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What do Mother’s need? The keys to Successful Breastfeeding #1


 
• Love
• Knowing What You Have
• Freedom
• Mother-Baby Couple
• Healing
 
1 Corinthians 13:13
 
“ . . . For there are these three things that endure:

Faith, Hope, and Love. but the greatest of these is Love.”
 
LOVE
 
How are you with the love that you have in your life and the love that you have in your heart and the love that you have for your child, the love you have for yourself? Do you love God, the Goddess; do you worship and feel loved and perfectly made by your Creator?
 
Does it (love) feel comfortable and good and unblocked? When you have a baby love comes up because for most of us we fall in love with our babies in a way that we could not know was possible. Maternal love is different, especially for a small infant. Breastfeeding your baby is one way that you can love your baby. Not the only way, but one way and a very important way that establishes the primary relationship that child will have with the world and everyone in it.

Breastfeeding triggers all sorts of feelings, and hormones and chemicals that allow us to extend the connection and bond that starts when you make love and a little one is conceived, grows during pregnancy and extends through the first few years of life.
 
In some respects, breastfeeding is a continuation of pregnancy and NOT breastfeeding aborts a relationship between you and that, which is part of you and cannot exist independently of you for quite some time. To be a mammal, live birth and warm milk is something we share with many species in the animal kingdom. We can learn a lot from watching them.

“If you do not feel and experience love for your baby, it is impossible to breastfeed and to have a close and intimate relationship with that child. The sucking on your breast causes changes in your brain, your uterus, your breasts, your heart, and your muscles. The sucking also causes changes in the baby. The sucking that occurs several times throughout the day at regular frequent intervals maintains levels of hormones and changes in your body that produces the nourishment for your child, reduces stress, promotes sleep and relaxation and a sense of well-being for you both. The more unrestricted sucking you allow, the more milk that you have. The more at ease you are and the more relaxed you are, the more milk your body makes. It is creamier, sweeter, and higher in nutrients based on how well you feel, how you are eating and drinking and how much you are loved and how loving you are.”

Excerpt From: Jacqueline Lois. “Little Black Breastfeeding Book.” Apple Books. https://books.apple.com/us/book/little-black-breastfeeding-book/id529791868


 

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What do you do that makes you feel better?

I am rarely struck to silence, or even given to pause before answering a direct question.  Sometimes I suppose it depends on who is doing the asking. But when my daughter with three children ages 21, 17, and 9 asked me that question after a challenging day (hers not mine). I was dumbstruck and hesitant and should have had the good sense to just text back; “let me get back to you on that one “. Legitimately she was in the pits and couldn’t snap out of it!

I am very lucky in that I feel good most of the time. Good, better, best, I am at a good starting point. Of course life happens and many things are out of my control, but I don’t have bouts of feeling bad or in search of doing or needing something to make me feel better as a general rule.   I know there is not necessarily a magic pill, or an antidote for a bad day or yet even a series of bad events clearly one right after the other mounting up when you are already past your limit. I am an optimist; glass half-full kinda gal. My optimism annoys my daughter. It is especially annoying when she is feeling bad, overwhelmed and not well.  She depends on me for framing the issue in a different way or the gentle reminder that I find myself saying more often as I get older “that this too will pass” . I thought this bit of encouragement was coined by my mother until I later learned this maxim was somewhat attributed to bible verses allowing for anyone who calls on the name of the Lord to expect that they will be saved.  So while we are yelling in the moment, be assured and encouraged, HELP is on the way.

While we don’t understand why bad things happen to us and why we feel sad and overwhelmed and not up to the task however small; it is in fact a temporary condition that invites us to be more loving, kinder, gentler with ourselves and others. The condition we are facing will pass. It won’t last all ways. We will be drawn closer to a loving presence where we won’t feel ashamed, and not good enough.

In 12 step program fellowships when you struggle with an addiction; they ask you to just stop for a moment and use the acronym HALT!  Ask yourself, are you hungry, angry, lonely, or tired? This could be a trigger for searching for a way to do something to make you feel better.  What you select as the remedy may seem to work for the short term, but it does not truly address what is bothering you.  You can barely care for yourself and yet you are expected to supply someone else with their most basic needs for survival 24 hours a day seven days a week. How might that even be possible?

