Pressing Pause

I’m pressing pause on blogging. Honestly, it’s become more of a chore than fun. I feel like I’m not making a difference and, honestly, I don’t even know what difference I want to make. I’m tired of the hateful comments from past posts when I was more of a lactivist and I’m tired of feeling guilty that my blog that has the word “lactating” in it doesn’t have more breastfeeding content these days. I’m just tired. So I’m officially going on break. I’m not sure if/when I’ll come back. I just felt like I owed those of you who follow the blog an explanation rather than a sudden disappearance. Hope to see you all soon.

Dear Me of 7 Years Ago

Welcome to the June 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Talking to Yourself

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written letters to themselves. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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Dear Me of 7 Years Ago,

You don’t know it, but you’re about to get knocked up. I know that the timing isn’t quite right. I know that it’s all going to get very scary and overwhelming very quickly. But I’m here to tell you that it’ll all be alright. It’ll be more than alright.

Your heart is going to implode. And what will be left in the wreckage will be a new, better heart. One that holds infinitely more love, patience, and meaning. As you take this new, beautiful of baby in your arms, you will break. The you you’ve always known will cease to exist because there just couldn’t possibly have been a you without this person. You have a new sun to revolve around. And it will happen again and again. And even with lack of existence, implosions, and revolving around more than one sun, it’ll somehow make sense.

You’ll find yourself. The person you were always meant to be. You’ll find new passions, you’ll get new perspective, your priorities will change. You’ll figure out what really matters in your life and let everything else fall away. You’ll be a different person than you would have been had these little people never come into your life. You’ll be better.

I’m not saying it’ll be perfect. There will be hard times. Oh believe me, I know the hard times. Sometimes all the time will be a hard time. That’s okay. Having just read a letter from myself another 7 years from now, I can tell you it’ll be hard then too. But it’s more than just hard. Parenting will challenge you in ways that cause you to grow. Parenting will teach you that you can do hard things.

So me, get ready for a whirlwind. Your life is going to be flipped upside down and it’s going to be amazing. You’ll never regret it for a second.

Love,
Me

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • Dear Me. — Meegs at A New Day writes to her decade-younger self offering a good reminder of how far she’s come, and she addresses some fears she wishes future her could assuage.
  • Reflecting on Motherhood with Parental Intelligence: A Letter to Myself — Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. at Parental Intelligence writes about raising her two loving, empathic sons with Parental Intelligence and finding they have become industrious, accomplished young men with warm social relationships.
  • A Letter to MyselfThe Barefoot Mama writes to herself in the moments around the birth of her daughter.
  • A Letter to Myself — Holly at Leaves of Lavender offers a missive to herself in the past… three years in the past, to be precise, when her little one was only four months old.
  • Dear me: Nothing will go the way you’ve planned — Lauren at Hobo Mama gets real with her just-starting-parenting self and tells it to her straight.
  • A Letter to the Mama Whom I Will Become — Erin from And Now, for Something Completely Different writes a letter to the Mama whom she will one day be, filled with musings on the past, present, and future.
  • Dear Me of 7 Years Ago — Lactating Girl at The Adventures of Lactating Girl writes to her pre-baby self telling her about the whirlwind she’s about to enter called parenting.
  • Talking to My 18 Year Old SelfHannahandHorn talks to herself as she is just entering college.
  • Dear highly sensitive soulMarija Smits tells a younger version of herself that motherhood will bring unexpected benefits – one of them being the realization that she is a highly sensitive person.
  • Talking to myself: Dear Pre StoneageparentStoneageparent enlightens her pre-pregnant self about the amazing transformations life has in store for her after having two children
  • Dear Me: I love you. — Dionna at Code Name: Mama wrote herself a few little reminders to help her be at peace with who she is in the moment. That may give her the greatest chance of being at peace in the future, too.
  • My best advice to the new mama I was 8 years ago — Tat at Mum in Search shares the one thing she wishes she’d figured out earlier in a letter to her 8-years-ago self (that’s when her first baby was 6 moths old).
  • A Letter to Myself — Bibi at The Conscious Doer sends a letter back in time eight years to her darkest moment post partum.
  • To me, with love — Jessica at Crunchy-Chewy Mama makes peace with her past and projects what a future her will need to hear.
  • To Myself on the Last Day — Rachael at The Variegated Life tells her panicked last-day-before-motherhood self not to worry.

