Category Archives: thoughts

Transition

The summer is starting to close. Kids are heading back to school. The nights are a tiny bit cooler and there are little splashes of color appearing inside the trees. Yesterday, even though it was in the 90s, the sky had that deceptive “fall” color to it–extra bright and clear and crisp. Football is back on and I am officially burning the “fall leaves” candles. And, as I noticed this morning at 5:30 courtesy of Bean’s extra early wakeup call, the sun is staying in bed a little longer. 

All good with me. Fall is my favorite time. What’s not to love? Warm days and cool nights, beautiful color in the foliage, pumpkin EVERYTHING, more fashionable clothes (sorry summer). Lots and lots to do with the family. I don’t know about you but I hate super hot temperatures and it makes going out and enjoying things outside really difficult unless you’re in the pool. Once temps start to come back down it makes going outside so much more enjoyable. Zoo, Botanic Gardens, we can go to the park any time of day we want…plus, can we talk about pumpkin patches?? The time between Halloween and New Year’s is, in my opinion, the best time of the year. 

OMG WHAT DO I DRESS UP THE BEAN AS FOR HER FIRST HALLOWEEN??

Fall is a time of transition and that’s sort of where we are right now. Bean is transitioning out of babyhood and into toddlerhood. Which is crazy. Cameron recently left his job at Starbucks and will be starting work as a banker with US Bank after Labor Day. We have had some difficult times the last few weeks and we’re transitioning out of that. Time helps. We think we will take a quick vacation this weekend down to Ouray or Glennwood Springs, leave the Bean with my parents, and get some time to ourselves so we can get back to…somewhere. 

Anyway.

Here’s what else is transitioning around here!

So close!
So close!
Hi there!
Hi there!
Holding her own bottle...sort of.
Holding her own bottle…sort of.

Advertisements

Some Random…Ramblings

— Bean has been, fairly reliably, sleeping through the night for the better part of a month now, not including our trip to Maine. This means I’ve been getting away from my 8-month long mind fuck that said I had to go to bed as soon as she did because she was likely to be up a couple times during the night and I would need to get as much sleep as I could. Now that this has ended, I’ve thought about what a good opportunity it is to spend an hour or two working on the book (oh yeah, remember that?) before I come to bed. Have I done that yet? Noooooo….

— Speaking of Bean, she had her 9 month birthday when we were in Maine but we won’t have her checkup till next Monday. So I’ll update her new stats and what she’s been up to next week.

— My phone takes lousy panoramic pictures.
IMG_3722.JPG
— I would like to take this opportunity to formally apologize to IKEA. When it first came to Denver and those massive blue walls went up and everyone essentially lost their minds over affordable Swedish furniture, I scoffed at the fad. Silly, I thought. Theeeen I moved back to Denver about 15 minutes away from those massive blue walls and basically I’m there every other weekend now. I would literally replace every piece of furniture and accessory in my house with IKEA stuff if I had the money. So, sorry IKEA. However, you still haven’t won me over with your meatballs.
IMG_3624.JPG
— I read today that the Pumpkin Spice Latte launches on the 25th. I don’t have an in on Starbucks happenings anymore since Cameron left the company (I literally haven’t bought coffee in almost 5 years what am I going to DO) but it seems a little early to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as obsessed with pumpkin things as the next person, but everything in its due time. Summer is for lemon and caramel. Fall is for pumpkin. Okay and also caramel.

— Speaking of fall I had a moment of squee not too long ago when I realized we’d be able to take Bean to her first pumpkin patch soon! They also had costumes out at Costco today and I nearly died. SO EXCITED.

— Bean met a stuffed moose today. She was not impressed.

— I have been learning this summer, perhaps more than ever, that life is hard sometimes. Really hard. Sometimes life sucks and will hand you more than you think you can handle but somehow, the time passes, the sun goes down, and it comes up again the next morning just like it did the day before and will the day after that too. And sometimes it will rain, and thunder, and lightning will light up the sky and it will be scary for a while…but the storm always passes. It always does. And if you’re lucky, you get to see a rainbow when the clouds have lifted. And if you’re really lucky, it will look like this:
IMG_3721.JPG

A Soapbox

I have a bone to pick. I have a feeling this might not be a very popular post. I’m feeling kind of snarky today for no particular reason so whatever.

