Our Sentiments

Mothering and Life in General

Tag Archives: Children

A Letter To My Daughter,

Dearest Lil Miss,

We have been on some rocky road lately, you seem to try out everything in your power to make my brain try to escape my skull. You have listened to my direction and done everything but. We have shared screaming matches, anger fits, and heartfelt tears. Yes, it’s been a rough road. Dreadful, actually. It was until yesterday, that we finally connected the way we used too. I want to document this moment to you, so we both don’t forget.

I was on the phone with a friend, we were discussing about the TIME cover and how her, not being a nursing mother, took it as they were mocking us mothers who nurse  an older child. I explained to my friend, while I was actually nursing you, that I loved the picture. To me, every picture tells a story, and I have yet to find a nursing picture that I have not liked. It reminded me of the nursing acrobats that toddlers do. I just try really hard to not look past the picture, because the wording takes a cut to every mother, nursing or not. And how unnatural the poise was, but moving on.

Flashes of memories came back in my mind. So many that brings a smile to my face.  Remembering them again, as you sat contentedly on my lap, soaking in every word – remembering too, as I retell the stories. The way you used to curl your legs around my neck so you upside down, times I woke up in the morning with you nursing the other way. That one priceless time when I was typing up a Daycare recipe and you snuck a chair behind mine, leaned over, pulled up my shirt and latched. All good memories.

After I hung up the phone you said to me, “Momma, I want to be a baby again”. It broke my heart, because now I heard what you meant. I have heard you many times in the past year on how you want to go back to being a baby, and I just thought that you just ‘wanted to go back to being a baby’ to do baby things. I never knew you felt what I was feeling.

With me being so stressed out and drained from life experiences and trying to get me back. I have lost so much of what my goal is with being a mother. I am constantly tied with feeling that I should not be mad at a child I was lucky to have, to teaching this child the basics to becoming better than me in adulthood. I pass through life with so much thought on what not to do, that I forget that you are the only person that just wants me. That in of itself is taxing, but it’s what I signed up for.

I usually replied to your statement with, “Well, babies don’t do this or that”. But yesterday I guess I was on the ball a bit more. I heard that you want us back, just like I do. That you feel lost, and that you miss how we connected and even though I try so hard everyday to give you and teach you that where we were a year ago is not normal, I lost my humor and my affection. I’ve put my attention to all the things you might have seen and heard and trying to undo them, that stopped what I started when you were born. Lil Miss, I heard you last night. And I feel the same way.

We both stared at the TIME cover and smiled as “Are you Mom enough?” glared at me on the side. I answered the question with, no I wasn’t. This time not out of guilt, but out of reality. I have not been Mom enough. By being Mom enough is not being the mom that everyone else thinks you should be, it’s about being enough Mom for your child. And I have not been.

I want you to know that I will always love your baby, toddler and preschooler days, but I will also love your school days too. They are not finished yet and sometimes I am grateful for it. I will reflect on our yesterdays, because back then I have all the answers now, today – not so much. I don’t want to do anything wrong emotionally to you, and I want to keep my promise to you. I will not intentionally make you feel the way I have felt growing up.

Just because I look back and sometimes I wish to rewind time. It’s not because today is a drag and I don’t want to continue, it’s because there are moments I should have lingered longer and I didn’t. Other times those moments also make me understand today and appreciate it more.

We continued to look at this cover, I think and feel the same as I always have. Nursing is the only way we could have bonded and maintained that bond for as long as we do. Nursing always makes us come back, whether it’s the act, memory, or looking at a picture and talking about it. We will always have that to remind us that its us in this world together, and I have your back. Nursing, even when we are not, will be our door to put down any hurt form the day and tie another rope around our hearts, just in case the last rope frayed a little bit.

I went into mothering remembering my first memory – of me and my cowgirl boots at 2. I don’t remember being happy, I just remember it. Nothing of the memory brings any feelings and the rest of my childhood, brings a lot of anxiety and rage. I wanted to give you something more. I knew in the NICU, nursing was the ONLY way to hold you, so it become important to me. When you arrived home nursing became the only thing that would make you stop crying, which became important to me. As you entered toddlerhood, it was a time where we would learn things together, new words or just be – together, so it became important  to me. As you entered preschool it became the only time that you stop your fits, and that became important to me.

And now, you’re going to school. You are five. You can tell me stories of different times we nursed and where. You remember us sitting together on a park bench, counting the birds that flew by. You would see babies being nursed at the mall and smile. You will happily tell the nursing mom that you are nursed and you remember. You remembering being nursed, has always been important to me. You will be more “Mom Enough” than I would because you will remember nursing as you are nursing your own. The cycle will be fully complete than. The way that nature intended. And you will come to days and moments where you want to pull out your hair, then see something on a cover to ask you if you are “Mom enough” and you will get mad, because silently you will answer no.