When I want to feel better almost instantly; I pray!  It works every time.  Even when I didn’t know it was working. Just being myself was truly enough.  I have a conversation with the Love that I know to be true in God’s presence.   If I am feeling awful, I know it is often because I believe something that I also know is not true.  There is a bit of information that I need that I am missing or help in this situation to see the reality more clearly. I don’t try to talk myself out of it, I just lovingly accept for that moment, that is how I feel, and it is the very best I can do.  It is in that moment of deep surrender that I feel the love well up around me and something shifts.  Indulging in that space of unconditional love is what many mothers do so readily for their little ones.  It is a gift we can learn to give ourselves.

At times, it may be sitting down with a cup of tea, allowing myself a bit of grace where I am not being graded or evaluated by anyone. There is joy in what we do and who we are. I am grateful to have friends I can call on that I don’t have to explain everything. It just is and hearing their voice encourages me and makes me feel better.

Tell your story, what may have worked before having a child may look very different now. I would love to hear what you do when you want to feel better. What brings you Joy?

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The “Price is Right” is My Favorite Game Show

There are some things I do daily.   Some things happen weekly; biweekly, monthly; bi-annually; you get the picture, they are on the calendar, a regular practice. Somethings I don’t have to remember, they just occurred. There was some security in that knowing something would happen in spite of me, or because of me.

Every other Tuesday, I would get paid a set amount.  There was some comfort in knowing that. I thought it provided some measure of control I thought over my life.  I could plan things at least I thought around my spending.  The regularity of that check made me do or not do a lot of things.

 Until I nursed a baby, I don’t think I had an activity that occurred regularly that I allowed “control” to be given so freely and lovingly by someone else as an extension of me.  TNTC (too numerous to count). Why would I count?  That’s about how often you might nurse your little one some days.  

Surrender if you will if you can… I just sat down, or lay down, or refused to move or to do anything else. Allowing little else to take precedence over that five or ten minutes to at least to take the edge off. And then maybe a bit more time when needed or without watching the clock. Just till done, till the next thing called or we felt better.

  It wasn’t scheduled, this “nursing on demand” thing. We just had to be willing to show up for each other… I called to my little one when I felt full. My little one called to me when feeling near empty or hungry, or lonely, or curious, or just when something smelled yummy, or new or whenever.

What might you be saying by now does this have to do with the “Price is Right” ? Well I will connect the dots for you.   I love the Price is Right because I get to vicariously witness people with such excitement and joy.  They hear their name called and first with initial disbelief, it then registers , they mean me and the announcer gets louder and calls their name again and beckons them to come on down. They are usually crazy ecstatic! Running or moving gingerly, slowly, or great deliberation; they make their way down and bid on the prize.  From that moment on it doesn’t quite matter whether they get the price right or win the game. The joy and possibility is there and tangible and folks are jumping and excited when it means they mean me and I have something excited to look forward to…

Some people associate watching the game with others, my grandmother watched and I sat with her and we shared a snack. She was very reliable about the cuddle time and the snack. We also watched a program long off the air now called “Queen For A Day”. I can relax easily into that memory from time to time. However most often, I just like seeing people happy, total strangers especially full of hope and expectation.  It is absolutely contagious. It makes me smile.  

I find that if I schedule my day around the Price is Right and I hold that time from 11AM to 12 Noon weekdays. My day just goes better.  Watching a game show is not a quick cure for postpartum blues, or worry that won’t go away, or even a good substitution for a nap. But scheduling time for pleasure and joy reliably is a good spiritual practice. Something I learned from watching those amazing women around me who cared about me and for me.

Maybe I just won’t answer the phone, or I will sit still a minute and not multi-task. Or maybe I will actually play along with the game and guess the prices and wonder why they listened to someone else in the audience instead of relying on their first instinct and best intuitive judgment, but I rarely come away sad, after watching the Price is Right. 

Do you have something you do that you can schedule in or spend time with that will give you infectious joy and confidence in yourself and the world and most folks around you?

