Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Weekly Smorgasbord

Last week's links:

Posted: 15 Aug 2011 01:12 PM PDT
I can't imagine this decision.
Posted: 15 Aug 2011 01:09 PM PDT
Some super cute ideas!
Posted: 15 Aug 2011 01:04 PM PDT
I have mixed feelings about posts like this. Okay, y'all KNOW I *hate* mommy wars. I'm not a fan of the "vs." thing either, to be honest. But sometimes I get the feeling from people that I should not be allowed to have an opinion. Yes, of course I know not everyone can breastfeed and I have a great deal of empathy for those women (one of my friends at church was talking to me about her struggle with BFing yesterday and I only hope I was an encouragement to her), and I won't glare at them at a restaurant, but I'm not going to try to placate someone and not say what we all know, which is that breast is best. I have similar feelings about the SAHM debate- I understand everyone has a unique situation and for some families it's not possible, but at the same time I truly believe staying home with young children is the best option for MOST (not all) families. I believe natural births are best and I believe not circumcising is best. I think vaccinating is best. I'm not a fan of sleep training a very young infant. I'm not going to EVER call any mom a "bad mom" or view her as such if she disagrees with me, but I do hate that some people equate having strong opinions on parenting with being judgmental.  They are not the same, in my opinion.  
Posted: 15 Aug 2011 12:10 PM PDT
I have been reading so much about the "White Savior Complex" in The Help on Twitter, FB, ect.  This video is a little parody of movies like it, The Blindside, and Freedom Writers. I loved The Help (the novel) and can't wait to see the movie and I loved Freedom Writers. Admittedly, though, Hollywood does have a problem showing people of color "rescuing themselves". I've bookmarked several articles to read on the subject, but haven't gotten to them yet. In the mean time, enjoy at little laugh at the "white savior's" expense!
Posted: 14 Aug 2011 11:36 PM PDT
"I call them Practices because that's what us Jesus-people like to call spiritual disciplines but really they're just things I do over and over again, kneading them like yeast into my life."
Posted: 14 Aug 2011 11:34 PM PDT
Overall, a good list.
Posted: 14 Aug 2011 11:33 PM PDT
"I love that I live in and come from a state that has produced such amazing literature, art and music. So, we're fat and uneducated and poor. So what. Put our list of authors, musicians and writers up against any other state's and I dare someone to say that we aren't in competition for the number one spot."
Posted: 14 Aug 2011 11:32 PM PDT
This made me cry. Of course. I miss my friend so much some days.
Posted: 14 Aug 2011 11:31 PM PDT
"Ultimately, we have collectively swallowed our culture's poisoned message that declares breasts to be singularly sexual".
Attempting Contented Anticipation: Don't Label Me
Posted: 12 Aug 2011 09:38 PM PDT
"I desire so much to fit somewhere! And I do: I fit well in my husbands arms. I fit well in my Savior's arms."
The Marathon/Childbirth Discussion: Why Don’t We Celebrate Both?? | Using Lessons from BIRTH to Create Inspiration for LIFE
Posted: 09 Aug 2011 12:23 PM PDT
I have made this analogy, and I love this article. While I felt SO much support (from you guys, my real life friends, and family), many, many women don't.

"When individuals announce 'I am going to run a marathon.' They are greeted with hugs, cheers and congratulations. At the same time, women who say 'I am going to have an un-medicated birth' are often laughed at, discounted and some are even shamed as they are asked 'WHY on earth would you do that?!?!'"

"Somehow I believe if men could birth babies and chose natural birth, it would be looked upon differently.  I believe like the marathon, the triathlon, the decathlon, and the iron man it would be celebrated and not made into a societal joke."

moosh in indy. » the one about me not being able to breastfeed.
Posted: 06 Aug 2011 11:21 PM PDT
"Many bodies out there don't produce what comes naturally to so many others. Some bodies don't produce enough tears, some bodies don't produce enough insulin, some bodies don't produce enough estrogen, some bodies don't produce sweat, some bodies don't produce sperm and some bodies don't produce babies.

