The Right to Breastfeed

So a bit of a rant today. This has sat on my conscience for a couple of days now and I have to get it off my chest. On Thursday I was out with my mummy friends. We do an exercise class and then out for coffees/lunch at the local cafe. It’s great we have a fantastic time and its good fun to catch up and swap baby stories, ask questions and just be with other adults and out of the house. I look forward to Thursdays every week! We are a diverse group of mums, ranging in age, culture, breastfeeding, bottlefeeding, etc etc. And the best part about it – is there is no mummy shaming in our group. We support each other in our choices and help out each other when we can always providing a listening ear and perhaps advice if needed.

So as a breastfeeding mummy, I don’t feel ‘ashamed’ per se to feed my beautiful bubs when she needs. I am quite happy to feed her in the cafe and continue having my coffee and enjoying the conversation. And I am not the only one. I have never felt shamed or awkward about feeding my baby in public. I’m discreet about it, I will say that, not flashing everyone in sight. But to me it’s natural and let’s be honest you see more of my breasts when I wear a bikini. So let’s not get all freaked out about it, ok. Great now moving on to my ‘rant’ I guess. A new mum joined our group this week. Fantastic! Love new friends and bubs joining us. But we got on the conversation of breastfeeding or bottlefeeding and I had asked what she does, a breastfeeding mama as well. But the next comment out of her mouth struck me “but I won’t feed in public!”. Ok fine, to each their own, it’s her choice, but her reasoning. Because she is afraid of what someone might say to her. That got me. I felt hurt for her. She is so afraid at one someone else might think or say that she won’t do it. Since when is breastfeeding anyone’s business but mummy and baby’s? Since when does someone else have the right to comment on what a mother is doing for her child? Again it’s natural, she is nourishing her baby and giving her the best start she can in life. There is no way she should have ever been or be made to feel ashamed about how she feeds her child.And the best part about it -is we have a right to breastfeed. That’s right it is against the law to discriminate against a woman for breastfeeding and she is allowed to do so when and where she likes. Don’t believe me check out this link “The Right to Breastfeed”.

We need to normalize breastfeeding! And fast! This crazy world that we live that thinks that women should not be using what their beautiful bodies have in order to nourish their children is absurd. Fifty years ago this would never have been an issue. This is just the way that babies were fed and there was no shame in it. Formula was not around and there was not a push for mothers to stop breastfeeding and switch to formula. Why we think formula is better than 3 million years of evolution is beyond me. I will not hide away in a bathroom to feed my child because you are uncomfortable. If you don’t like it – don’t look. Again I am not flaunting it in your face so this should not be an issue. I feel where we live is quite progressive and I have not run in to a single issue breastfeeding in public here, and it makes me wonder what this mother’s previous experiences have been. It makes me a bit sad, that she has felt she had to consciously make this decision. And then that got me to thinking again…haha never a good thing. What would I say or do if someone actually said anything to me? Well let me tell you, I have an argument that would tear a strip up and down someone so fast they will wish they would have just kept their mouth shut! Backed up with facts and a lack of sleep you will wish you never crossed this mama bear. I will save you the brunt of it my lovely readers, but I pity the fool who dare to comment.

That being said I am travelling home to Canada in the next month and wonder if my experiences will be the same there or if I will run in to more negativity about breastfeeding and especially in public. At least I know that I have every right to feed my baby and no one can tell me to leave or actually pass judgement. “The Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code) is a law that provides for equal rights and opportunities and recognizes the dignity and worth of every person in Ontario. The Code makes it against the law to discriminate against someone or to harass them because of sex, including pregnancy and breastfeeding”. So again I should have nothing to worry about.

Sorry about the rant, just needed to get it off my chest.

Lots of love to all you breastfeeding mamas and supporters! xx

 

The grass is growing

I love warm mild winter days. That’s right it’s mid-July and we are sitting at a balmy 17 degrees down here on the South Island! We are supposed to be in to our coldest time of year and for the past two days I have been able to turn the fire off and get out and enjoy the sunshine.

