- I'm going to go dorky on you and basically reference the whole recent feed of one blog in particular: Common Places, by my friend Rachel. She's written so many intriguing and parenting-relevant posts lately that I keep several windows of hers open, intending to write some thoughtful response to them all, and before I know it, she's added another. So here's my attempt to at least pass them along so you can enjoy them, too:
- "Mothers' Day": On the challenges of this holiday for the childless or those suffering loss. Rachel is a single woman who comes up against the Christian church's sometimes flailing inabilities to adequately support and value single women and/or those who are not mothers. I have my own reasons to dislike Mother's Day, from a rather shallow wariness of any invented holiday that mostly benefits Hallmark and my own lack of sentimentality concerning cards and flowers, to a somewhat deeper sense of disturbance that such a holiday patronizes women and puts them in their place: sort of an "Aw, what a sweet widdle mommy you are. Here, have a rose. Now make me some dinner." I feel like a little bit of an impostor/hypocrite now that I am a mother and supposedly profiting from such a day. Reading quotes like — "…we need to break down the distinction between mothers and non-mothers and collectively be the village that it takes to raise our children. What I want for Mother's Day is a Church in which women with children are not left feeling isolated and overwhelmed, and women without children are not left feeling excluded or uninvolved. Jill Lepore points out the intriguingly recent advent of the notion that some adults are 'parents' and others are not. Retrieving a culture of collective responsibility for children may be a lost cause in society at large, where reliable birth control and the marginalization of families has reduced the raising of children to an expensive hobby, but in our churches perhaps it is not too late to embrace the idea that we are all parents, whether we have children 'of our own' or not." — makes me say, "Yes, this." Mother's Day seems antithetical (to me) of such a goal. (See also my fondness for allomothers, which increases every time I see my son attach to a non-parent who loves him and helps in the raising of him.)
- "Further on the parenthood of all believers": "I can't do justice to Amy Laura's exact words, but it was something to the effect that not only will The Revolution not be televised, it will be the very thing we do while/by taking care of our kids and households, not the thing we must put those concerns aside in order to pursue. …must we really choose between t-ball and revolution? Maybe caring for children is the epitome, rather than the antithesis, of the revolution to which we're called. Maybe revolution starts at home. …In any event, any revolution that has no place for children is a revolution that is not worth being a part of." I mean, seriously, why aren't you all reading Rachel's blog?
- "The ghettoization of childhood: a rant": On the astonishing fact that both children and adults are people.
- "Poetry for Mother's Day": I dare you to read "The Lanyard" by Billy Collins and not cry.
- I'm not even joking when I say there are other posts I could reference here, so click on over and enjoy.
- Henry Louis Granju, son of attachment parenting advocate Katie Alison Granju, died after a drug overdose and beating. When he still seemed to be making a tough recovery, this topic brought up a lot of issues in the blogosphere, such as this article at BlogHer by Mir Kamin, about drug addiction and how to respond as a parent, and whether the parent of a drug addict is allowed to grieve (!) — as well as about the secrets we keep, as bloggers and as parents (as Katie Alison Granju's own post at Babble explores), when we want to protect the uglier and harsher truths in our lives. When this beautiful young man succumbed to his injuries and died, well…the breath went out of me. I think Carl Snow's song "In Lieu of Flowers" (listen and weep), which he wrote for Henry, says best the response we should have to Katie's family and to all those who are struggling right now with loss of one kind or another. My heart goes out to the Granjus in their grief. No one should ever have to lose a child. I'm hoping Henry's death leads to many conversations and suggestions for how to approach drug use as it relates to our children — is there a way the loss of Henry will be the saving of some other parent's precious child?
- "Makeover" at Mommies Savings: Have you heard of the Hair for Oil Spills program? Very interesting, if a little squicky. Makes me want to donate, since the hair doesn't have to be in great condition (i.e., mine's not), unlike some of the wig-donating programs.
- "Penile adhesions" at Kozy Konversations: Ouch! Doesn't sound so cozy, does it? ;) Penile adhesions are an increasingly common side effect of infant male circumcision — Kelley gives some data that lends another strike against routine circumcising, and includes lots of helpful information if your baby is circumcised and experiencing this painful condition.
- "How Babies Suck While Nursing: New Information," from Dirty Diaper Laundry (referencing the full article in New Scientist): New ultrasounds suggest babies create a vacuum to extract milk rather than compressing the breast tissue. This could help understand why some babies don't do as well at getting out the milk, and a suck test could potentially help mother-baby dyads who are having trouble breastfeeding by pinpointing the problem.