But except for being alone, like me, you will have me to tell you that only you can define what is enough. You just have to be that, and if it’s guilt you feel, find out why and change what you can. What you can’t change in your life, support someone else who comes after you. Most importantly, always raise your children to be better than you ever were. Because that is the only feeling of ‘enough’ we will ever have.

And never forget, you are the best at everything you do, because only you can do it the way you do. Underneath all my worries and deep dark fears, I hope you will see I had and will always have the best of intentions.

Our Art Project(s)

Sunday, we had plans to go to my cousin’s house to help with a room in the basement that my cousin and DH are using for their new reptile business. Well, we had a bit of drama and K1 wanted to go home early, which made K2 FREAK right out. So I thought maybe we could do some girl shopping, get a few things, just her and I.

So as she was finishing her breakfast I logged on to Facebook and noticed Michael’s was doing a baby craft. Well, I as I saw it, I thought this would be a cute and unique way to get K2’s name on something. Since her name is so unique, I can never find something on the shelf, I have to order and custom make it. All the better if you ask me.

So I wanted to go to Michael’s, but the bus driver drove right on past, so I knew by the time we waited an hour for the next bus, everything would be gone. So on to my next idea, my best friend – Dollar Rama! So K2 and I walked to the plaza behind our apartment and went through all the scrapbooking items. Riddling with so many ideas, I had to stop at the  Terracotta Pot Name and her River Rock Letters, that a Group Teach Preschool shared on Facebook.

Unfortunately, I could not find simple letter stencils for the River Rock Letters. I could have just done the scripture fonts, but for children who are learning the characters, that was not something I was going to throw into the loop. So I just bought two bundles of the River Rocks and used a Sharpie to write the letters on. Sweet $2.00! Done in five minutes and now K2 uses it to pretend cook.

On to our Terracotta Pots. There are 6 letters in K2’s name so bonus they were selling the smalls pots for 3 for a dollar. Then I had to figure out how I was going to get the blocks. They used to sell square foam blocks, that I could easily paint and be done with it. They were nowhere to be found, and the women who worked their looked at me like an idiot when I asked. So I decided I would use cork disks, to me I would have called them cork coasters, so that is what I will refer to them as.

The coasters came is three different shapes, two flower shapes and an octagon. K2 wanted the flower shaped one, so we went with that. Then we looked for the rub-on stencils, which took a while to find, but again they did not have the font that I was excited about, but they did have scripted fonts in pinks and purples.

Then on to paints, I bought white, two browns, green, pink and a purple. I had some skewers at home so that I did not need to look for. We picked of the ‘flower foam’ for flower arrangements, and a tasselled thin robe (which we did not use). Then for embellishments K2 found some brown pearls, so we threw that in the cart.

All together I spent close to $30 for two art projects, that at Michael’s I would be paying that for one (if you include the $6 for the bus). I think it turned out pretty great! Oh yes, I forgot K2 wanted this purple Unicorn on a stick, she road that around the store saying “Yeeehawww, matey” (thank you 4 Square and Zigby, my daughter does not know if she is a cowgirl or a pirate).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advocacy

For the past few nights I have thought to myself. I know that most of my friends and family knows how passionate I am about Breastfeeding including Natural Duration Breastfeeding, but that is not what I am entirely all about. So I thought I would make a post about things that I am also an advocate about with a general idea or a link or two about why I feel it’s important to advocate it.

Note: The below are my personal beliefs and are addressed here for parents and care-givers to seek out the right information for their family.  Before making any choices please talk with professionals and make your own conclusions.

Extended Rear-Facing: Although the requirements in Canada states that you can forward-face your child when your child is over 1-year-old and over 20 pounds. It is safer for the child to be in the rear-facing position for as long as possible. For further information on Rear-Facing Child Seats I recommend www.Car-Seat.org. K2 is going on 3 and is still in the weight and height requirements for her seat and is still rear facing. DH and I argue about this now and then (to come to think of it we are due for another one LOL), and I always win! Why you ask? Here is a story of a child in a crash, please be aware this maybe disturbing to some viewers, but it’s a MUST see/read! Joel’s Journey. After looking for the link I have noticed a little girl the same age as K2 was in a similar accident and was harmed, just like Joel, give me a bit to hug my daughter… Lets get the word out parents!

Note: Looking at Joel’s Progress page the family was approved to have a Swedish Rear-Facing Car-seat, congratulations! I hope it gets approved for the rest of us.