I don’t have a bone to pick with anyone in particular, really. I have a bone to pick with labeling. Don’t get me wrong, some labels are important. FDA labels. Medication labels. Warning labels. GMO labels. Those kinds of things are important.

I have a problem with parenting labels. It seems to be super important for mothers to label themselves and the kind of “parenting” they parent with. There’s so many “kinds” of parenting out there, and people have some strong feelings about all of them, and I’m here to say that it’s all bullshit. The specific thing that has my goat today (though I’m not sure why) is this whole thing called “gentle parenting” or “attachment parenting.” Mothers who adhere to this idea do things like extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, co-bathing, babywearing, not using the cry-it-out method…you get my drift. And there is nothing wrong with ANY of those things. Nothing. But why do we have to call it “gentle” parenting? So say I don’t do things like co-sleep. Does that therefore imply that I’m not a gentle parent? Or that I’m not attached to my child because I allow her to cry sometimes?

I am really tired of people carrying around this label on their shoulders like it makes them a better mother than me because I don’t let my kid sleep in the same bed. Whatever way you want to raise your child is fine. Breastfeed till age 3? Congratulations. Sleep in the same bed till they’re in kindergarten? Fine. But why does anyone feel the need to broadcast this? Why label yourself an “attachment parent?” Why label yourself anything? Here’s something I’d like to broadcast about all this, in all capital letters because I’d like you to imagine me shouting it from the top of a big soapbox:

NOBODY GIVES A FUCK HOW YOU RAISE YOUR KID.

I don’t look at a toddler and think, oh, he was raised with attachment parenting. When you get to a job interview nobody asks if your mother let you cry till you fell asleep on your own. Chances are unless you were abandoned repeatedly or fed blue meth as an infant, you’re going to turn out pretty much the same as anybody else no matter how your mother(s)/father(s) chose to parent you. My daughter is not going to go to kindergarten and seek out friends who were formula fed and form a clique that talks shit about kids who were breastfed, or vice versa. Kids don’t give a fuck about this sort of stuff, so why do we? Yeah, it’s important that YOU care and feel strongly about the choices you make, but it has no business being anyone else’s business.

Mothers need to quit wasting time worrying that other women care how they are raising their children. Because nobody does. Who has time to care? I have time to raise my child in the manner that works for me, my husband, and our daughter. My motherhood does not make me a martyr and I have nothing to prove to anyone except myself. One method of parenting is not better than the other and nobody cares that you picked one over the other. Make your choices, raise your family, and shut up.

But one more thing, while I’m at it. Since I’m already up on this soapbox. Since my follower count is already dropping anyway. Can we do away with the pictures of the baby eating with the edge of your boob in the picture? I get it, you’re proud to breastfeed. Breastfeeding is cool. But do we need shitloads of pictures of it and your boobs?

You may now return to your regularly scheduled Friday.

Formula.

I know, super engaging title. Roll with me.

I mentioned in my last post how hard it was for me to cope with the ending of my nursing career with Caroline and, further, switching from pumped breast milk to formula. I’ve been wanting to write about it for a while, because it’s something that I’ve been struggling with.

I never was one of those people in the “no formula! evil!” camp. I was a formula fed baby and so was my brother and for the most part both of us turned out just fine. Sure, obviously breast milk is #1 because, well, that’s what we’re designed for. Boobies are for milk no matter what the lingerie industry likes to have us believe. But as an alternative, it isn’t as if formula is poison. Similac has been a trusted resource for quite some time now. And I always knew that, but I had pretty much resolved myself to spending the time and energy required to breastfeed for a year–that was my optimistic goal, but I figured absolutely no less than 6 months. Well, I barely got 3 out of the deal, which upset me a lot. Part of it was pride, because I liked the fact that her nourishment came from me. Another part of it was that I liked it–I liked the quiet time, I liked the fact that it was something that only she and I could do. Obviously it started out rough, but I was proud of the fact that we had worked through the hardest moments and after 8 weeks or so we had finally turned a corner–so I thought–and it was all working out. It never really occurred to me that the reason for the colic/discomfort was potentially due to the mechanics of the breastfeeding and/or the fact that she probably just wasn’t getting as much milk as she needed and wanted. It was a nasty cycle that was feeding into itself (no pun intended) and it really didn’t become apparent until it was already in hindsight.

