Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Motherhood - The New Oppression (A Response)

I read this article today, and really feel the need to respond and address it.

Oh man, where do I begin? I agree with some things, like that mothers today ARE a little too over-protective, competitive, and constantly hounded from all angles about everything, constantly being judged. But I think the solution to all that is simply GET OVER IT. Sheesh. Who cares what everyone else thinks? Who are we trying to impress?

It seems like this writer isn't a mother herself (I just looked up some stuff about her, and didn't find any info about her having kids), and although I respect her observations, I'm not sure if I can take her all that seriously, because she hasn't been there herself.

Also, I totally disagree with this:

"Once upon a time, the conveniences of modern life (processed foods, Lysol spray, disposable diapers, clothes dryers, polyester sheets) liberated women like my mother from their chains. But now, their granddaughters are clamouring to clap the shackles on again. Someone’s got to mash the organic applesauce, hang the diapers out to dry, and breastfeed the kid. No matter how enlightened the parental units, that someone will generally be Mom.

"It seems to me that if you had deliberately devised a plot to oppress women, it couldn’t get more diabolical than this. Highly educated, progressive and enlightened mothers don’t need men to oppress them. They’re perfectly capable of oppressing themselves!"

So, what if it's actually ME that doesn't want the so-called conveniences of modern life? What if I choose to do these things for MYSELF and not because I feel like I'm "supposed to" for my kids? These things are NOT shackles to me! I don't see compromising my own health, my children's health, and the health of everything that lives in our environment, for the sake of convenience, as a good thing! I'm not a saint, I'm protecting my own butt here! I love my family, so naturally I want to do what's best for them too. What is wrong with this? My kids are not forcing me to do anything I don't want to do. And guess what, I actually enjoy hanging my diapers out and having a child attached to my boob, how unfathomable! I'm not going to let anyone else dictate what I like and don't like. THAT is oppression! I can't believe that the author starts out by saying that we shouldn't be forced to follow societal expectations and just relax already (which I agree with, I totally don't think I need to adhere to someone else's “demanding standards” of the “moral requirements of modern motherhood”), and then turn around and make this kind of statement! This kind of ludicrous assumption.

It's funny, because to me feminism and women's liberation means that we now have CHOICES. Not that we have gone from being forced into one thing (being a housewife), to being forced into another (having a career, which is, apparently, the only option for “enlightened women”). That is just as oppressive! I have made the CHOICE to stay home and be a mom to my children. That doesn't make me any better or worse than women who work and have children, or who don't have children. This is just what I have chosen to do! And guess what? I'm happy with my choice! This is what works for me and makes me HAPPY and SATISFIED. Get over it already people. I don't think motherhood is for all women, and that's great. If you don't want kids, don't have them, what's the big deal here? You aren't less of a woman because you don't have kids! If society makes you feel that way, screw them, who cares! Just like I don't care when people think it's awful that I'm a young stay-at-home mom with "so many" kids. Like it matters what they think. I love my life, and I hope they love theirs. Now lets just peacefully co-exist already.

Motherhood has done nothing but empower me. Sure, it's hard. Harder than anything else I will ever do. But that makes it all the more worthwhile, for me. I like to be challenged, because it makes me grow. Not because it makes me superior to others, it's just the best for me. I chose to give birth naturally, breastfeed, cloth diaper, avoid chemicals, eat organic and local etc, because I WANT to. No one is oppressing me or forcing me into this. Motherhood has helped me to grow up, make my own decisions, and STOP letting people push me around and tell me what to do. And I'm not going to go and force my ideals on other people either.

I think that's what bothers me the most about this article, and all the other ones like it. Why do we feel that we have the right to impose our ideas and preferences on other people? I think that mothers (and all women in general) are intelligent enough to make their own educated decisions, and I will respect those decisions. Society seems to think, and seems to want all of us to think, that people are stupid and therefore need to be told what to do and controlled. And that those who are educated and “enlightened” ought to be the ones in charge, for the greater good of course. I disagree. I do think that people are easily manipulated, and can be capable of atrocious things, but are also capable of being independent and responsible and kind if given the freedom to be so. But that's a WHOLE other topic.