Just because someone has all the parts doesn't mean they all work in harmony (or at all.)

But a body that doesn't produce breastmilk is the only one that is judged both openly and silently on a fairly regular basis."

That's it for this week!


Sarah said...

Okay, so you mentioned circumcision. What kind of research did you do when you were making your decision for Graves? Were there any articles or websites that swayed your opinion? We still haven't made a decision on this for our son due in November- I lean toward not circumcising but just when I think all the evidence supports me I'll read about a new study that gives circumcision a slight lead health-wise. Then again, I can't fathom doing that to my newborn son. If I can't bear to be in the room when a procedure's happening, it's a sign to me that maybe it's something that isn't right to do... Anyway, if there was anything that helped you decide can you share?

Whitney said...

Hello. This is my first time commenting, but I've been reading for awhile. I think it started with a post or link about weight, and I continued to read because I have a now 2-year-old. I wanted to offer my insight on your thoughts on the mommy debate after I read Blue-Eyed Bride today. I can tell that you have a great conviction in the decisions you make for your family, and that's wonderful. Everyone should. I think all opinions can be viewed as judgemental when they are blanket opinions. Statements such as breastfeeding, staying at home, etc. are best seem to imply that I (who formula-fed, teach) am not doing what is best for my child. I know that's not true and know without a doubt that formula was best for my child, my husband, and myself. I like to hear what works best for other families with acknowledgment that that's not best for all. Everyone has opinions, and it's your blog to share them on, but as someone with differing opinions, I thought I would share some insight from someone who regularly takes a beating in those debates. Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

Sarah - you should check out drmomma's blog: www.drmomma.org Tons of info on circumcision.

Sarah Denley - dang girl, I'm LOVING these links.

- on Perfectly Imperfect, I agree with you 100% and I've said as much on my blog. I hate that we aren't even allowed to state facts without someone crying foul and saying that we are causing guilt, etc., etc. We can't even have real dialogue on these topics because everyone is so easily offended. Bugs the heck out of me.

- Breastfeeding as worship...I feel like printing that out and hanging it all over my church.

- Marathon/Childbirth - AMEN!!!!!

Mary Louis Quinn said...

I wrote a very lengthy comment but didn't post it because I didn't want it to come off as sounding too harsh, because I know you are sweet, thoughtful person who wouldn't want to intentionally offend anyone. But I agree with Whitney- just by making generalizations about what is "best" implies that someone who makes a different choice is chosing to purposefully forgo what it "best" for her child, and you are thereby (probably unintentionally) adding fuel to the "mommy wars" fire. There is NOTHING wrong with stating your opinion- it is your blog and you are entitled to it!! And I agree with most of what you say. But inevitably someone is going to be offended. That's just the nature of the beast.

Yes, it has been shown that breastfeeding is best, and I would venture to say that most everyone knows that. However, stating the obvious is not going to make a mom who chooses/has to use formula, no matter the reason, feel any less guilty by constantly reading/hearing that her choice is "second best." Same with a working mom. I personally have no guilt about working part time. In fact, I think it makes me a better mother in that I appreciate my 4 days at home SO much and make the most of the days I have with my child. I engage her all day long and take her to do fun things whenever I can, and I *try* (although I'm not always successful) to not let it bother me when my house isn't the cleanest or dinner isn't on the table. Now if we had enough money, would I work outside the home? No, I wouldn't. I would stay home in a second. But that doesn't mean that I feel like my child is not getting what's "best" for her right now. I think she is getting exactly what is "best" for her and our family. She is thriving at school, is learning a ton, and truly loves her teachers and friends who would not otherwise be in her life. And it is teaching me valuable lessons at the same time. But I know people who really struggle with the fact that they have to work, and to me, constantly reading things that say that staying home is "best" is only going to compound that guilt and make it harder to adjust to life as a working mom. And I know people who do much better working than staying at home, and I don't think their children suffer because of it. Just because one may not agree with a certain decision, it doesn't make that decision wrong, no matter what the "studies" say. And I know that you aren't making a blanket statement that staying home is best for all families, as you did qualify it to "most", but still. I don't think that is a statement that can even be made without taking each individual family situation into account. I'm sure there are plenty of SAHM whose children may do better being in a structured environment like daycare or school. I'm sure there are plenty of families whose children do suffer because both parents work. Who knows.

