Many thoughts about the world, meditation, parenting, Judaism, pregnancy, teaching, cancer survivorship, moving from West Coast to East and more.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Phone Solicitation

I got a call the other day from an organization asking for money to help cancer patients.

Ironically, it ticked me off. The woman spoke so fast she was clearly reading a script and wouldn't take no for an answer. She wanted a pledge and was not the least interested in sending literature unless she could send an invoice with it.

But the main thing was that she kept using the term "cancer patient" like some sort of magic manipulation device. I said, "I already give to an organization that supported me when I had cancer," (Not exactly true... no organization directly supported me, but I am partial to donating to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
since they target my version of the disease.) But the woman missed the hint that we weren't talking about theoreticals and kept saying "cancer patient" the way a politician might say, "But I'm doing it for the children. You care about the children, don't you?"

Maybe it was a hoax.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

First Day Of Daycare



So you know I've already been back at work. Today was ND's first day of daycare because Emarcy watched her last Thursday and Friday. And yesteday the daycare didn't open due to snow. My school, however, DID open so U. stayed home and watched her while he tried to work from home. So today was my 4th day at work and her first at daycare.

She did pretty well except that:

1. She barely slept -- only an hour whereas she usually takes 2 2-hour naps. She was too excited to be there. I think, too, that she's used to having her morning naps either in the car or on me while I wear her in a sling. Lying flat in a crib is too distracting during the day. Tomorrow they'll try her in her little swing/chair that is special just for her.

2. She cried when some other babies cried.

Both of those make me a little sad. With the first I can't help but wonder if she was looking for me. Although more realistically, she may have just been checking the place out. Also, I arrived at 4 and they gave her a bottle at 3:30, so in theory she shouldn't have been hungry, but she nursed like crazy when I arrived and fell asleep quickly in my arms.

Again, this is a double-edged event, in my mind. It means she wants and needs me for comfort. It also means she didn't have me for comfort those 6 hours I was away.

Tomorrow is our longest day of the week because of meetings and when I'm most needed for the "support" part of my job at work. I'm happy that Tuesday and Wednesday are our long days, Monday and Thursday are "regular" and Friday is quite short. That means I can start the week out easy, then get over the hardest part and sort of coast to the end with her.

Oh, I forgot to mention that after work we had to run an errand, then stop home long enough to pick up the cat and schlep her to the vet where we had to wait very long for an appointment and we didn't even get home until 7:20 PM!!!! So much for the stack of work I brought home. It'll have to wait.

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Barium Update

So here's what happened with the CT scan. The long and short of it is that my oncologist didn't know I couldn't breastfeed after getting the injection. So I can wait to do it or forego it altogether without there being a problem. As it is, I've been told clearly in the past that if (G-D FORBID!!!) I ever have problems again, I'll most likely know it through symptoms rather than through a scan.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Working Out Work Anxiety

Well, Friday was good too. No need to go into detail now, but I seem to be doing ok so far with my return. Not to be pessimistic, but I need to be prepared that my first FULL week back will bring greater challenges. Better to be prepared for something and not have it come than be surprised.

Every weekend during the work year I deal with work anxiety over the weekend. Usually I try to keep Saturday nights work-free, but then Sunday morning I tend to wake up worrying, and worry all day until I finally have time to get my stuff done.

I'm trying a different strategy this week. I did a little bit of work tonight, just enough to help me see exactly what must be done tomorrow. Hopefully then I can just DO it rather than think about it too much. The challenge of course is that I have to do this according to ND's not-quite-predictable schedule. The advantage is that I no longer assume I should have time to do much else.



I finished reading Nursing Mother, Working Mother which discusses just that in one of the final chapters. Pryor notes that it's nice to get work done in large chunks, but that moms often need to do it according to the ebb and flow of the baby, but that does not mean any less gets accomplisehd. She suggests ceasing to create "to do" lists and instead creating "accomplished" lists. I think it's a good idea.

With Purim taking up all of next weekend, followed by a visit from my parents (which I'm looking forward to but during which I will want to spend less time working), and then parent-teacher conferences on the 18th (I need to catch up on the kids' work of the past 3 months to prepare for this!!!) followed by Pesach, I definitely have to keep all this in mind.