Somewhere In-between

I’m at an interesting crossroads. I still feel passionate about so many of the same things. About breastfeeding, about treating children with respect, about parenting with fun and love.

But I’m also realizing there isn’t only one way to do things. I’m finding my balance in life and, in most respects, it appears to be somewhere in the middle.

Not normal enough to avoid being the weird one in the group. Not crunchy enough to be really in that group either. I extended breastfeed, but I also vaccinate. I practice elimination communication, but I also use disposables (and cloth too for that matter). I don’t home school, I do ferment foods. I don’t avoid sugar, I do avoid too much tv. I do baby-led weaning, but we’re using a bit of baby food too. The list goes on.

I’m okay with being in the middle. If having Banana has taught me anything, it’s that there isn’t one “right” way to parent. I’ve always said that we all make the choices that are right for our own families, but my own choices are shifting quite a bit. I’ve changed my views on many things and I’m not quite sure how to put it into words most of the time.

So that’s where I am right now. I’m working on putting all my perspectives together. I’m working on getting past this writing block I’ve been experiencing. Now I’m working more actively. Because I miss throwing my thoughts out into the abyss that is the internet. Hope you all miss me too.

Party In My Pants Cloth Pad Review and Giveaway!

Just a few short months ago, Banana came rushing into this world. When you’re obscenely pregnant, all you’re worried about is getting that baby out of your body. Little thought goes towards how your body is going to feel after that baby comes out. And a big part your newly postpartum body is the bleeding. Oh, the bleeding.

I don’t think I fully comprehended the bleeding before my first was born. You bleed for weeks and weeks. And you can’t use tampons or menstrual cups. Nothing inserted. So that only leaves pads.

I hate pads. I hate them with a Fiery. Burning. Passion. Well I’ll say I hated pads. That was back in my teenage days when I used disposable pads. Oh dear lordy those things are awful. They were quickly thrown to the wayside once I figured out there’s a better option with tampons (and then those where thrown to the wayside when I found an even better one with my Diva Cup). But, alas, the postpartum bleeding made me go back to those wretched things.

So this time, having been down this road before, I knew I would want something better than the disposable junk. Cue Party In My Pants Cloth Pads. As fast as I could I got my hands on the postpartum set, and let me tell you, I’m happy I did.

First off, these are genuinely cute. I didn’t think I’d care much about the patterns, but it’s kind of nice. Just a little touch of beauty to my not-so-beautiful (minus the beautiful baby of course) postpartum days. And what impressed me even more was that the beauty stays. I never did anything special to these pads in the wash (I even washed them on cold) and I have zero stains!

Which brings me to my next point. I know what you’re thinking. “But I just had a baby, I don’t have time to deal with a bunch of extra laundry!” Good news folks! I was able to just throw these pads in with my regular laundry, which I was already doing plenty of given the leaking boobs and spitting up baby and pooping baby and two other children and so on. Trust me, laundry gets done around here. So I just threw these in with the rest and they came out spick and span.

Last, and very definitely not least, these are so comfortable. I only have a handful of cloth pads, so I used them in conjunction with some disposables, and oh my goodness I could tell the difference when I was in one of these. No pad rash! I wast even aware I could wear a pad without pad rash. And without getting too far into the gory details, I bled much longer this time than with my other two (though I had no hemorrhage issues immediately after the birth, so maybe that’s why?). Not getting pad rash was absolutely vital.

Also included in the kit was a pair of breast pads. I kind of scoffed thinking I wouldn’t leak this time because I didn’t last time. Well, apparently my body took that as a challenge. These nursing pads have not only been useful, but are some of my favorites. They’re thin, but don’t leak through. They stay in place. Oh, and they’re cute too! See a theme here?!

So do you want to try them out for yourself already?!? Well Party In My Pants has been gracious enough to give away to one of my lucky readers a $10 Gift Certificate to buy whichever pads you’d like! Want to know how? Here we go!

First off, make sure to leave a comment for each entrySo if the item you accomplish says 2 entries, leave two comments! I try my best to check through and make sure everyone gets all the entries they should, but I’m not perfect! Make sure to get credit where credit’s due!

