Last month, it was reported that an Edmonton woman was badly beaten by her spouse. Though the attack put her in the hospital, the police offered a silver lining by stating that her unborn baby, at least, wasn't harmed. Sadly, this claim underestimates the profound effect severe stress can have on children's development in their first years of life, including while they're still in the womb.
It's been a month since my wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and WOW has it been a learning experience! Changing diapers at 3 a.m., figuring out how to sterilize bottles, bathe the little one, strap her into the car seat, and rock her to sleep. One of my personal heroes, Ram Dass, once asked his guru "How can I attain enlightenment?" His guru replied: "Feed people and serve people." OK.
I'm frequently asked questions about all the glorious obstacles we are faced with when it comes to feeding the most important members of our family, our children. First off, I start by telling moms to "do what works for them." With this being said, I decided to take a few of the common questions and share my responses, because at some time or another, one of you readers may be faced with the same issues.
I finally sat down and tried to understand exactly what that meant. What they are saying essentially is that before my daughter came along, my family was incomplete? Because my two wonderful, vivacious and healthy boys don't complete a family? I certainly didn't feel incomplete. I felt blessed, SO blessed.
Remember that your friends' experiences as new parents are not about you. This is not your chance to re-hash everything about your own parenting. This is not your chance to show off your knowledge and expertise. What you should be doing now is supporting your friends as much as possible, in the same way that others hopefully supported (or will support) you as a new parent.
My life has been "busy" and a lot of work for quite some time now, and that's something I don't want to change. I still take the necessary time to unplug and fill myself and my family up, but cannot deny that I also thrive off of creating and growing in business. That will likely always be part of me, even with a new baby at my side. My work is very much tied into what I want to create for my family to benefit from. I have complete respect for the women who grow up with a complete focus on wanting to stay home and raise a family... but for me, part of what I want to represent to my children is showing them that they have the ability to "have it all."
Having a child can be overwhelming, in every possible way. Especially if the child is your first born. You see, kids don't come with a manual. You have to mostly trust your gut, take some advice when needed and sometimes rely on the Internet for a huge chunk of information. I used the internet to Google "How to bathe a three-day-old" because I didn't have much help after my child was born.
We cannot see with the naked eye that Canadian children are born pre-polluted, but our latest results demonstrate just that. Our new report shows that even in the mothers' womb, the developing fetus is exposed to a slew of dangerous chemicals -- chemicals that might have health effects like cancer, lower IQ or thyroid problems later in life.
I never questioned my feelings about not wanting kids because my friends back in the U.K (where I am originally from) are single partiers with no interest in children, except only one who has had a baby. But after I moved, most of my new friends were planning for them. I spent more and more time around young children, and when our two closest friends decided that they were going to have their first child, DH and I realized that this was not something we were remotely interested in doing. When friends of mine in the wanting/planning/having stage, see a baby or get on to that subject, I find there is an expectation that I will want to join them. I have never experienced pressure like this before.
I'm all for uniqueness when it comes to naming a child. After all, no one wants to give their child a name that will be shared by three or more kids in their grade school classroom. That being said, parents still need to consider certain parameters when making a decision that will affect their child for many years to come. Case in point: the poor child incredulously named "Adolph Hitler Campbell."
I'm starting to accept that all the research in the world can't prepare you for the day-to-day realities of parenting, and that the parent you hope to be isn't necessarily the parent you will be when you are faced with the child you end up with -- who is, after all, an individual in his or her own right. What matters is that I am the right mother for him, and he is the perfect child for me.
A new study debunks the idea that extended exclusive breastfeeding wards off childhood obesity. Maybe we should use these results as an opportunity to ask ourselves whether having all mothers breastfeed exclusively for four or six months should really be the ultimate goal? Shouldn't other considerations about mother/child bonding, maternal sanity, child thriving and family unity be taken into account? Isn't it possible that we may have reached the level of exclusive breastfeeding that reflects the portion of the mother/child population for whom this is the best option, all things weighed?