One final thought about the book and my experience. I've gotten so used to hearing parents talk about how they can't get work done with their kids around, or that they have to decide between the two sometimes. It seems unfortunate. I think I want to make my goal to see how much I can involve her in everything I do from sitting with me at the computer (at this age) to asking for her help with chores when she's older. All of this is life and we're living it together.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Crispy Noodle Baby?



We ordered Chinese food tonight. The fortune cookie that we opened for ND contained the fortune, "You are the crispy noodle in the vegetarian salad of life."

Sounds right on to me!

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1st Day Back



Well, I did it. First day back at work and it wasn't as bad as I thought. (I wore a brand new brown nursing dress that you see in the picture above, by the way, which was taken just a few moments before I started writing this posting.)

It helps tremendously that emarcy (from previous posts, including those involving ND's birth) is here and babysat today. It also helps that I came back on a Thursday.

I know that I've been planning a long time for today, and now I'm past that hurdle. So now I have to cope too with doing it regularly. It's like how the first day of school is always planned really well, but by the 3rd week, it's less precise because it's not the day you've been waiting for all summer.

In any case, I cried for the first mile or so in the car on the way there and once after I walked in the door of the school, but other than that the day was just too busy to think about anything but my work. I pumped milk twice and thought about her then.

But the most important thing was coming back home and finding ND still here and that I'm still her mom, even with my previous life back too. I think I was afraid that would vanish somehow. It hasn't.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Barium Blues



I'm ticked off. This morning I went in for what should be my FINAL CT scan ever (G-d willing). With this NASTY cold it was not easy to get up early, and I had to drink 3 huge bottles of barium which has upset my stomach considerably. I also was not supposed to eat or drink this morning before the scan.

But I came in, sort of looking forward to getting this done and, when I laid down on the table, struck up a conversation with the radiologist:

"You know, I wonder how this barium will affect the breastfeeding," I said. "My oncologist knows I'm breastfeeding, so I guess it isn't a problem."

"No," says the radiologist, "the barium is fine. But as soon as I inject you with this dye, you will have to wait two days to feed her again."

No one prepared me for that. I don't have enough frozen milk for ND to drink for two full days (I don't think) and I am NOT INTERESTED in giving up feeding for my first days back at work. Too emotional. I'm really ticked the oncologist didn't warn me about this and she's out of town this week. I tried to call her, spoke to her partner instead. Also called pediatrician etc. to get a second opinion.

Finally, I walked out. I hope they didn't have to spend a lot on anything that got wasted. But I wasn't willing to take this risk. I'll check in with the oncologist on Monday and see what the next step is.

Dammit.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Trial Run

Wow. I've been busting my you-know-what the past two days to get stuff ready for school since I start back on Thursday. Today I had to actually go in to do some things there. I went to the daycare first to drop off everything ND will need and, even though it was last minute, the teacher there said I could leave ND while I went to the school.

I was gone 2 2/1 hours. She got a little fussy when I left but it turned out she was just tired. Later when I called she was crying loudly in the background. They were holding off feeding her until I gave the OK. (If I was going to be back earlier I just wanted to nurse her.) So I told them to feed her and she ravenously scarfed away the previously stored breastmilk.

When I arrived to pick her up, she was sitting in a bouncy chair and smiling, and smiled even more when she saw me.

I tried to nurse her, but she really likes the daycare and just keeps looking all over the place at her surroundings. (When I got home I set a new personal best on pumping milk. She gave a huge smile to her teacher when we left. She slept all the way home and is asleep now too. Exciting first day for her.

As for me, I cried a bit when I went to the school and I know I was visibly tense. I cried even more when I called the place and heard her crying. but it was all doable. I really can do this. I even think it MIGHT be good for both of us.

Ask me again near the end of next week when I've been there already actually teaching on a schedule again.

And by the way, despite my prsent optimism, my cold (Have I mentioned I'm sick again?) feels worse.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

ND's Mitzvah

We paid a shiva call today to the family I wrote about in religious quandary
.

It was a little hard. I expected to sit with the woman I know and ask about her mother and to cheer her up by introducing her to ND.

But the place was somewhat chaotic with lots of family and visitors, and the person I came to visit was busy with some things so we only spoke briefly on and off.

However, her father, the husband of the deceased, walked through the room and saw ND. He asked if he could hold her and you could just see him melt. "I really need this," he said several times and said it was the best therapy he could have. I cried. My friend cried. ND screamed, so I had to take her, and then the man cried too.

