*Sandberg!* and other things I got from work this week.

Self-Portrait. I call it, ‘Keeping Shit Together’

>clink!<

Here’s to my first full out-of-the-home work week (ok, 80% out-of-the-home) in three years.

Do I have observations? Yes, I have observations. Somewhere. Probably. Behind my droopy eyelids. Under the piles and piles of house mess I’m responsible for.

Obviously, there are pros and cons of working from home and working from an office.

But it’s the latter that’s made me go, Sandberg! .at least three or four times a day.

Sandberg, as in Sheryl Sandberg. Goddess of Facebook. Leader of Lean In. Mother of… at least one.

Sandberg.

Let’s take pumping. If breastfeeding is a beautiful, natural, most basic act of a mother sustaining her child, pumping is the ‘do I look like a cow in this?’ version.

Yes, honey, you look like a cow with two plastic cups at your breasts squeezing every drop of a substance that falls under the category of ‘bodily fluid’ into a container with bright yellow milliliter markings up the side.

Then you’re meant to button up, get back to your desk and analyze TPS reports.

Sandberg!

And in some cases, you may, uh, be doing that in an executive office.

That isn’t your own.

HowEVER, Sheryl (and Marissa, for that matter) – you never mentioned the commute! Well, not the traffic part or the crazy drivers. But the QUIET. The sweet sweet sound of silence in the form of engine revving and wheels rotating and you know what? I don’t even know what else goes on because in my head, there are just trees blowing in the wind and beautiful blue skies overhead and the occasional cussing out the guy in front of me, but even that is adult conversation.

I will say this for Sandberg… I may not have your money or stature, but at least I have a family-friendly culture backing me. And some decent female role models to talk to, within a relative arm’s reach.

It’s going to be hectic and insane and every breath seems as delicate as a spiderweb cliche, holding everything together. For now. (Until I think of a better cliche).

I hope your American female colleagues can say the same soon enough.

New game: Are You Mom Enough?

At least we can gain something from the silly attempt at provocation (I guess it worked actually) that TIME magazine gave us this week with its Are You Mom Enough? cover.

Am I mom enough to breastfeed a grown boy on the cover of a national magazine? No. I am mom enough to give him cause for therapy, but not THAT mom enough.

Anyway, welcome to the Are You Mom Enough game! Please add your own AYME challenges in the comments.

  • AYME to be literally shat on this morning, clean up baby, her clothes, the floor, and forget about yourself until later?
  • AYME to pee standing up to avoid the pee on the toilet seat while your son stands in front of you with his pants down because he doesn’t want to pick them up until you do?
  • AYME to use one hand to block your daughter from crawling between her brother’s legs while he’s bent, ass up, and you’re hunched over wiping his bum?
  • AYME to understand why all my examples have to do with potty???

Go…

Bebe update: Thirteen months.


Welcome to being over the hill, babyhood-style.

We started the month, Bebe, with you taking me on a nostalgic trip to the college days, as you went through some kind of boob-spurt and practically tore my shirt off any time you wanted to nurse. It was like as soon as the clock turned one-year, you had a surge of assertiveness I hadn’t seen before.

You know what you wanted, and you wanted milk. Or comfort. Or dominance. I’m not sure. And for the first half of the month, I was too taken aback to ask you.

But then something happened. Something I don’t wish on any little baby or parent.

You contracted… this.

And it sucked.

But unfortunately, you didn’t. You ceased all sucking activity one day. No more pacifier, no more boob. I held out for the disease to pass, and pumped as a placeholder. But you never came back.

I tried every day since and you haven’t come back.

It’s over a week now, and you won’t have it, and I guess we’re done, B. I really actually enjoyed nursing you. I was debating weaning for a few weeks back there, but as soon as you stopped I knew I hadn’t really been ready. It was different with your brother… I think we were both secretly relieved and just didn’t tell each other. But you – we had something really special.

Now it seems you stopped from the pain, struggled, and now you’ve moved on.

And, moving on, you’ve begun taking steps towards steps. Somehow, this month, you’ve taken first independent steps on couches… Hey, I get it, we have really comfortable couches.

But you do love walking, holding on to whatever.

But perhaps, to make up for the lost mama milky moments, you’ve given me something else… your gift of gab. Today I asked you if you wanted more cereal, and you shook your head ‘no,’ and then I asked if you’d like water, and you nodded your head ‘yes.’

You call my name, you show me what you want, you tell me you want more. You try a new word on your tongue and look around for approval.

You read a goodnight story with me, you communicate your loves, wants, hates, curiosities.

And so we begin, Bebe. The rite of all mamas and bebes everywhere, from God to Eve, Yocheved to Miriam, my mother to me.

