Portraits of Motherhood [1]

motherhood 1

Bye Bye Guilt

Working forty hours a week means I’m the mom who can’t always be there. Quite often, I miss school events and after-school activities. Sometimes I have to sacrifice evenings and weekends with my family.

I felt so guilty but I shouldn’t have because during the summer months with long, light evenings, I made an effort to get home early. However, my reward upon returning home was lots of kisses. Then off my kids went to play with other children on the street, coming back only to eat when darkness fell.

That they didn’t ‘have time’ for me was my wake-up call to make time for myself.

I went to Paris with a friend who was leaving Europe for India, her home. I did miss the little darlings, but upon my return home, I realised they had survived without me, and I without them.

My children make choices to be with their friends at certain times yet I often pass up opportunities to go out with mine because I worry about leaving them. And so guilt swarms and swamps, as though my having a life lessens my love for them. They, on the other hand, go away with friends but I never doubt their love for me.

So now, taking care of Number One is top of my list. Shortly after this dawned on me, I began writing a food blog, chronicling my kitchen escapades. Through it, I have found me in the leaves of green vegetables and the pages of cookbooks. For you it may be gardening, walking, or Zumba. Whatever it is, do it, because nothing liberates the spirit as much as finding personal purpose, over and above being everything else, even if it doesn’t pay the bills.

For if you aren’t full, how can you fountain? 

Read full article

Ozoz is passionate about food in its entirety – cooking, eating, dreaming, writing and photographing it @ Kitchenbutterfly

 

Milk Milk Milk

At the airport, shiny floors, blinking signs, and morning-rush people captivate my daughter, even though she hasn’t slept enough. She points at everything and says, “Wow! Pretty!” before letting go of my hand and breaking into a run. Her giggles drown in the orderly mayhem.

I grab her and we sit down to wait for our 10 a.m. flight to Italy.  Opposite us, a couple neck as if it is their last time together. When he gropes her breasts, I imagine they will soon pop out from her low-cut blouse.

“Mummy, what’s that?” my daughter taps me and points at them.

I look around. People calling, texting, and iPad-ding.

“It’s nothing.”

“No, mummy what’s that?” She is still pointing.

How do I explain? The man’s face has lowered; it is closer to the woman’s blouse now.

“Mummy look, milk! I want milk!” She tugs at my top.

“No, not now, later okay?”

“Milk! Milk! Milk!”

I look around. People still calling, texting, and iPad-ding. So I cradle her in my arms, undo my nursing bra strap, and pop my nipple in her mouth, no flesh exposed. As she suckles, I feel as though I’m being watched. I look up to meet cold stares from all directions.

I should be used to it, but this time I will not let them get away with it. I lock eyes with one woman and say, “This is my two-year-old daughter and yes I still breastfeed her! Do you have a problem with that?”

She looks away and so do the others.

Women are the ones most offended with people like me—mothers who breastfeed in public, mothers who breastfeed longer than six months, mothers who still breastfeed toddlers. They tell me, “You’re actually the one enjoying it and not the child. Oh your poor husband, how is he coping? Once the child can walk up to you and help themselves, you are abusing the child because God made your breasts for your husband.”

I’m giving my child milk for sustenance and that man is sucking the life out of his partner. Why am I the one getting the evil eye? Are a woman’s breasts for sexual pleasure or breastfeeding or both?

Afi Boboye is a wife and a mother who is passionate about breast-feeding.

 

The Aliens in Your Nest

We have five children, eleven grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. Each child is incredibly different. And while nurture has some impact, they come into the world as varied as wildflowers. The key to the fine art of mothering is recognizing and valuing their differences.

Every personality trait has an upside and a downside. The stubborn child that drives you to anger management class by resisting any parental authority may well persevere to become your hero. In our family, that child and I had the most conflict, because he was the one most like me. It was a case of irresistible force meeting immovable object.

This beautiful child, who charmed the world, knew unconsciously how to push all my buttons. It took some years, but we can finally relate without being like two porcupines trying to dance. In fact, he is my hero. He currently teaches at an orphanage for children born HIV positive, in Cambodia. Got to love God’s sense of humor.