And of course, once we did start bottle feeding and the change was so dramatic, I had to come to terms with the fact that I probably couldn’t nurse anymore, or at least not exclusively. For a while I tried to hold on to our nighttime feeds, but when a week went by and she woke up every single hour at night we started to sense that she just wasn’t getting full. The first night I fed her a bottle, she slept for 4 hours. So there went my last hold out of night feeds. I was pretty well crushed about the whole thing. I felt like this one thing that I was designed to do wasn’t working and there wasn’t a lot I could do about it.

Then, when my supply started to dip and my anxiety peaked again, I found myself sitting at the kitchen counter with 2 ounces of pumped milk and a hungry baby who was ready to go to sleep. And I didn’t have enough milk for the night. In the cupboard was a box of trial-size formula tins that Similac had sent me in the mail before the baby was even born. We still had a couple little bottles of newborn nutrition ready-feed formula that the hospital had sent us home with when she was being supplemented at the very beginning, too. Cameron, of course, didn’t think twice. Add the formula to the milk, he said. What’s the big deal?

And what was the big deal? Well, I had to deal with the feeling that my body was failing me and Caroline. Wasn’t I supposed to continue making enough milk for her? Why was it failing at only 11 weeks? And then there was the fact that feeding her formula was never in my “plan.” Of course I knew that there was nothing wrong with formula. It’s just that it’s expensive, and I figured if I was going to be home with her, breast milk is free. But still, when I added the liquid formula to my pitiful 2 ounces of milk and fed it to her before she went to bed, I heard this voice in the back of my head and it said you are failing. I felt so miserable and like such a horrible mother–and why? I knew that formula is no big deal. And let’s face it, I didn’t have much other choice. My milk was failing, Caroline was hungry, and there was formula in the cupboard. Easy solution.

As the next week went on and I supplemented more and more and eventually finally decided to just start formula feeding her, I thought a lot about what it was that made me feel so bad about giving her formula when I knew there was nothing wrong with it. And I realized that it all went back to the medical professionals I had interacted with since the time I was pregnant. During our childbirth classes, the teacher gave us a gloss-over of the benefits of breastfeeding versus formula, and I didn’t even really think about it at the time because I was planning to breastfeed. But I realized after the fact that her little “Breast is Best” speech was actually a diatribe about the evil horrors of formula and the havoc that it will wreak on the baby’s incomplete tummy. Our first morning in the hospital when she had lost so much weight, I had two nurses arguing over me–literally–about what to do with her. The older nurse was saying, we’ll supplement her with formula, no problem. The younger nurse, a lactaction consultant, was saying no, let her pump colostrum and we’ll syringe feed it to her. And again, I didn’t even think about it at the time, but some part of me was like, why is this even a question? The baby is hungry and tiny and losing weight, just give her the formula. When we left the hospital the nurse had to go to the pediatric unit to find some formula to send home with us so we could supplement like the doctor wanted, because the labor and delivery unit can’t even keep formula in the unit or they will lose their “breast friendly” status. When I went to her doctor about her colic for the umpteenth time and mentioned that she had been refusing to nurse, the nurse told me “usually when that happens you have to force them to nurse because otherwise they will prefer a bottle.” (And that was when I was still giving her breastmilk in a bottle.) Force her to nurse? Really? Is the act of breastfeeding really more important than the overall health of the baby and the mother? Who cares HOW she is getting the breastmilk as long as she is getting it?