The mother-daughter talkfest.

 

 

Bebe update: Ten months.

Hello little nuzzle.

This month felt really long. Maybe it’s because I’ve been working my bum off at my job. Maybe because, as such, I’ve been doing better at appreciating every single day I get to spend with you when you guys come home from gan. Maybe it’s because you’re doing so many new things. But here you are, ten months.

One of the first things I noticed this month: You now talk. Or maybe the word is communicate. One day you just kept saying ‘ma ma ma ma’ and, to be frank, looking at my boobs. You asked me to be nursed. Girlie! And then you Pavlov-dogged me into picking you up, hugging you, feeding you, or just looking at you when you say it. I think you’re teaching us how to talk. You next moved on to abba. Can’t wait till you decide how the hell you’ll pronounce your brother’s name…

Luckily, it goes both ways – you tell us, and we tell you. Namely, ‘no.’ You’re starting to understand it. Not that I have to say it often, to be honest. But why oh why do you constantly go for the toilet bowl?

And, as of today, I’m going pump-free. With the helpful words of my metapelet, I choose not to look at that as the beginning of the end of our nursing, but instead, just focusing on me and you time. To celebrate, I breastfed you in a field today. Literally.

You started experimenting with standing on your own (but I’m not going to label you a raging feminist yet). Walking along your track of things to hold on to. Meanwhile, when I explained to your brother that you’ll be walking soon, he looked at me and looked at you and said NO. He’s threatened by you, B. Remember that when you’re older and you have male bosses someday.

But it’s made up for when you two ‘play’ together. That’s the best. And it keeps getting better. Every month that goes by, there’s more depth to your relationship. It’s amazing and it’s precious. Nothing like a brother and sister.

Keep it forever.

Baby boy boob-envy.

Thought: would ‘feminism for guys’ just be called… chauvinism?

Lately my son has taken an interest in my, uh, baby-feeders (Ima, boobs!) and so I indulge him in thinking, yes, you too can ‘feed’ Baby Dora. It gets complicated when he wants to feed Bebe though.

But today, he wanted to take it a step further. He wanted to help me pump, and then he wanted to pump for himself.

We gotta try anything once, right?

The best is he got frustrated when he didn’t see any milk come out – but I’m resting assured that’s a good thing.

P.S. – the milk in the picture was leftover from me. My son is not a lactating human miracle.

What’s funny to a two-year-old.

Didn’t think he’d even get this joke, nevermind find it funny.

But there we were. Me, pouring coffee for the huz and I, and what we call coffee, but is actually chocolate milk, for Koala.

“Look, Koala - (I point to each cup) – for Abba, for Mama, for Koala… (I point to my boob) for Bebe.”

This was hilarious, and lead to a sequence of discussing that while the rest of us are eating pasta/drinking water/eating an apple – Bebe never does those things and it’s terribly silly to even suggest it.

By the way, what’s not funny to a two-year-old is daring to suggest that where he is drinking his ‘coffee’ is ridiculous.

Good bras, good nursing.

Since having children, I have been on a journey. It’s not quite spiritual, but certainly challenging.

It’s about… finding the best nursing bras. Seriously, what’s the deal? At least half the women in this country breastfeed, yet it’s fairly difficult to find good quality nursing bras here. Forget the malls – Intima and the like have poor selection or questionable quality. And why are they so reluctant to fit you for size? And I don’t bother with the baby stores; a wireless paper-thin bra that comes stuffed in a tiny paper envelope isn’t for me. Even if costs 8548563542 NIS less.

I considered going all out Amazon, but who orders their intimates without trying them on?

So on to the United States of Shopping. Sure, breastfeeding isn’t as common, but surely for the right price I could find quality… But, no. I’ve bought at least six there and they’ve all gone to crap too quickly.

Sometimes the answers in a journey are found where you first started it. Before I tried all that, I had find good bras in Israel, through the nursing shopping website Hanaka Tova (Hebrew, but a lil’ Google Translate should do the trick, plus the owner is a native English speaker). I heard about it through Rachelle Oseran’s birth class before having my first, and gave her a call after he was born and realized, holy crap, there’s a reason they make special bras for these things!

Anyway, I did buy a bunch of excellent quality and fairly priced bras from there, but for some reason afterwards thought I could just get a whole bunch more elsewhere as backup.

This time, I returned to Hanaka Tova and I highly recommend going that route. You can get everything delivered after ordering online, or you can contact Arielle, the site owner and bra wonder, to ask about fitting. They’ve also got pumps, pads, and all kinds of accessories. I also recommend this nursing cover for the show-it-all shy.

Ladies, here’s to happy nursing… and supporting our boobs.