Epidurals are not for losers, they are a valid pain relief option, with pros and cons, that every woman has the option to use, or refuse. Same with everything. And I wouldn't have these fabulous thighs if it weren't for all the ice cream I ate while I was pregnant! Why does there have to be so much guilt and emotional baggage with everything? Yes, these can be big and important things, with implications, but what someone else chooses is none of my business. I'm not going to judge a mom I see feeding her newborn formula on the street, or an acquaintance I hear talking about giving their baby every vaccine available, I don't know their story or their reasons.

All I can do is put the info out there that I find relevant and informative (I do A LOT of that, and I don't mind putting it right in people's faces, but it is not my responsibility to make them act), and allow parents to make their own decisions. If they ask my opinion, of course I will give it, but the decision is theirs, and they will deal with the consequences of that decision either way. It's different if they are doing something that directly affects me, or are outright abusing their children, then I might do something about it, but that generally isn't the case with parenting.

It scares me when people start trying to force other people into things, even if it's just through guilt and manipulation, coercion, or even marketing or pop culture. No one is benefitting from this (except the people gaining power and money when you comply). Of course everyone wants the best for their children, and they will get the info they are interested in. What is unfortunate, though, is that medical establishments often do not provide expectant and new mothers with accurate information, but we are slowly learning to do our own research and weigh the options for ourselves. Professionals are great resources, and need to be respected, but they are not gods. I think when we start forcibly imposing things on others, even with good intentions, we start treading on dangerous ground.

Obviously a lot of things have changed, simply because we know better. We know that smoking is bad for our health now, so we can change our actions accordingly. Same with breastfeeding, there is so much research documenting the benefits now that they didn't have before. That doesn't mean our grandparents (or parents) were awful people. And it doesn't mean they did a bad job. It's just different now, and that's ok. We can't change the past, even uninformed decisions we have made ourselves, and carrying that burden of guilt won't fix anything. All we can do is make better decisions next time if possible.

Yeah, there is a lot of stuff you can panic about as a parent, but you don't have to. You can choose to make informed decisions, and then reject all of the fear that society throws at you. The government, media, corporations and society all want us to live in fear and wait to be rescued, because it serves their purposes. But we don't have to live like that. We can stand up and take responsibility, and authority, over ourselves and our families. We are grown-ups and are fully capable of being in control of ourselves (and I also believe the only control people are entitled to is self-control). We are also capable of dealing with our own consequences, even if they suck.

At the same time, no one can control everything. Bad things happen sometimes, it's true. It may not fit in our utopian worldview, but it's there and we have to deal with it. Some things are preventable, and I'm sure everyone would agree that we should try and prevent tragedies whenever possible. But we also need to be able to accept reality when it happens.

Why do people care about silly things so much, and feel the need to get involved with everyone else's business? Their own insecurity, I think. If you made a decision about parenting, that's your decision! Don't be afraid to talk about it, and don't let people push you around about it. It's your decision and that's that, you don't have to feel guilty when you have made an informed decision. Whatever your reasons are, I'm sure they're valid. If you find new information that makes you change your mind, then CHANGE! Do what you need to do, that is nothing but applaudable. Move on.

We all have room for improvement. I AM NOT PERFECT. YOU ARE NOT PERFECT. And we never will be. Is that not liberating? Oh, you're scared that ceasing to strive for perfection will make you quit caring altogether? I disagree. I believe that in striving for perfection, which is unattainable, we are always met with perceived failure, and THAT is what causes people to stop caring. If we can throw out this idea of needing to be perfect, of “all or nothing”, then maybe we can actually just live. And maybe, we will even enjoy it. Then maybe we can put our differences aside, or even have healthy discussions, but still appreciate each other. Just because everything isn't perfect, doesn't mean it can't be great. We seem to be programmed to aspire for a utopia that will never exist. We have to be perfect or die. But that's a lie. All we can do is try our best with what we have. We will fail! Children are pretty resilient, as long as you don't intentionally hurt them, they will probably be ok. Guilt helps no one, except to prompt you to change. So change according to your conscience and the info you find, then let the guilt go and move on, it's ok.

Guilt and this feeling of failure only encourages us to give up, and I think that is the only wrong answer. To quit trying. I'm not saying kill yourself trying to be the best. Be reasonable. You can be a great parent, and enjoy it at the same time. Your lifestyle has to work for everyone, not just you, not just your kids. This isn't rocket science. Just live life, and deal with situations as they arise, make the decisions that are right for you (and that don't hurt anyone else), own up to your decisions, have confidence in yourself, and don't worry about what anyone else thinks. I find when I adopt this approach, motherhood comes easy to me, too.

