10 Ways That C-Sections and Vaginal Births Are Exactly The Same

MommyMaxBenSnuggle

Disclaimer:  If I use the word "vagina" in the title of a post, consider that your warning about skipping this one if you yourself do not own a vagina.   For many women, birth either involves an actual human getting pushed out of your vagina, or an actual human getting pulled from your womb through an honest to goodness operation.  That you are most likely awake for. Yes, babies are "supposed" to be born through the appropriate exit door.  I am well aware of the statistics that show how care providers coerce women into c-sections, and urge complacency so that women do not advocate for themselves as they birth.  Not every woman who has a c-section "needs" one, regardless of what your

5 Ways To Improve Elementary School

KingOfDay1

Dear School District, I know that it's only been a week since my son started Kindergarten, but I was hoping to share a few ideas with you.  Unlike those helicopter parents who elbow their way into the principal's office on Day 3 to give "constructive feedback", I wanted to make sure that I really understood how things worked before reaching out to you.  It's Day 7, and as a seasoned public school veteran now, I'm hoping that my outline of district-wide improvements will be well-received. Here are a few important ways that you can improve the public elementary school experience for all of the families in our community: 1.  Mandatory public school for toddlers.  So here's the thing.

Dear New Kindergarten Mom

MaxMommyFence

Dear New Kindergarten Mom, This morning, I bundled my boys into the stroller and went out for one last impromptu morning walk. Max will be starting kindergarten next week, and the days spent hanging out in our jammies and meandering to the nearest park or Starbucks are almost over. My best friend texted me a picture of her own 5-year-old a few minutes later, standing in front of his new elementary school. "How did we get here?!" I texted back. It was yesterday that we were pregnant together. Visiting the fire station with toddlers together. Welcoming second babies together. "How did we get here?!" Well, Mama, I want you to take a break from packing lunches and tucking pencils into

30 Ways Breastfeeding and Formula-Feeding Are Exactly The Same

Formula

Can I tell you a secret? I'm a little afraid of the Internet this week.  August 1st -7th is World Breastfeeding Week, and as a breastfeeding mom, I'm ready to shout my success from the proverbial Internet rooftops.  I've nursed Ben for 14 months, and I have been pretty vocal about how I've overcome some nasty hurdles so that I could breastfeed him. But I am also a former formula-feeding mom.  Max grew strong and healthy with formula, and I remember how it felt to see so many moms high-fiving each other during World Breastfeeding Week.  Of course I was thrilled for them, but I was heartbroken for myself.  I felt ostracized by their celebrations, and became increasingly fragile and

It Won’t Get Better

FenceBFKisscolor

A newborn's cry is unmistakable. The hearty, bleating squawk of a tiny human being announcing their arrival, is a sound that etches itself into the cellular memory of a parent.  My youngest has a cry that is 14 months older than his first heartbreaking shrills once were, and yet.... When you peeked around the corner of the breastfeeding center the other day, I already knew you were there.  Your daughter, barely on the cusp of her one-week birthday, was sharing news of the dawn of your motherhood in the way that only babies can.  She announced your arrival with a primal yell...the one that sends mothers everywhere right back to the fog of those first unpredictable weeks. I stood there with

Undocumented Refugees

I want you to imagine that you have just put your ten year old daughter on a bus, bound for sleep-away camp. You've packed her some snacks for the ride.  You've covered her in kisses and sent hearty prayers towards the sky, hoping that your love will build an armor that shields her from anything that could happen when you're not there to help her. You tell yourself that this is the right decision.  She's ready.  You need to learn to let go.  It is for her own good, for her own growth. And then you watch the bus drive away. Your daughter's bus arrived in San Diego this morning, and it was not met by a welcoming, kind-faced group of adults.  Her bus was welcomed by angry, chanting,

Damn You, Stitch Fix!

StitchFix Jeans

I am a sucker for clothes.  Lots of clothes.  I'm sort of a collector/hoarder/treasure-hunter when it comes to putting outfits together.  I find excuses to cruise around the mall when Ben is napping peacefully in the stroller (it counts as exercise!).  I obsess about buying multiples of things that I love (Old Navy tank tops to go under everything, every single pair of American Eagle super soft skinny jeans that I can possibly find).  But as much as I binge on clothing, I end up wearing the same.damn.thing every single day.  Tank top and maxi skirt.  Tank top and jeans, maybe a flowy cardigan.  Favorite earrings.  Wet ponytail.  Bam.  Mascara on a good day. The 25 year old me would kick