Mom’s One Line A Day: Fail

I just bought two of these beautiful mother memory books by Chronicle Books yesterday with the hope that I will fill them out every few days for the next five years. I bought one for each of my girls so they’ll have their own book to look over when they grow up and maybe have their own children one day. I have my own 5-year one-line a day diary that has been nice to write about my pregnancies and look back on so I thought my girls would appreciate these as well. I love the classic look of the gold lettering on the front, the gold on the edges of the pages, and the yellow place holder ribbon. Though perhaps a less stereotypical color for the cover and inside lettering would have been nice but I digress. In all, a quality journal worth the price.

Then, after I brought them home I read the back. Specifically, the examples of what to write about on the back outside cover. There are only two entries you can read, one for the baby’s first year and another for the second year. The first one caught me off guard, like I was slapped in the face, offending my delicate sensibilities regarding mothering and breastfeeding.

Take a look. At the top it says “Capture the precious moments of motherhood with this unique journal.” Record special events, quotes, thoughts. Ok, sounds good, right?

And here are the examples.

This is what it says at the top, “Matilda took a bottle today!!! She drank the whole bottle & cried when it was done because she wanted more!”

Really? The best example of a first year memory to feature on the back of the book was a baby taking a bottle? Really? And yes, the sample mother actually used three exclamation points.

Maybe I just wish that our bottle feeding culture would have been left out of the mother’s memory book. Maybe the bottle was of breast milk, maybe formula. I don’t really care. What I would have liked reading was a loving caption on the back about the child nursing, maybe the first time nursing after birth and the emotion that brings out in the mother, or the baby playing with mama’s hair or nose while nursing, or falling to sleep at the breast with a milk smile, or the mother excitedly and proudly reaching a nursing goal, or any sort of hundreds of wonderful memories involving breastfeeding. Yes. I would have preferred anything to do with nursing instead of taking a bottle. Even the difficult breastfeeding events, like being exhausted from nursing in the middle of the night all night, or teaching the child not to bite for the first time, or how it feels for when an infant nurses too long and the mother’s nipples hurt. But I don’t think that would help sell the journal.

Or hey, here’s another idea. They could have even written about the child having a bite of solid food using baby-led weaning or wielding their own spoon. (Just a reminder here: The AAP recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months and then introducing complimentary solids after that. A great phrase to remember about solids during the first year is food before one is just for fun.) That would have been better. Those are real nutrition related milestones. Or maybe getting a first tooth, or rolling over, or taking a step, clapping or their first laugh. There are so, so many priceless memories for the first year, why does this memory book have to feature bottles and side with the paradigm we, and all the other major health organizations in the States and the world, are trying to shift?

Using bottle-feeding as an example of a sweet memory or milestone example on the back of a memory journal that is meant for all mothers, from stay-at-home to work-from-home to working mothers, lends to the idea that bottles are normal for all of us. They are not. Breast is normal. Only certain mothers even use bottles but nearly all babies reach those other milestones. My nearly one-year old has never used a bottle because she still breastfeeds and I work around her needs. Does that mean we missed a milestone because I have never left a feeding to someone else? No. My older child breastfeed and when the time for her to drink from a container came, she skipped bottles and sippy cups altogether and went straight to regular cups. Did she miss a milestone? No. Bottles are not necessary and citing them as an example of what is normal is a fallacy.

Am I being a little too nit-picky here? Well, when all we read, see, and hear about are bottles feeding babies, breastfeeding gets thrown even farther into the taboo realm. Take Sesame Street for example. In recent shows, they feature bottles more than breastfeeding mothers but a couple decades ago, nursing was featured equally. A petition to bring back nursing mothers as the norm or at least the same number of times as a bottle is shown, has been created because showing young children what is normal is one of the steps to destigmatizing breastfeeding. Naysayers of this movement to bring breastfeeding back to Sesame Street claim that showing a breast doing what it was intended to do is lewd and our children need to be “protected.” I call BS. Also, half the kids watching the show should still BE breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is important. Bottle feeding, whether it be filled with pumped breast milk from the mother, donor milk, or formula is often necessary, sure, but not for everyone and unnecessarily promoting a bottle feeding culture is damaging. The importance of supporting breastfeeding mothers cannot be understated. In the US, if 90 percent mothers fed their babies breast milk only for the first six months of life, the lives of nearly 900 babies would be saved each year. Right now according to the 2012 CDC Breastfeeding Report Card, the national average for mothers exclusively breastfeeding is only 16 percent. That is shamefully low and the major health organizations know it. They are actively trying to raise our rates because of the lives and money it could save our nation each year. How much? $13 billion dollars a year in unnecessary health care costs could be saved here in the US alone if we helped mothers feed their children breast milk, according to the Surgeon General and studies published by the Journal of Pediatrics on our national breastfeeding rates and outcomes. How many mothers breastfeed at birth? Only 79%. That means over 20% of our babies, for whatever reason, are not given the milk they need from their mothers. And at 12 months, only one out of four mothers is still breastfeeding, even though the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding until at least 2 years of age and then continuing on for as long as it is mutually desired.