This rant isn't just what I think about this article, but it's actually the lesson I have learned myself in the past year. I find it interesting that I am writing this on my birthday. A year ago I was still so insecure. But I have come a long way. This philosophy carries over into my spiritual and political beliefs as well. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I'd love to get a discussion going. I'm always open to discuss and engage with other ideas and opinions. I'm not afraid to stand up for myself anymore, and even change if need be. I feel like I've finally grown up.

Happy Birthday to ME!

Yep, it's my birthday. Tonight I am hanging out with a few of my favourite ladies. Not totally sure what all we will do, but I'm happy just to have their company. I'm very excited!

A little while ago I was given some money, and decided to splurge (if you can call $40 for a pair of pants a splurge, it is for me as I never really buy clothing new). I bought these from one of my favourite sellers on Etsy, cocoricooo. I loooove them! They are so light and comfortable, and for once the perfect length! Gotta love short Thai people! And I think they are so beautiful. They show off my big hips, and I've heard many times that short people shouldn't wear baggy pants, but WHO CARES. I love them and they are amazing. The best part is they have an elastic waist band so they are great for the baby years. And they will still fit if I ever get skinny again too, haha.

Speaking of hips, I need to go get me an ice cream cake!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My Little Dancing Queen

Judith has been going to her dance class every Saturday since September, and she loves it. It's totally her "thing". She's actually quite upset that it doesn't run over the summer.

On June 18, her dance studio put on a performance downtown, at a big, professional theatre. She was so excited to dance in front of so many people! And she did so well. She had the hugest smile on her face the whole time! We weren't allowed any cameras of any kind in there, unfortunately. But I did order the DVD, so hopefully once I get that (apparently in August?!?!), I can somehow post at least her dance. I was so proud of her, I totally cried.

Here are some photos of her at home after her big performance:

Her roses, that she broke by accident.

Her trophy (all the little kids got one).

The next day, to celebrate Judith wanted sushi, seaweed, and ice cream.

Very happy times indeed.

Monday, June 28, 2010


I am not a good housekeeper. Oh, you knew that already? Sorry. But it's true.

Here are a couple pics of what my house looks like on a normal day:

I like to think of it as my security system. No one could sneak through the house at night undetected, or without a broken ankle, haha.

These pics were taken a few weeks ago, though. And, unfortunatly, Ruthie has begun taking rolling expeditions across the living room floor. She also enjoys spending time on her tummy now, trying to figure out how to get all of those yummy crumbs and pieces of paper on the floor. So far, the Force hasn't worked, and I think she will probably settle for crawling as Plan B, some day very soon. So I am enjoying my mess while I can.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


It's been a whole year since I've made anything, I think. So I finally remedied that. I never seem to have time to be creative. Then, when I make the time, because say, it's someone's birthday or someone has a baby, I always love it and wonder why I don't do it all the time. I get all these great ideas about having an Etsy shop and going to craft sales... Then, life happens and time passes and I realize I haven't done anything for a while, again. *sigh*

Anyway, here are my recent creations:

I like making really simple pieces, as you can see. But I also enjoy wearing them, and I'm sure other people would, too.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Solids, Already?!?!

I can't believe Ruthie is 6 months already. It still feels like I just had her, but I guess I can't really use the "I have a newborn" excuse anymore.

She has been wanting to eat what I'm eating forever. It probably doesn't help that I usually eat with her on my lap, so she has watched me her whole life. When my Mom and Grandma came to visit back in May, my Grandma was sitting with her eating a piece of banana bread, and Ruthie swiped a handful of it, and had it in her mouth before anyone could blink! Then, another day I was at a friend's house, and she managed to grab a handful of grass and clover, and shove it in her mouth in the half a second it took me to go from squatting to sitting. She actually managed to swallow, and successfully digest it...

So I guess it's time. So far, she has tried (and LOVED!) banana, avocado, potato, blueberries, peas, chicken, and water. And of course, grass and banana bread. I know, it's kind of a random list. But I like to follow baby-led weaning, and well, I'm just not as uptight about this kind of thing as I used to be. Sometimes I help feed her, sometimes Judith helps, and sometimes Ruthie does it all on her own. Yesterday I mashed up a banana with a fork and put it on her tray, and she ate the WHOLE thing all on her own, I was amazed. This girl is SERIOUS about food! I was surprised that she didn't start sucking on the tray to get every last molecule.