TODAY is MY DAUGHTER’s 40th Birthday

See her there, gorgeous mound of amber Joy pretending to cheez for the camera. She is about 15 months old. My dad took this photo just past the 365 day mark. This is a lovely Sunday December near Christmas Gathering. We are nowhere near weaning. I am getting some good natured teasing from folks, I am smiling, she is ignoring them. Weighing in about 36 pounds, my Nana is whispering in my ear to ignore them reminding me she is strong and healthy for a girl and I look happy and well. “You will know when it’s time” I find it’s so interesting today that both my grandmothers who had a chance to nurse their babies well past a year gave me almost verbatim the same advice. “just sit down and nurse that baby and you will both feel better”

My daughter is wondering why I wore that stupid midi dress, turtleneck no less which provides no access to titties. I was trying to look grown up as if we no longer nursed at a moment’s notice. She more practical still than I wonder how long does she need to be polite and wait and eat finger foods olives, cheese, crackers, codfish cakes, deviled eggs.

See her reaching over pulling the fake pearls, not distracted a bit from what she knows will be our quiet time when we are done with these family folk. I just found this picture. The only one I have with me and my Nana. She lived a few years more and died my first day of midwifery school, passing the torch as it were. I now can see the power of Elder blessings!

I have been uncharacteristically teary today. I just finished the last payment on the headstone for my mom. She’s been dead now since 2009. The cemetery couldn’t find the account number or paper working barely the grave site if not for my daughter. The cemetery changed hands or pandemic stuff; records not digitized whatever? My daughter is the only one that visits the grave site and I think it is a fitting present that today on her 40th birthday, we remember my mother properly with so much gratitude. The gravestone goes to production, no more debt. We are so free to love and remember.

Violette Duckett Strachan April 27, 1927- January 9, 2009

Legacy is love. Inheritance is joy, and hope and promise.

Happy Birthday my beautiful Daughter. You are my Joy! I love you so!

Wise Woman Ways

One day your time of fertility, and nursing a little one will go away. One year, one full cycle of 365 days after the birth will seem to be such a short time. Hours, minutes, days are all relative. It is such mystery that we have a time to menstruate, we bleed and for the remainder of nearly half our lives we cease to be able to reproduce and we have menopause; the bleeding stops.

During lactation, and then again as we approach menopause, we have extraordinary powers and are extremely sensitive to the ways in which we interact with the world. When our flow changes, when we nurse our babies as we prepare to let them go from relying on our bodies: we heal ourselves, we heal each other and we heal our planet.

One of my favorite authors and teachers is Susun S. Weed. She has written several books on healing and most recently I have re-read Wise Woman Ways: The Menopausal Years. As I remember vividly the time of nursing my children, I don’t think I thought of the days of how it would feel for me or that the cycles I experience as a woman (Some ONE with a womb) would change across my lifetime in a predictable pattern. We are all unique, but we share many things in common.

Susun describes and expands on a concept she calls the six steps of healing. She reminds us that we have ancestors and grandmothers who have been through this before and that we can listen, tell our own stories and also rely on them to teach us and guide us whenever we are ready. It is the role of the elder. It speaks to wise woman ways. As you grow and nurse your little one , you are becoming a wise woman.

She describes an archetypal character called Grandmother Growth. She advises us to:

“Let Grandmother Growth help. She knows the ways of woman’s mysteries. She lives the ways of the wise woman, healing and wholing person and planet. She offers stories about Change, new ways to understand the menopausal years, and new visions of old woman, She-Who-Holds-the Wise-Blood-Inside. “Shall we begin?”

Step 0. Do Nothing

Step 1 Collect Information

Step 2 Engage the Energy

Step 3. Nourish and Tonify

Step 4. Stimulate/ Sedate

Step 5a Use supplements

Step 5b Use drugs

Step 6 Break and Enter

Most of what we share and promote here in this breastfeeding365 blog centers around the healing that takes place during steps 0-3. For many of us, in our contemporary society we have never done anything even remotely like this. We have never been allowed to make the time.