I am sure my mother thought I was an alien. Sadly, our dissimilarities were barriers to close connection.  Learning about personality differences opened my eyes and heart to her gifts. While caring for her during her years of struggle with Alzheimer’s, I recognized her language of love. We never got a chance to enjoy each other, but I learned how to love her unconditionally.

My only daughter and I are also opposite personality types and although we express our spirituality through different religious preferences, it is our deepest shared value. Because of this, we have a much better relationship than I had with my mother.

Our family is a sapling with variegated leaves spread around the world. Each Christmas, thirty-plus of us gather. Love, and our warped sense of humor—one trait we all share, make it a high point. At seventy-seven, I take delight in all the ‘aliens’ in my nest.

Eileen O’Leary Norman is a consultant on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. She blogs at Laughter: Carbonated Grace

 

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

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77 thoughts on “Portraits of Motherhood [1]

    1. Often, one-size doesn’t fit all because we’re different. I’m very glad you decided to read and leave your comment, which is very encouraging.

      I thought the title of the series would discourage some people from reading at all. I feel as though the mothers have told their stories in a way that makes it interesting to read, whether one is a mother or not.

      Like

  1. I enjoyed reading all three perspectives on life as a mother, and I can relate to each one. Ozoz, haven’t been to your blog in like forever. I like what you’ve done with it, and have bookmarked it now. I jealously guard my metime, whilst trying to be there for them. Balancing act.

    Afi, I salute you. I breastfed my daughters for varying lengths of time, the shortest was 13 months, the longest 15. I gave up at 13 months because it was obvious she didn’t need it anymore, she took to cow’s milk like a duck and happily guzzled gallons of it after I retrieved my boobs. As for the 15 month feed, that ended abrubtly after a bite that literally had me seeing and naming all the constellations in the solar system. After carefully extracting myself from her mouth, I tucked it away with finality and that was that. Remembering that afternoon still makes my eyes water.

    Eileen, I understand my mother a lot more now that I am a mother myself. Her sayings now make sense to me, and I wonder how she coped with having children who were so cutlturally different from how she had been raised. I am aware that she did the best she could according to the knowledge she had then, and I am thankful for it. My daughters get away with mayhem in her company, maybe because raising me rubbed off her sharp edges, and made her the cuddly person she is today? I look forward to grandchildren some day, I can think of no greater blessing than to be surrounded by one’s progeny in later years.

    Timi, well done on being the curator of such beautiful stories, and thank you for becoming a friend through your writing. More strength.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Joxy, thank you 🙂

      Ouch!!! I still remember my first and subsequent bites as well 🙂
      Extremely painful!!!
      I feel your pain 😀

      Well done to you though for going past the 12 month mark 🙂
      Maybe if you didn’t have that bite you could have gone on for longer 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such rich perspectives of different aspects of motherhood. I was esp. struck by the post about breastfeeding and Afi’s observation that it is other women who tend to be bothered the most. Also, the reminder by kitchen butterfly that “For if you aren’t full, how can you fountain?” And a family of aliens- what a beautiful way to embrace our differences within the fold of family.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Diahann. I think that looking at life through other people’s lenses can enrich our lives. What the 3 mothers shared made me pause and think. I also see how I can apply some aspects to parts of my life that doesn’t include motherhood.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Diahannreyes,

      A woman said, to a friend of mine in a public place as she was attempting to feed her crying baby, that she should to go to the toilet to feed him because she would be offending people present.
      Surprisingly before she could respond to the woman a gentleman came to her defence and urged her to feed her hungry baby.

      As a first time mum I thought my alliance regarding public and extended breast feeding would come from the women but alas unfortunately I have found that it’s the men that seem more understanding 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    3. The amazing diversity of people never fails to amaze me…..often delighting, sometimes challenging. My husband and I were married seventeen years before we realized that we were not hearing each others’ expressions of love, because we are so different. We say our fifty-six years of marriage is a witness to the possibility for world peace. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Eileen, thank you for getting me to think about the truth of unconditional love. With parents, as a parent and as a child. Thank you

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Afiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

    Big, big hugs. I loved the parallels.

    It’s so funny how things are objectified and how people conclude for themselves. Thank you for an education on many levels.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ozoz 😀 😀
      I agree with you, we do jump into conclusions especially when it’s something we don’t quite understand.
      This experience has made me more gracious with my perceptions of other mothers and the choices they make regarding their children.
      At the end of the day it is he who wears the shoes that knows where it hurts right?