She doesn't have any trouble eating either, she never pushes the food out of her mouth with her tongue like most babies do at first. And with the chicken and peas, there were good chunks. She has never choked. She just gummed them and swallowed, no problem! I can't be bothered to make purrees and sit and spoon-feed her like I did with Judith. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but if Ruthie doesn't need me to, why bother? I don't leave her alone with the food, of course, I always supervise. She hasn't had any trouble digesting anything either. I was hoping that solids would help cut down the number of poops she has, but nothing has changed so far. She still poops multiple times a day.

So anyway, that's my latest adventure in parenting Ruthie. Here are some pics:

First taste of banana.

Judith feeding her banana, can't get it in fast enough!


We do use a spoon sometimes to gather up the mashed mess and get it in her mouth, but Ruthie likes to assist.

She downed about 1/4 of that on her first try, then lost interest. She also is very good at drinking from a cup.

All of my kids so far have been really excited about solids. My milk must get boring after a while, haha.

Friday, June 25, 2010


This year we decided to join some of our friends in raising butterflies. So we got in on a group order, and got 4 caterpillars.

One died almost right away. And one was smaller than the others. Judith named the big ones Olo (the "daddy"), and Maylo (the "mommy") and the little one Shaylo (the "baby"). Unfortunately, the big ones decided to tear the small one apart one day. So we were left with 2.

Judith and Gideon both thought they were SO cool. They checked on them every morning, and Judith often would sit and chat with them. She was really excited one morning when she discovered that they had made their cocoons!

One fell to the ground, but he was still ok.

Butterfly #1. Judith watched him "hatch", then we released him later that day when some friends came over.

Butterfly #2 emerged the next day, and I managed to capture his release with my camera (I forgot with the first one...)


It was a great experience, and I know the kids really enjoyed it and learned a lot.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Gideon's Hair Cut

I forgot to post about this! A couple weeks ago we got Gideon's hair cut, and we think it's so cute!

He's so cool.

Oh, I mean, tough.

We think it suits him. <3

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Nice Try...

Judith called me downstairs last night, excitedly telling me that she had cleaned up the ENTIRE BASEMENT.

I was surprised to see this:

Then, laughed when I turned around and saw this:

I love how Gideon was totally chillin' on the pile, haha!

The Cozy Coupe Saga

So, I have been on the lookout for a Cozy Coupe (CC) since we moved to this house. I remember wanting one as a kid, but for some reason we never got one (we had enough toys already, really). I knew Gideon would LOVE one! Then, when I got some birthday money for him, I decided I would use it ($20) for that. I don't really buy anything new, especially toys, so I figured $20 was a good budget. I frequently checked kijiji, and had been out at garage sales every weekend since about March. I remember seeing several CC's at sales last year, when we didn't have a yard, but of course this year so far turned up nothing, and everyone on kijiji wanted more than $20.

I got a hot tip yesterday morning that there were a couple CC's for sale at the Value Village (VV) in the south end of the city. Like, I'm talking south city limits. In the SE. We live in the NW. So, it was going to be quite the trek. But I was really tired of looking every weekend at garage sales and coming up with nothing. So I decided to pack up the 3 kids and embark on an adventure. I tried not to think about it too much to save getting overwhelmed. I had to do some errands on the way, then I figured I could stop in at play group or something on the way home, especially if it was a bust.