STEP 0. .. Do nothing …sleep, meditate, unplug the clock or the cellphone, a vital INVISIBLE step

STEP 1 …Collect Information …low tech diagnosis, reference books, support groups, divination

STEP 2…Engage the energy…prayer, homeopathic remedies, crying, visualizations, ritual, aromatherapy, color, laughter

Where are you on your healing journey? Are you nursing a little one right now? Are you supporting and helping someone as they make this change in the way they are living their lives. Tell us your story! We are listening! And so is Grandmother Growth!

References

http://www.susunweed.com

Freedom To Succeed #3

“What do mothers need?
 
The Keys for Success
 
• Love
• Knowing What You Have
Freedom
• Mother-Baby Couple
• Healing”

True freedom comes from having boundaries and feeling free to take action on your own behalf to do things that benefit you. Doing for others doesn’t mean doing things at your expense in the name of someone else.

When what you are doing for your child is killing you, things are out of balance and something is wrong. When you rationalize what you are doing is for your baby and it’s hurting you that is even more wrong.

You can’t be guilt-tripped into nursing your baby. It’s not something you do for show or to impress others. It must be what you want for yourself. You don’t spoil a child by breastfeeding. You spoil a child when you allow anyone including your baby to take what responsibilities rightfully belong only to you.

My mother always used to tell a story about what her mother Lois told her about giving to your children. ““Always leave something back for yourself. You will ruin them if you don’t and they won’t know how to learn to live in this world.””

My mother’s stories were always told repeatedly and were usually enhanced by being told late a night after just a wee bit of scotch.

It would always start with this opening . . .  “Now let me tell you something, you have to remember . . .” If I knew know how precious those words of wisdom would be I would have taken notes.

She would say:

““Now what’s wrong with this picture? The baby has everything, you have nothing. The baby needs everything, and you need nothing[… Child what is wrong with you, there are no flies on you . . .  You are the mother, nobody will love that baby but you like you do . . .  but you teach them . . . . Like this. And the she would motion to her hands to show me imaginary money and dollar bills . . .  as if she was counting the national treasury out.

One for you, two for me

Three for you, five for me

Six for you, ten for me

When reminded of this story of my mother by Suji who she also lectured on this point many times when she thought we were spoiling the children and allowing them to take advantage. I was struck with how often I heard so many mothers say . . .

Now that I have this child, life as I know it is over. The baby’s needs are more important than mine. If we truly believe this, how could being a mother possibly be pleasurable?

“No wonder we are taught to hate and pity teen mothers and unplanned pregnancies, and single moms. Have you assumed, or allowed someone to influence you to feel that having a baby is in conflict with what you really want to do. You are taught to delay childbearing and childrearing because you believe that having a child causes a conflict in your life. Every aspect of your life, your career, your lover, your marriage, your friends, your home and your lifestyle, your ability to make money and care for yourself are ALL in conflict with having YOUR baby. Really?”

All other things or important relationships are perceived as competition for your inner desire and calling to mother. We are not always taught to think about the ways in which we powerfully create a new life in partnership with others.

How do we learn to integrate mothering with who we are as women? Who will join us and sustain us during this journey? Who will love us while we learn to love another part of ourselves that we must one-day release to the world?

We often feel we are free to make decisions and to have choices, but how often are we influenced by people around us, the media, expectations we have of ourselves and others have of us.

If you watch television, read magazines, and live in the world, you are affected by what you see, hear, and feel. I will give you a great example of how what we really need as mothers and what we think we need to function as a good mother can be two very different things if we are not very careful.

“HGTV is my favorite network. I actually pay extra for pay TV and could watch it endlessly. In fact, watching TV was my main barrier to completing the work on this book. I dream about my dream house, decorating, remodeling, square footage, what stove or fridge I want. Hunting for houses with open floor plans, checking for double vanities. Browsing real estate websites, it is positively hypnotic. My son calls it house porn, I laugh, but I still watch and from time to time, I do wonder how does it affect me and how I feel about myself and how I feel about the space that I live in and my neighborhood and my bathroom when I look around my personal space and it doesn’t look like that.

