Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sometimes I feel like I'm a head full of dreadlocks away from the full blown hippy stereotype. If you would have told me what I would become 5 years ago I probably would have laughed at you. I'm not really that big of a hippy, but I've really done a lot to let go of the way I perceived the right way to do things and opened my mind to a lot of possibilities over the past 5 years. 

When you choose something against the main stream like home birth, it gives you the courage to explore other aspects of life that aren't a regular part of your culture and you learn that there are many different ways to do things that may be more fitting for the goals you are trying to achieve. Parenting is really hard, but I have discovered that what makes it hard is trying to live up to these ridiculous standards that society has arbitrarily placed on us. We have this backwards idea that children have to conform to a certain behavior instead of embracing their light and freedom. We have an inherent mistrust for them that they will make mistakes and to protect them from these mistakes we have to punish them for making them. 

Let me tell you a story. I worked at Dixie Regional and IMC both in the maternity units for about 2 years each. At Dixie I flourished. I loved my job, I did a good job, I was an asset. At IMC, I hated every minute and I didn't do as good of a job. I did good enough. What was the difference? The way the managers at each place treated me. At Dixie, she trusted me and made me feel good about myself. In turn I did a good job in order to not lose that status. At IMC, I was mistrusted and put down. I didn't try as hard because what was it for? Nothing. This was all very subconscious and I didn't really notice it until after I quit. 

Parenting is exactly the same way. If your kids know that you don't trust them, they will misbehave more often, but if they know you trust them, they'll work harder to maintain that trust. I was never ever ever a rebellious kid. I never got grounded, my parents never worried about me once, and I never wanted to disappoint them. I don't think they did this consciously, I think they were very relaxed by the time I came around and also were very non-violent (I remember being spanked ONCE. That's it). 

This is why I choose an attachment parenting, non-violent, peaceful route. It's not what I grew up thinking was the way to do things, but the more I learn, the more this parenting style resonates with me. We have completely eliminated time outs, spanking is completely out of the question, and we do our best to not yell. Yes we both lose it and yell, but we always make sure to apologize after. And guess what! Parenting isn't nearly as stressful anymore. It doesn't take punishments and time outs to get your kids to behave. It takes talking to them and understanding the root of the problem. It takes humbling yourself and trying to understand your child's perspective instead of seeing how wrong they are (they're kids, of course they're wrong! But they're learning). 

Anyway, Phil and I watched this unschooling (which doesn't mean what it sounds like. It's just natural learning instead of forced) interview with Dayna Martin and Stefan Molyneux and it made us really excited about parenting and schooling. Realizing that we don't have to parent the way society tells us to and we can raise happy, healthy, self-motivated children by creating a partnership with them. You discipline your kids the same way you'd discipline your spouse and build a foundation of mutual respect. I can already see how well it works and am excited for the future. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Breastfeeding

Tonight I went to Barnes and Noble with my friend Whitney to work on our math project together. She thought I was going straight to her house first and I thought we were meeting there so I got there and had to kill some time so I thought I'd read a breastfeeding book in hopes of some weaning tips. I picked up "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" and went straight for the weaning section. I have been actively wanting to wean for over 6 months now. I originally thought "one year and if it's going well then maybe 18 months, but that's my stopping point". Well 18 months came and went and then I said "well, no longer than 2 years". A lady I know did a thesis on breastfeeding for her bachelors degree and discovered a study that said that in order for breastfeeding to really be effective in preventing breast cancer you have to do it for 2 years. So I justified doing it till at least 2 years because it made sense. Well now I'm one month over the two year mark and still don't know what the crap I'm doing! I've talked to other moms and tried to get tips. Most people who have weaned an older child said it was mostly up to the child not them. They talk about how their kids just stopped being interested. Well I'm far from that! Thats part of why I'm having such a hard time! She wants it constantly! Many people said to try to offer juice instead or food. Well I'll feed her and as soon as she's eaten a ton she still wants it! It seems like every time I sit down she takes the opportunity to come over and drive me crazy for it. Once she gets it in her head I canNOT change her mind! I try to be firm and tell her no and she never gives up. So I just do it. I know that she will leave me alone and go back to what she's doing if I just take 6 minutes (I timed it) of my time to get it over with.
So back to the point. I hoped the book would give me some good ideas on how to wean her, but instead it convinced me to not give up until she's ready. It talked about how each kid may actually need it until anywhere between age 2-7! I was shocked! It talked about the biological reasons why they need it and all these benefits that I do actually love. I'm almost a little mad at the book for making me want to keep doing it, but it reminded me of all the wonderful things breastfeeding is there for. It's an instant pain reliever (for the child), its an immune booster, it's a great tool to bargain with "if we can leave the park now you can have milk!" (you'd be surprised how well that one works!!!). The book also talked about how we quit well before the baby is ready in our culture. Everyone has their personal reasons for wanting to quit early and I'm not here to judge that (after all I only breast fed Nate for 8 months). But one big factor for wanting to quit (the biggest factor) is the fear of being judged by others. Breastfeeding opens up so much room for judgement! You're judged if you don't do it long enough and judged if you do it too long. But it was really sweet, my relief society president came over the other day and Audrey asked for it. I was really embarrassed and explained that because I work from home I've had a harder time getting her to wean and she goes "maybe she just needs it". It made me feel really good!
So now here I am still not knowing what to do and putting it off longer. I guess my hope I'm writing this is for people to understand where I'm coming from. After all we all are just doing what we think is best for our individual children. I just wish it was easier and that I had more support from my family in particular, but what can you do?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Exercising my right as an American

