still awakened all night by a kicky toddler who seems to be hungry. So, we work hard to get a nutrient dense bedtime snack in them before bed and eventually the sleep for all improves. The sticky point can be what snack to offer. When Zander was little, we tried all kinds of different smoothie recipes, hoping for a magic combo. With Alaina, we do string cheese a lot and she rejects a lot of our other suggestions. Enter these little reusable pouches. Food is infinitely more intriguing to a little child when it is in a squeezable pouch. The first night, I filled it up with Greek yogurt and she slurped it all down and asked for more. Zander, who is seven now, also enjoyed two pouches worth of yogurt. See what I mean? Instant intrigue! However, there are two other great features about using the Squeez’Ems pouches instead of buying pre-pouched food: you know exactly what is going into it (no weird, additive-filled store purees) AND you can just wash it out and refill it, rather than trashing pouch after plastic (or foil) pouch! I call that a win for the ecologically-minded as well as for the bedtime snacking toddler. The company also notes that they are a good match for children with food allergies who may not be able to eat the same pouched foods being eaten by their contemporaries. I look forward to experimenting with some additional smoothie recipes and trying them out in these pouches!

Alaina is a fan!

For more info on Squeez’Ems, please visit www.booginhead.com.  Squeez’Ems are available at BabiesRUs stores and Amazon.com.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary two-pack for review purposes. I have no further relationship or financial benefit from this company.

Wednesday Tidbits: World Breastfeeding Week!

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Today is the last day of World Breastfeeding Week and I fully intended to create a link-full Tuesday Tidbits post about this yesterday. However, I was busy helping actual breastfeeding mothers at my monthly LLL meeting and then came home and worked on my handout and project preparations for our second annual MamaFest event this Saturday. I then had a faculty meeting while Mark took Lann to tae kwon do and went grocery shopping with the other kids and by the time I had a few minutes to spare again, it was 11:00 at night and I figured I might as well forgo Tuesday Tidbitting and just watch Teen Wolf instead! 😉 For MamaFest, I’ve been getting together handouts, a trivia game, and pins for prizes for my La Leche League booth, birth art supplies and display items and birth education handouts for the Rolla Birth Network/Talk Birth/birth art booth, and miscarriage/stillbirth handouts for the Rainbow Group loss support table. I’ve toyed with various projects for my birth art booth and finally came up with something that feels perfect—birth or motherhood affirmation/blessing cards!

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I got better at them the more I made. This one has a pocket with other little affirmation cards in it. I also started to experiment with painting on little glass “stones” to go in the pocket too. I need glass paint markers really though and I quickly ordered some, but they won’t make it in time for MamaFest.

For ideas for affirmations for them, I’m bringing along several books, including:

25 Ways to Joy & Inner Peace for Mothers

25 Ways to Awaken Your Birth Power

World Breastfeeding Week often seems like an occasion during which the media perceives non-breastfeeding mothers as being “discriminated” against somehow, and some women seem to take the occasion personally—like its very existence is a personal criticism. This article about the “I Support You” initiative is good in theory, but I sense in it the suggestion that WBW is specifically trying to make non-breastfeeding mothers “feel bad” and I did not appreciate the loads and loads of comments on the article that reference “La Leche Nazis”—particularly because said “Nazis” apparently visit mothers in the hospital to critique their mothering and I seriously doubt that any of the experiences shared in the comments were actually with LLL Leaders (who I have never been known to go to a hospital room uninvited and try to make mothers breastfeed. That isn’t part of our job at all. The commenters were probably dealing with whichever nurse is assigned to lactation, trained or otherwise).

I plan for my message to say: “To all those mothers who’ve learned the difference between the mother you think you will be and the one you actually are — I Support You.”

via I Support You: The Conversation We Should Be Having About Breastfeeding And Formula.