The master bedroom suite must contain a walk-in closet, a bathroom with a double sink so two people can brush their teeth at the same time and maybe even shower or take a bath separately.

“Never on my TV is there even a sign or a line of sight for a baby. The baby’s room is down the hall, perhaps even on another floor. The baby too has its own bathroom. Color-coding is very important so you and everyone else will know the sex of the baby from fifty feet away.

There is room for toys, a rocking chair or glider, a changing table and of course a fantastic crib that transitions into the daybed with an obligatory mobile. You can install an intercom throughout the house or a baby monitor but you as the mother are expected and even taught to monitor the baby from another location while you are with the other adults and to listen for signs of crying, hunger or life and you go when summoned. You can also check in on the baby by surveillance cameras and video monitoring.

An open floor plan for your granite counter topped kitchen with stainless steel appliances so your guests can see you while you are cooking and entertaining are critical.

This is why all pregnant women everywhere must move to a larger more expensive location in a better school district with an additional bedroom sometime during pregnancy or just after the birth.

Your baby MUST have it’s own room; their own closet and designer adult style clothes. Shoes when they can’t walk and jeans when they are still in diapers.

What would your dream space look like if you were designing a space for taking care of yourself so you can nurture your baby from pregnancy through weaning? What if mammals (the mother-baby couple) were designed to be together from conception through weaning to ensure survival of the species and smiling faces with good mental health for both parties?

“What kind of space would make it easy to be with your baby and to sleep with your baby and to not have to run all over the place or to be positioned to hear the baby monitor and still keep your husband or your regular sexual partner or the one you want if you don’t have one?
 
Do you have the freedom to decide that and do you truly know how important you are and what you do have for your baby? Will watching hours of television make you think that your relationship with your partner and with your baby will be improved in a bigger house with more bedrooms?
 

Excerpt From: Jacqueline Lois. “Little Black Breastfeeding Book.” Apple Books. https://books.apple.com/us/book/little-black-breastfeeding-book/id529791868

Your baby MUST have it’s own room; their own closet and designer adult style clothes. Shoes when they can’t walk and jeans when they are still in diapers.

What would your dream space look like if you were designing a space for taking care of yourself so you can nurture your baby from pregnancy through weaning? What if mammals (the mother-baby couple) were designed to be together from conception through weaning to ensure survival of the species and smiling faces with good mental health for both parties?

Excerpt From: Jacqueline Lois. “Little Black Breastfeeding Book.” Apple Books. https://books.apple.com/us/book/little-black-breastfeeding-book/id529791868

MILK without MOM

Breastmilk AS A Commodity

My beloved Son and Daughter-in-law Emily just celebrated the first birthday of my fifth grandchild Ava Violet.  She is still nursing!  I couldn’t be more thrilled!  She is walking; talking; dancing in her first pink tutu; and generally running the household in charge of her three year old brother.  I am strangely grateful for this period of holy hibernation during our new age pandemic. This cataclysmic shift in the universe has had both parents very close at hand with few ventures away from home for this little girl except for daily strolls now that full time center-based day care has been closed in Southern California Coronalland.

Emily and I surprisingly talk little about nursing and breastfeeding. She loves me and knows I am a bit of a fanatic; but she also knows that I know that she is intensely private and that nursing her baby is her business and she’s got this…

She also knows that I am fiercely and intensely proud of this 365 day breastfeeding milestone: not just for her and me, and her daughter, and my son, and the blog but but but just because she is doing what she wants her way with delightful abandon.  This is really good stuff and hope for the planet.  It has been a tumultuous road with bottles, breast pumps, dizzying fatigue & fear, and a healthy dose of not good enough; work; worry: and wondering is she going to be all right.

It is with such humility that I get to selfishly witness such love.  Pleasure, divine maternal attachment and what if anything she might gain for herself for this time for this “last baby” was her primary motive.  Seems to me I guess for this go-round; willpower or perseverance was simply not required. They all figured it out! Love always wins!

