Motherhood Realness with a Touch of Surrender, Acceptance & Poop.

and it all falls down.

photo by Lauren Archer

It’s one of those mornings, it’s x-treme. So much so, there’s not even an “E” on extreme because it’s like the Winter X Games up in here. A battle of wills and brains…my brain losing and exploding because I’m trying to be the best Mom I can be, a conscious, communicating with compassion-type Mom, but I have boundaries. Some of which have been in place awhile like “boobies are sleeping while Mommy’s stretching/meditating”. He knows, he always asks, of course, but he knows. I’ve taken the time to make the world’s best oatmeal, (it’s really good y’all). But THIS morning, my son has a full throttle meltdown and I feel bad, guilty. I feel bad about feeling bad aka weak because where is my conviction for my boundaries?  I start thinking how he had a massive poop in his sleep last night, something he’s never done and he isn’t eating his oatmeal, so maybe he doesn’t feel well. He begins asking me to lay down with him, he’s tired. So on one hand I’m thinking, he may actually not feel well and be tired, on the other hand I feel like I’m being played because he knows he gets boobie when we lay down in bed. Then my early childhood development knowledge kicks in and reminding me that every behavior is him trying to get a need met, that it’s not possible for him to “play” me. I don’t subscribe to the philosophy of kids being methodical monsters, there’s science backed evidence that their little brains aren’t developed enough to create a master manipulation plan like that. So I just sit for a moment, silent and confused wondering wtf is the right thing to do. Am I going to turn into a pushover Mama? Am I an evil Mother for saying no? I don’t like judging my kid, I don’t judging myself and I don’t want to feel bad for wanting to have my morning solo time that I’ve worked on for years to cultivate. I’ve never been a morning person and I’m now waking up between 630-730 “before the kids” to have these precious quiet moments that set my mental & emotional balance for the day. However, what is happening right now is so not good for my mental. So what do I do? I “give in”. I choose what feels best for me, for us in this moment. I lay down with him on the couch, I nurse him, thinking maybe he will go back to sleep and then I can finish my flow! I catch myself wanting to be somewhere else, I’m not present, I’m what many people would define as suffering, wanting the present moment to be different than what it is. I ask myself, can I be here right now?

Can I make THIS my meditation? Refocusing on being here, I feel his hair tickling my nose, I smell his head, I see how his toes barely reach my knee in the position that we’re in. Our arms wrapped around each other completely nullifying the audio assault I just endured 5 minutes before. He was hella disregulated and needed his Mama to lay down with him. Over his unraveling cornrowed head that my chin rests on, I give one last look to my pretty purple mat as I release the desire and expectation of what I envisioned my morning to be because I am right where I’m supposed to be. This is my practice. This is exact moment is why I practice, to remain centered in all types of weather. I inhale knowing that this isn’t a preset for every morning and I’ll get back to my flow eventually, even though it may not be today. One day I’ll wish we had more of these no-agenda-having, time-standing-still snuggle fests. It doesn’t matter how we got here today, here we are. 

45 minutes later, he was finally ok with me getting up to get water and he says “that was a long nap Mommy” (he didn’t sleep), but now we are both more regulated and peaceful. 5 minutes later he poops his pants and this is what parenthood is like on some days, it’s effing hard with moments of sweetness and it literally stinks! 🙂

– xOx

Normalize Breastfeeding / World Breastfeeding Week 2018

My body feeds / contracts / reacts and breathes // I multiply / I replete / I complete cycles on repeat // I’m from the heavens / I’m from the earth / I’m from the places that you’ve never heard. – excerpt from Celestial Bodies

| n o r m a l i z e  B R E A S T F E E D I N G |

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Photo cred: Mama Niela. Click on the photo for more of her phenom work!

