Last night, my brother came home in quite the mood and was so rude. My initial inclination was to yell at him for his uncalled for behavior, but I held my tongue. I was really annoyed, but after a little time passed, I reminded myself of what I oft remind others of--that is, to check in with him to see if there was a reason for his foul mood. While it doesn't make it right, we just don't know what causes someone to snap. Maybe something happened in their day to put them in a foul mood.
I checked in with my brother, and of course he didn't say much to me. Still, I think sometimes the simple act of checking in with someone, whether or not you get a response, makes a difference. When you ask "How are you doing?" or "Hey, are you okay?" it makes the other person feel seen, and that can turn their mood back to the brighter side. So, this is just a little reminder to ask "How are you doing?" and mean it.
And with that, I ask YOU, how are you doing? Whatever is going on, feel it, breathe, and chose joy.
When I first started looking into cloth diapers (nappies for our Brits), it was confusing and overwhelming. Now that I've figured it out, I figured I'd break it down for you!
Thankfully I've had a number of friends who had kids before me and who were honest about some of the challenges of breastfeeding. It's interesting how something so natural isn't always natural in practice. Even more interesting to me is that I have never heard anyone say that they love breastfeeding. In fact, if anything, most of my friends have not enjoyed breastfeeding. So, I was prepared to potentially face some challenges and sure enough I did. Furthermore, my mother had always told me that when she was pregnant with my brother and I, her doctor told her that formula was now the same as breast milk (this was back in the late 80's and early 90's). When I got pregnant, my only motivation for breastfeeding was free milk. But then I learned how incredible breast milk really is and once I started nursing, I learned so much more. Here are a few of the unexpected things I learned about breastfeeding.
It's really difficult to comprehend just what labor & delivery is like until you actually go through it. Not even birthing class prepared me for what I experienced--at least not entirely. It's definitely important and worth it to take a birthing class when you're pregnant, but birthing class can only provide you a very basic foundation for what to look out for and not what to expect. Even early labor signs aren't necessarily an indicator of imminent delivery. So, I thought I'd share unexpected things I learned about labor & delivery through my traumatic experience, because yes, it was traumatic. It wasn't until 4 weeks post-partum did I start to un- clench my legs when in the shower.
First, I hope that you and your family are staying safe and healthy (physically and mentally) during this insane time. And thank you to all those on the frontlines taking care of us and making sure essential parts of our lives are still serviced and accessible. An important part of living the jawesome life is to live on the bright side. There are always positive takeaways from any situation life throws at us, and I wanted to throw some light your way during this difficult and uncertain time. So, here are just a few positives that Covid-19 has brought us thus far:
There's a lot of things about pregnancy no one ever talks about, or you're just not aware of until you're pregnant and you start receiving daily emails updating you on what you might be experiencing. So, throughout my pregnancy I recorded things that I learned and found interesting along the way. Here are 20 of them.
This year on Women's Day, I want to highlight something that women have experienced since the beginning of time, but no one ever talks about: postpartum healing. Thankfully we live in an age of information and now I can google anything I want to know about it. It's also encouraging that more and more women are sharing this information, but it's still not something commonly talked about until you're a pregnant woman learning about everything prenatal, labor, and postpartum. And let me tell you, nothing about pregnancy or childcare scared me (at least nothing out of the ordinary), but when I first read about what really happens during postpartum healing, I was suddenly terrified. And I'm telling you, sex ed would be way more effective if we taught students about post-partum healing, and showed them an actual birthing video.
It seems odd now, but prior to a little more than a year ago, I don't think I knew that cloth diapers still existed--at least not in developed countries. I also didn't realize disposables have only existed since about the 1950's and took off in the 1960's as women entered the workforce. I just hadn't ever thought about that. It wasn't until a couple of my friends were expecting their first baby, and I learned they were going to use cloth diapers, that they entered my radar. Other than trying to wrap my head around how they work, I didn't give them much mind. When I asked them why they were going to use cloth diapers, their response was that my friend's dad wanted them to use it because it was more comfortable for the baby. I'm not sure we ever discussed the environmental impact or cost savings of using cloth diapers. But when I entered my third trimester of pregnancy, I was suddenly hit with an extra urgency to find ways I could adjust my life to live more sustainably, and for some reason the first thing to come to mind was cloth diapers. So, as I researched cloth diapers, I found myself quickly falling love with them--some may even say obsessed and here are the reasons why.
Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season. Those who don't observe Lent usually know it as the time that Catholics and certain other Christian denominations give up something like a vice for 40 days. This year, I asked my dad if he wanted to go to mass with me to get our ashes in church, and I was surprised when he said yes. Although, part of me wonders if it's because now that I'm a few weeks away from our due date he'll take up any chance to drive me somewhere since he thinks I shouldn't drive myself anymore. Then when I thanked my dad for joining me and told him I really enjoyed it, I was further delighted when he also expressed a genuine enjoyment for attending mass today. He refused to get ashes or communion though, because he's worried about coronavirus. (I don't blame him, because one woman in South Korea spread the virus to 37 people at her church after twice refusing to be tested for the virus, and it spread from there to cause a large outbreak.) Still, I was just happy he came along with me, because keeping faith in the family these days can prove challenging; but today gave me some visible hope. Not to mention, it was a nice father-daughter outing. So how do we keep faith in the family in a time when many have or are straying from their faith?
They say when you have a child, your priorities and perspectives change. More recently, especially as the fires in Australia worsened in December, I suddenly felt an extra urgency to figure out what ways I can ensure my child has a livable earth to inherit in the next twenty to thirty years, if even that. And while I always wanted to be a mother, prior to getting pregnant, I was seriously questioning how responsible it was for us to bring a child into this world right now when we aren't doing enough to ensure there will be a world to live in--or at least an earth to live on. And I hate to put it this way, but every extra human we bring into the world is another set of carbon footprints we add to it as well. So, what could I do in my little ways to live more sustainably and protect this earth for my son and future generations?