So it finally occurred to me: no wonder I felt bad about giving her formula. Every medical professional I had bumped into since getting pregnant had been pounding anti-formula vitriol into my brain. Aren’t we supposed to trust medical professionals? It came to me that I actually had no idea what to do with the formula and I had to look it all up on my own on Similac’s website. There were no resources given to me when I was pregnant about what to do in the event that breastfeeding didn’t work out, for whatever reason(s). I felt oddly comforted by Similac’s website. It sounded inviting, comfortable, and had lots of disclaimers like “We believe breastfeeding is best, but if you decide to supplement with formula, we have what you’ll need.” It didn’t sound judgy. I didn’t find myself at a website saying “You shouldn’t even be looking at this website. Shame on you. Get back to putting that baby to the breast.”

It’s been several weeks now since we made the switch to formula and while I have to admit my stress is way less, I do miss the nursing sometimes. But, I have to look at my sweet Bean and admit that she is so. much. better. She is growing and learning and is happy and I have to remind myself that nobody should give a shit about how I am feeding her and what I am feeding her except me and Cameron. Still, it hurts sometimes when I come across blogs written by mothers who are lamenting the fact that their baby self-weaned at 2 years and how much they miss it. I have to curb my cynicism and my desire to say “You got 2 years out of the deal. Quit yer bitchin’.” I didn’t choose to stop nursing and I didn’t want to, it was a response to necessity, but sometimes I feel like some women look at formula feeders and think we must be lazy or have taken the easy route out. It hasn’t been easy to take this road, at least for me.

So, in those moments when I get nostalgic for the nursing or feel angry with the culture of anti-formula/mommy shaming, I remind myself of my new year’s resolutions and remember to be present and positive, and I think of the positives to formula feeding. I still get my quiet time with her before bed. She still can reach out and hold my thumb while she drifts off to sleep. She SLEEPS! No more getting up every 2 hours at night–this week she slept 10 hours in a row. I can wear whatever kinds of clothes I want. (My favorite hoodie was missing me!) I can go wherever I want with her and not worry about having enough milk pumped for her or having to get home in time to make more. She can stay overnight with Meme and Papi and I don’t have to spend days pumping a freezer supply first. I can drink as much coffee and wine as I want and I can indulge in my clove cigarette vice every so often. You know, all those bad things you’re not supposed to do anyway. (Hey, I’m a writer. When I get stuck, I drink more coffee and have a cigarette. What can I say.)

Most of all…she is happy. She has been so happy since we stopped nursing and as much as it hurts me, I have to remember that her happiness and health is the most important thing. It would have been incredibly selfish of me to try to continue nursing when it obviously wasn’t the best for her, no matter what the anti-formula doctors and lactivists say. Life is a moving target and nothing is ever black and white.

Presence and Positivity

I know I’m late jumping on the New Year’s Resolution bandwagon, but that’s sort of what happens when you have a 9-week old. (Don’t even ask about the state of the Christmas decorations…) I noticed this year that there seems to be a trend toward picking a word, phrase or idea to live the year by, rather than resolving to DO a particular something. I thought this was a pretty neat idea, since the idea of accomplishing anything (including writing this blog) is pretty much a pipe dream at this point.

So I thought, perfect, a few words to keep in mind throughout the year. I can do that. And I should do that. So after much thought (usually in the shower, the only place I get much time to think) I have decided on my Words of the Year. And, not to throw out several years worth of education in the theatre, where we were told endlessly to never, ever, upon pain of death make our acting objectives “to be” verbs…they are “to be” verbs.

The words of the year are presence and positivity. I need to be more present, and I need to be more positive. Which I’m guessing you predicted from the title of this blog.

