I don't know how it is in other countries and cultures, but breastfeeding brings out a lot of emotions in this country, mainly of discomfort. The idea that breasts, the symbol of female sexuality, should provide the ultimate nourishment to babies, the symbol of innocence, just seems, so, well, unnatural. Before I had children, I thought I was OK with nursing babies, but the idea of a toddler nursing was, if not obscene, at least weird — a kid being able to ask to nurse! I vowed to be discreet, not to make anyone else uncomfortable. I still remember my cousin feeding her baby during a wedding reception when I was a kid. While she was talking to my father! I wouldn't do that in front of any of my uncles.
This is Offbeat Families's archive of It worked for me posts.
Parenting issues: We've all got 'em, now we can all help solve 'em. Chime in with what works for you and your family.
My ten-year-old daughter with Asperger's syndrome just got her period. When my daughter was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome several years ago, I only thought so far as the toddler/elementary school years. Everyday things like getting dressed and playing with other kids were already such challenges, I just couldn't wrap my head around what would happen when my daughter, you know, becomes a woman.
My husband and I freely cop to having used television as a coping method. As two working parents with up to three hours of commute time each per day, free time to clean the house, cook meals, or attempt a conversation is seriously lacking. So, for about a half hour on weekday mornings and around half hour to 45 minutes in the evening on those days, we'd turn on the Roku and let our three-year-old kiddo watch Wonder Pets, '60s-era Spider-Man, or any other variety of parental-approved idiot box entertainment while we powered through chores and tried to plot out each day.
If you live in the United States you know how we just looooooove to make holidays for everyone, and September 8 is yet another: it's National Grandparent's Day! I'm a big fan of celebrating just about anything and anyone, so I'm totally on the Grandparent's Day train. While looking around for cute ideas for stuff my kid could do for his long-distance grandparents, I realized I don't know ANYTHING about the origins of the day. Anyone up for a history lesson/craft party? Let's do it.
I knew almost immediately that the class was not what I was expecting it to be. I expected my husband to be a little resistant, but I also expected to feel like I should defend the class. I couldn't. He said he hated how it all felt like a sales pitch for itself, that it tried to tell us, "Yes, you CAN have an unmedicated birth, but only with US!" and I agreed with him. He hated the format of the class, too — the instructor read us questions straight out of the workbook and we wrote down the answers. Not a good learning style for either of us. I don't know how much of this is related to the method, and how much was our particular instructor. I know Bradley classes are great for some people. They just weren't right for us.
Since the advent of Pinterest and Tumblr, posts venting parental frustrations have been shared, pinned and reblogged with silent nods of understanding, uproarious laughter and the occasional GPOY tag. Now and then, I'll come across a post intended as humor that really bugs me. When I look at what the post is really saying, it's just passive-aggressive repetition of the tropes and assumptions that I don't want to include in my parenting.
With the birth of our son we joined the ranks of that undefined, amorphous, limitless group of "special needs parents." Within the first days of the NICU I knew there would be challenges, but I could not ever imagine the constituency of belonging to such a group. A stat perhaps. A label. A stigma?
Then I met him. He was a young man, not without his own faults. We saw in each other a solace. He didn't save me, but through his love and kindness I learned there was a different way to view the world — a manner of seeing, of feeling without shame, of expressing my love without fear, and love him I did.