Edging the mother out of the picture as the sole arbiter of nursing her baby is a trend that has ominous consequences for all but especially for the mother. During this last day of Breastfeeding Month 2020; I caught a reference to a workshop on Breastfeeding WITHOUT NURSING! Human milk for Human babies, but no touching, no connecting required, needed, or even perhaps desired.  Mom and mom and baby interaction are essentially obsolete. How many ounces did I pump today?  Not latching on; not a problem!  How many little bags can I produce for storage today?  We could get a freezer on sale. No value added for the time we spend together.

If the product is milk, even your milk, how can the product be delivered to the consumer without you?  The stuff of scary science fiction or just relief from an unimaginable burden.

What if there was a vaccine for hate, a slow growing time for learning the capacity for giving, loving and nurturing and it had something to do for all us but especially that mom and that baby having that time to connect, to attach, to learn how and why we may experience belonging and pleasure and the sweet part about just being human. Where do we learn this?  Where might it be taught? Who will teach us if we have lots of milk, but no MOM.

Tell your story,  what happens after staying close to your baby; nursing as best as you can for that very first 365 days after cutting the cord?

References

https://genacorea.com/the-mother-machine

Knowing What You Have #2 Key to Success

“What do mothers need?
 
The Keys for Success
 
• Love
• Knowing What You Have
• Freedom
• Mother-Baby Couple
• Healing
 

“Shortly after a birth, my postpartum midwifery teacher Betty would switch her focus from the actual act of giving birth to the mother-baby couple. She would always say to those brand new moms just seconds after the baby emerged from her before she ever cut the cord.
 
“Do you know what you have inside of you?” She would wait for a response and then answer: “Liquid Gold”

“It is so precious and wonderful and only you have it made especially for your baby and it is ready right now at the right temperature, just the right amount, ready to give your baby a taste of all the sweetness there is to come in this life. And then if she needed any assistance she would support the newborn latching on to mother’s breast for the first time. If you can imagine the delight in the eyes of most of those young mothers and the joy and confidence they felt in hearing those words and feeling that rush of pride. Most times those first few minutes went well, sometimes not. Some would say “oh maam I am not breastfeeding” It’s Ok, I just need your help to coach the placenta out and then we will be all done.” I learned so much about that mother and the family in just those few precious minutes.

“I was often amazed with what happened in the next few hours, how often they may be asked what are you going to do, do you want to breastfeed, what challenges did they face in bonding with their babies how many hands, visitors, questions later did they have to deal with so that by the time of our next rounds was the wonderment gone, and did she already forget how important she was in the transformation of that pregnancy and the connection between her and her baby.”

“When you think you have something special and unique that you must give and share with your baby and you are in love, tolerating separation for any reason or for any length of time is intolerable.
 
Furthermore, seeing, allowing, or just witnessing others interact with your baby and offering other food, water, or equipment in to their mouths or to their skin can bring up many feelings that encourage either attachment and further connection or detachment and further distancing and alienation.
 
Keeping your baby with you, making sure your baby gets your Liquid gold and can smell you, taste you, feel you, hear your heart beat, and share the substance of you the body the baby just left. This opens the path that establishes the journey for successful breastfeeding and all relationships. The baby orients and synchronizes with you as the mother sharing the space that was their home since conception.
 
If you know what you have is precious, priceless, irreplaceable, you are unable and unwilling to allow anyone to not have you give it to your baby
 

Excerpt From: Jacqueline Lois. “Little Black Breastfeeding Book.” Apple Books. https://books.apple.com/us/book/little-black-breastfeeding-book/id529791868

Wonder if our President’s mother was able to nurse her baby?

YES OH MY YES.

I confess it was very late at night, and I began wondering about our President’s mother. Where was she born? How old was she? What was her name? How were things going in her marriage? Was he her first baby, her first son? Where was her mom? Her sisters? Her auntie, her grandma? Had she had a successful experience by the time it came time to nurse the amazing child who would grow up to be President.

Mothering a son is different than a mothering a daughter. Or at least that’s what we are told, Somehow gender is a factor in how we love and nurture. When I held my son close, and cuddled, was it different than holding my daughter? When I lost control, or felt ill, or inept, was I different with my son than my daughter. Did I have higher expectations for myself and for him?