So in the category of Presence. I have a terrible proclivity toward finding myself other places than in the present. I worry about the future and dwell on the past so often that I am literally not present in my own life sometimes. This is a problem when you have a baby, because every moment is a moment of growing and learning and it is so easy to miss those by thinking about other things. I have to learn how to be present because the past and the future mean nothing to her, and she will expect me to be with her in the moment. In order to be more present in my life, I’m starting off by doing things like removing things like “mom advice” pages from my Facebook. These resources are good for some people, and I thought they would be helpful for me, but just like the pregnancy websites that drove me insane, the mom advice forums do the same. I constantly found myself reading questions from women about sleep patterns, milk supply, food sensitivities, how long can you leave out breastmilk, blah blah blah, and it started freaking me out that I was going to fuck up my daughter and how was I going to deal with this when this happens? I realized that I don’t need to worry about what her patterns will do to her in the long run. I have a baby who needs to sleep now, and if giving her a binkie to put her to sleep is going to end up in a dependence problem in the future….it’s in the future. I need to deal with that in the future, when it gets here. I need to be present NOW and pop that binkie in her mouth and get her to sleep NOW. I need to quit worrying so much about what the future will bring, because the thing is, the future doesn’t just happen all at once. It’s gradual as it turns from the future to the present. And on that topic, since I can’t control or change things that have already happened, I need to quit dwelling on stuff that happened in the past. It’s over, it happened. Whether it was positive or negative is immaterial, because there’s nothing I can do about it other than learn from it, move on, and use that knowledge when it becomes applicable.

Not being so negative all the time leads me to my other word of the year, Positivity. I can get so negative sometimes that it really ruins things. I can’t focus on the fact that Caroline just smiled at us three or four times in a row because she might have slept really poorly the night before. And that’s why the two words go hand in hand, because being negative ruins my ability to be present and enjoy the moment. The other day coming home up the hill Caroline screamed pretty much the whole way and it totally erased the memory of that morning when she and I had laid in bed and she was happy and content and just cooed and touched my face and it was just perfect. The positive ought to outweigh the negative, but it doesn’t for me sometimes because it’s way easier to remember how hard it was to get through the bad time than to enjoy the memory of a good time. Negativity, a lot like stupid people on the internet, generally talks a lot louder than positivity. (As an aside, my computer is telling me that positivity is not a real word…well, suck it computer, it is now. I’m a modern day Shakespeare. If negativity is a word why isn’t positivity?) So, my goal for embracing the positive this year is to make myself a visual reminder of the good times, so that I can look at them when I am having a negativity overflow. I plan to do this by making myself a chalkboard to hang in the baby’s room, and every day I have to write on it something good, positive or beautiful that happened. This will give me a revolving record of good stuff to physically see every day.

My hope is that I will start to embrace the present and become more positive every moment that I am in it. Caroline only recognizes life in the present, and I should learn to take a page out of her book and embrace that….for her sake, and mine, and Cameron’s.

Rough.

I want to first say thanks to all the people who responded to my last post and offered words of encouragement. It really does go a long way.

I wish I could say now that we’d hit some sort of turning point and things were getting easier day by day, but they’re not yet. And I know it’s probably too much to hope for at this point, I know I still have several more weeks before the “it gets better” part happens. Wishful thinking I suppose, because the last week has been rough.

 

I hate that I feel so out of my mind most of the time. I feel like I’m missing the good moments with my sweet girl–two weeks old already–when I fall into these black holes of exhaustion and uncertainty and who knows where I’ll end up when I finally make it out on the other side. I hate that my days feel like they are ruled by sleeping through the sunshine hours with the hopes of catching a few hours of sleep here and there and waiting for the next time that she’ll need to be fed. I hate looking at my baby in fear every time she starts squawking because what if this is the beginning of a huge meltdown?What happened to my life? What did I even do with myself two weeks ago? I feel so lost and scared sometimes.

Last night at the height of Caroline’s 6-hour refusal to sleep when she spit up all over me at 3 in the morning, I actually said out loud, “I can’t do this.” I wish I could say exactly how horrible that makes me feel as a mother, as a person.

Of course I can do it, of course I can. Not like I have much choice anyway, but of course I can. But sometimes…sometimes it feels impossible. Mostly it’s at night, when I am desperate for her to sleep even for an hour somewhere other than on my chest in the reclining chair. The night feels so much longer than the daytime and there comes a point when I just have to hand her over to Cameron and let him take her for a few hours, which makes me feel like I’ve failed because nothing I did worked. He takes her to the other room or downstairs and leaves me to get some sleep, but I can’t even sleep then because I just keep thinking about how awful I am.