Breast milk’s positive influence on mothers, babies, and our society has been proven time and time again in countless studies. Studies have proven that bottle feeding and the use of formula interferes with a mother’s ability to reach her goals and combo-fed and formula fed babies are not as healthy as their exclusively breastfed counterparts. Nursing mothers do not need to feel pressure to give a baby a bottle for any reason, from letting another relative handle a feeding to feeling like bottles are more socially acceptable for public feedings. Even WIC promotes exclusive breastfeeding and discourages the use of bottles, citing the negative implications of even ONE bottle.

Yes. Even that ONE bottle as the example on the back of Mom’s One Line A Day has negative implications on our health and our culture.

Try again, Chronicle Books. Your Mom’s One Line A Day marketing disappoints this breastfeeding mother.

What do you think? Offensive or not?

 

 

If you would like to voice your concern, feel free to contact Chronicle Books by calling or sending an email to frontdesk@chroniclebooks.com. I am going to send them my thoughts and suggestions for improvement.

If you would like to purchase one of these, it is here on Chronicle Books’ website.

 

Related

Sweet Links…Who Delivers Babies? Birth Story. Positive Discipline Resources, Secrets of Happy People, How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women

Happy Monday!

Errr. Or maybe not so happy, if you mourn the start of a new week when you’ve had such a fun weekend. My weekend? Mostly a lot of hard work as we are still moving from our old house to our new one. There was a little insanity dealing with the kids too. Why? Because no one in their right mind tries to move with kids. Picture a crying baby strapped to my chest and a toddler wailing, tugging on me for hours because moving is emotional. Why not hire a baby sitter to watch them? Because the little one still nurses every couple hours and I’m not going to waste my time pumping to give them milk. Oh why didn’t we hire movers?? And we also squeezed in some fun with the in-laws that are in town through Wednesday. It is nice to have the grandparents around and in my kids lives. And I am so thankful that they are actually pretty easy to get along with, are positive influences on the kids, and tend to agree with most of our thoughts on parenting, thus far anyway. I hit the in-law jackpot, right? Don’t get me started on my father as a grandparent…oi.

And I’ve decided to implement an earlier bedtime to help regain some sanity around here. The bedtime with family in town and moving has been slipping later and later, making the kids worn out and wound up (you know what I mean, right?) and that makes my job harder. And a late bedtime for them means less than an hour of adult time to de-frazzle. So, tonight I managed to get them both in bed and asleep by 8 o’clock. I hope tomorrow will be just as easy. Oh! We are getting a baby sitter for the second time ever. What are we going to do with the kids’ bedtime??

Anyway, here are some interesting things worth reading. Want more? Click here to check out my other recent Sweet Links posts.

Enjoy!

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Just because

15 Powerful Things Happy People Do Differently – Purpose Fairy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new Batman is coming out soon!! July 20th!

The Dark Knight Rises – Official Trailer #3 [HD]

 

Random, I know, but I’ve really enjoyed the new Batman series. And not because of Christian Bale. Are you a fan too?

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Fashion

I love how this necklace looks so classy in this shot! I’ve seen this type look so wrong and I might have to give my green one a shot this way.

Check out The Daybooks monday giveaway post, or go to Le Mode Accessories for more details.

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Parenting

Love this sweet kiss photo from Cup of Jo’s latest post - Mother’s Day: 4 gifts for new moms

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What do you think is the cut off age for kids in strollers? Check out Bad Moms Push Big Kids In Strollers - Bad Moms Club

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Have you heard about French feminist and philosopher Elisabeth Badinter’s book, which was finally released in English this week, The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women?

The internet is exploding with reactions to it. I’ve read a couple of interesting posts.

