What to check out this weekend: April 25, 2013

25 Apr

Dear Friends,

Here are my recommendations of what to check out this weekend, April 25, 2013:

Many things have been written about becoming a parent, but this piece discussing the grief around becoming a mother, specifically, had me in tears with recognition and gratitude. (From Blogher).

“Perhaps we can soften this whole thing by saying our identities are “transformed,” or we are ‘forever changed,’ but the fact of the matter is that the woman you once were is gone, and she will never come back.”

I remember at my blessingway, just weeks away from birthing Eliana, a friend courageously talked about the grief surrounding her change in identity when she became a mother. I so appreciated her honesty. This essay really reflects a lot of my feelings, as well.  (Thanks to Anna for finding this piece!)

Here are one hundred questions to ask yourself to inspire some self reflection (From Alexandra Franzen)

“If you had an extra $100 to spend on yourself every week, what would you do?” “How do you CELEBRATE your victories?” “Who’s on your panel of imaginary mentors?”

I am always collecting lists of questions like this, or other types of writing prompts.  I imagine that I will, one day, become a real journal writer, exploring the inner sanctum of my soul, and these kinds of lists will be my guide.  How many times have I actually done this? Zero.  Perhaps I should be asking myself why that is the case?

This article about not being able to breastfeed a baby really hit home for me.  (From Babble)

“The reactions of my fellow moms didn’t help. I stopped into the childcare room at my local food co-op to feed the baby, and the chatter in the room — a discussion of weaning adventures — came to a halt. They stared as Enna gulped back her formula-filled bottle.”

I spent the first few weeks of Eliana’s life in emotional upheaval over my inability to exclusively breast feed.  There were benefits to the bottle, sure, but “breast is best”.  I was so distraught that Sky even wrote in marker on my forearm “you are a great mom”, so I would see it as I cradled my newborn. What did it say about me that I couldn’t provide even the most basic need for my daughter?  Well, first of all, her most basic need was for LOVE, which I provided in spades.  Second of all, it said nothing about me, but I couldn’t quite accept that I was not already failing her.  A doctor told me that my job was not to breastfeed, it was to feed.  That helped for a minute, but I still felt that I was less-than the mother I wanted to be. I was terrified that Eliana would miss out on the wonderful health benefits of breast feeding, but she remains one of the healthiest children I know (knock on wood), while many breast-fed kids I know have significant health issues, allergies, food sensitivities, or are simply just that kid who is always sick.  Eliana is not that way.  Is it because she was formula fed? I doubt it.  Are other kids sicker because they were breast-fed? I doubt that, too.

Basically, the end of this story is that we all are parenting the best way we can.  Our children become the people they are for all kinds of reasons.  To vaccinate or not? To co-sleep or not? To bottle or breastfeed? To work outside the home or not? We are all doing what we feel is best for our children and our families.  We have no right to judge, and we do not ever know what is really going on behind closed doors in each others homes.  It takes a village, but that village needs to be born of love rather than judgment.

(Thank you to my many friends and family members who support Sky and I on our parenting journey!)

This recipe for banana bread is among the best I’ve ever had! (From Smitten Kitchen)

I am not sure what the magic is here, but OMG this is good banana bread.  It’s really more like cake.  I brought it to a tech rehearsal this week for a show I’m in, and it was devoured. You don’t have to include the bourbon.  🙂

I’m in “The Full Monty”, opening this Friday night, April 26, and running for a month.  This musical is based on the movie, and it is a really great show.  I’d love to see you there!  Go to the box office for tickets.  Tickets are selling fast. so I recommend getting them ahead of time.

Happy reading, friends!

Blessings,

Dana

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