A related article that also has some great insights and thoughtful content (but for which, again, I feel breastfeeding advocacy is misconstrued):

Three billion things can go wrong when you breastfeed. But even with a bad latch, tongue tie, thrush, a clogged duct, and a crazy oversupply, I still think that nursing this little boy is the most amazing magic that I’ve ever felt in my life. I am the only thing that is keeping my child alive right now. You’re damn right that’s a superpower. When my breasts are engorged and I’m in pain, or when I swoop in to a room and soothe my screaming baby with my body, I want to shout it from the rafters, just like all of you did. This time, my breasts make milk. That is my superpower. And yet I have seen that breastfeeding moms get tested too: the nasty stares, the mean comments, the endless questioning that makes you doubt yourself: “Are you sure he’s getting enough? He’d sleep longer if he took a bottle. He’ll never be independent if he’s attached to you all the time.” The Mommy Wars have fueled the embers of fear and failure on both ends of the feeding spectrum. The simple act of feeding your child now comes with having to defend your choices.

via Milk Drunk | Kim Simon.

The underlying message of these articles, however, as well as that of World Breastfeeding Week itself, is really about the value of community support for mothers. The whole “village” and “tribe” concept. When I hear mothers describing attempts to breastfeed, I hear mothers with broken hearts as well as many stories involving broken circles of support:

I am a systems thinker and always hold in mind that breastfeeding, like all aspects of women’s lives, occurs in a context, a context that involves a variety of “circles of support” or lack thereof. Women don’t “fail” at breastfeeding because of personal flaws, society fails breastfeeding women and their babies every day through things like minimal maternity leave, no pumping rooms in workplaces, formula advertising and “gifts” in hospitals, formula company sponsorship of research and materials for doctors, the sexualization of breasts and objectification of women’s bodies, and so on and so forth. According to Milk, Money, and Madness (1995), “…infant formula sales comprise up to 50% of the total profits of Abbott Labs, an enormous pharmaceutical concern.” (p. 164) And the US government is the largest buyer of formula, paying for approximately 50% of all formula sold in the nation…

via Breastfeeding as an Ecofeminist Issue | Talk Birth.

Giving Birth with Confidence also wrote about the role of the breastfeeding village:

You’ve probably heard “it takes a village” when it comes to parenting and raising children. And it’s true — surrounding yourself with supportive family, friends, and professional and online resources goes a long way in making your parenting experience a better one. But what about a “village” for breastfeeding? Breastfeeding can be (and often is) a wonderful experience. It also can be trying, challenging, and hard work. Creating access to a network of people and resources who support breastfeeding will help you in times of need, provide a sounding board for your thoughts, and celebrate with your triumphs.

via World Breastfeeding Week: Creating Your Village — Giving Birth with Confidence.

And, so did Brain, Child magazine:

For breastfeeding advocates, then, your best shot at influencing other mothers to breastfeed is when you’re nursing yourself—and talking it up to your pals, especially if you’re central in your network, which gives you what social scientists call high “transitivity.” And, it stands to reason, that even if you’re not a breastfeeding advocate—even if you don’t even know what colostrum is—you can still be affected by the changing norms. Once your friends breastfeed in front of you, chances are excellent that witnessing a two-year-old lift up her mother’s shirt to nurse at a park just isn’t worthy of a second thought, much less a flinch. Like in the obesity study where friends of friends were shown to convey habits, you’ve become “tolerant.”

via The Village | Brain, Child Magazine.

Reading these articles made me think of the classic article by Teresa Pitman, originally in Mothering magazine (I think). I think this article is responsible for the introduction of the word “tribe” into the natural mothering lexicon as it is currently used (but, maybe it was The Continuum Concept, which is what Pitman references in her article. I know for me, it was Pitman’s article that first introduced me to the notion of a “tribe” and the fact that I needed one!). I was excited to hear her speak on the subject in person at the La Leche League International conference in Chicago in 2007.

I realized that we had formed our own, very small tribe. Spending our days together satisfied our need for adult companionship without separation from our babies, and working together made all the chores — even cleaning disgusting stuff out of the bottom of the fridge — more fun.

Eventually our husbands both found work in other communities, and our daily time together came to an end. But I had seen how important this kind of relationship is for me, and I deliberately tried to recreate it with other friends.

