Wednesday, December 18, 2013

'Tis the Season: For Racial Intolerance and Thinly Veiled Bigotry

It's that time of year...

The time of year where links and status updates flood my news feed bemoaning 'them' and how 'they' have wronged 'us'.
The time of year where in the spirit of Christmas, those of faith and those without, condemn people of other faiths.  Blame them for the political correctness that our government and society have adopted.  Shame them for daring to practice their faith and celebrate their holidays; all in the name of "Keeping the CHRIST in Christmas" or "National Pride". 

In reality, it's just thinly veiled bigotry and racial intolerance.

I honestly had more to say, but it just ended up sounding super ranty.  So, I'll just get to the point - celebrate what you wish to celebrate... whatever it may be, remember the spirit of the season.  Love, happiness and goodwill to others (even those who do not share the same religious or cultural beliefs... ).  It's the season of family and love (I know, I already mentioned that... but it's important enough to be mentioned twice). 

From my blog to you:
Merry Christmas
Happy Hanukkah
Joyous Kwanzaa
Happy Diwali
Season's Greetings
Happy Holidays
Merry Yule 



Ps:  Don't be a douche... if someone wishes you "Happy Holidays", smile nod and respond in kind.  They aren't trying to shit on your Christmas.  Honest, they aren't!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Gender Equality. Period.

As the proud mama of three amazing boys, you might wonder what I have to say on the subject of Gender Equality.  You might think "but she has boys, what does she have to worry about", your assumption being that we only need to worry about gender equality for girls.

Your assumption being incorrect.

As the proud mama of three amazing boys who will one day go forth into the world (and obviously as a woman) I have some pretty strong opinions regarding gender equality.  I have some pretty strong opinions on how men should treat women (and on how women should expect to be treated).  I have some pretty strong opinions on how women should treat men (and how men should expect to be treated... it's a two way street people!). 

This post was originally prompted by a discussion with TT about nail polish.  See the thing is, my boys love to have their nails painted (toes fingers... all in a wide array of rainbow colours)  Since I see nothing wrong with fostering a love for beautiful things, I paint their fingers and toes when they ask.  It makes them happy & I'm happy seeing them happy.  Pretty simple logic, right? 

Apparently, it is not so simple.  Or logical?  I get stopped by people when I'm out running errands, people who don't know me or my children and they comment.  I try not to let it bother me too much, I mean really I don't know them and I don't really care about what they think about my parenting. 

I was happily cruising along in my bubble of 'whoddafuckcares' when one day, my cousins offered to paint TT nails and he told them no.  He's never said no, so they asked why.  And he told them "because the girls at school told me that nail polish is just for girls." 

I'll be honest, out of everything I expected to hear.  That.wasn't.it.  I thought if anyone had remarked on it, that it would have been a boy.  But no, the very people that we are trying to empower to break out of typical gender roles are the people who are pigeon holing my sons into their narrowly defined gender roles.  I'll admit, I was pissed.  I know that these kids are just 4, 5 & 6 years old.  I get that, I get that these girls were just modeling behaviour & language that they have been shown is acceptable. 

I get that. 

However, just because I get it doesn't mean I need to accept it. 

So, this is me saying Gender Equality Goes BOTH Ways!

Let's raise our girls to know that they can be anything and do anything!  Let's raise our girls to know that their self-worth is not defined by their body or what they can do for someone; their self-worth is immeasurable because it is priceless!  Let's raise our girls to be good women, strong women, caring women!  Let's raise our girls to demand the respect that they deserve and to give respect where it is deserved!  Let's raise our girls to not be afraid to say no!  Let's raise our girls to know that you don't need to break someone down to build yourself up; that you're awesome just as.you.are!

Let's raise our boys to know that they can be anything and do anything!  Let's raise our boys to know that their self-worth is not defined by what they control; that their best assets are not how they flex their muscles (figurative or real)!  Let's raise our boys to be good men, strong men, caring men!  Let's raise our boys to demand the respect that they deserve and to give respect where it is deserved!  Let's raise our boys to not be afraid to say no, and to also understand that no means no!  Let's raise our boys to know that real men do not need to use their power and privilege to humiliate; they do not need to hurt other people  to prove their worth!

This started from something so simple, someone shaming my children for something they find joy in.
I came across this image and it spoke to me (yes, it is geared towards Girl Empowerment but I believe the sentiment is clear)

Image used with consent from www.grrrlcamp.org

So please, remember that while we are building our girls up that we aren't tearing our boys down.  Gender equality does indeed go both way and colour knows no gender.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Right Kind of Rain {A Muddled Wedding}

My brother got married this weekend, and while I'd love to share photos from the day I am sure you've all realized by now that I don't share personal photographs on my blog.  So, you'll just have to take my word for it that it was amazing!  The bride & groom were lovely, the weather was gorgeous (stinking hot but gorgeous) and I'm pretty sure from the reception pictures I've seen floating around, that everyone had a great time!

