Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Yet another new and super awesome blog!!

Slowly but surely, these queer parenting blogs are coming out of the woodwork!! And I'm SO FRICKIN THRILLED.

We Are Fambly (misspelling intentional).

I like this one A LOT. I like it ALOT too.

Article commentary

Recently, an article entitled "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior" has made the rounds on facebook.

It has sparked a LOT of controversy about a variety of parenting topics, everything from authoritarian parenting, finding a balance, addressing racism (several commentors posted about how her belittling of her husband is abusive and race based)to Chinese nationalism, to everything in between.

My personal take on the article is two fold. First, I think she is exagerating somewhat. Taken within a North American context (where this woman and her family are living, and where she herself was raised) it's a little bit absurd.

Secondly, the title of the article further undermines all mother's abilities to exist peacefully, and further underlines the intense damage patriarchy has had on the collective female psyche. Not only does it pit every mother to mother, but also culture to culture, race to race. We know that by pitting people against each other and allowing derogatory comments to exist that we are weakening our entire culture, and by culture I mean human culture.

Motherhood is NOT a race, motherhood is about many many different things, all self-described by the women who bear that title. As a future mother, motherhood for me is about love, respect, caring, overcoming obstacles, sharing, and above all, Joy. If there is no Joy is motherhood, then it's not my kids who are doing something wrong, my perspective is wrong. I'm also not saying that Joy needs to be present ever second of every day, and if you think it does you need to go and spend some time over at Shit My Kids Ruined.

I am well aware of the need to push my kids to be the best they can be, but screaming at them day and night is equally unhealthy for their souls as it is for mine.

Some of the comments posted dealt with the high rate of suicide amongst Asian kids, and here, while others merely commented on the detrimental affects of authoritative parenting.

While I think addressing cultural child rearing differences are important, doing it in a manner that is respectful and thoughtful is MOST important.

Entrenched racism, homophobia and I'm-a-better-parent-than-you-for-xyz will not help anyone, especially the people we are trying so hard to raise to be good, hard working citizens.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Preconception: tooling in the garden

J found this amazing book in the library written by a naturopathic doctor in Toronto, and it's called The Hormone Diet. She's read it at least a half dozen times, and has found new energy inside of herself. The plan isn't just for weight loss, it's about rebalancing your hormones to make sure they work properly. My hormones are screwed, I have hair growing on my face which makes me think my progesterone and/or testosterone is totally out of whack. According to the book my stomach is not acidic enough, and my constant sugar cravings are a result of over-insulin production.

Ok, I can deal with that. So what does this mean for me? Well, not a whole heck-of a lot, since I'm under the care of a lovely ND whose got me mostly sorted out to begin with. I now drink hot lemon tea (no sugar) in the morning before I take my high dose probiotics and fish oil.

How does this affect the baby? Where do I even start?? Babies grow through a complicated network of hormonal relationships. Out-of-whack hormones can mean conception difficulties, miscarriage, preterm labour (and working in the NICU I am going to be a total freak show between 24-32 weeks anyways), and a whole host of other things.

We both strongly believe that it's important to prepare our bodies before we start to conceive. Good nutrition, change in lifestyle, adequate sleep, proper stress control, activity and exercise and just plain FUN is in the works! We are decreasing our sugar intake and increasing our leafy-green-veggies intake. There are delicious protein shakes for breakfast (which I was already drinking anyways to get through my 5am mornings!) and yummy soup for lunch.

I'm also reading a book, titled Slow Death by Rubber Ducky, which is a discussion of all the toxic chemicals that are released by household products. Most of them are hormone disruptors, or change our genetic material, meaning we PASS ON the damage to the next generation. Scary!! I don't think vaccines have anything to do with autism rates, rather I think that the 4 generations of hormone disruptors and toxic chemicals that have leached into our bodies are far more responsible.

It's also a very important step as we try to navigate the increasingly dicey waters of toy recalls and lead poisoning in babies.

Shortly after meeting J, I convinced her to give up tampons forever and switch to the Diva Cup. Have never looked back! We switched all of our personal care products to non-chemical based ingredients. I got my allergies checked out and stopped eating everything that makes me sick (with several relapses because I have sugar impulse control issues!). We started eating more foods produced close to home. I've given up eating peppers between October and July, because they're not in season and they are one of the heaviest sprayed crops. Organic peppers are cost prohibitive ($5/lb!). We are currently trying to find a balance between school, work, finances, Guiding, friends, family and downtime. There are some heavy handed changes coming up.

Also, in terms of pre-conception, we are physically cleaning out our house. We have to move everything out of my office (to become the baby's room) and into J's office. Both of us being water signs, we tend to hang on to more stuff than we actually need. I keep thinking "if our house burned down, what would I miss?", and then try to whittle it down from there. 90% of the stuff in my office I would not miss, although some of it is important.

It's just the little things, getting used to giving up time and space in order to accommodate a new tiny human, things we happily do!