Thursday, May 17, 2012

Elizabeth Foss wrote an amazing piece about the TIME cover & resulting internet drama it caused. This is just one part of her post :

"I wish that women of the digital age could have learned this parenting style the way I did. 
It first took written form in an old La Leche League publication of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding that my roommate in the hospital loaned to me when I could not console a screaming newborn Michael, nearly 24 years ago. She was an experienced mom. She stayed up all night, her own newborn at her breast, mentoring me, voice-to-voice, shoulder-to-shoulder. She was Catholic, open to life. It was all grace.  I still look back with astonishment at the provision of it all. I have no pictures of our time. No journal of words. I don't even remember her name, but her legacy lives forever in my family.
That was an old version of the book, written in the voice of the women who founded La Leche League. It read like wisdom from moms at a church picnic. Did you know that La Leche League was founded on the grounds of a Catholic Church at a parish picnic?
Ten years later, I met Mary White, one of the founding mothers. That formerly crying baby was the altar server at a very poorly attended Mass at a La Leche League conference. It was just Mary, her husband, and my family. After Mass, she spent a leisurely time talking to me about big families and raising children in the church, all while my fourth child, Mary Beth, nursed in a sling. Tears still spring to my eyes when I think of the meaning that encounter held for me. She autographed for me a new edition of the book. I treasure the the inscription, but the book remains on my shelf, largely untouched. I still reach for my tattered, older version, the one written before "attachment parenting" was a cause. The one in the voice of wise Catholic mothers.
Mary White told me after Mass how mothering is a beautiful way to live the works of mercy every day, how mothers are especially blessed to extend the mercy of God to others. It was never about being "mom enough," but about being humble enough. Attachment parenting--and so, extended breastfeeding--is about the least of these. 
And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
All day, every day, serving the little ones with the mercy of Jesus. That's attachment parenting at its essence.
Attachment parenting grows up. And that doesn't mean nursing while standing on a stool. It means that mother and child grow together. It means that when it's not so simple anymore and all their needs can't be met by stopping to nurse, we still listen. And listen. And listen. We watch over three hundred dances because somewhere in there, our teenager is in three of them and she cares about the other 297.
If we are at our best, we do it with our full attention.
The face of attachment parenting? It doesn't reflect a computer screen. We can't let ourselves care more about the cause than about the children who compelled us to learn about the cause in the first place. We can't let ourselves be lured to spend our days chasing philosophies online, no matter how noble those philosophies are. We can't endlessly chase decorating ideas or knitting patterns or news feeds, either. 
I learned attachment parenting in a different age. And I'm very glad of that. I never cultivated a habit of nursing while scrolling my cell phone. I never took a laptop into a child's room at night to keep me company while I kept him company. There were no smart phones or laptops. I was blessed to learn a lifestyle before the distraction of technology and then to live long enough in that stage of life that I could take the early lessons and keep practicing those habits when technology started fighting them. 
It's astonishing how techonology fights them. Truly, if we let it, techonology can destroy parenting as God intended it. A tool for the good can be used for ill to the detriment of generations.
I feel sorry for the young mothers (perkiness aside). It must be so much harder to discern the wisdom of the church picnic from the hip, happening, cool of the attachment parenting "movement." It's not sexy. It's not hip. It's hard work and humble servitude. It likely will make you soft and saggy.
The key to being truly attached, even as they grow, is spending days looking into the eyes of a child, truly knowing our own children intimately and well and helping them to become the person God created them to be.
Attachment parenting requires incredible sacrifice on the part of fathers, when the chldren are infants and when they are older. When they are infants, fathers wait for wives who are nursing mothers. They wait, too, for the time when a child will want them as much or more than they want Mama. I see that so clearly now that I have lots of older children. My kids almost line up to wait for Mike to listen to them at night. I've been with them all day. I'm all childrened out. And all I want is his undivided, quiet attention. But there they are, one by one, asking for him. I can't help but think of all the nights he waited while I nursed them to sleep.
Attachment parenting is thoughtful, careful that we are attached, while still not fostering an entitlement attitude. Just because you can nurse on demand as a baby, doesn't mean you can demand anything you want and expect to get it forever. Actually, the contrary is true. When you are nursed on demand as a baby, you grow up with the sense that sometimes adults are called to sacrifice themselves--their wants, their immediate needs, even their bodies--for the least of these. Good attachment parenting means that we teach our children this same ideal of laying down one's life.
This is where my challenges in social media keep popping up. It's a repeated decision to set aside the pressing online conversation, relinquish the opportunity to join the opinionfest. Attachment parenting is about keeping my eyes steadfastly fixed on my own work--the most important work I'll ever be called to do.  Social media is most definitely about keeping my eyes on everyone else's work. It's fairly benign for me in very small doses, lethal in anything bigger.
I have thoughtful ideas on childhood. I've worked hard to live those principles. I see social media as the most insidious threat to living a life of grace-filled, purposeful moments of joy with my children. This is How to Miss a Childhood and this is The Best Part of a Child's Education. I mean to live those messages and I have to close the computer to do so.
Mother Teresa, upon winning the Nobel Peace Prize, was asked "What can we do to promote world peace?" She answered "Go home and love your family."
What can I do to promote attachment parenting? Go home and love my family. With my full attention. When I do, I will bear authentic witness and change the world.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