Being that my dad is not with us, I wanted to get up and welcome the bride into our family.  I'm not a traditional 'speech writer', but more of a story teller.  As the time for speeches was coming upon us, I started to worry that it wasn't the right speech.  Even though the occasion that we were celebrating was the wedding of my brother and his wife... I really didn't say a lot about them in my speech.  Instead I told a story about my dad...  I think I had sound reasoning, my brother is so much like my dad that I felt honoring my dad (who obviously could not be there to celebrate with us) would also be honoring my brother.  I felt that since farming was such an ingrained part of my dad (and equally so my brother) that sharing the story I had choose would be, well right.  

I popped outside the hall as supper was wrapping up and spotted my brother chatting it up with some of the guests.  I overheard him talking about how we needed rain and that the area where the bride is from had been getting two rains a day!  Goodness (not his words), couldn't we at least get one rain a day!  I piped in "but you know that if it rained everyday you wouldn't be happy with that either, right?" and he laughed... nodding his head in acknowledgement.  You see, farmer's are fickle.

And so my wedding speech (obviously I've changed the bride & groom's names... they aren't actually named BB & HG)

I promise to keep it short & sweet... but I just wanted to thank everyone for coming out this evening to celebrate our Beautiful Bride & Handsome Groom. We are all so very, very, very happy for them!

I'd also like to a take a moment to share a story with you... it's a little convoluted, so please bare with me... I promise you, there is a point!

The hubs, is a city boy through and through... so marrying a girl from a farm (I won't use the term 'farm girl' because I barely know the front end of the tractor from the rear) came with a bit of a learning curve. My husband is blessed with a keen sense of curiosity. Luckily for him, my father was blessed with patience because he was on the receiving end of many a wild question.

The hubs learned from my dad, that farmers are fickle. One week it could be too dry. The next too wet. One day it could be too hot and the next too cool.

Apparently, farmers have strict parameters for what ideal is.

I can even remember an instance where my dad schooled the hubs on the 'right kind of rain'. I don't know about you, but the hubs didn't know that there was such a thing as a right (or wrong) kind of rain. What makes rain right? What makes rain wrong?

My dad was happy to explain this to him. The right kind of rain comes late Saturday evening (preferably after you've done all the fieldwork that you can accomplish for the week). The right kind of rain is consistent; not too hard so as to pack down the soil (or just runs off because what good is rain if it doesn't soak down to nourish the crops?), and not too gently. The right kind of rain is warm; not cool. And the right kind of rain lasts all day Sunday and stops around supper; so the fields are dry for work Monday morning.

Pretty precise, eh?

My point in all this – Beautiful Bride you are Handsome Groom's 'right kind of rain' and we are so very happy to welcome you to our family.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

4 year old funny...

Maybe it's just the mama in me, but I think my boys are 99% ridiculously hilarious.

 Here's a snippet of a pretty common conversation in my house...

Me:  Hop up Turkey
TT:  Okay Chicken *bahahaha*  I'm so funny
Me:  *chuckles*  Yes, you are!
TT:  I'm funny like DADDY!  Daddy's a chicken *bahahaha*

Sunday, February 24, 2013

…breastfeeding, babywearing & child birth {Part I of a Muddled Intro}

A Muddled Mama
breastfeeding, babywearing & child birth
Part I of a Muddled Intro


I've been on a bit of a hiatus from my blog. With three beautiful boys needing more of my time (and an absolute inability to prioritize; while being a top-notch procrastinator), I just haven't been able to hammer out any posts, but I have gone back and read some of my older posts (for inspiration and nostalgic reasons). In doing so, I realized that I've never really and truly introduced myself... so here is Part I of a Muddled Intro... in part one, I am going to focus on Breastfeeding.

I grew up as the youngest of three in a pretty mainstream family. My dad worked full-time and my mom kept the ship, also known as home, running smoothly. My parent's did not practice attachment parenting but I knew from a very young age that I was loved and quite blessed. As an unhindered, childless adult I could not think of any reason why I would not parent in much the same fashion. I had a wonderful childhood and I turned out great, thank.you.very.much!