      I look forward to reading your blogs 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s good to carve your own blogger identity which doesn’t revolve around being a mother. And of course, it’s a choice to be made. But for long term identity, it can protect you best with something “timeless” about what you do/think.

    However it never hurts to mention some proud moments as a parent occasionally.

    I am not a parent but my partner is – 2 grown adult children. He is also a grandparent of 3. He has 3 different blogs and in none of them, does he identify the fact that he is a father and grandparent. He truly kept his personal life separate from his working life before he retired. Even now in cycling circles, some long time cyclists don’t even know he is grandparent. Personally, I think this is slightly extreme.

    If it weren’t for him, I’d forget that I’m at grandma eligible age. My eldest niece is 30 yrs.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks Jean.

        Identity is an important thing. For me, blogging will always be a platform for cataloging what I’m learning about myself in the context of food and the world, and integrating my love for food, writing and photography. Often, my children ‘star’ in blog posts 🙂 for getting me to cook something or think about an ingredient in a funny way.

        I’m not great at separating things so it works for me in my not-very organised scheme.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. You know blogging can be easy when you blog about things you’re passionate about and some people want a niche blog. So a mother who’s passionate about motherhood may have a blog that revolves around that. Many do, and quite a few are successful.

      I thought I might alienate some readers by running a series on motherhood throughout May. But each post offers varied perspectives with points to chew on even for readers who aren’t mothers.

      Certainly if one’s goal is to reach a wide audience, a niche blog- whether on motherhood, parenting, or cycling, is limiting.

      Yes, it’s a choice to be made.

      What are your partner’s blogs about? Perhaps the fact that he’s a parent doesn’t really add to the conversation.

      Thanks Jean.

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      1. His blogs are on cycling infrastructure, urban planning for walkable, cycleable and liveable neighbourhoods and bike trips that he has done (which includes some which I’ve joined with him.

        I’m probably the most personable touch in his blogs –I’ve written some guest posts and there are photos of me cycling sprinkled throughout his blogs…and in some report submissions to some municipalities. I’m idea because: I’m female and….non-white. Gettiing large masses of non-whites to cycle regularily in North American big cities, is an issue in terms of inclusivity and broad appeal for active transportation.

        A decision by his son and his wife, was not to include photos of their children in his blogs.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Impressive. I guess we determine how much of our personality and personal details we want to share. Also the nature of our blog plays a part.

          I think it’s a wise move to include posts about you and photos of you if he wants to reach a specific demographic. People tend to ‘look’ for themselves in a piece of writing. Does it help though?

          Wishing you and your partner all the best with blogging. 🙂

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          1. Whether or not it helps, convince more different people to bike often, don’t know. But he doesn’t have a choice if he wants a convenient cyclist that doesn’t mind slowly through a showcased cycling infrastructure.

            The mother centred blogs that I do read frequently are ones where the blogger has chosen to have posts on other passions, in addition to being a mother and wife.

            I realize for some mother bloggers, blogging may be therapeutic and even necessary, for them to articulate as an adult to an adult audience if they are full-time with very young children. My sisters got tired of baby talk or felt intellectually restricted with very young children 24×7.

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    2. Personality differences. When my Architect husband and I traveled with a grown son, on the first few trips my husband took all the photos and there were no people in them, not even us. Just buildings.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gosh, that must have annoyed you abit! Especially if it’s a foreign country and it’s unlikely you’ll be travelling there again.

        Yes, my partner does take many different photos of cycling infrastructure…sometimes he forgets about other things in that foreign country.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I feel I put in the time while a mother so am trying to set limits on my time. I feel that staying home and putting my career on the back burner was my happiest days of my life period. I would not regret this ever. I do feel that working now is a challenge and wish I could retire, but will have to work longer due to being home babysitting for others while raising my own three children. Timi, this was a good conversation opener and I liked your perspective on all of this!

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    1. And very well done too.

      Its the ability to make these decisions and understand them that makes me feel ‘in control’ even when there’s a struggle with waking up early and grinding through a day, with no regrets now and in the end.

