What is Love? Baby, Don’t Hurt Me- giveaways and more

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Dear Leakies,

As #TLBloves comes to a close, we are focusing on the relationship we have with our partner, including what we would like to have with our current or future partner.

Believing that settling is tantamount to giving up, we look for 8 ways to better our romantic relationship in all kinds of places, and it can be helpful to do so, so long as we don’t forget who we and our partner actually are. It’s impossible to fit someone else’s mould.

This week we offer you a smattering of articles and links to inspire you to draw closer to your loved one, to remember the love that you have, and cultivate your relationship so that it can bloom into something beautiful and life-giving. Including this one that sums up a core aspect of our own marriage.

Join us on Instagram, Facebook, and twitter as we share our connection stories with #TLBloves. So grateful for the sponsors we have who believe such connections are important; MilkMakersEarth Mama Angel Baby, fair trade Pebble ToysChompy Chic chewable jewelryBamboobies, and Baby K’Tan baby carriers.

Find love, Grow love, Be love.

Jeremy Martin-Weber
Co-owner, TheLeakyBoob.com
Owner, writer, Beyondmoi.com

This is an excerpt from our TLB email, to continue reading, click here.

 

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Fed With Love- Giveaways and the Drama of Feeding Our Babies

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Dear Leakies,

It has been said that the way our babies come to us shapes who we are as parents, that we birth ourselves as mothers just as our children are born into our hearts and arms. I’ve seen that to be true with both adoption and childbirth.

And so I would say, our journey in feeding our children as infants feeds our mothering soul and confidence. The obstacles we encounter and how close we are to meeting our goals can directly impact how we view our own parenting competency.

This is a big part of why we still need infant feeding and parenting advocacy and why will continue doing so. It matters, not just for that moment, but for the long haul too. Sharing our feeding stories in all their diversity, from rainbows and butterflies to steep mountain and lakes of lava, matters. We can normalize just how varied it can be. And down with shame surrounding infant feeding.

It was with this in mind that the idea for a children’s book that celebrates feeding babies and toddlers was born. In conversation with my own children about the different ways babies are fed when they saw a baby with a stomach tube, they observed that the baby’s mom loved him very much. We began looking for images of babies and toddlers being fed with love. Together we wove a story of love in the various ways parents feed their children. Breast, bottle, cup, tube, spoon, syringe… What Love Tastes Like.

We’re looking forward to making our book available with stunning illustrations done by Joni Rae Latham through self-publishing. We’re going to need your help and we’ll be sharing even more about that soon. For now, join us on the What Love Tastes Like Facebook pageand Instagram for a sneak peak at the book and a place to share our fed with love experiences plus recipes and tips.

Every day on TLB’s social media we celebrate fed with love and honor the varied paths parents find themselves on in their infant feeding journeys. This month with #TLBloves, we are taking a look at how it extends beyond feeding and into our relationships.

Join us on Instagram, Facebook, and twitter as we share our connection stories with #TLBloves. So grateful for the sponsors we have who believe such connections are important; MilkMakersEarth Mama Angel Baby, fair trade Pebble ToysChompy Chic chewable jewelryBamboobies, and Baby K’Tan baby carriers.

Feed with love,

Jessica Martin-Weber
Founder, TheLeakyBoob.com

This is an excerpt from our TLB email, to continue reading, click here.

 

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When Your Kids are A$$holes…

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Dear Leakies,

This month we’re talking about relationships, connecting, and bonds with #TLBloves. We all need it but sometimes we take it for granted, particularly with our children.

It seems to be a given that parents will love their children and certainly, that’s usually what happens but without intentionality, we may miss out on connecting with our children. Time and effort are involved and it doesn’t just happen by being around them, being in the same room or home doesn’t mean we’re really present.

There came a point in my parenting when I realized I was always available to my children and I was taking care of them but what I wasn’t doing was being truly present… being withthem. For me, being a stay-at-home-mom was when it was the most difficult for me to be with my children, there was always something demanding my attention and in my mind I had endless amounts of time to connect with them, I could always do it later. It wasn’t until I returned to work that I realized that I may have been there for my children when I was staying at home but I rarely was with them. That had to change.

My daughter helped me work on that when she was 2.5 years old, that story here.

Building intentional connections are important in the best of times, even more so in the worst of times.

Like when we don’t really even like our own kids.

I know, what a horrible thing to admit.

But what a reality of parenting.

And it’s ok to feel like that, even ok to admit it (but maybe not to your child, just to friends) so you can take a deep breath and remember your child isn’t trying to be an a**hole, they’re just being… a child.