Unfortunately ND was very upset for awhile then. I think she was overwhelmed by the 3 young girls who were oohing and aahing over her just moments before and from all this special attention, so we spent most of the rest of the time in another room with me trying to calm her down. When she finally felt better, it didn't last long. She was really exhausted and needed to go to sleep (which she did in the car), but before we left I let the man hold her once more and I spontaneously offered a hug myself. I usually don't touch any men except family and he was a stranger, but it just felt like the right thing to do.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Mishloach Manot

Just one more thing tonight. (I really am supposed to be in bed now.)

Although his name is misspelled in this article I still feel a lot of nachas for this low (no) budget little video U. helped do in an evening and the results that have come from it so far.

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Religious Quandary



I know it's not just in Judaism this happens, but in all religions. Everyday events are explained as being for our ultimate benefit and as coming directly from G-d.

I tend to find that I'm happier when I view everything in this light, knowing that challenges are for my growth and trying to find the positive wherever I can.

But sometimes this all gets confusing and, unfortunately, kind of leaves a person feeling somewhat unfulfilled by the religious questions at hand.

Here's my example...

There's a very nice woman at our shul whose mother just died. The funeral was Friday and I wanted very badly to go, but a lot of things went wrong:

I got a late start getting ready, ND's diaper change went poorly with messy results, then she wanted to feed later than I had hoped, my car was snowed-in and I had to manipulate it a lot to get it out, and then on the way to the funeral I spaced out and took at least 3 wrong turns.

It occurred to me that I could easily apply one of two different standard scripts to the scenario.

Script 1: Clearly these obstacles came directly from G-d as a warning that I should not go and that, in fact, by giving up and staying home I could avoid some terrible disaster.

Or

Script 2: Clearly these obstacies came directly from G-d as an opportunity to prove my commitment to doing this wonderful mitzvah of comforting the bereaved and escorting the dead to burial.

In the first scenario, G-d's message would be to give up. In the second, to proceed forward no matter what.

What do you do with faith at a moment like this?

For the record, I did get to the funeral, but an hour late, missing the entire ceremony and arriving just in time to see many other red-eyed and emotional members from our shul filing out. Who knows if I avoided any disasters or not. And I never even spoke to the bereaved. I'm hoping to visit during this shiva week instead. So was it worth it? Don't know. Probably never will know. At least I learned I should try to leave earlier for things like this. But I've been taught that lesson before and haven't learned it clearly enough yet.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tags

There. I did it.

I just finished attaching tags to every single post I've ever written on here... all 403 of them. That took quite a while... my whole maternity leave, I think. (You see I've been spending the time well.)

On another note... left ND with U. tonight while I went grocery shopping. She cried pretty much the whole time. When I came home and she caught sight of me she let out a particular cry I don't think I've heard before. Like, "Well THERE you are! How could you have left me like that?"

Naturally this makes me feel both glad that I'm so important and a little concerned with leaving her for 6 hour stretches starting a week from today. Next week, that Thursday and Friday, emarcy (see previous posts about her) will be here watching her. The disadvantage is that ND is often in the car at that time of day which makes her naps much easier to start. That's how it will be when she goes to daycare. I'm hoping she'll sleep on the way there and stay asleep for a good chunk of the time.

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Moms Rising



Very excited about this Moms Rising Organization my dad just directed me to. I never realized before having ND just how non-child friendly our system really is. I totally want to do stuff about it.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Posting For My Jewish Friends

Just writing to publicize access to this survey about shomer negiah.

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Snow Day



I know I'm not supposed to feel guilty for being on maternity leave (only one week left!), but today I have even less reason to feel guilty. Yay! Snow Day! I get to spend the day happily with my 10 week old again.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Healthcare

All this talk with the 2008 elections coming up about so many different issues. I have to say, I think one of the most important to me is the issue of healthcare. I guess of all the things that could change in the next few years, that's one I feel more likely to be directly affected by. It bothers me that there are so many uninsured. In fact, my cancer diagnosis came just weeks after the teacher's union in my district won a very ugly battle to retain our benefits. The compromise was giving up several weeks' pay.

Now that I have this bad health history, I'm seriously limited on what work I can do because there is no way I can afford healthcare without going through an employer... either mine or U.'s.

In any case, I've been watching a new blog about healthcare and am looking forward to developments over the next few years.

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Pain



When I had cancer, I remember being quite certain that it was harder for those around me than for myself. I knew I could manage the pain and problems that came with the treatments, but all my family and friends could do was watch me go through it.