The washing is hanging out -for the second day in a row and has dried completely. The fire is off and windows are open airing out the house. It could not have come at a better time actually with our bout of sickness and germy little bugs everywhere. A good air out is exactly what this house needs. And in term of the farm this weather is fantastic! We had a little bit of rain earlier this week an now these warm temperatures the grass will be loving it and so will our stock. It’s not so hard on them and they aren’t burning calories to stay warm, rather bulking up how we want them too. Our paddocks are looking green and lovely against the golden sun and I know we will have enough feed to make it through the second half of winter. There is no need to break the ice on the trough these days and your fingers don’t freeze when shifting breaks because of soggy wet gloves. I love these days on the farm and being able to go out without have to spend fifteen minutes getting both me and the bubs dressed to withstand the weather. I know we will soon again be back to freezing temperatures and frosty mornings, but for now I will enjoy the sunshine and get my healthy dose of vitamin D.

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As I sit here breathing in the gorgeous fresh Central Otago air, drinking my coffee of course (how else am I supposed to make it through the day?) and lying in the warm winter sun like a cat, I cant help but thin about how lucky we are to live where we do. Even in the midst of what is supposed to be a yucky cold time of year we these days and are surrounded by the beauty of the landscape, one can only sometimes describe has barren and harsh. But this is home. And I cannot think of a better place to call home.

When it rains…it pours…

When it rains…it pours and not in the literal sense unfortunately. As farmers we pray for rain, it can be the difference between a good year and bad year. But when it comes to managing my household I prefer calm sunny days please. But this week is proving to be a thunderstorm.

Poor wee bubs is sick. Which is normally fine and we will take it as it comes. But we ended up in hospital this time with bronchiolitis. The poor girl. Mind you, even though she was sick, the doctors were calling her the ‘Happy Wheezer’ as she was still all smiles for them. But if I could trade places with her, I would, in an instant. We have had a rough few nights and I am running on very little sleep. If it’s not her waking up it was the nurses last night coming in to check on her waking me. I’m not complaining we were in the best place for her considering the circumstances. Mind you I will say some of the night shift workers need to pull their shit together. I could have throttled one of them for their bedside manner and unnecessary loud talking which woke up my wee girl. If you don’t know how to use or read the equipment checking her ops please don’t come in here blubbering away to yourself and turning on all of the lights. A completely unnecessary move on her part and rude I might add. When the doctor came in to help he was extremely unimpressed with attitude, which I’m hoping lead to her being read the riot act. On the other hand with my wee girls coughing fits and vomitting I am glad we were in hospital.


We luckily were discharged yesterday and were able to go home. At least I won’t be so bored being stuck in one room under no contact. But we came home to no hot water. You have got to be kidding me. I was dying for a hot shower. Guess that is going to have to wait. The house is a disaster and I’ve got washing pile up higher than my basket can handle. I do wonder what else this week is going to throw our way. But I am hoping we are in for smooth sailing. A wise woman said to me these things are sent to try us and that they are. If you can’t handle a little spilt milk once in a while life is going to get very tough for you. Take it as it comes and know that tomorrow will be better.

And we are actually in for a good rain so we will see what happens, may be an indoor kind of week.

Weekend Love

I love weekends. Not because I work and have time off on weekends – as I’m a stay-at-home mummy so my job is never done. But because we have daddy home on the weekends. And it’s also not because he lets me sit and do nothing and takes care of everything – haha -far from it. I end up doing most of the chores on the weekend because someone else is there to watch bubs.

No, I love weekends because at least once we have a lie-in and snuggles in bed with bubs. I love this time and precious moments we have together and the smiles she gives her daddy as if he is the only man in the world (and I hope it stays that way a very long time). And then I’m usually up with bubs for a bit getting her dressed and sorted for the day and just as she is going down for her first nap, daddy gets up and cooks up an amazing breakfast, usually bacon and eggs fresh from the neighbours chooks (cannot wait to get our own soon). I love it. I don’t think he realises how much I do love it. It’s an hour of ‘us’ time and he does all the cooking and makes me a fantastic latte and I get to sit back and enjoy. Sure I still have to do dishes and the washing and the vacuuming and get myself sorted for the day, but at least we have that time with each other. Conversation is good, food is good and the company well it’s the best. It makes me smile and I love that we can enjoy this time together – I know these days are fleeting and soon there will be little rugrats joining us at the table and wanting to eat what daddy has on his plate and not on their own plate. And this will bring a whole new level of joy to our lives.

