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May 102012
 

Unless you’ve been completely offline today you’ve surely heard and/or seen the controversial cover on Time Magazine. There’s been plenty of talk about how old the child in this picture is – he’s 3 – and whether or not women should be breastfeeding a child this age. It seems all the controversy online today (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) has been around the topic of breastfeeding. Of course, this is an important topic and one that will be debated for years to come. I am very much in support of breastfeeding. Having said that, this post is actually going to talk about something much more important. It’s going to cover a topic that I’m not hearing anyone talk about and yet is, in many ways, killing millions of women and men alike.

Shame.

The cover of this photo states, “Are You Mom Enough?” Has our society become so used to being shamed, put down, questioned that we don’t even see shame when it’s staring us in the face? We wonder why so many of us have self-esteem issues and yet we don’t see some of the causes. One of the most common questions I hear women asking is (in one variation or another) “Am I enough?”. Whether it’s in the form of weight, beauty, intelligence, career, financial, caregiving…and the list goes on and on.

The bottom line is that every women who is blessed to have a baby is ENOUGH from the moment she gives birth to that beautiful child. No woman can ever be MORE THAN or LESS THAN enough of a Mom.

There is no judgement in truth.

“More than” and “Less than” statements are judgements and there’s only one truth. All Moms are enough all the time!

Why must our society/media put into question something as basic as this? Why must they keep our Moms doubting themselves? As if there isn’t enough things to call into question about our performance and even our inherent nature. The sad truth is that this is so common. What’s even more sad is that so many Women and Men alike don’t even recognize that this is abuse and it’s called, Shame.

Someone(s) at Time Magazine has a warped sense of what’s “Real”. Don’t let them fool you into thinking you ever have to meet some condition as a women and a mother in order to be enough. This is a complete fallacy and says much more about the owners and content creators at Time Magazine than it ever does about our Mothers.

On this Mother’s Day I want you to remember one thing Moms. You were, are, and will always be enough.

Feb 162011
 

It was late afternoon and I had received a call at work from the wife. She works four days a week as a Lead Radiation Therapist. It happened to be that this was the one day a week she stays home with O and Jake. She had been in a lot of pain and thought that she pulled a muscle in her back. Having back problems never occured to me in the past but since having kids  I’ve come to realize it’s only a matter of time. Given the severity of her pain I thought it’d be best if I came home to help her.

Shortly after getting home she took off for Urgent Care. I spent some time with O and Jake while trying to finish up some work I had to do. At one point Jake actually wound up falling asleep in my arms which was terribly sweet. I know those days are numbered and I’m going to cherish those moments forever.

The wife came back with a story that really got under my nerves. She told me that the Dr. who saw her started questioning about her breastfeeding. Jake is 17 months and she still partially breastfeeds him.

Dr. Ignoranus: Are you breastfeeding?
The Wife: Yes
Dr. Ignoranus: How much does your baby weigh?
The Wife: 27 pounds
Dr. Ignoranus: Wow, he’s big! How old is he?
The Wife: 17 months.
Dr. Ignoranus: Well, this may be a sign you should stop breastfeeding.
The Wife: Why is that?
Dr. Ignoranus: Well, he’ll be hitting “the terrible two’s” soon and it’s going to be really hard to ween him if you wait much longer. Plus, it’s putting this extra stress on your back.
The Wife: **dumbfounded**

When she shared this conversation with me, I was pissed!! Terrible Two’s? Weening? The answer to solving your back problem?

Furious!

Both my wife and I have been advocates for breastfeeding. Part of the reason more women don’t breastfeed is because there are ignorant health care professionals out there that disuade Moms from doing so. Why?? I haven’t the slightest clue but it’s robbing a natural birth right of the Mom! For millions of years Moms have been breastfeeding their babies. Two thirds of the world still practices breastfeeding. Look I’m not saying that there aren’t physical or medical reasons not to breastfeed. I’m saying that for your “normal healthy” Mom she should be encouraged to breastfeed. Again, if you’re a Mom and you cannot for whatever reason that doesn’t mean you’ve failed or are wrong in anyway. I’m just speaking to the encouragement of breastfeeding from the public.

Dr. Ignoranus brought up the “terrible two’s” and back problems as reasons to ween. What? First of all, how in the world does she know that Jake is going to go through the “terrible two’s”? Second of all, you don’t stop breastfeeding cause it’s going to take an extra week to ween. That’s just stupid! She continued to say that she should stop because she pulled her back muscle. What? Oh, so if I injure myself eating, should I just stop eating? How about encouraging her to excercise or hold Jake a little differently? Just ridiculous!

Anyway, as you might be able to tell I’m a bit livid about this. It bothers me that my wife received unsolicited advice and completely ignorant and incorrect advice at that about the raising of Jake. I’m all about giving advice, I do it all the time. But this is ridiculous.

If you’re a dad or about to be a dad and are reading this? Please, support your wives as best you can. No, we don’t actually have baby sucking on our nipples…Thank GOD!! But if this is something you’re wife is pursuing, encourage her the best you can. Just because you’re not physically breastfeeding doesn’t mean you can’t help her with purchasing products she might need (like Lansinoh breastpads, creams, etc.). I’m not going to get into the benefits of breastfeeding on this post but Dads you should own this responsibility and really, “Gift” as much as your wives do. Support breastfeeding, support your wives, and question all the time when it comes to the health, safety, and well being of our little ones.

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