Well, now that I'm a mother, I'm starting to get a tiny -- thank G-d it's so tiny -- taste of that. Three times now ND has been hurt in my care. Once was a snap pinching her skin, once was a fingernail clipping mishap (--both of those of course triggered my guilt button pretty heavily --) and today she got her first shots.

We've been researching vaccines pretty heavily, trying to decide what is most appropriate and safe for ND. (It's much more complicated than I thought. There are some vaccines that are important but which can come when she's older, others that are unnecessary but still considered worthwhile etc.) Well. today after a talk with the doctor, we started the first ones. I held her hand and looked close to her sweet smiling face as the nurse did THREE injections. For each, ND screwed up her face and screamed. The second was the worst... she opened her mouth wide, but no sound came out for a moment as she adjusted to the shock of that needle in her leg. But truthfully, the whole thing went very fast, and she didn't cry at all once it was over. Good for her. Such a trooper! I think she's a little sore tonight, but otherwise she seemed to completely forget about the pain the moment the process was over.

I, on the other hand, cried for a long time. The instant the final needle came out she was in my arms and I was ready to nurse her. But I was gushing so much milk that she had to pull off to get air and I continued to leak heavily.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Smiling

Okay okay okay Alissa. Shabbat shalom.




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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Yet Another Milestone



I've been in remission, thank G-d, for over 3 years. But every landmark still means something to me.

Had a follow-up with my oncologist today. Totally routine. I still have one CT scan left which I'll get in the next week or so, but other than that she says I don't have to see her again.

Yay!!!

Meanwhile my little girl charmed the whole doctor's office. Boy does she smile now!! I'll try to get a photo up soon.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Quality Time

Very interesting. Some things are coming together about my new life.

To begin, as I mentioned in recent posts, I'm starting to get involved in my work life again. There has actually been quite a bit of turmoil since my request for additional time off, and now I'm trying to do some damage control. I could dig in my heels and say I'm on leave, I shouldn't have to do any work for school. But it really is making me, as well as the people at school, crazy. So as long as I get to stay with my baby while I do it, I don't mind doing some work for school from home.

But of course this gets me thinking all the more of what it really will be like when I return.

From another angle, I've written on here in the past my worries about how I would keep my best mental health practices in place. Pre-baby I opened almost every day with yoga and meditation in addition to my showering, davening and eating a good breakfast. (Most mornings required about 2 hours before I was ready to leave the apartment.) Often during my meditations my thoughts would be interrupted with the projected voices of busy mothers saying, "Ha, you won't be able to do THAT with kids."

Well, it's true. It will never be the same, but thus far I don't mind so much.

MEDITATION
I have not had a proper sitting meditation time at all since ND was born. I did have one time pretty close, but I was nursing her at the time and it was a very different experience. However, the nursing itself has become a whole new kind of meditation. Sometimes I've tried to enter into the same sort of thinking space that I used to, but it's so valuable just to stare into her eyes. That's my substitute for the medtation piece right now.

YOGA
As for yoga... did you know there is such a thing as mom/baby yoga? Again, it's not the same practice as I had before, but I still am able to do a yoga sequence with ND awake either watching me (and even laughing sometimes), or taking part in the poses themselves! I also found a DVD called Mommy Baby Exercise Routine that does some similar routines, but as more of a muscle building routine than yoga sequence. My favorite in both involves lying on my back with my legs in a tabletop position. ND lies stomach down on my legs, facing me. I hold her hands and push my legs forward, strengthening my abs while she practices balance and drools on me. Just like this, except I would be lying flat on my back:


AND MORE
Now today I had a lesson on infant massage which is SO FUN!!! I've been doing it with ND already based on some videos I've watched and ND LOVES it!!! But now I've been directly instructed, so I know some new tricks and feel better about how much pressure to give etc. I also know that I really need to work on slowing down my pace. I found that as I practiced slowing down today, I really felt myself calm.

So I figure that even if I'm away from my love for 6 hours of the day, we can have an exceptionally good beginning and end if we can exercise in the morning and I can put her to bed after a bed or massage each night. Sure, I know I won't always pull it often... especially during anecdotal (report card) season or if she's not in the mood. But I do feel a little better with the idea that we can both look forward to this other experience together.