Until then I’m going to enjoy those weekend breakfasts and time together of just us.

And duty calls, baby is crying and dishes still are not done. Off I go!

So apparently I’m a dog person now…

Ask me five years ago if I would ever get a dog and my answer would have been ‘hells no!’ Too much work, not enough time, I work full-time, and it would be neglected etc etc. The list would have gone on and on. I also lived in a big busy city and I did not think it fair to have a dog locked up in a house all day only to go for walks on a lead and never have anytime to be free and run around and do doggy things. I would have been a terrible dog mummy.

And then I moved to New Zealand and my life did a 180. I was no longer surrounded by buildings and concrete, rather lived miles from the city and had the wide open air around me. My perspectives changed a little and having a dog only seemed to make sense. Now three years later, we have two dogs and I cannot imagine my life without them.

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Macy
We got Macy two years ago – before moving to the farm. She’s one very active, excited and lovable Springer Spaniel. To say she is part of the family is an understatement. She has nestled her way into our hearts, home and sometimes even our bed. And my now five month old baby girl is absolutely in love with her already – can’t wait to watch them grow up together.

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Our first baby
Then we moved to a small farm in Chatto Creek, and needed a working dog. Macy was just not going to cut it shifting lambs for us – way too fast and way to excited to just chase, not move stock. So we got Ra, a Huntaway mix. He is shy and timid, but can work stock and is very lovable. Loves to get scratches and snuggles and lie on the porch and soak up the sunshine. But he works when he needs to and most of the time he is pretty good at it.

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Ra
I used to scoff at people who talked about their dogs as being a family member and found it just a bit odd. I admit it. So what made me become a dog person. I’m not quite sure, but I think of at least five reasons.

1) Their unconditional love. No matter what happens or how long you have been gone for or how little time you have been gone for, my dogs are so excited to see me. I mean wag the tail, jump up and down excited to see me. They get happy seeing my car come down the road. And when you’re not feeling the best, they are right there with you trying to cheer you up, snuggling in and wanting cuddles.

2) They understand. I don’t know how they know what’s going on but they do. They can sense emotions and know how to act accordingly. I remember bringing my baby girl home in January and I was unsure about how the dogs would react. I was not in the best way after having her and I got out of the car and let Macy off her kennel. She didn’t jump, bark or try to barrel me over (I had not seen her in almost a week), rather she quietly walked beside me as I hobbled my way over to the car where my partner and bubs were. She sniffed the blanket I had our baby girl wrapped in and that was it. She accepted her into our family immediately. Always wanting to give kisses which we stop, but she loved her right away and knew she had to be gentle.

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3) A sense of security. Dogs hear everything – they know when things are off – and they want nothing to happen to you. I just feel a bit safer with my dogs around. Especially on nights when it’s just me and bubs at home. I know if someone is around or coming up the drive because the dogs will let me know.

4) They want to make you happy.  Yup their whole goal is to please their owners. They see you as the leader of their pack and they want to make you happy. Always looking for you when out for a walk and listen to your commands in order to please you. Everything they do is for you and possibly for a few treats and cuddles.

5) They work harder than me. I mean this in a good way. They make working life on the farm a lot easier. Macy catches rabbits, Ra rounds up stock and Macy helps their as well. Saves me a whole bunch of running and walking myself. Work smarter not harder, and a good dog will allow you to do that.

So I’ll say it now – ‘I’m a dog person” -yup that’s right – love these little monsters heaps, and cannot imagine my life without a dog now. Sure sometimes its tough when you want to getaway but we have great neighbours who feed and walk them when we are away and my father-in-law loves Macy and would watch her in a heart beat for us. We are lucky that way. And I guess I’m lucky that they found their way into our lives. My little girl is growing up with her best friend already.

Macy come, sit with us and play.