Once we got going, I realized that I didn't really know where I was going, haha! I had looked up the location briefly when I got the message from my friend, and thought I knew where it was. But I meant to come back later and actually look up directions, but of course I forgot. So I called Dave because he has a GPS in his truck. He tried to look it up, but the only VV's he came up with were the one near us, and one in the more central south, but I was pretty sure it wasn't the one. I guessed the one I was looking for was too new? Anyway, so I wandered around where I thought it was for a while. At one point I had a feeling that I had gone too far north. I was getting closer to the one that Dave had told me about, but I didn't think was right. We had already been looking for a while, so we stopped at Tim Horton's for lunch. Then I didn't know whether to continue on, and maybe just go to the other one (maybe that one was it after all?), or go back and try looking again. My gut told me to go back, so I did. I got to the end of the road, basically at the south edge of the city. Still no VV. I decided to turn left, and find a place to turn around, and go back. Maybe I would just try the other VV. I went down that road until I could turn left again. I turned and was about to make a U-turn on that road, but something told me to keep going (I was heading north down a residential street). I kept wanting to turn left and make my way back to the main road, I even slowed down and signalled a couple times, but then something very strongly urged me to keep going. I'm sure the people behind me were SO annoyed, haha! Finally, I did make a left turn, and headed back toward the main road. Then at one point there was a bend in the road, and something told me to look over my right shoulder, so I did just for a split second, and there was VV! I totally WOULD NOT have seen it if I didn't look over my shoulder, and there were NO signs for it at all (that I could see, anyway), not in the mall sign, or along the road anywhere. It was basically hidden, I never would have found it from the main road. So that was really exciting! I totally believe that God led me there.

So I parked, and then decided that I would take Ruthie in the sling, Gideon in the stroller, and pray that Judith would listen to me while she walked free. I didn't think about it, so I didn't get overwhelmed. People stared at me wide-eyed as I walked in, but I didn't care. I was on a mission. I find that if I just focus on my goal and don't let myself get sidelined by the details and the "what if"s, then the details take care of themselves. So we went right to the toys. Nothing. My heart sank a little, but oh well. Judith of course dove right in and started playing with stuff. Then I happened to look up the aisle, and at the other end of the store, past all of the clothing, in the furniture section, was a CC! I swear that the car had a circle of white light around it and a chorus of angels started singing! I told Judith to follow me NOW, and I set off with my caravan of children towards my treasure. Suddenly there were 4 million people in the way. I tried not to bulldoze them too much. Then of course Judith was distracted my every. little. thing. along the way. Who in their crazy minds left so many toys along the aisle? And did there HAVE to be so many items of clothing with sequins along the way? Sheesh! Don't these people know that I *need* that car, and there were too many people looking around dangerously close to it? Don't they know what all I went through to get there? I was not going to lose it now! Finally, Judith spotted it too, and ran for it. As I took those final steps, I swear Chariots of Fire was playing in the background. It was MINE! ALL MINE! Oh wait, I mean Gideon's... I think he was excited too, but I couldn't see past my own emotions to care about his expression at the time, haha.

Then, I discovered that there were actually FOUR of them for sale! One was $20, one was $15, and two were $10. They all looked to be about the same quality to me. So I decided I would take a $10 one. One of them was not a Little Tykes one, it was another brand, and the horn didn't work. The other was an official, red-and-yellow one, and the steering wheel was a little loose (it doesn't actually turn the car though, it's just for holding on), but the horn worked, so I went with that one.

I got Judith to push it up to the cash. I probably had a triumphant look on my face the whole way, haha. Getting it to the van was a little stressful, as Judith was trying to run and push it all over the place and there were cars and yadda yadda yadda. But I had no choice, I couldn't handle it and the stroller and baby all at once. So we made it (there may have been a little yelling involved), and I got the kids and stroller in the van. But then the CC wouldn't fit in the back with the stroller, like just barely wouldn't fit, but enough that I couldn't get it in, any way I tried. So then I tried putting it in the middle seat beside Ruthie, but then the side door just barely wouldn't close. If anyone was watching me, I bet they were getting a kick out of it. Finally, I reclined the passenger seat and got the car in there. It just barely fit, and thankfully I'm a small person or it may have been poking into my side, but I got it in the van, damnit!

When we got home, Gideon (and Judith) was eager to try it. He really needed a diaper change though. So he spent quite a while sitting in the car, screaming his head off. He kept saying "Bum! Bum!" but refused to get out of the car because he was afraid that Judith would steal it. It was so sad! Finally I lured him inside with some (home made) french fries, and made Judith NOT TOUCH it while I changed him. Later, she decided to play with her scooter instead, and let Gideon play with the car freely, and all was well with the world. Next thing I knew, Gideon was playing on the bouncy horse, and Judith was in the car, and no one died. So hopefully they can come up with some kind of toy time-share and peacefully co-exist.

What an adventure, eh? I was so excited to be able to have such a fun story to share. Days like that are great.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Housework Survey

What are your must have cleaning items/products?
Baking soda and vinegar. End of story.