Not long after Vicki and her family moved, I was at a church picnic when I saw Lorna for the first time. She and her family had just arrived in our community. Something about the way she held her baby was familiar to me, and I went up and introduced myself.

She, too, was looking for a tribe, as she had recently moved away from her family. Soon my new friend Lorna and I got together every Thursday to bake bread (and sometimes other foods) for our families for the week. She had a bigger house and roomier kitchen, so we generally went there. We split the cost of the ingredients, and as our children played together (by then, I had three children and Lorna had six), we kneaded and shaped the dough. While the bread was rising, we talked and tended to other tasks. I often brought a basket of things that needed mending, so we could work together while we were waiting.

We were there when she miscarried her seventh baby, and she tended to my older children while I was giving birth to my fourth. I still think of Thursday as baking day, even though Lorna now lives hundreds of miles away.

My children are almost grown, but I still work with parents. The theme of loneliness is as strong and prevalent as it was when I sat crying on my bed with my new baby, wondering how I’d cope with no one to talk to. Certainly the desire to overcome isolation is one of the reasons why women return to work; it’s a need easily understood by those of us who opt to stay home with our children.

We truly are social animals; we need to be with other people to feel good, whole, and happy. It’s worth the effort to create tribes, however small and imperfect they may be.

via Finding Your Tribe – by Teresa Pitman.

I was also reminded of my own past thoughts about surviving postpartum:

“In western society, the baby gets attention while the mother is given lectures. Pregnancy is considered an illness; once the ‘illness’ is over, interest in her wanes. Mothers in ‘civilized’ countries often have no or very little help with a new baby. Women tend to be home alone to fend for themselves and the children. They are typically isolated socially & expected to complete their usual chores…while being the sole person to care for the infant…” –Milk, Money, & Madness

via Postpartum Survival Tips | Talk Birth.

And, I thought about the role that a tribe—or lack of one—plays in “lactation failure,” that may be falsely attributed to biology OR to evil “La Leche Nazis” assaulting unsuspecting women in hospital rooms with steaming piles of dogma doo.

I’ve remained firmly convinced for, like, ever, that it is culture that fails mothers and babies and not women’s bodies that fail. And, I truly wonder if it is ever possible (except for in cases of insufficient glandular tissue, metabolic disorders, breast surgery/removal, and clear physical malformations) to really tease apart whether a mother is actually experiencing lactation failure or sociocultural failure. I remain fairly convinced that in many cases it is impossible to know—but, that a mother (or physician) may certainly experience it as “lactation failure” and thus add that data point to the 1%. I have long maintained that a lot of people forget that breastfeeding occurs in a context and that context doesn’t necessarily support breastfeeding. However, I do also know from years of experience that motherbaby physiology can lead to problems too and we often overlook that in assertions about breastfeeding.

via Preventing Culturally Induced Lactation Failure | Talk Birth.

The idea of the “I Support You” campaign, with its “unbiased” subtext, also caused me to take another look at some past thoughts about “bias” and breastfeeding:

While I very much appreciate this observation and reminder, we also absolutely need to remember that biased means to exhibit “unfair prejudice”–it simply IS NOT “biased” to support breastfeeding as the biological norm and most appropriate food for babies. I was very concerned to read the comments on the post from other educators talking about their own “biases” toward physiologic birth or breastfeeding and how carefully they guard against exhibiting any such bias in their classes. Hold on! Remember that the burden of proof rests on those who promote an intervention—birth educators and breastfeeding educators should not be in a position of having to “prove” or “justify” the biological norm of unmedicated births or breastfed babies. I hate to see birth instructors being cautioned to avoid being “biased” in teaching about breastfeeding or birth, because in avoiding the appearance of bias they’d be lying to mothers. You can’t “balance” two things that are NOT equal and it is irresponsible to try out of a misplaced intention not to appeared biased. So, while I appreciate some of this educator’s points, I do think she’s off the mark in her fear/guilt and her acceptance of the word “bias.” The very fact that making a statement that someone has a bias toward breastfeeding can be accepted as a reasonable critique is indicative of how very deeply the problem goes and how systemic of an issue it is. If I say that drinking plenty of water is a good idea and is healthier for your body than drinking other liquids, no one ever accuses me of having a “bias towards water.” Breastfeeding should be no different. But, as we all know, breastfeeding occurs in a social, cultural, political, and economic context, one that all too often does not value, support, or understand the process…

via A Bias Toward Breastfeeding? | Talk Birth.