Mandatory first entry: Go to the Party In My Pants site and check it out! Leave a comment here telling me what product interests you the most. Be sure to use an email you can be contacted at in case you win!

1 entry: follow me on Twitter. If you already follow, you still get an entry!

1 entryfollow Party In My Pants on Twitter. If you already follow, you still get an entry!

1 entry: Tweet about this giveaway (leave a link to the tweet in the comment). You can tweet about this giveaway once every day for an entry. That’s up to 15 entries just from tweeting!

1 entry: follow me on Pinterest. If you already follow, you still get an entry!

1 entry: follow Party In My Pants on Pinterest. If you already follow, you still get an entry!

2 entries (don’t forget to comment twice!): follow this blog by email (or other following mechanism of your choosing).  If you already follow, you still get an entry!

2 entries: follow the Party In My Pants blog by email (or other following mechanism of your choosing). If you already follow, you still get an entry!

2 entries: become a fan of The Adventures of Lactating Girl on Facebook. If you’re already a fan, you still get an entry!

2 entries: become a fan of Party In My Pants on Facebook. If you’re already a fan, you still get an entry!

1 entry: Write a post on your Facebook page about this giveaway! Make sure you link to The Adventures of Lactating Girl on Facebook and Party In My Pants on Facebook in the post and leave a comment here each time you do it. You can do it once per day! That’s up to 15 entries!

3 entries: blog about this contest (leave a link the comment). Once per giveaway.

The winner will be chosen on Sunday, February 15th at 5PM Mountain Standard Time by random. The winner will be emailed and must respond to the email within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. Good luck everyone!

The winner by random number generator is comment #9. Congrats Jennifer!

For the Supply, I Tell You!

The holidays are finally over, and believe you me, I’m breathing a big ole sigh of relief. While I love the holidays, I get pretty sick of the whole shebang by the time it’s all said and done. So this should mean I’m sick of the sweets that accompany the holidays, no? NO! Never shall I be sick of delicious things, especially those with a big heaping spoonful of sugar.

So tonight I’m making these amazing no bake cookies. They’re for my supply, I tell you! Never mind that my supply is a-okay, therefore not necessarily in need of a boost. I will justify eating too many delicious cookies on the fact that I produce milk. If you’re looking for a delicious fix, I suggest you give these a try too. And if anyone asks, blame it on the supply.

Happy Holidays my lovelies.

My beautiful and sometimes overwhelming little almost 3 month old.

Today we were supposed to go to the museum with some friends and I cancelled those plans because I was feeling overwhelmed by my day. Nothing in particular was going wrong, just that overwhelmed feeling you get sometimes with a new baby. I’ve been Very. Slowly. reading the book Lying (someone recommended it to me after I posted this link about Santa by the same author to my Facebook), so when Peanut asked me why we weren’t going I decided to tell her the truth. My initial reaction was to lie, mostly because I didn’t want her to get upset with me for being the one who cancelled. She first asked me who cancelled and I said I did. Next she asked why and I said because I was feeling overwhelmed today. What came next was the surprise: she asked me if she can help me clean the house after quiet time.

First, I’m amazed that my child understands how much having a relatively tidy house is linked to my sanity (and I hadn’t even realized how much the house was bothering me until at that moment). Mostly, I’m amazed that she not only understood, but wanted to help. I didn’t expect her to understand what feeling overwhelmed even means, especially in the context of having a new baby. More than that though, I’ve just learned over the years to buck up and deal with life as a mother. Subliminally, I’ve learned that my needs come second and that no one needs to hear about my problems. This is absolutely wrong.

So often as mothers in our society, we are isolated. We are expected to go back to normal immediately after having a baby. We are expected to be able to care for that baby, any other children, our houses, our husbands, and ourselves within days of birth. This extends beyond the normal postpartum period though. We are expected to, or at least see ourselves as expected to, be a super mom. Be able to handle it all and never lose stride. Yes, a lot of this stems from society, but it’s also ourselves.