If you only had 10 minutes to clean, and every house in your home needed attention, which room would you clean?

I would probably decide it's not worth it and sit in front of the computer instead, haha. But if I had to, I'd probably do the downstairs bathroom (if I'm frantically cleaning because someone is coming over for a visit), or tidy the living room (if someone is just stopping by briefly), whichever was worse.

What chore do you either hate, or procrastinate the most on?

All of them? Besides laundry, laundry is the bomb. I don't list that as a chore. Ok, I'd have to say dishes are the worst, and I hate doing them, and I totally let them pile up. But I also proctastinate on the floors too. Everything gets so messy so fast, and it annoys me to always have to pick everything up first in order to sweep/vaccum, because very little, if any, of the mess is actually mine.

At what age did you have your children start helping clean?
I don't know, I just let Judith help when she wants to help, which is actually quite often. She likes to vacuum (although I have to go over it after, which is fine). And usually she helps me with laundry (sorting, moving it from washer to dryer/hanging, folding, putting away). She helps me put away the clean dishes from the dishwasher. She also helps with the other kids, she sounds the alarm when Gideon decides to take off his (usually poopy) diaper, and will get him and herself snacks or drinks when they want one. She will also clean up spills, but I think that's mostly because she doesn't want to get in trouble, haha. She will also try and entertain Ruthie when I can't get to her right away and she's fussy. The only chore I "force" her to do is tidying up the basement with me. It gets so messy with toys, even though she's only allowed 1 crate at a time. But I make her pick them up before we vacuum there. I used to make her tidy up the living room with me before bed too, but I've been slacking there lately. I need to start that again, it made everything so much nicer in the morning. The only things I DON'T let her help with are sweeping (because she just makes it worse and for some reason I can't deal with it, although sometimes I let her use the brush and dust pan to sweep up and put the dirt in the garbage when I'm done sweeping), and washing pots & pans (because she just wants to play with the water and gets me and everything soaked and it makes me so mad, since I hate doing dishes in the first place), although she can help me put the clean ones away.

So far, all Gideon does is put away the cutlery from the dishwasher. He decided all on his own that cutlery was his job (and he only does the cutlery, haha!), and it's so cute! I leave the drawer open and he throws everything in. I have to sort it, but it's so sweet that he wants to help! Any time he sees me taking dishes out of the dishwasher, he drops what he's doing and RUNS to help me.

To what extent does your husband help with the housework?

He doesn't at all. But he mows the lawn, shovels the snow, makes sure that we have Culligan water (and puts the bottles in because I can't lift them well, even though I managed for a few weeks after he had his surgery), takes the garbage and recycling out to the back alley (as long as I have it ready by the back door the night before), does odd jobs around the house if needed, and is good at fixing things. He also cooks every so often when he feels inspired (but doesn't clean up after himself). Most of all, he makes coffee and brings it to me in bed every weekday morning. Also, he never complains that the house is basically always a mess. He knows that if he complains, then he will be asked to help. And he can't even be bothered to pick up his own socks, I find them abandoned all over the house. He often helps with bed time too, but I usually have to ask. I'm sure it would be different if he wasn't so tired from work all the time.

Do you have an area that is always cluttered?

The house, the van, the yard... I seem to manifest clutter wherever I go. I think our tables are the worst though. They are always covered in junk, and get covered quickly, basically as soon as they get cleared off.

Is there a room in your house that you usually neglect, whether you mean to or not?
I believe in neglecting all rooms equally. Although the kitchen probably looks the worst because so much goes on in there...

Is there a chore that you feel like is never done?

Dishes! And floors. I feel like I can never get those 100% clean, or by the time I do, it's undone again.

Lastly, do you have any time saving cleaning tips?
I guess deep down I find cleaning in general a waste of time, at least with little kids underfoot. I do it when I have to, but I basically do the minimum required. So, my tip would be to not worry about it and use your time to go and do fun things! Preferrably OUTSIDE of the home, where you don't have to look at it, haha.