      Thank you

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    2. Thanks Robin. I can relate. I put my career on the back burner for many years as well. I still faced the challenge of enjoying me time without guilt, sometimes, even though I was the mum who was there.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What and interesting combination of perspectives. Not that I can relate, but such visions as two porcupines dancing caught my imagination. I get the time issue of family time vs personal time vs work time. There are always conflicts, and guilt. Thanks Timi for sharing, and to your contributors. –Curt

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like the porcupine metaphor too. Time is a limited currency, we find ourselves negotiating and navigating… I hope we find balance that works well and kiss guilt goodbye.
      Thank you Curt.

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      1. One word here: I am STILL struggling with balancing my time. I have widow friends who have been there for me in years past and now can no longer drive, so with almost all of our grown children working, they are house bound. I used to take two of three out at least one day a week. But now with everyone getting wobbly and using canes or walkers, I can only manage to take out one person at a time on several days each week. I do office bookkeeping chores and handle home finances for my architect husband. And since he still works six days a week, I do most of the housekeeping chores. I try to spend time with grandchildren and great-grands and go to various activities they participate in, but I am also trying to write a book, I do some stand up comedy, and give presentations to local women’s groups. Since everything takes longer due to my increasingly erratic short term memory,there are simply not enough hours in the day. I have a post about the challenges of age titled: If Old Age is Better than the Alternative, We Are All in Deep Doggie Doo.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You’re active and probably that will stave off what you perceive as memory slips. Just write things down more often. At least you have set your boundaries for your widow friends.

          Write that book! Your family wants you to..even if later you told grandchildren, they would be proud to have a grandma that writes a novel.

          By the way, I have a niece who is a romance fiction writer.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Ozoz – I can absolutely relate!! Between working full time and going back to school, I question whether I’m still the Mom my kids need me to be. However, when I really consider it, I would say that they don’t seem to mind my absences. I’m still working on the guilt though!! Thank you for encouraging me to start seeing things differently.

    Afi – That was hilarious! I think mothers pitted against one another is so harmful. How can we learn from each other when we are too busy looking down our noses??

    Eileen – I have four children and with each pregnancy I couldn’t imagine that the next could find new ways to be unique, but what I found was that the combination of traits are limitless. So, I have four very different individuals who call me Mom and the only thing they can agree on 100% of the time is how weird I am! Imagine that!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Brina, I’m pleased you found it funny 😀

      There are various valid reasons some mothers breastfeed beyond 6 months or a year but even if the reasons aren’t “valid” (who sets the standard?) we really should be celebrating each other instead of “looking down our noses at others” as you have so succinctly put it.
      Thank you for your comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks Brina, I think we’re the mothers our children need :). Be encouraged and don’t let the guild take over. Just watch their reactions when they have ‘playdates’ and how quickly they run off with friends. Stay well

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    3. Love it!!! When my fourth child turned thirteen, I told him that he could not take on a teen-age attitude yet. Because I couldn’t handle more than three chronically antagonistic children at once. When two went off to college, he was sixteen and I told him he could now behave like an adolescent. It worked for us, mainly because this was a very sensitive and kind kid.

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  9. Reblogged this on Mélange and commented:
    Timi and I attended boarding school together but I’m still trying to figure out how she got these amazing writing chop. I love the perspectives she brings to Motherhood with these guest blogs. Check them out and check out her blog and while you are there show her some love. She’s pretty cool don’t you think?

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  10. Timi, thanks this guest blogging get other perspectives thing you are doing is cool.

    Ozoz, Very nicely done! I intend to take the lessons I learn from your story when I have kids of my own. I am outgoing and love to hang out with friends but gosh at the same time I cherish my me time so much that it scares me sometimes to think what would happen when kids come.(cringing)

    Afi, Girl you made me laugh so hard my tummy got a much needed workout! I couldn’t decide what was funnier, your daughter screaming Milk! Milk! Milk! or the line saying “I’m giving my child milk for sustenance and that man is sucking the life out of his partner.”

    But seriously though I would have responded the same way you did because people need to stop with the killer stares to breastfeeding Moms. Have they been to Africa? Kids there are tall enough to reach up and yank boobies out of blouses to get to their desserts. Lol

    People should do what I do when I see a couple get too grope-ey in public…Avert your dang eyes when it gets uncomfortable for you. Sheesh!