I don’t mean to write this with the intention of creating a pity party or looking for sympathy. I mostly just needed to get this out somewhere, but it just so happens that I know I will receive some encouragement in return from mothers who have been where I am, and I really need that. I can only repeat myself to my bewildered (and so, so supportive) husband so many times. I cried so much last night that my body is sore. I know it gets better. I know the first 4-6 weeks are the hardest and after that it will start to turn and I will see the light at the end of the tunnel…it just still feels like that tunnel is very, very far away.

But in the meantime I’ll throw this picture in…because it makes me laugh and I really need that right now.

sillycaroline

 

Just Sayin’.

Or, The post in which I use .gifs to express myself.

So I know I’m still roughly 3 months away from becoming a real, bona fide, actual parent, but I’ve already decided to stay out of the whole “mommy wars” thing. In general I don’t think it’s helpful or constructive and generally leads to a lot of stress because people get so out of control. So I’ve decided not to ask for advice or make my opinions known online, since it usually devolves into nothing more than mud-flinging. That being said, I have to comment on something that I think all parents should have generally the same opinion on, though I know I’m probably opening up a can of worms in doing so.

It’s about breastfeeding. Ruh roh. Everybody stay calm.

sherlock breatheMore importantly, it’s about the people who think that breastfeeding in public is shameful, disgusting, immodest, wrong, or generally anything other than overall awesomeness.

sherlock eyerollThe reason I got to thinking about this is because last night I was, against my better judgement, lying in bed watching the VMAs on MTV. I don’t normally do this, because I think the music industry these days tends to be a bunch of sparkly poo and I don’t watch music videos anyway, but there was an NSYNC reunion. And it ended up only being for 110 seconds, but IT WAS AWESOME.

(And this is the place I would put a .gif of NSYNC performing….IF I COULD FIND ONE)

Anyway. The show opened up with a performance by Lady Gaga, which is awesome because she’s been really quiet recently and I’m happy to see her doing things again. I mean, she did look like the bread cat at first, but, it is Lady Gaga after all.

gagabreadcat breadcatThe performance ended with her stripping down to a seashell bra and a thong bikini. And you know what, I’m okay with that. I really don’t have a problem if you feel comfortable enough with your body that you feel like you can perform in front of millions of people with basically a naked bum. Rock on with your bad self.

What happened shortly thereafter, though, was a little more upsetting and made me throw up in my mouth a little. What I’m referencing is Miley Cyrus’s performance with Robin Thicke. She, too, went the ultra-skimpy bathing suit route, (in what looked like latex) but at one point in the performance she got down on all fours and grinded her behind on Robin Thicke’s genital region.

sherlock gdjskfdjkIt’s at this point that you’re probably wondering what on earth the VMAs and Miley Cyrus’s twerking and Lady Gaga’s butt could possibly have in common with breastfeeding. Nothing, directly. It’s more about perception and the things that we, as a society, are okay with.

See, this is the problem that I have with all of this. We (speaking on a highly generalized zeitgeist level) are totally, 100% okay with watching women parade around on stage and do a hip-gyrating, boob-shaking routine wearing little more than pasties and a thong. I’m okay with that too, usually–I mean, I think there should be a point at which we draw some kind of line, but I think if female performers want to wear that sort of stuff and dance like that, okay. I’m not a prude, and I’m not offended by that and neither, it seems, are a lot of people out there. It’s sort of the “norm” isn’t it? So, point #1, we’re okay with women dancing around nearly naked and swinging their boobs around to the beat. Gotcha.

But we’re not okay with a mother sitting in a restaurant or in a public park trying to quietly, modestly, privately breastfeed her child.

sherlock internal screamingI know I’m not the only person to see the giant, glaring, ugly double standard here, right? RIGHT? The whole concept basically makes me wish my head would explode so I don’t have to listen to it anymore because IT’S JUST THAT FUCKING RIDICULOUS.