My Nana, my paternal grandmother was an immigrant traveling here by ship from Trinidad . She first arrived here at age 17 years old with her two younger twin brothers in tow. Some nine years later, she had her two boys both born at home with nurse midwives. She nursed them both for a long time as was their custom and she prayed that her sons would be great and promised God all good things if their lives would be spared the pandemic of their day, the 1918 Spanish flu. I can barely imagine what it was like to nurse my baby in the midst of quarantine. 50 million people lost worldwide. Would fear completely overwhelm me? She described so many children lost, soldiers quickly wounded and dying from the Great War, and traveling by ship across The Atlantic. She first traveled alone, and then with her twin brothers, recalling her own mother’s illness; their faith, the violence, the lynchings; sons who inflicted unspeakable harm, unimaginable sorrow, grief and separations, days when it seemed that none would be spared.

Our President’s paternal grandfather died in 1918 from the pandemic. Apparently they were together one day for a walk and the next day, he died suddenly. I wonder how his mother with a young son only 14 years old felt losing her husband alone in a new country. She too was an immigrant! A young woman having to go on alone with her son who had the courage and foresight to build a prosperous family business. By the age of 31, her son married a woman he loved in 1936 and they soon started a family.

Our President was the fourth of five children born to a MOM, the youngest of ten children who immigrated from Scotland to join her sister in New York at age 17. Like my grandmother, leaving a small island; the future essentially unknown, but filled with promise. Maybe there were no other choices! She wanted only the best for her self and her sons. Something more, but she would gladly settle for survival and a long healthy life of service and joy. What might we have to endure? What might we all have in common?

my grandmother who had a chance to nurse all of her babies

I have to think on that one a bit and wonder a bit more. It has been a very long time since I held a baby at the breast. and drifted off to sleep, knowing all was well, feeling safe, not hungry, not thirsty, and not afraid. As a mother I felt the most power ever in my ability to not only love, but to protect and dream and wish for a world full of wonderful things I would prepare my son for when he was no longer small enough and portable enough to be held in my arms.

my father and his brother surviving the pandemic with a mother’s love, hopes and dreams

Today I pray for all mothers and sons. May they be protected for all the days of their lives. May our mothers find courage, find comfort, find love and the gentle space to wish and wonder and care for their babies. We have no idea what our sons will become, or how we will manage. We teach love at the breast; but it is not our only tool.

Today we unite with all mothers everywhere. We call for peace, grace, mercy, justice, but most of all the capacity to love safe from harm. Tell your story. Listen closely to the mothers all around you!

https://www.scotsman.com/arts-and-culture/film-and-tv/donald-trumps-mother-story-mary-anne-macleod-trump-bbc-documentary-uncovers-us-presidents-scottish-roots-1407481

Mothers Happy Day 2020

While not all of us are mothers nor do we wish to be…. we all have mothers! Some we know and love, some we have lost … some at best struggled to be any sort of parent. Today I would like to remember our mother and our Mother Earth and thank them.

If you took a moment and thought about what would make our mother happy; could you … if it was within your power to give her that with all of your love.

At this time, we remember those mothers who lost their babies . Dreams of what their children might be. No mother wants to believe that it is their child who might harm someone else … we live in guilt and shame when our children fall from the mark. We believe it is our fault even when that was not our intention.

Sometimes we don’t know what someone needs or wants ..yet do we have the courage to ask and do what we can to provide …

We love our mother as the one we hoped would nurture us and provide all we needed. They did the best they could. And we thank them. For some of us we never quite felt good enough but we never ever stopped trying!

We didn’t mean to break their hearts to disappoint them or make them sad. How they felt most days had little or nothing to do with us. We couldn’t know that as children .. but on this day, we are at peace at knowing we all have done our best.

Today do something that makes you happy. Today no doubt that would make your mom very proud !

It’s not too late to fall in love again; I wanna know what makes you happy

Behind closed doors good things can happen. Many of us are locked up in the house with someone that we once loved, had babies with, but rarely have we had or ever had so much unabated together time not by choice.

