Breastfeeding in Public

Oh no, run for the hills, she’s gonna talk about boobs! Seriously, I do not understand our national discomfort, disdain and downright hostility towards breastfeeding and breastfeeding mothers. One of myFacebook friends posted a link to a blog where a mother posted her thoughts about breastfeeding, along with (gasp) pictures!

And now while I realize that a blog is posted publicly, you still don’t have to read it if you don’t want to. Seriously, if breastfeeding is so offensive to someone, then just avoid it I guess. But I truly don’t get it.

Breastfeeding is the best thing you can do to feed your baby. It is the most nutritious thing to give a baby, it is full of antibodies to help them stay well and healthy, it promotes the best oral motor development as well as developing the part of the brain that tells us when we are full/hungry. One could make the argument that a primary cause of overeating is being forced to finish the bottle or clean the plate when full or denied food when hungry due to some arbitrary schedule, we train babies not to trust themselves to know when to eat or not eat. And then there is bonding and attachment and comfort that all come from the breastfeeding bond. Where, in all of this, is there something wrong or bad to find?

Yet people find it. The evil, horrible dark side to breastfeeding (according the American public in general) is that someone might see a glimpse of a breast! Shocking I know. Forget that fact that every bathing suit at the beach or the pool, half the advertisements that you see and even just the day to day fashions that are in style now ALL show more breast than you generally can see during a feeding session. Somehow people are horrified, offended and outraged at the sight of a breastfeeding mother because a man or a child might see some breast. My response to that is pretty much, so what? If a child sees a mother breastfeeding her baby, what idea might they get? That breasts are for feeding babies?

There is truly nothing sexual about feeding babies and the only reason I can find that people get so uncomfortable about it, that they find it so offensive, is that, in their minds, they link the breast to sex and only sex. And that is their issue, not the issue of the infant or the mother. Why should mothers and babies be held hostage to someone elses misguided and wrongheaded thinking? Why should mothers be forced to hide what they doing, like it’s some dirty secret? Why should babies be deprived of something that is so good for them, to make some grown adult who should know better, more comfortable?

Babies are innocent, helpless and unable to add their voices to the debate and as seems to always be the case, the weak get run over by the strong. Might makes right. Babies have no voice and mothers can often be bullied and harassed into complying with what’ s “socially acceptable” at the expense of what is biologically appropriate for their child. Not all mothers can overcome such strong persecution and hostility. They need support, information, education and the knowledge that they are not the only ones.

Which brings me to the other upside of breastfeeding in public: letting the world see that this is normal, making it become a commonplace sight. Bringing widespread acceptance to it requires visibility and requires making some people uncomfortable. We all have times when we have to confront things that make us uncomfortable and question ourselves about WHY it makes it feel that way and hopefully be able to see all sides of the situation and overcome our own prejudices.

ADHD and So What?

My six year old is ridiculously loud! He screams at top volume for no apparent reason. His sister locked him out of her room last night for that exact reason. I’m on the other end of the house and it’s too loud for me!

He is my loud, active, rebellious, overly sensitive, always on the go child. My oldest was like this, but he is even more so. It’s like he needs noise and movement to focus, to think, to concentrate and maybe he does. I have often thought that, were I to pursue it, I could easily get a diagnosis of ADHD for him. Yet I don’t pursue it, top of his lungs screaming, constant messes and all, I don’t. Why not?

Well, I have no desire to put him on the medication, that’s why and unfortunately, that’s about as far as traditional medical treatment goes. Here are your pills, goodbye. I happen to know that there are other ways of helping him that won’t put his health and life at risk. I don’t think most people realize that those ADHD drugs are often not approved by the FDA for what they are being used for and even when they are, come with a long list of side effects. No thank you, we won’t be having any.

First of all, I’ve done this and my oldest turned out fine. Sure, he still has some sensory issues to this day, but he graduated high school with honors and has held down a job for the last year quite admirably. Second, he’s not the only one. Thomas Edison was kicked out of multiple schools and his mother was told he was unteachable and stupid. Yep, Thomas Edison (now believed to have had ADHD).

I’m not saying that the drugs are never useful, I know people who swear by them and I am not judging their decision. I just hate it when people judge mine. Sure, my kid can be annoying and loud and obnoxious and make a ridiculous mess. But he is also incredibly smart, creative, original, loving, caring, sweet etc. I have no desire to mute any of his qualities. They are ALL what makes him, him. Special and unique. So we take the loud messy child in constant motion because it comes hand in hand with his brilliant, creative joyous self.

We just don’t go out in public much.

Open Letter to Educators

I was just forwarded this video by my boss, along with her daughters written response to it and the whole thing really got me thinking.

What’s funny is…I was JUST thinking about that exact thing the other day. I was thinking, is it ironic to anyone that I feel the way I do about institutionalized education and yet have multiple college degrees? It may seem a bit hypocritical, but it’s not and I can tell you why.

I do agree with everything he said. I see with my unschooled children how much more organic learning is than schools want to make it. How artificial and irrelevant much institutionalized learning is. How it teaches you to memorize and regurgitate facts, not to think for yourself, much less outside the box, not to actually learn or be engaged with your subject. How my favorite teaches and professors were those who engaged us, encouraged dissent, nurtured debate, fueled classroom discussions. Unfortunately, those were the minority.