    But I will say this though(Sorry Afi)… No child with teeth is coming near my nips period! LOL

    Eileen, your piece reminded me of a conversation I had with my sister last week when she called to complain about how stubborn her oldest daughter was getting. She asked me if she was like that as a kid. I laughed so hard and asked her how much time she had for a recap of her childhood 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Elaine, kids are tall enough to reach up and get their desserts…that’s classic! Lol….

      Good point about Africa.
      I remember having to go to the markets to have ones hair braided and the lady doing the hair would literally have a big toddler hanging off her breasts, in between his or her meals and snacks, the whole time and it didn’t seem odd in the contrary it was more like the norm.
      But now we find that a lot of people in the West frown upon these sort of extended breast feeding.
      It’s almost like a taboo and hence so many “closet breast feeders”

      Teeth and breast feeding,,, ouch!! Not a pleasant experience but after the first nip and the subsequent reaction in pain, the child knows not to do it again 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Ha ha ah brownielaine, you’ll be fine. We make it up as we go along. Sometimes, I feel like I’m halfway between rebellious teenager and ‘forced adult’ but it’s one step at a time.

      I think the important thing for me is not to doubt that the love exists in every direction and to be mindful of ‘taking care of number one’ as well. In my experience, it is difficult to give your best when you don’t feel nourished.

      It is well – hope abounds

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Ozoz,
    Great to read that you found “you” and through that your food blog.
    You probably are a better parent now without the burden of all that guilt.
    An interesting read and food for thought.
    Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Afi. I definitely found me.

      On being a better parent, sigh. Everyday is interesting, sometimes difficult. I’m learning to weigh my options so I don’t overreact in some cases, by asking myself ‘What is the worst thing that could happen if….?’

      The guilt is much less, especially when I play it back to my children who sulk sometimes if I have to go out for an evening. I remind them of their weekendssssssssssss away and reluctance to come home and we smile :). I find that’s one of the most intriguing things – how some things aren’t evident till we hold up mirrors.

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  12. Eileen, thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed reading that.
    The stubborn child that drives you to anger management classes…I found that hilarious 😀
    My little girl literally drives me up the wall and she’s only two but everyone says she’s just like me so I suppose I better brace myself for the future.

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  13. Hi Afi, your story resonated with me because my son breast fed for two years as well so I can understand the stares and the questioning looks. In the end, none of these matters, we do what works for us. To answer your last question, even though it was rhetorical..I would say both:-)

    Hello Ozoz, I really enjoyed reading your post. As parents, we often carry the burden of guilt when we cannot be there for every school play or to kiss away the pain of every scrapped knee. But with time and some experience, I have found that it’s not so much the quantity of time spent with the kids that matters but the quality of time. If we can make the most of the times that we have together with the kids, really engage and connect in the moments that we have to share, we will do just fine:-)

    Eileen, thanks for your post. I don’t have grand kids yet and my kids are still at that stage where their characters are just emerging. it will be interesting to see how they grow and evolve over the years.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tamkara, that’s really good to hear 😀
      I’ve got a number of friends who are “closet breastfeeders” and would never imagine telling anyone they are breastfeeding their toddlers.
      Like you say, in the end it really doesn’t matter cause you do what works for you.

      Yes they do serve both purposes but maybe primarily breastfeeding a baby? What do you think?
      Thanks for the solidarity 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes Tamkara – well said. Its what happens when we’re together that counts.