And, along these same lines, I saw a great quote from one of my midwife Facebook friends:

“Being an advocate for breastfeeding as the biological norm, healthiest and safest mode of feeding for most mothers and children is just that. It is meant to inform, enthuse, support, save lives, normalize the act. It is not meant as a slight or condemnation of non-breastfeeding mothers. Individually women breastfeed or not for a whole host of reasons. That is reality. That fact is respected and in no way is judgmental. Acknowledging the individual diversity does not change what breastfeeding is and why we need to continue to advocate for it around the world.” Desirre Andrews, CPM, RM

Exactly!

Speaking of my smart Facebook friends, I enjoyed reading a personal post from an IBCLC friend about why she didn’t celebrate WBW this month:

I think I’ve closed the “breastfeeding mother” chapter of my life, content instead to serve other breastfeeding mothers the best I know how. This is a big shift for me, since I’ve never approached breastfeeding support other than from the perspective of a mother who is also “walking the walk.” Am I “over” breastfeeding? The truth is, today, I’m ambivalent about it. My celebration of World Breastfeeding Week will always be welcome—I will never not be a supporter or an advocate, but a decade is a long time to do something, to do anything. A decade is a long time to be a breastfeeding mother; to not be one anymore, without ceremony or the closure that a more formal ending might offer, leaves me a bit unsettled.

via Why I didn’t celebrate World Breastfeeding Week this year | normal, like breathing.

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This small but mighty little girl still really, really, really likes to “nonny.”

Reading this made me reflect on my own breastfeeding journey and the toddler point at which I am with my own (likely) final nursling. I’ve wondered a lot if and when this chapter of my life will close in terms of working with other breastfeeding mothers. It is still very much my current reality, so it is hard to assess. What I do know is that when I go to LLL conferences and I see women who have been Leaders for 30 years, I think…that is my future. And, I leave with the distinct impression that I’m a lifer. However, a couple of years ago I might have said the same about birth work and now when I see pictures from my pregnancies, read some of my own writing, or look at some of the childbirth education supplies I’ve amassed over the years it all feels very far away now.

But, returning to the idea of support and tribes and breastfeeding women and I Support You to mothers of all kinds in their mothering journeys (which I DO absolutely believe in!), I also thought again of this:

This month as I sat in the circle at our mother-to-mother breastfeeding support group meeting, I looked around at all the beautiful mothers in that room. I reflected on each of their journeys and how much each one has been through in her life, to come to this time and this place, and tears filled my eyes. They are all so amazing. And, my simple, fervent prayer for them in that moment was that they could know that. Know that on a deep, incontrovertible level. I tried to tell them then, in that moment. How much they mean to me, how incredible they are, how I see them. How I hope they will celebrate their own capacities and marvel at their own skills. How I see their countless, beautiful, unrecognized, invisible motherful actions. How when I see them struggling in the door with toddlers and diaper bags and organic produce that they’re sharing with each other, I see heroines. They may look and feel “mundane” from the outside, but from where I’m sitting, they shine with a power and potency that takes my breath away. Moderating toddler disputes over swordplay, wiping noses, changing diapers, soothing tears, murmuring words, moving baby from breast to shoulder to floor and back to breast without even seeming consciously aware of how gorgeously they are both parenting and personing in that very moment, speaking their truths, offering what they have to give, reaching out to one another, and nursing, nursing, nursing. Giving their bodies over to their babies again and again in a tender, invisible majesty. In this room is a symphony of sustenance. An embodied maternal dance of being.

via International Women’s Day: Prayer for Mothers | Talk Birth.

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Stopped for some sandy nonnies.

Last year’s World Breastfeeding Week Post Round Up | Talk Birth.