While stress, poverty, frustration and abuse are certainly possible so is love! It is also not surprising that this time creates a window of opportunity to rekindle the love and to approach each other in new and creative ways that may have not been possible before this time.

We have always known the language of love. We know what feels and tastes good to us. But we often have to learn new ways to approach each other for pleasure and greater intimacy. Locked down, sheltered in place, saving the world and probably ourselves can be a recipe to challenge everything that we thought we knew about ourselves and each other. Sometimes you know what makes a person happy. Sometimes you just need the courage to ask . How would you like to be approached for love???for closeness???to allow love and appreciation to grow…

What if it didn’t hurt to simply give someone what they want .. what makes them happy . I have two friends that have been married for a very very very long time.

Not always happy but within the past few days they have noticed even when they have momentarily forgotten they have found unspeakable joy. We laughed and shared how well this time was going for them. More love, more joy, more lives filled with meaning than ever. They know what makes their sweetie happy and not so so surprisingly they are willing in new ways to do whatever it takes .

I wanna know what makes you happy…. I wanna know what makes you smile!

For me this morning it was breakfast in bed. A BLT; NPR on story corps : I didn’t have to get up and get my own coffee. I didn’t have to ask for anything. It was a gift of love …an offer an invitation of willingness. If someone loves you they know what makes you happy, what you like or are willing to ask…

I made a call to my favorite long time married breastfeeding elder girlfriend who doesn’t ever give advice but is always ready with a fabulous design and a short list of ideas of solutions with what’s on hand.

Listen to some good music to get your own self in the mood!

. If I wanna make you happy. Anything you say I’ll do. Just want to see you smile !

First order of business is :

1. I have to be happy myself

2. Get cleaned up take a shower bubble bath ; I need to feel good, smell good, wash my hair & get-dressed for success like you’re going somewhere special on assignment.You know you’re on lockdown and not going anywhere ..Just pretend ..

3. Show or let them touch some skin something … what’s underneath a leg a thigh something they may not have seen in a while

4. Give each other some space. Put some distance between you. Don’t be on top of each other .. make room .. be ok with being alone. Each doing and being your own thing. Be happy with solitude. Get centered! Enjoy your own company when you are blessed in rare rare moments to have it .

5. Share a meal ! It doesn’t have to be the same thing. Two plates of beans. …perhaps the same thing prepared differently . Savor the time and the differences and the sameness …enjoy the preparation but be ready to discard what doesn’t work

6. She repeated again. Time away and apart. Crucial to wanting to be together cause you want to…your choice. Nothing forced or coerced. Give them a chance to ask and say yes

It’s not too late to tell someone you wanna know what makes you happy and have them believe you by just be willing to show up .

It’s not too late to breastfeed your little one!

In case you have been wondering, if you still have to pump breast milk, wondering if you still have milk even if the baby has long been on formula; can you still do it, can you get it back? Is it still good to you ? You can! It’s not too late to nurse your baby…

There are many things that have changed in the past few days and weeks. Maybe you were not home, now you are, maybe you were working as a paid employee, had health insurance , now you’re not! Maybe you are working from home and juggling many things in uncertain times.Maybe you had help and now you don’t …

You have mostly weaned the baby from relying totally on you and relied on bottles, friends, your partner and spending time every day pumping precious milk from your breasts.

In an instant, you could change your relationship with your baby now that you are home and you both are together.

I won’t bore you with the benefits to the baby… there are many advocates online and all around you for that. How would it benefit you to have a seat and just nurse your little one, no bottles, no baby food, no pumps, no going to the store. Just you, and the baby having this time to nurse. What if it was your quiet time, before a nap, before bed time after a bath, after shower. Did you know there were hormones released in your body called relaxin and oxytocin that might relax you and give you a few moments to allow you to drift off to sleep..content …happy, well fed comforted and comforting…

Each time you nurse your baby, the sucking causes you to produce more milk, more for the next feedings for the next day. Like manna from heaven, ready right on time when you need it. Have a snack, have something to drink, get started … you may be surprised at how you feel. How much you have in store that is essential for you; just for you alone. You could tell them you just need a minute. You could supply all you need for however long it was needed. It’s not too late! Let us know how it goes!