Jackets/Bulky Jackets/Snugglies + 5-point Harness = NOT GOOD!: I usually send out a mass email to all my contacts about winter safety and the 5-point harness right around the time it starts to get cool. Some read it, most not, but I sleep better at night knowing I have tried to send out the message. Why do I do this? I was quite frankly pissed right off when I went to a Car-Seat seminar and was informed about anything that goes under the baby or child in a car-seat leaves that much room for the give of the straps. Result: The child potentially being projectile out of the seat and out of the car in a crash. As I look down at my tiny 5 month old in a fluffy pink snuggly (or bunting bag) I raged, why was I not informed about this? Things no one tells you until you seek it out yourself or until something bad happens, then the parents get blamed.

Note: Any additional products that is not in the box or sold by the manufacturer of the same seat and model should not be used for any seat. This includes neck protectors and bunting bags (exclusion of the bags that go on the outside of the seat).

October 15th / Wave of Light: This one is a bit hard for me still even after all these years. October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness. It’s for anyone who has suffered or know anyone who has been affected with pregnancy and/or infant loss. On October 15th you light a candle for one hour starting at 7pm in all time zones. This creates a wave of light for 24 hours around the world, for the memory of our loved ones who was taken much too early. This is a time where supporters, loved ones and parents can reconnect to the ones dear. I light a candle and put it on my balcony, my personal reason: From earth to Heaven I send my love to my two unborn, my four brothers or sisters, and a dear friend’s son whom I loved like my own. Also without a word, I can state I am a mother of 3, not just 1.

For further information please link to www.october15th.com or Google “The Wave of Light For Infant and Pregnancy Loss” etc.

There is also something that I came across over the net one night about Mother’s Day and carnations; a white carnation on one shoulder states you are mother who lost a child. I have tried looking for the link with not much luck. So if any readers out there knows this link or something similar please comment.

Exclusive Breastfeeding OR Formula Feeding for Minimum of 6 Months: Yes, we’ve all heard about it, we all know the reasons why it’s important. So I wont go on about it and sound like a true mother to the point of nagging. I believe in it passionately that this is included in my home daycare policies. Yes, I know that parents have final say, but I do believe that the Family and Provider should be a suited fit.

NO to Over The Counter Decongestions for Children Under 10: This might be a surprise to most people. I do know that it’s really not enforced outside of Canada, I also know that Canadians only know about the age of 7 and under. When talking to healthcare professionals, they will recommend not to administrate OTC Cough and Cold medications to anyone under 10 years old. Why? Mostly because these medications are not proven to work, and some medications actually create more mucus. On the other hand, some concentrate the virus by limiting the mucus, therefore your body can’t get rid of the virus as fast. So labels might say one age, but healthcare professionals will suggest to wait until after 10, some 12 years old.

Makes sense here. I find since I have rid of OTC medications for flues and colds I am not sick as long or as bad. Before I would be sick for months. So in my home, home remedies are used for colds and flues – nurse often, clear liquids if there is no appetite, nice hot showers or steam the room and have a bath and if in question see a doctor. Although a cough is a pain in the butt, especially at night, I always think that a normal cough is riding the body of the bug. Note: I am not giving medical advise, just things I believe to be important and I advocate/believe in. If you find your child sick please see your doctor for advise.

Nestle-Boycott: I personally boycott Nestle products that I know are Nestle. There are a few misjudgments and poor choices on my behalf, but majority of the time Nestle does not get any of MY hard-earned money. DH will buy K2 chocolate from Nestle and he will roll his eyes when I say “Oh, perfect Chocolate for a 2-year old – Made by a two-year-old”. Yes, I don’t like K2 eating or having anything Nestle, but I have to grit my teeth, I breastfeed her until SHE is finished, I guess they can have Nestle, at my duress! More information about the Nestle Boycott: Fair Trade Issues, PhD in Parenting, Baby Milk Action, and Nestle Boycott.

Children: This includes tending to a child’s NEEDS at any age, therefore no crying-it-out. There is so much science behind this one, so I wont go in too much to retort to nagging again. In this area it includes having human rights. In my position, a child can tell a caregiver, through words or actions. A child is born into the world and should be included in our lives, not made to fit our schedules and definitely not around or born for show.

Birthing Rights: Now I would like to start off that yes, I did have vaginal birth with K2. Some might think I should not voice my opinions about birthing options, since I had a ‘natural birth’ and I don’t or can’t understand a fellow mother who had a c-section. Well just because I had vaginal birth does not mean I consider K2’s birth natural. I can truly relate to loss.