I've wanted to make the statements I'm about to make for a long time, but hate to be controversial. I'm not trying to sway anyone to my opinion, I guess everyone's "I voted, you HAVE to go vote too" statuses and blog posts have gotten to me in a way. So that's why I making it a blog post and not a facebook status. Limited audience=less controversy. So here it is:

I'm exercising my right as an American...to not vote. Yep. I said it. Get out your pitchforks and come at me. But trust me, this is an informed decision, not just negligence. There are many reasons why:


  • I don't buy into the propaganda that I have to vote in order to be a good citizen. That's all it is, propaganda.
  • It doesn't feel like a right to me to have to choose between two choices. Yeah yeah there are other choices, but not really. As a mom I give my kids two choices as a way to guide them into making the decisions I really want them to make. To control them in a way. I'm not going to participate in this control. I don't believe that either choices are going to really do what's best for this country so I'm not going to choose the one I think is going to a slightly less terrible job. 
  • No matter how much denial I can be in, my vote doesn't even make the slightest difference in Utah. Not even a little itty bitty bit. Local elections? Definitely. And I'll admit I dropped the ball on that one. I have too much going on in my life right now to learn about the candidates. I hope that you all make good choices in that department and am willing to suffer the consequences of not voting local. 
  • I don't trust the government at all. I'm skeptical of every little thing they do. I really appreciate the benefits of a free education (college, not public schools), and programs like the fire department etc. But I don't believe any of them are really in it for our best interest. They can be bought out of any issue. For example, the only reason you have to buy booster seats for your kids is because of car seat company lobbyists. Crash tests don't prove they're any safer past a certain point. 
  • Government is way too big now, which is exactly the opposite of what the founding fathers wanted for us and I don't believe that any of them are actually going to make a change in that department. They all say that they will make government smaller, but they're in over their heads. It's just not gonna happen till it gets so big that it collapses. (This is more of a statement than a reason I'm not voting). 
Honestly, my list goes on and on, but I really don't want to start a big debate. Why? Because I don't care. Debating is not going to change anyone's opinion. It's certainly not going to change mine, it's not going to change yours, it just is what it is. I guess you can blame it on my college politics class (that was totally paid for by government money haha) that tainted my view of government. And to be completely honest, I don't feel like I'm 100% informed. It's nearly impossible to get pure information on politics. So much bias and misinformation. It all makes me want to vomit. 

So basically, I have no faith in a president's abilities. I don't think it's completely their fault at all. It's the system. People put WAY too much blame and responsibility on the president's shoulders when really you must remember they have an entire administration. Anyone that WANTS that has to be clinically insane. Which is most likely what both candidates are! 

Lastly, I've heard the phrase "if you don't vote you can't complain" in the past (not recently considering the only person that knows I'm not going to vote is Phil...and now you), but that's not true. I made a decision not to choose either :D so I can complain if I want. I'm not that kind of person though. To complain. The people who's team loses are the complainers. Far worse than non-voting me (ps I did vote in the last election btw). Plus all of the complainers have thoroughly convinced me that either choice is absolutely horrifying! 

So there you have it. I'm not voting. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hurricane Blues

This is the first time in a week that my work has been slow enough that I could take some time off. This hurricane hit us in more ways that one. I feel like it hit our house directly because of what a disaster zone it is in here. Turns out working full time and having to work mandatory over time will cause your house to explode from the inside. Ours wasn't hit by Sandy. It was hit by Hurricane Nathan and Audrey.

Unfortunately the hurricane hit our loved ones for real. The only family Phil has that doesn't live in New Jersey is his mom and his brother (ok he has two cousins that live in New England. Close enough). So everyone else was affected in some way or another. They all lost power at some point, had trees fall in their yards, and worst of all, his dad's apartment complex was covered in 1 foot of mud, then condemned and he now has 8 days to find a new place and move. Luckily, of all his family members, Neal and Teresa were the only ones displaced.

I'm truly overwhelmed with the compassion that JetBlue has for it's crew members! Not only with the people with damaged property in NY, but even the help they have provided us to allow Phil to fly out to New Jersey this week to help his dad. I have a lot of gratitude and am really proud to work for such an amazing company! When I eventually become a nurse, I will always fly JetBlue! And I encourage everyone else too. They really are the best airline!!!!

Anyway, just to give some perspective, here are some pictures to show how close to home this hurricane really it us:
The "A" is where Neal and Teresa's house is/was (Phil's dad and step mom), the teal star is his grandma's house, the purple star is his aunt's house, orange is the house he grew up in, yellow is his cousin's, green is his uncle's, the red star is where that ridiculously stupid tv show was filmed ;), and pink is where the picture below was taken at my favorite beach (Ortley)


I might post more pics later, but I have to go back to work now!