Phew! I have been blogging like a maniac this week. Small gems of wisdom have been bursting all around me as I crafted post after post after post!
Unfortunately, I committed none of them to paper (not that I ever do, but somehow the phrase "committed none of them to internet/keyboard/computer" doesn't have quite the same ring) and as I have yet to figure out how to transmit my thoughts telepathically (the lazy blogger's dream!) it seems that all of my work was for nought.
It sucks to be honest. There were some real gems in there. My particular favourite was a poignant piece on being "touched out" and needing a break from motherhood before I bunged my entire family out on the front lawn and posted giant "Keep Away" signs on my breasts before backing away slowly from the lot of them shouting "stay back!" and then promptly running away to my real life which I'm sure is extremely glamouress and is still happening somewhere else.
Unfortunately, even if I had had the energy to write it all down, the two giant leeches stuck to my chest were a great hindrance to my typing ability.
Next up was a good old fashioned, multi faceted rant on a variety of parent/child/gvn't/boob related topics. It all started when Thierry Henri (or however the hell you spell his name) hand balled Ireland out of the world cup. Terrible? Yes. Unfair? Most Definitely. Deserving of more outrage and attention then the ongoing battle to save Child Benefit?
Unfortunately, that's what it got. Even the Taoiseach got involved, joining forces with the FAI (Football Association of Ireland) to demand a replay from the officials at FIFA. Even now, two weeks after the bloody game, it's still a hot news item. Meanwhile, the government is moving along it's merry way with plans to make across the board cuts to our Children's Allowance and aside from a few passionate parents, no one is saying boo!
Last year, our complacency lost us the Early Childcare Supplement, despite childcare costs in Ireland being amongst the highest in Europe. This was "replaced" with a new scheme offering a free year of part time preschool to three year olds which not only can most creches not afford to implement but which has limited benefit to working parents and none whatsoever to stay at
home parents who often use the Child Benefit and ECS to supplement the income lost when one parent stays at home.
There seems to be this attitude that the cuts in child benefit are somehow going to be fair and not effect those who need it most. People seem to think that our government is going to change it's proverbial spots and look out for the most vulnerable in society (ironically enough, the very ones they are currently stealing from.)
WAKE UP PEOPLE! This is not going to happen! This is the same gvn't who brought you NAMA, who are doing their gosh darn best to save every banker and developer in the country while every month the dole queues are growing and more and more small businesses are dying without even the tiniest hand up (let alone out!) from our esteemed leader. These are the same people who have swindled the taxpayer out of millions of euros on an all too regular basis and yet never have to pay for their crimes!
AGGGHHH!!!!!! It drives me crazy just thinking about it!
Then, just the other day I happened across a fab parenting website, iwantmymum.com which was choc a bloc full of great articles on topics like breastfeeding, babyled weaning and cloth nappies amongst others. I spent a merry hour trawling through loads of great pieces but it was this one in particular which grabbed my attention. An article on "Exclusive Breastfeeding and the Virgin Gut" by Charlotte Young which explained the reasons behind WHY we are asked to exclusively breastfeed our babies for the first six months.
It discusses the physiology of the newborn gut which is considered both sterile and open at birth and which requires the mother's milk in order to a) colonize the gut with the proper "good" intestinal flora and b) only allow the mothers antibodies to slip through the intestinal wall into the baby's blood stream. It also talked about how introducing anything other then breastmilk completely transforms the bacterial composition and requires 2 - 4 weeks of exclusive feeding to return it to normal.
I didn't know any of this.
At no point during pregnancy, two years of breastfeeding or indeed through 14 years of schooling was this brought to my attention.
This of course led me to a good afternoon's mental ranting and blogging about how breastfeeding should be learned about in the schools and how we need to allow boobies to be seen as something beautiful and functional (much like the JML magic scarf!) and not as something "dirty" to be snickered at and scorned.
Of course, once I got on my soapbox, it was realllly hard to come down, so I stayed up there for a while and pondered a few more bits and pieces. Like how freely new mothers are encouraged to give the occasional bottle and the new vitamin D supplementation that all breastfed babies are encouraged to take (Read this article from kellymom as to why it's not usually needed) and what effects these sort of things might have on the health of breastfed babies.
Speaking of, my two little mooches are looking for a meal, so I'll leave off here and come back later to tell you more fabulous tales...