Oh, sorry, I should have warned you that there is language in this post. If you haven’t guessed yet by reading my blog, I really couldn’t give 2 sparkly unicorn shits about censorship. (But it would be awesome if I could…)

Here’s the deal. The recurring theme I see online coming from people who are against breastfeeding in public say that it’s disgusting because…wait for it….children might see.

john are you seriousYes John, I am serious. Let that one sink in for a moment.

hahanojohnYeah, sorry, but I’m calling bullshit on that one. Because guess what. There’s quite a few things I worry about my children potentially seeing on TV or out in public. Gratuitous violence, drug use, really explicit Game of Thrones sex, (good for Mama, not good for kiddos) Miley Cyrus twerking in a latex bodysuit, etc etc. You know what I’m absolutely NOT worried about my children seeing in public? Breastfeeding. I mean, let’s get real here, if a woman is breastfeeding in public, what are we actually seeing? Not much. Maybe the top of the boob. Maybe, shocker of all shockers, a flash of nipple for a second. Hey, Janet Jackson got away with it and we didn’t seem to mind all that much. (Ooh, am I dating myself with that one?) You see a whole lot more of the whole boob/cleavage area just by walking through the mall.

Here’s another thing. There is nothing sexual about breastfeeding. Nothing. And if you think there is, you probably need to seek professional help because you might have a weird fetish. Lots of cleavage at Hooter’s is super sexual, though. There’s only one reason to dress like that other than to attract attention to one’s self (and probably get better tips–hey, I used to be a bartender, I know how it works.) Now let me cover all my bases here and say that I don’t have a problem if you want to show a little cleavage. Or a lot. It’s your body, you do what you like with it, and if you feel like that’s something you should be doing, fine. I think tasteful cleavage is pretty. Generally, I am totally chill with boobs. Boobs boobs boobs.

But here’s where the line gets squidgy. If we, as a society, are going to be okay with lots of cleavage and bikini thongs on national television and what some people see as an exploitation of the female body, we have got to stop pretending that we are offended by a woman feeding her baby in public. Have to. Because that is one of the worst double standards out there that I can think of. There are already enough double standards about women, let’s at least try to cut at least one out. Because we can’t say that we’re okay with super-sexualization on TV and not be okay with a little top boob poking out over a baby’s head in the park once in a while. For god’s sake, what if a woman was wearing a thong bikini and pasties in the park feeding her baby with a bottle? We’d be totally okay with that, wouldn’t we? So what’s the difference? Because I have yet to figure one out.

About the only thing that I can think of as far as the “children might see” logic is that in fact, we are placing our own insecurities about the female body onto our children. By saying “I don’t want my children to see that” we are really saying two things: 1) “I don’t want to see that” and “I don’t want to be bothered to explain to my children what’s going on when they ask what that woman is doing.” What’s wrong with telling our children the truth about breastfeeding? It goes something like this: Baby is hungry. Mom has food. Mom is feeding baby. Sounds simple enough to me. And if we’re going to be uncomfortable with that notion it means we’re really uncomfortable with ourselves and it’s just being projected onto mom and breastfeeding baby. And you know what? I am way more uncomfortable explaining to my child what Miley Cyrus is doing when she’s simulating sex on tv than explaining that that mom is feeding her little one just like I used to do when they were tiny.

And one more thing: let’s stop forcing women to cover up while they’re breastfeeding. If you personally want to do that for your own comfort or modesty, rock on. Go for it. Nursing covers can be super cute! But we can’t tell a woman she has to cover up, and I don’t give a rat’s tail if you’re on a plane or at a play or in a movie theater or in a restaurant or on the beach. How would you like to get inside a dark stuffy sleeping bag and eat your dinner? Or sit in the bathroom and chow down? Sounds pretty shitty to me (pun intended). So let’s quit asking our mothers to feed their babies in awkward places and positions if they don’t want to. Especially if we’re going to practically expect our female celebrities to show up on the red carpet nearly naked.

Basically, my point is this: Boobs are made for feeding babies. And that’s awesome. Boobs are also pretty and lots of people like them. That is also awesome. So it’s also okay if women want to show them off and dance around in any state of dress/undress that they want. But we can’t be okay with one of them and not okay with the other. It just does not work like that.

Just sayin’.