- Speaking of ultrasounds but prenatal ones, looks like I have company in forgoing them. Both Authentic Parenting and Baby Dust Diaries link to blogs (are you allowed to link to other link lists in a link list? well, I'm doing it!) that point out the negative side effects of in-utero ultrasounds: a Discovery Channel video that shows a baby crying in utero during an ultrasound from Informed Parenting, and "I just say no to ultrasounds for my unborn babies" from Parenting Freedom. I felt chastised by family and misunderstood by friends when we said we were not having any ultrasounds during pregnancy for non-medical purposes (and we didn't end up needing any for medical reasons, which would be a completely valid use of this diagnostic tool). What was your experience? If you had ultrasounds in previous pregnancies, do these findings change your intention to have non-medically necessary ultrasounds in the future?
- Thanks to Paige from the Baby Dust Diaries, I now have located my public reader feed. If you want to read along with my recommended articles throughout the week, you can follow it here:
Paige is all full of helpful blogging tutorials. Check out her Part 1 and Part 2 of using FeedBurner to maximize your blog; I'm still putting all those advanced goodies into place. And join with me in encouraging her to write us a Google Reader tutorial or seven.
- Speaking of tutorials at LaurenWayne.com, Tom, aka Code Name: Papa aka the other half to Code Name: Mama, has given WordPress users a wonderful way to pass on link love to your commenters by installing the DoFollow plug-in. Stay tuned for a Blogger edition once I figure it out myself!
- Megan of Purple Dancing Dahlias has a helpful guest post on Code Name: Mama that gives "6 Ideas for Eating Wholesome Foods Without Breaking the Bank." We can all use that! Here's to our garden this summer!
- "No Jabs, Please," an anonymous guest post at Raising My Boychick: "The experience of making an unpopular decision" is how Arwyn describes choosing not to vaccinate from this anonymous guest poster. This person seriously sounds like me, including my own vacillation about whether or not to remain silent and anonymous myself on the issue.
- "Let's hear it for the multilingual kids!": The bilingual carnival is up at Mummy do that! I love the camaraderie that comes from hearing the struggles and successes of other families raising their children multilingually. My contribution was a cheater's guide to bilingual songs, one of the many fine posts in the cheater's series.
- "Pelvic Floor Party: Kegels are NOT invited" at Mama Sweat (via PhDinParenting): I am all astonishment. Skip the kegels, says fitness guru Katy Bowman, and concentrate on daily squats instead.
- "What to Do When the Ladies Have Left the Building" from Resourceful Mommy: A breastfeeding-supportive, body-image-respectful, and commonsense approach to restoring your self-confidence if breastfeeding has permanently deflated your bewbies (after weaning). "I'm talking about the women who at twenty-five are wearing a D cup with a cup that overfloweth and at thirty after nursing two children are wearing a B cup with extra padding and room to carry tissues and loose change." And I know I didn't just happen across this article, so I'm sorry whoever it is I owe a "via" to!
- Same with whoever turned me on to The Snyder 5's 500 Pound Declutter Challenge, which you can follow along with here. (Seriously, if you're a "via," let me know and I'll add you!) I need inspiration to sort through my own piles o' junk. I believe FlyLady's precept that "you can't organize clutter," and I am determined to get rid of it!
- Submissions for the Healthy Birth Blog Carnival #6 at Science & Sensibility are due Friday, June 11. The topic this time is keeping moms and babies together after birth.
- For a little personal promotion, I direct you to some off-Hobo Mama links:
- I reviewed the DVD of Caterina and Her Baby Ballerinas, which you might want to read if you are personally in need of a ballet class at home (less embarrassing and can be just as effective if you don't want to join a real class yet) or if you're interested in enrolling your kids in ballet.
- I reviewed the romance novel A Precious Jewel, by Mary Balogh, which you might want to read if you're interested in romantic stories about brothels and the men who visit them. Ha ha! Oh, also, if you want to read my thoughts on defying genre conventions in your fiction writing.
- I have two ongoing giveaways: SteamPotVille, by Steve Ouch, a very fun book; and a Smart Mom Jewelry Teething Bling necklace from Posh Baby Boutique, perfect for nursing or teething or just looking stylish with a piece of jewelry that's safe for your baby to chew and pull at.
- Finally, stay tuned for Tuesday's Carnival of Natural Parenting! We're bringing you amazing posts celebrating playing outside, from personal experiences to concrete advice, and from the forests to the seas to the good old backyard. You'll be inspired to stop reading and go outdoors. In fact, maybe you should do that now!
Thanks for letting me join your Sunday Surf, Authentic Parenting & Baby Dust Diaries! Happy reading to everyone this week!