Yeah, I totally suck at housework. But you knew that already.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Doula Shiz

So, I've been thinking a lot about my doula business lately. Mostly, I want to get some kind of name. Something not too too specific, in case I want to branch out and offer other services. All relating to birth though. So I'd like to be something _____ Birth Services. I was originally going to be Birth Stories Doula Services, but Elaine, the lady who taught our course (and is super amazingly awesome) very kindly suggested that I think about it a bit more and bounce my name off of other people, and do some market research. So, I took that as a hint that it wasn't the best name (I don't know if that was intended or not, but I appreciate that she didn't just say "Oh yeah that's great"). And I trust her judgment, she was part of the group that "pioneered" the whole concept of doulas back in the early 90's with Penny Simkin and those folks.

So anyway, I want something that sounds lovely, but also will be marketable, and describe me and/or my services. Probably not too hippie-ish, even though I basically am, because this is kind of a cowboy town. Some of the popular doula services in town are called Hip Mamas, Earthy Birthy Mamas, Nurturing Touch Doulas, and Baby on the Way Doula Services.

I do want a lot of the focus to be on the significance of the birth story and the mama's experience. I like the idea of the Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories, although obviously not the spiritual background. I won't compromise my Christian beliefs, although I have no problem attending women of different faiths. I should talk to my friend Jen who knows a lot more about Aboriginal culture... I know she has said a lot of it parallels Christian spirituality anyway. I've been thinking about the name "Dreamtime" because my own journey of motherhood began in Australia, and the native Aussie culture puts a big emphasis on stories. And I want to emphasize the spiritual aspect of birth.

Other names I have thought of/have been suggested are: Labour of Love, Mama Love, and Sacred Journey. I also like the words Wisdom, Strength, Transitions, Beginnings, Transformation, Passage, Trust, Joy, Grace, Light, Companion, Nurture, Treasure, Blessings, Servant, Support, Gentle, Peaceful, Presence, Miracle, Empower and there's probably more great words out there to describe doulas. Any other suggestions? I also like the idea of using nondescriptive words that also suit, like Lotus Blossom or Sacred Heart (although I don't really care for those specifically).

Gah, this is so hard. I think I do want a name that suggests a spiritual emphasis, perhaps even a Christian connotation, without being exclusively Christian. Sacred Journey is my favourite so far. But I also like Dreamtime. Or maybe I could find the Aboriginal word for it? That might be cool, but maybe hard to remember... I need to find out what other names are already taken in Alberta. Does anyone know how to do that?

I know I'm over-thinking this, but I do that with everything, so it's no surprise. I just want something that describes me and/or my business, that's catchy and marketable, and that I won't get sick of if I end up doing this for the next 30 years!

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Few Things

-> We had a great visit with my mom and grandma this past week! We weren't able to do much, because of the weather, but we had fun anyway!

-> Dave finally went back to work today after being off since Feb. 9 due to his hernia, and subsequent surgery. I no longer have someone to hold the baby for me all day. Showers and housework may be things of the past. No big loss I guess! I will miss being able to run errands by myself during the day, though. And having someone to talk to.

-> The sun is finally out today after a long hiatus involving snow. I think we may plant some carrots to celebrate! I think my tomatoes and cucumbers may be dead...

-> The house is a disaster already. Le sigh.

-> Our oven is broken. Hopefully someone will come to look at it soon (we told the landlord 2 days ago). Although that makes me feel kind of bad about the point above...

-> Judith has taken up skateboarding. She's actually pretty good. Although there are a few huge dents in the kitchen walls now from it... We need to find some pavement for her. I would also love to get her into parkour. I think she would rock that too.

-> I have had to get up at 6:30 the last 3 days. My kids normally sleep until about 9, FYI. I will probably be getting up early indefinitely now, because Dave is back at work and it is kind of nice getting up and having coffee with him. And because it gets light out so early, the sun helps to convince me that wakefulness isn't, in fact, the devil.

-> Ruthie is 6 months old today! I can't believe it. We let her try some "solids" last week. So far she has had water, banana, potato, and avocado. She loves it all, and is very good at eating. She doesn't really push the food out with her tongue like the other kids did. She always eats it all up and wants more. She is still going strong with breastfeeding, of course, and hopefully will for another year and a half or so.

-> We have some caterpillars in a jar that will hopefully grow then turn to butterflies! Judith is really excited, but refuses to name them for some reason.

-> Gideon is talking so much. In complete sentences. He says new things every day. I can't believe how big he is getting! We paused potty training while our visitors were here, and I'm kind of reluctant to start again since I just shampooed the carpets...

-> Today is a beautiful day, I should probably go do something with it.