        I’m working hard on making a difference in those moments. Thank you

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  14. Milk, Milk, Milk. I hope you don’t mind a male perspective. I don’t mind seeing a woman breastfeeding in public. There is no shame in it. What could be more natural? I am shocked and perplexed by the attitudes of those human mammals who are offended. It is obvious the mammary glands are meant for feeding. Little baby humans need to eat. What’s the big deal? It is true female breast are sexually attractive as well but there is no reason they should not be doing double duty as it were. There is no reason to be confused. I’m not confused. At least I don’t think I’m confused. There does seem to be a time when a child should be weaned, when I am not sure. That may be an individual choice and is certainly none of my business. I enjoyed you post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Benn, loved reading your perspective.
      It’s great to hear you don’t mind a woman breastfeeding publicly 🙂
      I think because a woman’s breasts are mostly referred to in relation to sexuality it’s does seem appalling to some people that a baby or even a toddler would be suckling them publicly but like you say there shouldn’t be any shame in it.
      Thanks for your comment. Encouraging 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Fatherhood is a delicate balancing act as well. I raised three children who have children of their own now, I went through some of the same guilt feeling that you (Ozoz) did. I took my children with me everywhere I went and made them part of my life as much as possible, but there were times I needed “me” time. It is hard to strike the right balance. We just have to do the best that we can. I enjoyed your article!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Afi, my mum breastfed my youngest brother until he was twenty months old. He was already very articulate, could have actual conversations but would still walk up to mummy, sit on her lap and suck. I don’t think I’d want to breastfeed my child that long but I certainly understand.

    Hi Ozoz, I follow you on instagram and I love your blog. I’m not a mother but I’ve relearned a valuable lesson- I will not live my life through my kids.

    Hi Eileen, For the first twenty or so years of my life, I had a tumultuous relationship with my mother, your post made me smile and brought up memories. Today, she’s my biggest cheerleader and I finally realised why we didn’t get along… we were just too similar.

    I love the portraits of motherhood you’ve compiled Timi, as I grow older, motherhood looms large and seems scary and dark. Stories like these makes it seem less daunting.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Adaeze. Your comment means a lot to me since that is one reason I chose to do the series. Less daunting is a good thing . . . more ‘challenging’ stories to come 🙂

      P.s. I don’t particularly care for cooking, but ooooh, I love what Ozoz does with food. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Adaeze, It does sound odd when the child can walk up and help themselves to some breast milk, finish and walk off…lol.
      But it’s great that you understand 😉

      Liked by 2 people

    3. Thank you Adaeze, so happy.

      It is such a great lesson, hard in some respects but necessary. I think we ought to live our lives for ourselves, through ourselves. There isn’t one single thing that defines us, thus…

      Stay well

      Liked by 1 person

    4. Adaeze, How wonderful that you have a good relationship already. What a blessing. I moved pretty far away from my home when I was about twenty-two and free forms of communication like we have now, didn’t exist. I think getting together mostly just at Christmas when it was chaos, didn’t give us time to recognize and find ways across the differences that were the root of our problems.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Hi Eileen, thank you for sharing your life and giving us a mirror to look at ours.

    After butting heads with one of my kids, my sister commented that I had difficulties with that particular child because that child was like me. Imagine my horror. I shook my head and said, “No way! I am not that annoying!” XD

    People matter, and even just remembering that we’re different, can change outcomes in relating with one another.

    Your post also made me consider how personality differences are adding to or subtracting from my close relationships. I’m glad that you’re forging a better relationship with your kids. And although your relationship with your mum didn’t reach its zenith, you have come to a place of peace, it seems. Your concluding statement, I take delight in all the ‘aliens’ in my nest, fills me with hope.

    Thanks again for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Timi, for gathering such a wonderful smorgasbord of thoughts on mothering. This has been a delightful experience for me; thought provoking, healing, and nostalgic. I am really enjoying the comments on all the posts.
      I was amazed at women’s negative reactions to breast feeding. What country was that in? In the fifties and early sixties when I was breast feeding, it was definitely not a very public act in the U.S., but I was so touched when visiting Mexico and seeing the women in the Cathedrals nursing their children. They came in from farms with produce on for the markets on the weekends and the church was their home away from home. They would eat their lunch and feed their babies in the back of the church even during services. It seemed to me to be a beautiful, natural and spiritual thing. (But I knew I wasn’t going to try it back home! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Eileen, it was in the UK.
        Being a first time mum I was also amazed at the negative reactions I got from women whenever I fed my little girl in public because you would naturally expect a woman to understand.

        I read an article where a woman was basically saying ” so what, you can breast feed your baby, good for you, but please do it in private”.
        But the men just avert their eyes and never look in your direction again.

        These days you have all sorts of nursing bras, tops and covers where no flesh is ever exposed.
        So it isn’t like your bring indecent showing off your breasts.
        What I have found is that, it’s just the thought that a baby is suckling away on the mothers breasts that makes it uncomfortable for people and that’s simply because the breasts are seen solely as a sexual object. It then becomes uncomfortable knowing a baby is “doing” what should be “done” between a man and a woman in private.

