Sadly, in my experience, purposely ignoring pregnant women while riding public transit has become the norm, not the exception. What has happened to humanity? The lack of focus on others, supported by the technological tools to "zone out" or feign ignorance wherever and whenever possible makes this willful blindness not only possible but probable as well.
Have you heard this before? Are you a dedicated breast-feeder to a toddler or older child? If so, you are not alone. I see many women in my office each week who continue to breastfeed their toddlers, sometimes while also nursing younger babies. Women who breastfeed "older" children are often stigmatized and looked at as strange.
Baby C is getting closer and closer to hitting his first birthday. I can't believe it, and because I know this is my last child, I'm feeling a little bittersweet. There are plenty of things I know I will not miss about the baby stage, but when I stop to think about them, I have to admit that I'll miss them, in their own way.
There's no question breastfeeding has its challenges. From the shape of mom's nipples to the neck rotation of the baby, it all has an impact. But I never knew what would kill our breastfeeding relationship would go undetected for so long, although it was right under my nose. Or rather my baby's nose.
So come this past January, our family of five started a mission to live with less (minimalism for rookies). I know it's not for everyone, but it is for us. Our first long drawn-out step is to "remove the excess" of belongings. Since January we have done two toy purges and reduced the kids toys by over half.
Before I had kids, I dreamed about being a stay-at-home mom. I loved the idea of having the whole household under control and making life easy for my husband by rocking the homemaker role. But as it turns out, I am happy in that role about one day per week and otherwise feel totally and utterly stifled.
For better or for worse, my mom decided that being herself was more important than fitting in, even if that might have been easier. She has shown me the joy of being unashamedly yourself at any age, with no apologies. Perfection is not her goal, nor does she want or need it to be. She is, at nearly 80 years of age, truly herself.
While Mother's Day is a celebration of love for many, it is a day of pain and grief for so many more. There are many faces of motherhood, some less obvious then others. There are mothers whose arms are empty; suffering from infertility, miscarriages or the death of a child. The world doesn't recognize them as mothers but they are and always will be.
I don't want to read any more arguments about who has it harder, whose work is "real work," who is contributing more to society, or who is doing a better job ensuring her kids become stable, non-homicidal adults. I'm proposing a new form of Internet literature, where one group of moms singles out another group of moms for a job well done.
During my first year as a new mom, I came across, received and rewarded myself with some fabulous gifts that totally transformed my parenting experience. Although you're likely bombarded with gift-giving ideas, there's nothing like finding that one present that someone can't live without and didn't even know they needed.
This past year, I became your mother. As I watch you grow I'm amazed by the things you are learning, and the unique and spunky little person you're becoming. Already, I see you picking up so much from me and others around you, including the good, the hilarious and the not so great. I realize just how much of an impact I am having with the example I set.
Selfish is the ultimate insult you could call a mother. It cuts to the very core of what being a mother is, which is about giving. We give our bodies, we give our hearts, we give up careers, we lose friendships, we retire goals. We do this because the moment a baby is placed in our arms nothing else matters but the health and happiness of that little soul. We would sacrifice our own lives for our children. But who is looking out for the mother's soul?