Pregnancy was the beginning of my AP leanings, we were inundated with advice and books. One series by the Sears' family, particularly held our interest, for different reasons. I pored through 'The Pregnancy Book' while the hubs read through 'The Baby Book'. I scoffed, rolled my eyes & snorted in derision over various things (what, I cannot honestly remember... ). While unbeknownst to me, my other half was nodding his head in agreement.

I vividly remember (verbally) tearing that book apart, we were not going to be doing this, this, that & the other thing. My child would not be clinging from me like some primate... and they certainly would not be walking, talking and still breastfeeding.

The hubs stepped in and voiced his strong desire for me to at.the.very.least initiate breastfeeding. Fine, I could compromise with the best of them, I told him that I would absolutely try to nurse our baby (secretly, I had no intentions of trying very hard).

I started out with small goals. I wanted to feed TT the colostrum. I wanted to nurse him back up to his birth weight. I wanted to go another week. Okay, a month. Six months... so on & so forth. Until at about 10-11mos, I looked at the hubs and said “I'm going to allow TT to self-wean”. My sweet husband, smiled at me and said “I know...”, insinuating that he had known this all along! 2 years later, C-McC was born and I knew that I was going to breastfeed him until he weaned (my goal was two years... he weaned at 20months, while I was pregnant with WC).

That's right, I didn't start out as a lactivist! If it had gone my way, I would not have nursed my children! I didn't understand how absolutely beautiful, how wonderful and how necessary nursing is. I type this as a mama who had minimal problems (aside from my own stubborn desire to not initiate) nursing. I realize that there are women who cannot nurse. I also realize that most women who are unable to breastfeed, are failed by their healthcare providers and society in general. They are told that 'breast is best' but no one gives them the tools to do so.

Honestly, this double standard is the driving force for my breastfeeding passion. How can we expect women to reach the basic of guidelines (exclusively breastfeeding until 6mos and nursing in accompaniment of solid foods to two years, and beyond) when we don't offer women any help?

Formula is not (and should not be) the only answer to breastfeeding issues.

Why are our doctors not better versed in various breastfeeding issues and solutions... (especially, GPs, OBs and Peds)?

Why are resources such as Newman Breastfeeding Clinic not covered under OHIP (or your provincial healthcare)?

It bears repeating, we tell mother's that 'Breast is best' and then we set them up for failure (by not having any resources in place to help them nurse their baby, by telling them at every chance that they should just feed them formula, by telling them that they're making too much/not enough).

Are you a lactivist? How do you you support breastfeeding?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

'Extended' versus 'Term'

The words we use in our daily life portrays our views & feelings regarding a plethora of things.  Inadvertently, we may be projecting ideas and thoughts that we have not intended.

With this in mind, I've tried to be very conscious of the words I use and how they may impact people's perceptions of my parenting choices.

Extended

I've been a self-professed 'extended breastfeeding' mama.  I'm sure you've seen this phrase come up on my blog a time or two...

Lately, I've been thinking of the unintentional impact that 'extended' has on my peers... or really, anyone who happens upon my blog.

When you read 'extended' you think "beyond the norm".  Which, inadvertently, makes you think "this is not normal".  Which is exactly what I'm not trying to do.

What am I doing to change this?  I am trying to make the conscious effort to use 'term breastfeeding'.  Sounds a little more mainstream?  A little less "beyond the norm"?  Doesn't it?

Term breastfeeding is nursing your child until mutually desired by nursling and mother... it just takes away from the "beyond the norm" connotation of 'extended'. 

What words do you use in your daily life, that upon further reflection muddle what your intended message was/is?

Monday, January 7, 2013

AND... Now we have {Pink Eye}

We have spent the last three weeks in various stages of sick... meaning, at any point during those 3 weeks, at least someone was somewhat sick (at one point all five of us were in the range of 'somewhat to very' sick, at.the.same.time).

So, the hubs and I were ridiculously happy when this past weekend it seemed as if we'd all turned the proverbial corner.

And this my dear readers is why you never count your chicks before they hatch.  Never.

Come Sunday evening we notice a pinkening of TT's eyes... I wanted to vehemently shake my head and deny what I knew with an absolute certainty.

We have pink eye.  Oh joy!  Oh fun! 

Putting drops in a solid 4 year old's eyes... suuuuuuuuuuuuper fun (said with oozing sarcasm). 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Happy New Year {2013}

I took a brief hiatus for the month of December... between finishing up our shopping (and wrapping, oh all that lovely wrapping... although in my case, it was gift-bagging), we picked up our tree, decorated the house and made some lovely memories together as a family (all done whilst in the midst of the world's nastiest cold... ever).

Needless to say, I didn't find time to sit-down and hammer out any posts...

I promise to properly rectify this shortly.

Until then... all the best in 2013