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Fridge Poem #11: A Call For Poetry

In sort a weird twist, U. and I just enterred a new post-baby nesting phase. Since ND sleeps with us anyway, we suddenly became inspired to switch her room and my office. Previously, her room was behind a screen next to U's office and our TV. My office was in one half of the bedroom. So now the bedrooms will be together and the offices will be together.

What an opportunity to completely clear off my desk. It is now extremely sparse and I want to see how long I keep it that way. (Two laundry baskets in the bedroom still contain the books, notebooks and clutter that were here. I want to see how much I can just get rid of this summer when garage sale season arrives.

In the meantime, I cleared off the magnetic board on which I was neglecting to do fridge poems and was inspired to write another. Below, find a blurry photo of it. I took the picture with my computer camera. As for the fancy words... they come from the "genius" edition. The brown magnets (arrogant and finicky) are from the "cat" set, and I think I have a standard set as well. Can't remember as they're all mixed together.

A Call For Poetry

slather the fecund space with moist words
to the very acme
make man of arrogant finicky boors

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Response To Baby Einstein Comments

I've been wanting for some time to respond to the many comments to my Baby Einstein entry.

First, in response to Alina's description of the need to use movies now and then as a necessity with such a large and busy family. I'm certainly in no position to judge a parent who needs to use technology in that way when options are limited.

Also, as Alissa pointed out, some programming can be quite educational, and the kids who watch them may get something out of them.

However, there are several other things that bother me greatly.

1. This is the most obvious, and I believe everyone agrees. President Bush has no business doing product placement during his State of the Union address. He could be marketing just about anything and I'd feel the same way. (To be fair, if the product was something that will do wonders in the area of environmentalism... such as talking about hybrid cars or gDiapers.) But of course, his intention was to talk about people, not about products. So he should have stuck with that goal.

2. An additional comment about product placing in a State of the Union address. I believe Bush thought it would be appropriate because, after all, he was talking about something FOR THE CHILDREN. I'm so tired of politicians getting points for caring about THE CHILDREN. Just because you're doing something for them, doesn't mean the thing you're doing is laudable. You might as well say that you are drilling for oil or chopping down a rainforest FOR THE CHILDREN. It doesn't automatically mean it's a good idea.

3. I did some research in a science and ethics class at one point about television and children. What surprised and resonated with me was the question of what the medium itself does to children. Back when people were first starting to worry about the effects of television on children, the concern seemed primarily to be about content. If children watched violent programming, would they become violent? However, what some researchers found was that it was not necessarily about the content of the show. There were some surprising correlations between TV watching in general and aggression. For example, when comparing the effects of watching Mister Rogers vs. Sesame Street, children showed more aggression with the latter. This was explained as being caused by the short and choppy pace of the show as compared to Fred Rogers' slow pace. (I really admire that man, by the way.)

Now, I'm going to be completely honest... I don't think I've ever actually watched Baby Einstein, but I think at least it's slow and gentle. So in that sense, this particular kind of video might be less harmful.

But 4.... and I think this is my biggest annoyance with products such as Baby Einstein as well as almost all children's movies. Marketing towards children is still marketing and to a hugely vulnerable group. I'm not talking about the children as the vulnerable group so much as the parents. A new movie comes out and as long as it's rated G it's somehow considered good for kids. It doesn't matter how fast, insulting or silly it is. More often than not I resent children's movies because I don't think they respect children or children's natural approach to the world. (Perhaps I should explain this in further depth in another entry.)

However, you get this culture going in which all these movies are somehow considered not only appropriate, but GOOD for kids. And then you throw in something for even younger little children. And parents, who have more and more been taught to believe what their told about what their child MUST HAVE, believe that if they don't buy this thing, their kid won't be as smart as the neighbor's kid. Just look at the title Baby Einstein.

Remember, the American Pediatric Association recommends NO SCREEN TIME for kids until age 2, and plenty of other people would recommend against it for much older children as well.

Now, my hope is that we will be able to keep ND pure of TV at least until that age, but I'm going to try to be honest. TV is like candy. We all know that candy is not good for you, but most people have it sometimes anyway, and I can't promise that I can be perfect in that. I think it's healthy for U. and I as adults to use TV sometimes to unwind together at the end of the day, and ND is now usually sitting with us at that time, not watching, but present. Is this a mistake? Maybe.

So there you have it. I hope that was all clear enough. I'm too tired to write anymore and you're probably too tired to read anymore anyway!