Is it cray to anyone else that we need to normalize something that’s…normal?! So normal in fact that it happens as naturally as breathing. The female body lactates, it’s what it does after giving birth. Yes, I’m aware that some women have issues with breastfeeding, I was one of those women, but my body did produce milk all on its own within days of birthing this big ole baby. For me, it was never a question of if I was going to breastfeed, if I could, I was going to, it’s what I was looking forward to the most, since that’s something I missed out on doing with my first. I did however romanticize the easiness of it. It was hard and really freakin painful. I had no idea how to do it or how much support I would need or that I would need to be taught how to do it. I envisioned birds would chirp around us as deer gathered at my feet and light beams shot out of us the moment his lips attached to my breast in an effortless latch. HAHA! Not quite. Thank Goddess for my midwife, postpartum doulas & lactation consultants (I was seen by 3!) because no one in my family had much advice on the matter as I contacted female family members crying and looking for encouragement only to find out that I was one of 3 out of 23 women in my immediate family to breastfeed. Yup. That’s it. It hasn’t been common, it’s def not normalized and breasts are still overtly sexualized and gross- ew boobs! I am part of a lineage of women who chose to formula feed vs breastfeed. I was a formula-fed baby, so I’m not completely dissing it. I seem to have turned out fine and I have one hell of an immune system. Finding out I was in the minority in my family tho led me to ask why on a larger scale and I began learning that women were sold “convenience” by a big ass *$70 billion industry and lied to about our milk. Women were made to feel that breastfeeding was inconvenient, dirty and that our milk, the one that is chemically altered on the daily to meet our babies needs, is inferior to formula and EVEN COW’S MILK for Goddess sakes! Why would I feed my baby another mammal’s milk if I have the ability to feed them my own…I rant. Scene.

I didn’t realize what a supportive breastfeeding bubble I live in, in Southern California until I traveled to the east coast this spring. I did not expect to feel so out of place, judged and even shunned while nursing my baby.
Here’s a few of the things I heard from my family:
Ugh! He spit up on me! It’s her milk, so gross. (Male to a group of male family members).
Oh god, you’re breastfeeding right now?! (Male. We were in the dark and Baby was in a carrier, but the mere thought of me breastfeeding was enough for him to have to leave the premises).
Could you cover up while we’re here? I don’t think 91yo Grandpa G can handle seeing you breastfeed. (Male).
I thought only my mom did that. (11 year old Female, because she has not seen ANYONE else nurse!)
You can give him some whole milk now. (Female, also a head nurse at her hospital. My son was 7 months old).
What’s your nursing plan? How long do you plan on breastfeeding him? (Male & Female from the east coast to the west coast x100, everyone feels the need to know how long I plan to whip out the titty to feed my baby as if it somehow affects their life).

All of the above and so much more because my son does not like to be covered up while nursing, I mean, would you want to eat blindfolded under an unventilated piece of fabric? This, is why we have to normalize. Our bodies, the female body, the ones that choose to birth, were also created to sustain our babies lives. In fact the World Health Organization recommends “breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.” In Amuuurica, we are dealing with dum dee dum dums in our government that didn’t even want to sign a breastfeeding resolution that basically states “countries should limit the misleading marketing of breast milk substitutes, as a mother’s breast milk has been shown to be the healthiest for children in decades of research.” And yet there’s more, “The resolution was expected to pass easily, but U.S. delegates aimed to remove language that encouraged countries to ‘protect, promote and support breast-feeding’ in an alleged alignment with baby formula manufacturers.” The American hypocrisy-democracy live in the sticky icky green-lined pockets of loyal lobbyists, who they brought WITH them to the damn Assembly in Geneva! Oh and PS., the US threatened other countries into not signing it until they were ultimately foiled by none other than MotherEffing Russia. How fitting?

If I still lived where I was raised, I’m not sure that I would have made it through those first 7+ weeks to my now “lookin hella easy” breastfeeding status. I can do this shit walkin, talkin and chewin gum now, so yeah, I’m a BF-G. To all of the badass breastfeeding Mamas out there, keep posting your beautiful boobies, your stories and the FACTS to support the Mothers that choose to and can breastfeed feel less nervous and more supported! No one should ever be shamed or sexualized (unless you’re into that) when it comes to feeding and connecting with our babies! I will continue breastfeeding (read: breastfeed forever) to normalize it in my own family!

I’ll leave you with this.

“A 2016 study published by The Lancet says breastfeeding could save the lives of 823,000 children and 20,000 mothers each year. In addition, universal breastfeeding could save $300 billion in reduced health care costs and improved economic prospects for children.”

*The Times reported that the baby food market is a $70 billion industry.

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– xOx