Libraries are Vital

 

Libraries should be the number one asset in your home.

If you are not a member of your local public library, you are missing out.  Libraries have so much to offer.  A library card is a key to an amazing network of tools for improving families.

The most obvious thing to access is all the free books. Kids of all ages should be read to daily from a large variety of books on a multitude of subjects.

The library really makes this cost effective. Even a small town library is going to maintain a collection many times what can reasonably be maintained in a family home.

When you consider extras the library has access to like EBOOKs and inter-library book loaning, the access becomes almost limitless.

There are much more than books to check out at the library.

There are magazines. The library maintains current subscriptions to various magazines on a lot of subjects. A lot of libraries also offer these as digital versions you can read on an app like ZINIO.

Audio books can be checked out from the library. Books on CD are an amazing way to add value to car rides with kids. It is easier than reading out loud.

Language learning systems. Libraries have top learning systems in many languages ready to go.

Movies for free. Libraries have DVDs that can be checked out with a library card. Not just educational and documentaries. The library also has popular entertainment movies for free.

This is not a complete list of things the library has to offer. You should check out your local library’s website for a complete list.

The Social Impact is Important, Too.

Libraries usually have clubs and meeting for many different interests. Our library recently had a meeting on beekeeping. Libraries have great kids programs with kids as young as infants welcomed. Libraries can do book clubs and summer literacy programs too.

Libraries are maintained for the purpose of providing equal access to educational materials.  Spending time at the library emphasizes the value a family places on education.  At the library, you will find other families with the same values.

 

 

Psalm 56:8

 

Breastfeeding Lies

 

Disclaimer

Most women have a stance on breastfeeding. It is on the news and in your newsfeeds about the health benefits or social stigmas or the etiquette. I am not going to debate any of those things in this article. You need to do what you want with your kid.  Honestly,  just like every other parenting situation, I know only what worked for me with my kids. That being said, I have kept on boobing for close to 3 years now. I feel as though I am qualified to classify myself as a breastfeeding expert. What I have to offer is the shattering of lies you may have heard. I want to get some truth out there.

 

My Backstory:

I have made it through many booby traps. Booby traps are situations that can interfere with the breastfeeding relationship. Examples of a few of these are: I failed at breastfeeding my first child for longer than a few weeks, I got pregnant 10 months after gastric bypass when the current recommendation is 12 to 24 months, I had a cesarean, I was overweight and had type 2 diabetes.  These were the just the complications I started with in my breastfeeding journey.

Once my daughter, Aiva, was born it did not get much easier. She had low blood sugar and had to go on IV glucose. She was given needle pricks to her heel every 2 hours to test her sugar. (I still feel this has affected her personality.) I was asked to supplement with formula in order to take her home. I had bleeding nipples and a plugged duct before leaving the maternity ward. Throughout this ordeal, I remained committed to breastfeeding.

Just when breastfeeding became routine, I got pregnant. I was 7 months postpartum. My milk dried up for about 6 weeks in my 3rd trimester. I dry nursed Aiva until the colostrum kicked in.  That is when I began to tandem nurse with my son, Tommy. We tandem nursed until Aiva was 2 years 4 months. I first tried to wean her at 2 years. She was not ready and it caused a huge developmental regression. I continue to nurse Tommy. He is 16 months.

My family comes from a long line of formula babies. I only had one friend who breastfed with supplemental formula. When it came time for me to feed my kids, based on my health history and the developmental issues of my oldest, I  felt breastfeeding was a medical necessity. I read books and websites and asked anyone who looked like they may know. I was voracious in trying to learn everything I could. I came to the hospital as prepared as I thought a person could be to nourish my new baby. During my time breastfeeding my kids I have realized most of what I learned were lies.

 

#1. Everyone will tell you to breastfeed and then immediately make it close to impossible to actually do it!

Seriously, everyone! The doctors with their medical interventions. The nurses with their tight schedules and rigid rules. You will have visitors that can not take a hint to leave. Suddenly everyone is a lactation consultant and your baby is starving.  You get pressure to go back to work. Everyone suddenly wants to be able to give the baby a bottle. Then the rules start rolling in about how you should not feed in public or without a cover or in front of children or even in your own bed!

#2. Breastfeeding will not come naturally. It comes from intensely stubborn hard work.