At the time it was all good, but learning about birthing and the rights to knowledge lead me to believe a different thought. I believe in VBAC’s, the right to home births, midwives and the right to not be induced or intervened upon during birth. I believe that child birth is a chance in itself and first and foremost the mother is the primary patient who has rights to her care and treatment.  A mother should be given all information and not scare tactics like I had and so many other women.  If I could do it over again, I would have K2 at home with a midwife, like my gut was telling me too. If and when births do come up these feeling about my birthing experience comes into play, I am trying really hard for it not to happen, but it does. I am not a pusher for most things, although I sound like it at times, I am a believer of women, and would never want an enemy to feel like this.

I know that this is a short list, but it’s a few to start with now. Of course I am not entering this to debate or belittle those with different views. I also understand there are many more causes that are of importance, again this is only a short list. Call it my top lists of things I advocate for.

The Most Important

I have pondered for a while now, on what I should have for the first posting for 2010. The only thing in my life that have some importance is our daughters. I have forgotten what a lame life I had before these two girls came into my life. Yes, I remember getting sleep, but would I close my wary eyes and miss all the things these eyes have seen? Not in a million years.

K1 came into my life when DH did. It’s hard to think that she was the same age as K2 is now, when I first met her. 2.5, what a wonderful age. It brings a smile on my face when I remember when K1 first seen the apartment we where moving into, she loved the height so much the first place she went was the balcony door.

What lovely times we shared, the first time K1 felt K2 kicked in the womb, but the most heartfelt is stealing private moments that the girls share together. I love hearing the tiny giggles, while they are in K1’s bed. When K1 comes on her visits, DH and I no longer exist. When I think back to all the nice and wonderful firsts of K2 most of them include K1.

My hope is that both girls will have a great future together and still be in wonder and love with each other. I dream of them to be the best of friends and continue to share life together. The most important is for them to know their value in my life and that they can continue to come to me for help and with their troubles.

K1 and K2, you have nestled a warm and cozy place in my heart. I will forever be grateful for this place you’ve made. My life will be forever in colour with the love you both have given me. So pure, so innocent, so true. I will continue to watch you both grow, with the deepest smile and warmth you both have placed in my heart. I want you both to remember that when life gets busy and life happens, you both are the most important.

Considerate Smokers

Yes the big bad debate. Another subject that divides us in two different places to throw knives into each others backs. I need to discuss this, because what I have seen is truly disgusting!

I think I am the only smoker who welcomed the by-law that we could no longer smoke in restaurants, then a few long years later, Clubs, Bars ect. I never liked eating while another smoked. I also could not take that nasty feeling the afternoon after the bar, feeling like I smoked every cigarette on the planet! Yet since I was a smoker who was also contributing to the ashtray, I could not bitch about it. I could though sympathize with what my non-smoking friends were talking about.

I also think I am the only smoker who welcomed the smoking ban in company vehicles and Taxis and I welcome the bill that is trying to limit smoking in apartment buildings. You can take the warm venues away from me just as long as I still get a justified outdoor spot. On the other hand, I also feel that a law is only as good as it can be enforced.

Now, I know that it was my choice to start, it’s my choice to continue to smoke or not. It’s my choice to buy another pack, and it’s also my choice to open it. It is not, however, my choice to light-up in a house or car around a child who CAN NOT choose for themselves. I don’t care who you are, you do not smoke in a confined area when there is a child around! And yes, I am yelling!

What really sickens me is when I hear people say “I will smoke in another room” or “All you have to do is blow it out the window”. Does this really make any sense? At least go freeze your ass outside, like the rest of us future cancer patients, when there is a child in the home or car! At least try to show the non-smokers and our future, you do care!

Yes I smoke, yes I know that there is smoke on my clothes and in my hair. I know all the information about it. K1 and K2 will get subjected to smoke (first and second-hand) by these means. I do try to limit those subjections. I will tell you that I will not smoke in a closed confined area where my daughters are. I also will limit my time to summer months when visiting with people who do smoke in their homes, so we will be outside. Again, I choice to smoke, my daughters didn’t.

I will consider myself a dedicated smoker, one who will go outside no matter what kind of weather it is. Not because I enjoy the Canadian weather, but because it’s best and it’s considerate. I say sorry when the wind catches the smoke into another’s face, and I try to be kind. After all, it’s my decision not theirs.

Smoking sucks everyone should quit. In a better world there would be no smoking among other things. If you chose to smoke and continue to smoke don’t smoke in the home or in the car with children! How freaking hard is that? If I, the most laziest person in the world can do it, then you can too!