I don't always have a good grip on my sanity..but when I do, it's because I did these things..:)

Eat breakfast!
Huge cup of half caf
Take little breaks all day, like sit down with a little piece of chocolate at the computer
Know what I need to do, to change my mood, play some electronic dance music :)
I don't need a night out with the girls to flirt & act crazy, I can make friends & joke around anywhere, even the grocery store.
Eat a fantastic & healthy lunch
Walk each morning
Wine with my man at night

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Alistair would be TEN years old tomorrow if he were still with us. It sucks, I've said it before, it never gets easier. There is still tons of joy and great fun to be had with my other kids, and I consider myself a happy person..but he is always our kid too. And it's awful not knowing him. I read a great article just now by Laura Schubert and she says some very true things about infant loss.. "Infant loss is nature's cruelest practical joke. It's investing all of the required time and effort into pregnancy, only to be robbed of the result. It's cradling a body that grew within your own and trying to reconcile the cold, lifeless form in your arms with your memory of the baby who turned double flips in your womb. It's worrying that you'll forget what your child looked like and snapping an album's worth of photos that no one will ever ask to see. It's sobbing so hard you can't breathe and wondering if it's possible to cry yourself to death." And this.. "It's being shut out of play groups for perpetuity. It's skipping social events with expectant and newly minted mothers because, as a walking worst-case scenario, you don't want to put a damper on the party. It's listening to other women gripe about motherhood and realizing that you no longer relate to their petty parental complaints because, frankly, when you've buried a baby, a sleepless night with a vomiting toddler sounds something like a gift. Infant loss is pruning from your life the friends and relatives who ignore or minimize your loss. It's recognizing that, while they may not mean to be hurtful, the fact that they don't know any better doesn't make their utter lack of empathy one whit easier to bear. Infant loss is more than an empty cradle. It's a life sentence."

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Joaquin just started Tball for the local little league this weekend. He loves having a team, something to do on Saturday morning, a cool uniform and a glove!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Gorgeous spring day at the national arboretum. I am so happy none of my kids fell in the koi pond this time! It was a good day!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

2 happy boys coming home from a neighborhood birthday party :) It rained, Tball practice was cancelled, we got coffee..Joaquin & I , picked up Karl from the party & they wanted to walk in the rain. Last night we had some friends over for happy hour and my husband was an awesome host as always, blending drinks, being chatty, hahahaha, I am so grateful to have him!

The springy sights of the festive neighborhood gas station.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Almost every day lately two of the sweetest girls in the world call me on their mom's cell after school and ask if the babies are awake. If they are..these sweeties show up and take them out to play. Bubble gets practice walking, Ram gets lots of hugs and attention as he goes down the slide. Both babies get to swing as long as they like. The people here keep me loving where I live.

Its the little things to look forward to!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

3 boys who listened to their mom when she said to close their eyes so they could be surprised by how much shrinky dinks really shrink!


I have no energy to blog because I am in permanent action mode with 5 busy boys & I'm just not in a reflective mode. But....I remember blogging years ago and it made life a little better. I don't know if blogging made me notice more beauty and have more fun, or if I did more because I wanted to record it here..either way, I am going to try to share more here again. I will never be a pioneer woman or a nie nie or enjoy the small things, although I enjoy checking in with all of them :)I don't have fancy cameras or exotic locations, or lots of $$. Just here, still married to an awesome man, raising 5 male adults (def don't want them to grow up & still be children, LOL)

When I started blogging 7 years ago I had 2 kids, one in heaven. My boys were different and very fun to be with, days were busy, but plenty of time to play with them, look at flowers, bake cookies. Now, there are 5, ranging from 1 year old to 12 years old. The oldest is now a type 1 diabetic, so meals can take a little more thought, but otherwise in a day to day way..its not as bad as it sounds. The next one down has had a lot of trouble learning to read. The youngest just had a CT scan under general to rule out a few scary issues. All are doing well at this very moment. In the last week I've been talked down to & patronized, had hellish school meetings, brutal mornings and nights that were way too short. I am going to just act like that didn't happen, here, in this little space..and put some of the good stuff & focus on getting into more good stuff so I can put it HERE. I hope it works out! :)

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"Trust Birth". Here's how I feel about that BS: Would we tell someone who has miscarriages that she should "trust pregnancy?" Stuff happens in birth, sometimes bad outcomes that are noone's fault. It just is unrealistic to "trust birth." Educate yourself about birth, make the best choices you can & make sure you are repected in birth. A doula can help tremendously & so can a very intense NCB class, but trusting birth leads to lots of women feeling like crap when their plans go awry.

About Me

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I'm just a mom in the world. A crunchy Catholic mama of 6 trying to make sense of it all and stay positive. 5 boys here & 1 in heaven. One awesome man who I get to grow old with. I help new moms breastfeed. I`m happy. I don`t go to shows or dance clubs every night but I would if I could. Where`s the nanny? When I see her she`s SO fired! One of my boys is super sweet and sensitive, another one is a holy terror. I learn a ton from all of them daily. Like Nigella says, as any parent of small children knows,there comes a point in the day where you can`t go any further without a drink! I love cocktail hour. I`d like nothing more than to be with my family and some good friends surrounded by tropical plants drinking a margarita listening to the Eagles. I don`t care about trendy, I like that grungy 70`s vibe.