Saturday, 19 March 2016

Adverts Work... but give me credit

Adverts Work, opal fruits are still made to make your mouth water in my mind. Kia ora is too orangey for crows and Breast is Best. These are all facts, and companies spend more money than they should on peddling their brands (it'd be better spent on paying taxes, donating to cancer research).

Coco pops and McDonald's advertise, but that doesn't mean I feed them to my kids more than is healthy.

But when I chose to formula feed my babies? The adverts with the fuzzy focus, women living in tidy homes, with giggling bundles were far from my mind.

I needed to feed E. My colostrum wasn't enough and when I had to be taken to theatre and allowed to recover during my 15 minute obs, he was given formula by a midwife. Not because she had seen adverts but because he was 12 hours old and was ready for a meal.

E couldn't latch. I turned myself inside out, desperate to find help to get it all to work. For it to be as easy as the woman in Parent craft said (and unquote, 'there is not a single reason why a woman cannot breastfeed'). I called local charities, I hired a pump direct from medela. I was desperate not to use formula. Because the Breast is Best message was so powerful. Waaaaay more powerful than any subtle follow-on milk ads.

I am not alone in this feeling. The story is echoed from many mums who tried their hardest to provide the best start for their baby. I pumped for 8 weeks to avoid the shame of formula feeding. 8 weeks, of pumping while E still had eczema, colic, cradle cap and got a cold. I was brilliant at producing milk by the way. My proudest time!

After having N, he latched on and had read the book. He was amazing at breastfeeding. Sadly, I couldn't hack it; night 4, after 2 hours feeding, I started to cry and MrB made up a bottle and took over. He didn't do it because of adverts, he did it because he loved us, and wanted to protect me. I'm crying as I write this.

It is insulting to women, to insinuate that formula advertising affects the actions of women feeding their babies.

Feeding your baby is the most primal feeling I have ever experienced. Nothing matters more than them having the best. The absolute best. If if involves hours in the dark, allowing a health professional to manhandle your boob to help latching, hours of hoping, wondering why you failed.

It isn't adverts. It's making sure that baby gets fed. Regardless of oher circumstances, pnd, lack of milk, poor latching and of course ZERO support.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Pain, Shame and Punishment

So MrB accidentally poked me in the eye as we were saying goodnight (not a euphemism). I got really angry and then cried.

I then realised that I feel shame and anger, evert time I get hurt, toe stubbing, head knocking, banged shin. The pain is accompanied by an emotional reaction. Shame, and then anger.

I think that the shame and anger are related to physical punishment as a child. I did something that was 'naughty' and I was punished. I have a strong moral compass, I'm quite black and white, so I often felt like it was unjust. So I'd feel angry. But, of course, that was just another emotion that went in the 'feelings vault'. Except that anger can be expressed, slamming cupboard doors when I hit my forehead with them my accident. Shouting, and ashamedly, smacking my brothers and sisters (I'm sorry, those times were mislead, and in was a child myself, in charge of 5 younger children).

I'm not proud of my anger and the history. But it has taught me not to make those mistakes again. 

Monday, 7 March 2016

Getting my Chakra Sorted!

I'd like to start by saying that I have the flexibility of a lolly stick. So I am not going to be instagramming pics of myself working out as the sun rises in the morning. Now you are safe in that knowledge, I shall begin!

I tried out pilates about 10 years ago, I fancied it and dropped in a couple of times. It clicked with me, growing up with a negative perception of my body taught me to always suck my tummy in. So I was used to the lateral breathing thing.

Then, last summer, I noticed a sign that read 'pilates, 9-10' which also happened to be the time that the boys often went to Grandma and Grandad's house. So I gave it a bash!

I loved it, the classes are full of different people, there is no pressure to wear the right thing, be skinny (or young!).  Then in stopped going, because I literally was so busy in December that I couldn't get time at all!

So in tried yoga, I knew nothing, except 'Namaste' and a few poses that I'd picked up from waybuloo and cosmic kids. I thought I'd hate yoga, I'd never fancied it, because it meant I had to try something new by just giving it a go. And that it my LEAST preferred learning style because I was mocked by an insensitive mother and stepdad when I was growing up (in have no idea how i coped with chemistry lab sessions...hours of just doing and trying...well I didn't really cope!!).

So, since I went to my first yoga class it has become and revelation. The original hatha teacher left the studio, but his classes have been taken over by other teachers. One of whom is so fab that I want to do a late shift every Friday so I can go before work! And the other is so grounded and brilliant at encouraging self-caring practise.

So I have committed £42 a month to Chakra Studio, because:
it (yoga and pilates) makes me feel good
It's cheaper than therapy
It helps me with my anxiety aches and pains
It teaches me to relax
It encourages me to just have a go. To want to develop. I'm excited about classes!

£42 sounds steep, yeah? Not really, considering it's for unlimited classes and it will mean I make a bigger effort to ask for babysitting.

Thanks for reading. If you have never tried, I really recommend it!