Forget those stupid Youtube videos of newborns crawling up to your chest and latching on. Newborn mouths are tiny! Nipples after pregnancy are huge. There is only one right way to bring those two puzzle pieces together in the first weeks and it takes patience and trial and error. All of the tips and tricks help, but it still just comes down to what will work for you and your baby. Keep in mind you have to learn this vital skill at a time when you are emotionally vulnerable and in a lot of pain or your baby will starve. While you are going through this, there will probably be a free bottle of formula within arms reach in the hospital at all times.

#3. It hurts.

You will often hear that if you are doing it correctly there should be no pain. Total lie. It hurts in the beginning. It hurts when your milk comes in. It hurts when they start moving around. It hurts when they get teeth. It hurts when they get really good at draining a boob in 5 minutes. It hurts when they drift off and wake back up and suck the nipple in from the tip. IT FREAKING HURTS. My nipples have been abused for years and my son can still catch me off guard. He sends pain so intense down my body it can feel like I am going to have an out of body experience.

 

I am going to stop here because I feel like this is becoming an anti-breastfeeding article. I hope that this does not take the excitement of the breastfeeding experience away from anyone before they have tried it. I would never trade the beautiful moments and convenience of breastfeeding for bottles. I do it with no formula, no pumping. The experience it is mine. No one can give my kids what I am giving them. I made them with my body. I continue to grow them with the perfect food for my special child.  That is one of the miracles I get to be a part of with my children.

People just need to stop the lies associated with it so more people can find success in breastfeeding by being prepared.

Let me know more of the lies you encountered while breastfeeding. Also, love to hear from people who actually stopped or formula fed because of a lie they were told. No judgment please, I know there are strong opinions on this subject but everyone is doing the best they can for thier situation.

 

5 Reasons Why Parenting Advice is Useless

 

Parenting is a job that requires a very special set of diverse skills. Everyone becomes a parent with no training. A person might have experience with children, but being a parent is its own unique position. Preparation is impossible for the intensity and confusion you face when a child is handed to you for keeps. Suddenly becoming responsible for the taming and training of a complete stranger. Baby or older child adoption, this human has its own set of skills and personality traits and zero way of communicating their needs. Scared and desperate or overwhelmed with questions, advice is needed. Unfortunately, all advice will be totally useless.

#1 Advice Contradicts Itself

Ask the same question to 3 different sources and you will get 3 different answers. Sometimes answers that are completely opposite. Even science cant help with big questions such as; How do I get this strange human to sleep? If this strange human does fall asleep, how do I makes sure this small human does not die in his sleep? What is the best way to feed this small human? Pretty sure the first cave woman asked all these questions at the side of the fire.  All of the other tired, terrified cave women answered with what worked for them and they all said something different. Even some of the Dads chimed in with equally wonderful and unique answers. Who is right and who is wrong. No one! There are no right answers for parents.

#2 Every Child is Different

Children come with so many hard wired presets it is incredible. Minutes after birth personalities are emerging at the same time as they are absorbing the experiences from the environment. A parent has control of very little of how a child learns to process the world. Every unique human with their unique temperament begins the process of communication in their unique way. Communication is behavior. Changing behavior in a child is like teaching them a new language with out knowing the one they are currently speaking.

#3 Every Parent is Different

So, once the rosetta stone has been found for a specific child, parenting gets easier, right? Just find people with experience in similarly wired children and all the problems will be solved.  Nope. If you had twins with two Moms and both sets separately went through the same experience they could still have very different outcomes. Why? Because parents are humans that came prewired to process the environment in unique ways. Every human will have its own emotional language. That emotional language is a funnel that shapes their behavior. No two people can parent the same even if they are trying to execute the same advice.

#4 Every Situation is Different

Perspective is what a person can see from where they are standing. No two people are standing in the same place, therefore, no two people can see a problem from the same angle. Many things can effect the view a person is parenting from. A persons race, socio-economic, age, religion, even climate change things drastically when it comes to parenting. To illustrate this: say a child has way too much energy.. First piece of advice is to take them outside to play. Ok, but you live in Alaska in winter or a very unsafe trailer park. The advice is useless because the perspective of the person might live in a gated community in Florida. It was good advice, just not for the situation.

#5 Life is Hard

Parenting advice is often found to be useless because it can not be implemented. Stress and fatigue are stretching a parent past their limitations. There is no energy reservoir left. Devoting time to changing a child’s behavior, is a luxury. Parenting sometimes has to happen in survival mode.

 

So now is where I get to swoop in with my link to an Ebook that will fix everything thing? Sorry, no. I keep looking for answers myself. I pray and I keep trying.

 

Philippians 4:6