So this comment ended up being way longer than I intended. :) I don't want it to come off as an attack b/c that's not what it is at all. My point is just that it's extremely hard to blog about your opinions/parenting decisions and not be viewed as judgemental, unfortunately, if you are saying that "my decisions to x, y, and z are BEST." That's not to say that you should stop writing about what you believe in because your beliefs are what makes you who you are. And I do enjoy reading about it all. :)

Mary Louis Quinn said...

And when I say I would stay home if we had enough money, that's not b/c I think it's necessarily "best", I just don't really like working. Just wanted to be clear. :)

Anonymous said...

I feel like sometimes women who gave birth naturally, are SAHMs, and exclusively breastfed their children have this huge thirst to be praised...to the point that they become obsessed with everything that supports that as being "best". They constantly post about it, via social media, desperately hoping for one more pat on the back. I also gave birth naturally and exclusively breast fed my children, and I do think it was best for MY children, but it I don't constantly talk about it. Although I could stay home, I am choosing to work full time now because I have fabulous child care and it is ultimately best for my family's future.  
You just never know what situation others around you may be in. You never know what formula feeding mom spent hours and days trying to breastfeed and cried for days because they couldn't, what mom would kill to experience vaginal delivery (medicated or unmedicated), but weren't given that option because of other factors involved. They aren't walking around with stickers on their forehead saying:  I TRIED HARD! Instead they take everything as criticism that says they didn't do what was "best".
Making another mother feel bad (consciously or subconsciously) because they weren't able to do any of these "best" things is more harmful than any formula or epidural.  
I feel like that my job as a mother is to make the best choices for MY children. That alone provides me adequate gratification. My husband always says, "No one deserves praise because they did something that is expected of them." He is usually referring to something political when saying this, but I TOTALLY think it applies in this situation. Doing what's best for your children-breast or formula, natural or drugs, staying at home or working, is nothing short of what's expected of you as a mother, and I think your children thriving because of whatever decision you've made should be adequate positive reinforcement.

Ashley said...

I think that breastfeeding is natural, great, and not to be chastised. However, I think it's frustrating when women openly breastfeed just to prove a point. I've said this before, but my dad, as the pastor of our church, would never think twice about a woman breastfeeding, but I think it needs to be done in a modest way. I also think that it's generally appropriate to use a nursing room at church if one is offered. I think it takes a mature woman to not be offended by a nursing room - not taking it as the church having an agenda against breastfeeing mothers. I'm not fond that women can feel oppressed in the church about breastfeeding, but I also think that street goes two ways, and mothers need to be conscious of modesty.

As with everything, there's balance. We shouldn't over-glorify breastfeeding and we shouldn't condemn it, either.

(Kristal, we obviously go to the same church, so I don't want you thinking this was directed at you!)

Anonymous said...

Can I just make a point about circumcision? This is not scientific research, but cold hard real life experience. I am a 30 something mature woman who just graduated from nursing school with my BSN. I bring up the 30 something and mature part to differentiate myself from the typical young student nurse. Anyway, back to the circumcision! It's all good to know that as the mom you'll take care of cleaning the penis for the baby and the young child. But, I met many older male patients who were not circumcised, did not properly clean themselves, and had issues because of it. Not to mention... gross. I'm sure their mothers never expected that to happen! Also, I witnesses 3 newborn circumcisions. One child barely cried. The other 2 were easily comforted after the procedure. It wasn't easy to watch, but it wasn't the worst thing I saw either.