Mothers of the world (myself included): stop this behavior! When someone asks you if you need help, don’t immediately jump to “Oh no, I’m okay.” Accept the help graciously. If someone is asking you how you’re doing (in the sense of really wanting to know, not in the acquaintance passing on the street type of way), tell them the truth. When you are feeling overwhelmed with life, ask for help. Don’t bear it alone. And especially involve your children. It’s okay for them to know that their mother is not a superhero. And you have no idea how much they would love to help.

Did-do List

I did accomplish getting a smile out of this little guy this week.

Lately I’ve been having the feeling that I don’t accomplish anything even though I am constantly doing things all day. I’ll clean throughout the day, but the house still ends up messy. I change endless diapers, potty Gideon (we’re doing part-time elimination communication), and nurse constantly, but there’s always more of those things to do. Same goes for playing with my girls. I’m always on the move, but my husband comes home from work and the house is often more mess than when he left. The kids are the same, if not more crabby (yay evenings!). Yes, I’m doing the most important job in the world, but it’s hard to see that in the day-t0-day.

So yesterday I made a “did-do list” rather than a “to-do list.” I read about it in some book for new moms. I’m surprised at how much I really accomplish in a day! Seriously, this list is long (and no, I’m not usually so on top of the cleaning, this was an unusually productive day in that respect). And so many of the things I do are simultaneous. If you’re feeling kind of burnt out and like you’re not accomplishing much as a mom, I’d definitely suggest you make one of these. So, without further ado, here’s my

Did-do List

Woke up (6:45am)
Nursed Gideon
Wiped Mere’s bum
Put the girls in the tub
Changed, pottied Gideon
Got Curtis fruits and veggie
Got the girls breakfast
Nursed Gideon
Changed, pottied Gideon
Nursed Gideon
Fed pets
Braided Dea’s hair
Helped the girls hold Gideon
Made my coffee
Took Dea to school
Read Facebook
Took bath with Mere
Started my breakfast
Helped Mere get undies on
Changed Gideon
Stopped my breakfast
Nursed Gideon while pumping
Comforted hurt Meredith
Cleaned/massaged Gideon’s eyes
Started my breakfast again
Helped Mere get on her dress
Put Gideon in the carrier
Cleaned spit up off floor
Bounced while cooking my breakfast
Made egg for mere
Froze pumped milk
Watched tv while eating and nursing
Put baby in swing
Corrected Pascal for barking
Cleaned up a little trashcan
Set a trap for little trashcan
Put away clean dishes
Wash all dishes in sink with Mere
Clean sink
Transfer and brew new water kefir
Drink some water kefir
Boil water for sweet tea
Make snacks for girls
Cut and freeze questionable broccoli
Wash newly acquired dishes
Gather dirty laundry around house
Put on shirt and deodorant
Start load of laundry
Put away clean diapers
Change blowout diaper and clothes
Start dirty cover soaking
Clean Mere’s pee off floor
Put teabags in water
Picked up Dea (late)
Signed permission slip
Put Gideon in the swing
Put on a movie for the girls
Switched laundry
Scooped cat litter boxes
Vacuumed laundry room
Showered
Picked up crying Gideon
Thawed chili
Ate snack, nursed, facebooked
Switched laundry
Nursed
Started chili
Made sandwiches
At lunch with the girls, nursed
Changed, pottied Gideon
Put diaper on Mere
Got Mere down for a nap, nursed
Switched laundry
Filled up pet water jug
Jolted upstairs to get awake Gideon
Wrapped Gideon
Bounce-walked Gideon to sleep
Made vaccine appointment for Mere
Helped Dea read a book
Bought Gideon’s birth certificate
Switched laundry
Put sheets upstairs
Started folding laundry
Played Blokus with Dea
Finished folding laundry
Put away laundry with girls
Sorted photos
Changed, pottied Gideon
Nursed, pumped
Sorted photos, nursed
Dish out chili for dinner
Put away clean dishes
Wash dishes in sink
Watched tv while eating and nursing
Nursed
Changed, pottied Gideon
Nursed
Watched tv while eating and nursing
Read books to Mere, nursed
Got Mere to sleep, nursed
Put away clean dishes
Prepared coffee for tomorrow
Took out trash
Changed Gideon
Watched tv, ate, nursed
Put sleeping Gideon in the wrap
Finished a hat, started a second hat
Changed Gideon
Went to bed (11pm)