Thursday, September 23, 2010

Advocacy is not condescending.

By now, most of you have heard that the makers of Similac have recalled many of their containers of powdered baby formula because it contained beetle parts that were making babies sick. This has caused a series of condescending remarks from breastfeeding supporters over various social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Let me be clear; being thankful you breastfeed and are not affected is NOT condescending. I'm strictly referring to things like saying "that's what you get when you give your kid crap from a can" or insinuating that parents brought this on themselves. No, they didn't.

To them I say, shut up and show some respect! Yes, the company is awful. They give out unwanted samples timed to coincide with major growth spurts to undermine breastfeeding. They violate the WHO code at every turn. But, it isn't them who is most affected by this recall. Its the babies who use their formula and the parents of those babies. Who have, by choice or necessity, chosen a different way to feed their infants. And now they find out that choice could make their baby sick. Some of them are finding out the formula they have can't be used and now can't figure out what how they are going to afford food for their babies before the company begins dolling out refunds.

And all you can do is make jokes about how your breastmilk is bug free? These families are hurt by this recall. Some may already feel guilty that they couldn't breastfeed and had to use formula. Do you really think making them feel worse supports breastfeeding? Nobody is worried more about this recall than these parents. So let's kick them while they're down, shall we?

Yes, breastmilk will never be recalled. Yes, its best for a baby to be exclusively fed. Its also best for every family to have a home of their own, be independently wealthy, and to have a smaller carbon footprint. Best, unfortunately, doesn't always happen. Instead of taking the "I'm better than you because I breastfeed my kid," route let's lobby for more women to donate their breastmilk to milk banks. If that happened, providing baby's who aren't breastfed with donor milk wouldn't be cost prohibitive. Let's educate women on overcoming basic nursing problems so formula isn't so appealing in times of trouble. Work to make formula the 4th choice is should be (breastfeeding from mom, pumped milk from mom, donor breastmilk, formula) instead of the second.

But, before we can do any of that and be taken seriously, we have to stop acting like we're the catty cliques in high school. We're mothers and women. We're powerful. Our voices have weight to them. Let's use them for the greater good, shall we?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Autumnal Bliss, or something like that...

Autumn is fast approaching. The best time of year, at least in our family! Cooler weather means we get to bring out the hoodies. The favorite weather is when we can comfortably wear a hoodie, jeans...and flip flops. The air is warm, but with a nice crispness to it. September to November is our busy time. One of the best things about homeschooling (for us) is that we can plan our fall activities and travels without worrying about the hassle of pulling A-L out of school.

I found an ad on Craigslist for organic apples from a local farm. Bruised ones for making applesauce and cider are only $3 a bushel. I plan on getting at least a bushel of those and a bushel of non bruised ones for making pies, drying into apple chips, etc. There will be lots of apple-y goodness for us this fall!

At the end of the month is River City Roundup. I love going and letting the kids see the farm animals, play in the kids area, etc. And I love all the cooking demonstrations, crafting displays...and seeing the animals. Every year someone is selling lab puppies. And every year I have to remind myself that I don't really care for labs. Because I do care for puppies. This year, however, I'm hoping someone is there showing Silkie chickens. And looking to sell them after the show. Because I want a Silkie so bad. Cute little puffballs! And hubby doesn't care about the chickens because they are the easiest pets ever.

Then comes mine and hubbys anniversary. The end of September is ten years since we began dating. The beginning of October is seven years of marriage. Our celebrations will not be together, however. He's going to a 49ers game at the end of this month with his brother and cousins. I'm going with my little sister to Colorado to a Hanson concert at the beginning of October. Together we'll have dinner and take a long drive to nowhere. Its been our favorite thing to do for 10 years, why change it now?

October. Lots of pumpkin carving, costume planning/making, backyard bonfires, walks outside, playing in leaves, and going for drives. We soak up as many autumn days as we can. Since we took a long camping trip in the spring, we won't be taking one this fall. I plan to borrow a tent from a friend and have some backyard campouts. Which we can do I n fall and not get eaten to death by bugs!

I'm working on getting my laptop adapter ordered. So expect more posts on our autumn adventures complete with pictures! First up will be adventures in canning!