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

It's Been Awhile

Well, I guess it's only been a week since my last blog entry, but it feels like a very long time.

Two reasons:

1. I'm pretty busy now with this baby and with re-entering the world.

2. I find that I'm becoming pseudo-introverted, wanting to keep more private about OUR life. It's one thing to lay myself out to the world, but I want to keep my baby close and protected.

In any case, she's now 8 weeks old and still cute cute cute and I still worry worry worry that anything could ever happen to her. I suppse this is normal. She sleeps very well, but I am so hyper-alert at night that I awake every time she moves. Someone advised me today to have her sleep further from me, but I don't want that either. I really just want every minute I can to be physically as close to her as possible.

Today we were out all day together from about 10:30-4:30. We saw a breast specialist in upstate New York. I'm still having problems with the thrush but have new information of how to treat it and feel much better about it, at least emotionally. We also ran another important errand and had to spend at least an hour, probably more, in different intervals sitting in the backseat nursing before and after our errands.

Most significantly, we visited the school again. This was for several purposes... one is that I'm trying to get used to just being there again. The shock was too great last time. I was a whole different person in my old person place and it felt terribly unsettling. I need to smooth that out before my full re-entry. Also, I had a meeting with my assistant. There was some stuff in that meeting that I wasn't looking forward to and have been worrying about, but now that it's done I feel I did the best I could both in the meeting and in some things I offered to do before my return. There is still plenty of worry-material, but I'm trying very very hard to focus on action rather than thinking about where I might be doing something wrong. It's too guiltifiying and gives me a headache. I'm reminding myself that worry ruins today and doesn't help tomorrow. (I stole that from a quote but, sadly, I don't remember whose.)

I recently mentioned on here a book I borrowed, but have not yet shared the title. It's called Nursing Mother, Working Mother and it's enormously helpful. It's mostly practical information such as legal issues and how best to utilize the breastpump etc. But it also hit some emotional points that really mean a lot to me. First of all, this is one of the first texts I've read that has really respected my desires to be a mother and need to work. Usually I feel like the idea is, "Of course you'd like to be home with your baby all the time, but if you just can't..." signifying some failure or poor order of priorities. Alternatively there is the view, "Your career is important. You are important. Don't let motherhood redefine you," when in fact I feel totally different than who I was and see myself with much more weight attached to MOTHER than I ever imagined or than I attach to TEACHER. This book really believes in closeness with your child and it ASSUMES you have a good reason to go back to work, whether financial, career-oriented or what have you. So when I read this book, I don't feel like I have to continue questioning that choice.

(Before I go on, I should interject that the book very clearly states that all mothers are working mothers and that the term "working mother" tends to devalue the importance of stay-at-home parenting, but that for lack of another phrase, the author will continue to say "working mother.")

The book then says several other things that are very meaningful to me. For one, it says that mothers have ALWAYS been "working mothers." We get this idea in our heads that in a traditional culture, women stayed home with the kids while the men went out to work. But really, women were carrying enormous work burdens in addition. Today an enormous percentage of the world's farmers are women. And when these women have children, they strap them on their back or watch them play nearby. In addition, the children learn from being so close to the workplace.

What has changed in our culture and time, Pryor says, is that this is the only time in history and in any part of the world in which mothers are expected to separate from their children.

As I think of that, I really ache emotionally. I hate hate hate that that has been stolen from so many women and children. But Pryor talks about really good ways to keep that bond strong and cites studies that show children suffering no ill-effects long term as long as a good attachment is built between mother and child. Nursing is the shortest route to this attachment, but there are other ways as well.

I often think about how rushed most families seem to be. I know for myself that when I come home from work I tend to stay in overdrive until (or even past) my bedtime. I hope that that is not what I do though. Today when we got home (at around the time I suspect we will usually get home once I start work again), ND was fast asleep. So I made myself a snack and got some work done right away. But as soon as she woke up, I gave her my time. We nursed and did a Mommy Baby Exercise Routine. That was really fun. I want to try very hard to set aside time after that car nap in particular for us to be together. It will help both of us feel good, I hope.

One last thought in this very long post. I have often hoped that having a child would help me put things more in perspective. I'm a big worrier and I tend to come home feeling stressed. In many ways, having her certainly adds to the stress, but I think I was a little bit right. At least in this stage, when she's in my arms and when we're not having home-stress, the outside world is a little bit easier to make sort of melt away.

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