Thursday, February 3, 2011

For our children, for each other

Last night I had three beautiful mamas over to my house for an evening of much-needed mommy time. If you'd asked me five years (or heck, even one, haha) ago if I'd be planning mom dates and figuring out how I could become more social in the wide world of motherhood, I'd have laughed, and laughed hard. Although I can't imagine my life without her now, Lydia definitely put a new spin on things with her conception.

For instance, I had NO idea how much I would need other moms. From the first inklings of my knowing I was pregnant till last night as the four of us sat talking about parenting and children's issues, I somehow knew that I would need to sit down with a glass of red wine in one hand, chocolate in the other, and my heart out on the table to be repaired and put back together by other mamas. That sympathy/support/encouragement/readiness to bitch about everything you need to bitch about too is irreplaceable, and invaluable.

But we don't really hold each other up the way we need to, which is a topic covered by Jennifer and a couple of other guest posters to this blog. I'll admit, I am the first one to judge and hold in contempt other moms who do things differently than I hold to be healthy and right. Moms who choose not to breastfeed are hard for me to understand, as are moms who park their kids in front of a TV all day while they're on Facebook or other mind-numbing equivalent. And I'm sure there are many, many things I do with my daughter that would spin someone's head out there...I've vaccinated her, given her solid foods like gravy (actually, that was her dad...), let her cry for a few minutes at the end of a riveting movie...The list could go on, and on, and on, from both sides.

We need to meet each other on the fact that we. are. mamas. We are mothers to our children's generation. We are currently raising a generation who will have a heavy burden of political strife, environmental concern, a heightened climatic change experience, a larger population, and a worsened economy. With all of that turmoil in mind, I hold Lydia in my arms at night and wonder how I can raise her to be the beautiful and healthy daughter I've dreamed she would be. How can we meet the needs of each other, and our children, while keeping all other children and families in mind? There need to be more peer groups, more mothering support groups, more advances in the work of preventing teen pregnancy, more breastfeeding coalitions...

How else, besides blogging about all these great ideas, can we set the futures of our children in motion?


  1. Hi Katie,
    Cousin Ardie Andert gave me your blog site and I just wanted to add a comment. What a wonderful mother you are and raising Lydia so consciously! To grow a new human being both inside the womb and then nourish her with breast milk is some of the most important work we can do! Thirty years ago today I gave birth to twin girls, Christine and Sarah. I had only discovered we were pregnant with twins on Jan 8th, just 4 weeks before their birth! They have been a double blessing and these years have flown by. I had wonderful help and lactation support during those first weeks. The months turned into years and they nursed until the age of 5 years. Toddler nursing is so different with just a quick feeding before nap or bed time, but still a bonding time. When they were 7 years ago we adopted Andrew, age 3 months, from S. Korea. With the help of a Medela S and S system he also nursed for 3 months. I got 'drops not ounces' but nursing him was also a wonderful experience! We are now blessed with 1 granddaughter, Ava age 17 months. Sarah had a gentle water birth and Ava is still an enthusiastic and aerobic nurser! When we parent with kindness and love, we are setting in motion those ideals to be passed along to the next generation.
    I have been blessed to work as a nurse-midwife in the TwinCities for the past 38 years. Being present at birth continues to be inexplicably joyful and this work is indeed a blessing. Anne Johnson

  2. Hello Anne! Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I welcome your readership along my crazy journey through motherhood! I'm grateful that Ardie gave you the link to my's always nice to have like-minded mamas to talk to. What an incredible experience-I've only read about people being able to breastfeed their adopted little ones. If you EVER want to write a post about doing so, let me know!

    Actually, I might pick your brain a little more about being a nurse-midwife, too. I have been thinking about interviewing professionals in the mothering industry, and having a midwife's perspective would be such a great addition to my blog.

    Aerobic nurser. I LOVE it! :)