The first time I carried a child, I suddenly had this intense urge to be closer to my mom. It was hard going through a pregnancy and a stressful birth experience without my mother's guidance and support (cancer can quit now, OK?), and I keep coming up against questions I really wish I could ask my mama, but that must be left unanswered.
On this second week of January when so many of us have thrown in the towel on our January 1 resolutions -- apparently only eight per cent of people actually manage to succeed with their New Year's goals -- I'm here to diss "The Diet" in favour of common sense, moderation and a few other nuggets of truth I want to pass on to my daughter.
There is a whole science to our habits, how they are triggered, carried out and the reward we get from them. There is a whole scientific method to shifting our habits so they stick and actually support real life changes. Part of that method is to start small with a new habit that you can't say no to.
Last night, my husband spoke the three most terrifying words in the English language. "Take a break." I was horrified. My blood ran cold. "But, but..." "No buts about it. Take the day off. Why don't you have some fun?" he suggested, smiling. Fun? Fun!? I drew a blank. And that's when I knew I had a problem.
Some are geographically distant from those they hold dear and raise a solitary glass to absent friends. Others have lost loved ones to the grave. But for many of us, "no contact" is a choice we consciously made. Loneliness is simply less painful than the agony of spending time with our toxic families.
I noticed a distressing new trend: whenever we visited friends and family, they didn't really see me anymore. It was all about the baby -- how she'd changed, which adorable outfit she was wearing, or who she happened to look like that week. It took a while to get used to this strange sense of invisibility.
Company is coming! Get rid of the couches. We can't let people know we SIT! ...There cannot be any sign of LIVING in this house... I want this place looking like a new Mediterranean fusion restaurant by noon... This is a dishtowel. I need a hand towel. What are we? Barbarians!?!" Does this ring any bells?
By exaggerating the benefits of breastfeeding, we make it all too easy to cross the line from making a personal decision to breastfeed to the fervent belief that all mothers should breastfeed. If breastfeeding really will protect a baby from everything from diabetes to cancer, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that feeding a baby formula represents some kind of parental failure.
Preemie babies make feisty kids! They come into this world fighting for every breath. They struggle to survive each day and they work hard at simply growing one gram at a time. By the time my preemie twins could walk and talk they were ready to take on the world and tell everyone who's boss. They're strong willed and have proven that nothing and no one will stop them.