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The B Word

8 May

Figuring out what to do with your life is hard work. And it’s even harder when you’re doing the work as an adult, and not as a 19 year old backpacking across Europe trying to find herself. The fact that the freedom of youth is more fun than the drudgery of adulthood, though, does not make it any less valid. This is what I realized today, as I puff-puff-puffed my way along a winding trail, on my first run since my son was a baby. Enjoyment is just as valid as struggle. Fulfillment is just as valid as pain. They both have their place in our lives. Adulthood does not have to be equated with misery.

Lately, I’ve forgotten that. It’s not that I want to be miserable—of course I don’t—but in the difficult process of figuring out what I should do with my life (which is very different from figuring out what I want to do with my life, but more on that in another post), I have become very responsible. Being responsible is good. It’s great! Having a calendar chock full of meetings, appointments and obligations is very grown up. And frankly, it’s about time, as I’m a twenty-six year old college graduate with a husband and two children to take care of.

I love that I am working hard. I love that I have been busy trying to piece together a career, and along with it, some financial stability. What I don’t love is my recent, slightly obsessive mindset that unless I am doing something productive, then I am wasting time. I need to ask myself, who defines productive anyway?

How is having a nap, going for a jog, or hanging out on the floor playing trains with my son, not productive? Have I become the kind of person who only categorizes things that bring in revenue (work) or potential future revenue (school) as important? How on earth did that happen?

It happened because, when something is lacking, it is possible to become laser focused on that thing. Thus, being broke, I became obsessed. I spent hours upon hours just working on ways to make money—sending our resumes, looking into the possibility of starting up my own business, helping my husband apply for grants, volunteering at places that I would like to work one day in the hopes that a job opens up. I have been (and still am, to a large extent) consumed. But the fact that money is important (and it is important), does not mean that all else ceases to matter. Furthering my career is important to me and to the future of my family, but it is not the only thing that’s important.

Health is important. Rest is important. Togetherness is important. As is that elusive B-word that we women strive for so hard: Balance.
So today, while I should have been getting some work done, I laced up my shoes, left the kids with their dad, and puff-puff-puffed my way along a winding path. Not because I felt like I should, but because I wanted to, and I could.

More to come on where I’m going with my life and what I’ve been working on–Stay tuned.

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I N.I.P.

23 Mar

I N.I.P.

That’s right, folks. I’m one of those women who is not afraid to nurse in public. It has less to do with making a statement, and more to do with the hungry, hystertical baby who just wants food and has no idea that the source is considered taboo.

Discretion being the better part of valour, I make sure I’m covered up. In fact, 99% of the time you’d have no idea there was anything besides mama/baby snuggles going on. Stealthy like a ninja, there’s a large bag of nip-hiding tricks at my disposal. Listen close, and I’ll share them with you.

(Disclaimer: I fully support the right of moms everywhere to bare all. This is just a list of tips for those who may not be comfortable with that. )

The Wrap:

My son and Me

Baby-wearing Mamas know that one of the most convenient ways to feed an infant is hands-free. The baby is so close to the body, and there’s all that extra material to act as a convenient shield from the public eye. The one pictured above is a Moby Wrap–a similar wrap, The Maman Kangourou, can be purchased at Babies R Us. If you aren’t into all that tying, Soft Structured Carriers like the Ergo work just as well–and it comes with a convenient hood for extra coverage!

The Ergo Baby Carrier

The Poncho:

Ponchos are in, and no matter what you think of this fashion trend, it’s undeniably convenient for nursing moms. This particular style is $27.80 from Forever 21,  and is roomy enough to accomodate a baby, without any awkward “lift the shirt” manoevers. It’s a permanent fixture of my diaper bag.

Fringed Diamond Poncho, Forever 21

The Nursing Top: 

Good nursing tops are specifically designed for discreet feeding. Rather than throwing a blanket over ourselves, or putting on an extremely conspicuous tarp-like nursing cover, they allow for quenching a baby’s thirst with little fumbling or fanfare. Most tanks come with straps that unsnap and can be pulled down, and the blouse-styles are layered with hidden milk-access. They can be bought at any maternity store, but can be pricey if a whole wardrobe is needed for what amounts to being a relatively limited timeframe.

Trendy Tummy Maternity

The Nursing Hat:

This is adorable and perfect for summer. Shield the baby from the sun AND yourself from exposure!

Moboleeze Nursing Hat

Or, if you’ve got a sense of humour and an appreciation for shock value: Behold, The Booby Hat by CheekyChumy on Etsy!

The Nursing Necklace:

As babies get older, it’s harder to keep them on task while feeding. They love to look around, take in their surroundings, and smile at everyone they see. This can make things a little awkward for a mom who doesn’t feel like providing the world with a peep show. A nursing necklace is a great option for to keep baby occupied, and facing mom.

Mommy  Necklaces are colourful, fun and come in a variety of styles.

Smart Mom Jewelry

In the market for a more high-end piece? Julian & Co makes a nursing necklace that’s as functional as it is classy. Bonus: It can be personalized with your baby’s name and birth info! 

 So there you have it. A round-up of products to keep you nursing in comfort and style.  -Durham Mom 

PS: None of these companies pay me anything to promote these products. I only promote what I believe in.