The Salon article is really good. This part is shocking. The author is talking about how her mother was willfully drugged up during birth and took the anti-breastfeeding shot after birth and couldn’t handle being a stay at home mother. “She had tried being a housewife after my sister was born the year before, but the drudgery of washing and folding diapers, the inanity of popular soap operas, the lack of tangible accomplishments at the end of each day, had her clawing her way back to a steadily rising corporate career when I was only 6 weeks old.” I completely understand the lack of tangle accomplishments at the end of the day. To me, the rewards seem to add up slowly and perhaps without much notice because of how busy the day-to-day is, but then you look back at your child and say to yourself, “I did that. I helped that child become wonderful. I made that baby from scratch. Look at them now. Wow.”

Oh and the article just keeps getting better as you go along. Love this part – “…Modern, emancipated mothers are so complicit in their own destruction. Lactating, co-sleeping, time off from work – that’s a bunch of “naturalist” mumbo-jumbo and a distraction from a woman’s duty to herself and a society that wants to see her as equal but can’t quite get past the milk stains on her blouse.”

AND!!

“Where modern women do undermine themselves is the constant questioning of their choices and allowing for an onslaught of guilt. No matter what we do, it’s wrong in someone’s eyes – so why do we take any of this criticism seriously? Instead of doing as we please and moving on, as Badinter praises French women for doing, we do as we please and then punish ourselves with guilt. I should know: Though I stand by the choices I’ve made as a mom, this book made me feel like shit. Then again, so did the Tiger Mom treatise and, more recently, the book about how superior French parents are to me. Why so little faith in my own decisions?

My mom, on the other hand, never regretted her estrogen shots or worried that baby formula had made me fat. ”

What do you think?

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Who else wants to go cold turkey on screen time?
Read Goodnight iPad: Cutting Down on Screen Time - Attachment Parenting International Blog
I like this bit. “It’s been a few weeks now, since we said “goodnight” to the screens, and the kids haven’t been asking for them. They get up in the morning and go to the pantry for cereal instead of the iPad for games. When they’re bored, they don’t immediately think of watching a show. They go to the bookshelf or the game cabinet. Our arts and crafts supplies are dwindling, the playroom is a happy mess, and my son always has a toy in his hands.”
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Does anyone else need positive discipline resources? I know that when I am at my wits end with my terrible two (who isn’t all that terrible but still) I wonder how to react in a more positive way. What do you do when your tempter flares?

Check out this great list - National Spank Out Day – Positive Discipline Resources

From Attachment Parenting International:

“What is Misbehavior?” API Speaks

“Toddler Ten Commandments” API Speaks

“Tips to Dealing With Acting Out Behavior” The Attached Family

“The Man in the Yellow Hat Exemplifies Positive Discipline” API Speaks

Attachment Parenting International’s Effective Discipline page

The Truth About Spanking: What Parents Must Know About Physical Discipline [Teleseminar]

From Other Sources:

10 Reasons Not to Hit Your Child Ask Dr. Sears

“How to Use Positive Parenting” Aha Parenting

“The Power of Touch” San Diego Family

“Connection is Key” Parenting from Scratch

Alternatives to Spanking” Positive Parents

“No More Timeouts, No More Tiger Moms” Tips on Life and Love

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And your birth story of the day…

A Woman Knows What To Do- A Birth Story - Mama Birth

I love the ending because of how the mom just takes charge and knows what to do.

Love egg!

I just came across this super cute post by Cup of Jo & had to share. I can’t wait to give Paaloma a love-egg!

“Last night, I was reading the book Playful Parenting, when I came across an anecdote about a mother, who had just had a third child. Her older kids had gotten clingy because they felt that the new baby was taking away from their time with her. So, she made up a genius game…

Each morning, “she would take each child on her lap and say that she was going to ‘fill them up with Mommy love.’ She’d start at their toes, work her way up and end with a kiss on top of their heads. Then she did the ‘love egg.’ Do you know that trick where you pretend to crack a egg over someone’s head by gently tapping them on the head and then spreading your fingers down their hair? She would call this the love egg and crack it over them, spreading more Mommy love. Both older kids loved this and wanted to do it every day. This five-minute game helped them to be able to play on their own and with each other while their mom was busy with the new baby; it also helped them to be loving and warm toward the baby instead of resentful.” — Playful Parenting”

Read the whole thing: http://joannagoddard.blogspot.com/2012/01/motherhood-mondays-making-your-kids.html#more

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