#ThrowbackThursday: Breastfeeding Guilt Trips for New Moms

(Why #ThrowbackThursday? Because this post originally appeared on my previous blog www.grrrlwithboys.blogspot.com on July 7, 2013. Also, the good friend I reference in the beginning of this piece is due to have her baby any day now. I’m reposting in hopes that she too will not let others opinions influence her feeding decisions, but that she will do what is right for her and her baby based on her instincts and her conversations with her doctor and pediatrician.)

Recently a good friend of mine told me about her friend who is a new mom and is having trouble breastfeeding. Her son is not latching on and this young woman who did her research and read all the right books is feeling like a failure.  Keep Reading

Advertisements

Stopping Violence Through How We Raise Our Boys

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve see the news about the senseless mass shootings in our country. Whether its on a college campus, at a church, in a movie theatre, or if its white cops shooting black citizens, there is one theme that is only sometimes mentioned, but needs to be addressed in order to stop the violence. Most of the people doing the shooting are male. I am especially concerned about this issue, not just because it is horrible what these people have done, but also because I am the parent of two small (white) boys.  Keep Reading

Back to School: Feminist Parenting in a Not So Feminist World

School is about to start and my oldest will be in 1st grade. That makes me both happy (because childcare) and nervous (because not all of my son’s classmates have feminist parents, obvi). If this is your first time reading one of my blogs, it’s important for you to know that I don’t limit what my kids can like by their gender. Jackson (age 6) loves the color pink, Disney Princesses, Transformers, anything about King Tut or Ancient Egypt, spy stuff, Strawberry Shortcake, etc… Basically all the things. I have had several conversations about how to still be himself (a loving, funny, creative kid who likes all the things despite any societal gender rules) and deal with kids who may not understand that there is no biological/logical reason why kids have to like certain colors or toys. So, if you too parent from a feminist perspective (or want to), here are a few tips for how to support your child while helping them to deal with a not-so-understanding world. Keep Reading

WRONG: Staying Silent for Fear of Being Wrong

When I was in elementary school I would often daydream. It wasn’t that I didn’t care about what was going on in the class or didn’t understand it. I thought it was just because I wanted to be outside playing. What I’m realizing now is that it might have been because I felt anxious in class. I would often say the answer to the teacher’s questions in my head but never raise my hand to answer. When a teacher would start to look around for students to call on to answer, I would think “Oh please god, not me. Not me. Don’t pick me.” I didn’t want to be wrong and have the kids laugh at me or the teacher look at me in disappointment. Most of the time I knew the answer, but I second guessed myself. Then, after the right answer was stated, I would chide myself for not speaking up when I was write the whole time.  Keep Reading

Changing the Narrative: Gender Roles in Play

Featured image

Recently some friends of mine who are parents of girl the same age as Myles (2 years old) told me they wanted to call me while they were in Target recently. Their daughter loves Thomas the Train but when they showed her shoes with Thomas on them she said “no, those are boys shoes”. This upset them because she should be able to like whatever she wants regardless of her gender and wanted to know what I would have said or done in that situation. If you’ve kept up with my blog you know that I have introduced my two boys to all the colors and all types of toys from day one. I don’t just give them “boy’s toys” or tell them they can’t play with “girl’s toys”. Toys are for everybody!  Keep Reading

#SelfCare: Doctors, Heredity and Ovarian Cancer

This week I had my annual checkup with my gynecologist. Now that I’m done having kids (we decided that very soon after the second one was born #sleeplessnights), I have different concerns to discuss with my doctor. You see, both my maternal grandmother and great-grandmother died of ovarian cancer. I learned about this when doing an oral history project for one of my Women’s Studies classes on the women in my family. My great-grandmother was just 31 when she died, leaving behind my then 12 year old grandmother and my great-grandfather. I can’t even imagine how devastated it would be to lose your mother at such a young and critical age. I don’t know much about what kind of medical treatment she received or at what point she realized she had cancer, but they had her on laudanum to keep her comfortable. Ovarian cancer is really hard to detect and this was in the early 1920’s when she was diagnosed (1923) and died (1925).

Read More

Like A Girl: Physical Conditioning of Girls

My 5 year old is going to start Kindergarden this Fall. Being the diligent parent that I am, I did some investigating of what to expect of his new school. I went to their website and opened up the Parent Handbook. I expected to see information about absences, school closings, dress code, grading scale, etc… What I was surprised to find was their “Wellness Related Fitness Criteria”. See here for yourself:

Keep Reading

Teaching Empathy to My Boys

 

Featured image

Favorite picture ever of my fellas.

Jackson is now five years old and will periodically have emotional outbursts. Sometimes I can easily walk him through them and get him to understand the situation so he won’t be so upset or offer him alternative solutions to whatever he’s objecting to. Recently he got on this kick that he wanted me to do something for him (I forget now what it was, but it was something simple like getting him out of his car seat or fixing him a snack) and not his daddy. I was busy with Myles (who is about to be two years old) so Bill was trying to tend to Jackson. He pitched a fit when his dad tried to do whatever it was and hollered that he liked me better and just had to have me. I tried to talk him down and explain how it didn’t matter who did this task for him and that he needed to be nice to his daddy because he loves him. He just would not stop. I could tell that it was hurting Bill’s feelings so I told Jackson that. “You’re hurting Daddy’s feelings. You wouldn’t want Daddy to say that to you, would you?” I asked. He said no but continued to fuss, tears and all. I try my best to keep calm when he loses his mind like this and I think I held it together pretty well. It was upsetting me though because he really was being mean to his Daddy.  Keep Reading

Nail Polish Adventures 2014

About a month ago I remembered how much I like to have my nails painted. I got a suggestion from a friend about a quick-drying brand, you know, because if I’m gonna paint them, I have to do it quickly with two little ones running around. I found a few free minutes where I only had my oldest son, Jackson, with me. I told him to entertain himself for a few minutes while I painted my nails purple (my favorite color if you haven’t figured that out already). He asked to watch and of course I didn’t object. It gave us time to talk, and I do love to hear him talk. He’s so inquisitive and clever. Anyway, when I was done with the first coat he said “Hey, can you paint my nails next?” I didn’t skip a beat and said “of course!” If you’ve read my previous blog posts you know I do not limit him to prescribed gender roles, toys, etc… So, I painted his nails purple too. Keep Reading

Happy Mother’s Day, Momma! 2014

Featured image

My mom and I were watching my kids play in the yard the other day. Somehow the conversation turned to her knowing how to ride a skateboard. I remembered that I had a white one once but that I wasn’t very good at it because I didn’t have anyone to teach me. At the time I didn’t realize that she knew how to ride so I never asked her to show me. But her next comment “Oh, I guess I wasn’t around to show you”, really struck a cord with me. My mom pursued her Masters degree when I was young but I never thought of her as “not being there” and I realized at that moment that she holds some guilt about taking that time away from us to further her education. I’m very proud of her for pursuing her Masters and working a job in a non-traditional field for women (computer programming). In fact, there are many things that I am proud of her for and never once have I thought negatively about her pursuing her career or education because it may have taken some time away from me. I don’t remember her not being there. So, I have decided to write this piece to tell you my mother’s story so you can know just how awesome she is and how lucky I am to have her as my mother.  Keep Reading