So why then bother with the whole thing at all? Precisely because our society demands it. You may be self taught and actually know more than someone with a degree, but society confers respect and authority on the person with the degree. Because we see the degree as a measurement of your knowledge.

My ex husband is a chef, learned on the job, and his biggest pet peeve is the culinary school graduates who are clueless and mess up his kitchen! Yet, they go on to positions he can’t get considered for, though it was HE and not the culinary school that actually taught them how to cook in practice, in real life. I use to tell him to just go get the degree, no matter if he already knows more than the instructors, that “piece of paper” is a foot in the door. Sure, you may get your foot in the door then not be able to keep the job because despite your education, you don’t really have the skills, that is true. But even if you have the skills, you may never get to put them to use without that foot in the door.

That being said, perhaps Dan Brown is the next Bill Gates (a very famous and very rich college drop out) but for most of us, we need both the skills and the credentials.

So, back to why I feel institutional education is a joke and yet I have multiple college degrees and keep going back for more? Because  I am a biologist who knows that survival equals your ability to secure your  share of the available resources. For humans, this no longer means hunting or grazing territory, money is what secures our basic resources like food and shelter. Because I’m a sociologist (specifically a structuralist) who understands that that structures and institutions of our society are what we have to work with, even when we want to change them and in the society we have, a college degree, certifications and other forms of validation are what let us access the money. And because combining those two things with the fact that I’m also a realist tells me that despite all its failings, I still need institutional education to secure validation (in the form of a degree) so that I can access my share of the resources (in the form of a good job that provides a higher income to purchase food, shelter, clothing and the like). So, I plug away at getting my degrees while I home school to try and give my children a competitive advantage when they reach this stage because I AM teaching them to think, not memorize.

And while we’re on the subject, I will be teaching them the metric system because the entire rest of the world uses it and if they want to go into any medical or scientific field, even here, they will have to know it and our public schools do not teach it. It is so much harder to learn at 41 I’m here to tell you! (Even though it is more intuitive and easier than our system). Change comes from within and you have to start somewhere. I believe that the huge surge in families pulling their children out of the system is a step in that direction. Colleges are now actively recruiting homeschoolers precisely because of their ability to think outside the box. Private and charter schools all over the country are piloting curriculum that more closely resemble homeschooling than institutionalized schooling. The fact that this movement is gaining momentum can be seen in the backlash against it. In many states legislatures are trying to move backwards and outlaw homeschooling but it isn’t working. Families are taking back their children’s education. The revolution is afoot!

Angela's Scribbles

our silent reverie

A Journal Of Our Ruminations, Illustrations & Aesthetics.

Heartstring Eulogies

Conjured by Sarah Doughty

J. A. Allen

Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins

Christy Jackson Nicholas, Author and Artist

Art, jewelry, travel, writing, history!

Learn Fun Facts

An Archive of Curious Facts for the Curious

unbolt me

the literary asylum

Frank Solanki

If you want to be a hero well just follow me

Stories For All

Amature Writer. Short Stories.

Jernigan Journal

Researching the Jernigan Family from England to America

The Blakeney Gazette

Research into the family of Captain John Blakeney

Baart Groot: Stories of Omega Genesis

The creative fiction of Baart Groot.

GEORGE L THOMAS

Writer and fellow human being of Earth

Taleteller

A Collection of Short Stories

SUBDUED FLAMBOYANCE

A blog by Dr. Abhinav Majumder

stumble upon serendipity

Nothing haunts us like the things we don't say

lowfrequenciesatnight

those meaningless sounds

Flash 365

Oh! Take a shit, read a story. - My Mother on flash fiction

The Diary Of A Muslim Girl

Dare ◦ To ◦ Live ◦ Your ◦ Legacy

Milly Schmidt

The Cat's Write

PHILOSOPHICAL PATHWAY

"Let's enter into a magical world where colours form rainbow, darkness shines light and a door opens eyes."

amandeepmittal.wordpress.com/

Reviews | Interviews | Giveaways | Recommendations | "I'm Mad About Books"

SKYLARITY

Mindfulness, Spontaneity and Authenticity

Maxxesbooktopia

A place where books and imaginations spring into life

Elan Mudrow

The Ridges of Intertextuallity

Sara in LaLaLand

Welcome to my world.

countingducks

reflections on a passing life

MovieBabble

The Casual Way to Discuss Movies

MakeItUltra™

Psychology to Motivate | Inspire | Uplift

RedheadedBooklover

Just a redheaded woman who is obsessed with books

Angela Harrison

Angela's Scribbles

Just Punch The Clock

Come for the flash fiction and short stories. Stay for the sense of wonder at deriving meaning from weird symbols on a screen

Little Fears

Tales of whimsy, humour and courgettes

Fictionspawn Monsters

Illustrated Short Stories

Writing in whispers

Let's talk writing

rachelesrc

A fine WordPress.com site

Finding Hestia

The daily adventures of an aspiring domestic goddess.

A Long Overdue Journey

Life is a journey. A journey that never ends. One that is always moving forward. My journey is filled with its ups, it's downs, bumps in the road and a great many obstacles. It is here, in this moment that I wish to be open and vulnerable with all of you.

vinnylanni

art in words

honeythatsok

stories we tell ourselves