        I have come to learn that the primary function of a woman’s breasts is to produce milk and colostrum to feed a human baby.
        Nothing wrong with the other functions but I don’t think we should relegate that primary function to the back burner or indeed frown upon it.

        Like

  18. Afi, looooool! XD
    Milk, milk, milk 🙂 It’s interesting to think about the things that trigger our physical needs.

    I would have been watching you breastfeed too, but instead of a cold stare, mine would’ve been curious. To me, seeing a child who can run being breastfed is the same as seeing a 6-year old with a pacifier. I’m yet to hear a convincing reason for this practice, but to every woman her own, I guess.

    I think such public display of affection is impolite. But who was going to stop them; where was the ‘necking’ police? 🙂 When you make your argument against this backdrop, the evil eye seems rather unjustified.

    @giving my child milk for sustenance… I dunno… a 2-year old needs more than milk right? In any case sustenance has other connotations 😉

    Your piece made me laugh. I like how daring and in your face you are about your not-so-popular decision to breastfeed your 2-year old.

    Btw, Oh your poor husband, how is he coping? 😛 😈

    Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    1. Nice one Timi, I think he’s coping very well 😀
      A 6 year old with a pacifier and a 2 year old breastfeeding doesn’t read like a good comparison 🙂
      Most people think there are no nutritional benefits after a year.
      Not true, there is that and loads more.

      Regardless of how old your child is, he or she will continue to benefit from the protein, calcium, fat, vitamin A, and other nutrients in breast milk.
      Also the immunity benefits improve the longer you breastfeed the child.
      Plus it’s cheaper and on tap on demand 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you for taking me through Afi’s School of Breastfeeding 🙂 Seriously, thanks for pointing out the benefits. I admire you for following your convictions.

        You know I’ve always got your back right? 😉

        Like

        1. Yes I know you’ve got my back 😉

          But seriously the amount of times I’ve heard that breast milk after a year is like “cardboard” is shocking that’s why I put the nutritional benefits in the reply and that’s just one of the many many benefits.
          That doesn’t mean I will be breastfeeding forever though 😀

          Liked by 1 person

          1. @breastfeeding forever, I should hope not! 😮 XD

            I’ve held certain myths myself, and I’m happy you’re dispelling them. You are swimming against the tide. Although my imposed word count didn’t give you the opportunity to expound on the benefits, I hope your post can make us pause, think, start a conversation about breastfeeding, etc.

            Thanks again! ⭐

            Like

      2. Afi, I think another plus is developing tolerance for things that otherwise might become allergens.
        I think the downside of the Women’s Movement has been a downgrading of the career of motherhood…..I was a strong proponent for equal pay and equal opportunity to use our individual gifts in the public arena and equal pleasure and freedom in sex. But as usual, cultures always carry movements to their ridiculous extreme.
        Not everyone has natural gifts for mothering or even for marriage. But those that do, shouldn’t be considered failures or less important. I’m pretty sure mothering takes as many skills and probably more, than being a general in command of an army. Transportation logistics, supplies, coordinating conflicting demands and schedules. etc. etc etc.

        Like

        1. Eileen, very well said!! I applaud you!

          I agree with you completely.
          We should be celebrating each other as women whether we choose to be career focused, full time mother or wife or a mix of both.
          It can be disheartening when a fellow woman looks down or frowns upon another woman because of her choices.

          “A strong proponent for equal pleasure and freedom in sex”
          Sounds interesting.
          How were you able to express your views?

          Yes developing a tolerance for possible allergens is another big plus for extended breast feeding. Thank you 🙂

          Like

  19. Ozoz, I hear you. Some women who don’t make time for themselves because they are ‘caught up’ in their kids, wake up to find themselves ‘jobless’ after the kids leave home. They then re-enter the labour market as meddling mother-in-laws!

    For others, limited child-care options mean they are ‘stuck’ with kids 24/7, and it’s hard to make time for themselves …

    Mother isn’t all a woman is.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    1. Thanks dear, for the opportunity to share but also to read what others have shared and the valuable perspectives from the comments. Really special xxx

      Liked by 1 person

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