So what can you do? How do you avoid damaging your relationship with your child? I’m not sure I have the answers but I appreciate what Jeremy, dad of 6 girls, had to say about this over on BeyondMoi.com, here. We also loved this post on why you should hug your kids when they’re being horrible.

Join us on Instagram, Facebook, and twitter as we share our connection stories with #TLBloves. So grateful for the sponsors we have who believe such connections are important; MilkMakersEarth Mama Angel Baby, fair trade Pebble ToysChompy Chic chewable jewelryBamboobies, and Baby K’Tan baby carriers.

May you find the deep connections with your children in a way that lasts.

Jessica Martin-Weber
Founder, TheLeakyBoob.com

This is an excerpt from our TLB email, to continue reading, click here.

 

View More: http://yourstreetphotography.pass.us/leakyboobwraps

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Breastfeeding: a Piece of the Larger Puzzle

 by Christie Haskell

image credit: flickr user ned the head

I’m sitting outside, laptop on a picnic table, watching my almost-3 year old daughter run around, play in dirt, draw on the patio with chalk and talking to the neighbor girls through the fence. Little things that seem menial mean so much to her. A robin landing on the ground to eat fallen crabapples fascinates her, and has created a whole interest in birds, of which she can now identify many. Childhood, the large and small parts, is so important for the framework that determines who our kids become as adults.

We let them play in dirt because it’s not harmful, it’s fun, and we know it’s good for their immune systems.

We let them explore as much as we can so they can learn about their environment, but still pull them back before they can do something that would really injure them so they can learn to explore, but safely.

We allow them treats because life is supposed to be about enjoyment, and a popsicle on a hot day is one of those things that makes childhood wonderful, but we also give them healthy meals because it’s important for their bodies to grow strong, their immune systems to function and for their lives.

I think it’s fair to say all of those things are true, yes? But it’s funny to me, because when discussions about certainly parenting choices arise, it’s inevitable that at some point, someone will say something like:

“In fifteen years, if you walked into their classroom, you would have no idea who was breastfed and who wasn’t.”

That’s true, of course. I can’t look around at teens and say, “Yup, nursed. Not nursed. Supplemented for two months.” No way. It’s not like breastfeeding or formula feeding creates purple kids and orange kids. However, it’s the sentiment behind it – that your choices when they’re children don’t matter – that is inherently flawed. Just like the examples I gave above, we know that the things we do for our children whether they’re newborns, toddlers, in elementary school or teenagers has an effect on them in the future. If it didn’t, why would we bother?

Some people eat junk food and stay thin and don’t have vitamin deficiencies, but that’s certainly not something you count on. We are safe to assume that a child is going to be healthier, stronger, grow to a better potential and even do better in school when they have a breakfast of eggs anf fresh fruit than a bowl of Cocoa Puffs every morning, or a dinner of baked eggplant parmesan instead of McDonald’s. In fact, it’s not just safe to assume, it’s kind of common knowledge and no one in their right mind would argue that the child eating unhealthily is better off than the other child, or that it would have no affect on the child’s future health or day-to-day function.

image credit: flickr user clogsilk

So, why when the discussion turns around to breastfeeding, is this truth, that their diet and bodies affect them both at the moment and long-term, suddenly dismissed?

No, I can’t walk into a high school classroom and tell you who is breastfed or who was formula fed or any combination of the two. I would never presume to be able to. However, what is true is that if you broke the children up into groups, of those with illnesses, allergies, those who were overweight or missed school often from weaker immune systems, you’re likely to find some similarities there.

I’m not saying the healthy kids would all be breastfed, not at all. I’m saying that you’re more likely to find that the healthier groups have families who eat healthy, are more active, and yes, ALSO that the children were more likely to be breastfed. I’m sure you’d find some exclusively formula-fed children whose families eat healthy there as well, because we all know it’s not just breastfeeding or just diet or just genetics, but a combination of everything, a bunch of little puzzle pieces that make up the whole picture that is your child.

We accept that there are certain ways to raise children that promote health more than others, and breastfeeding is no exception to that.

No, again, I can’t walk into a classroom and single out the breastfed children, however that may be the puzzle piece that makes the difference between which group of children your child stands in. When you put together a puzzle, you work hard to put every single piece in the right place. You wouldn’t get rid of some of the pieces that are harder to fit, because who knows if that one piece is actually a very important part of the final picture? Children are just the same – we can’t claim on one hand that healthy diets for children create healthy habits and healthy adults, and on the other hand say it doesn’t matter if you breastfeed because no one will be able to tell.

It’s not what people can see from the outside that matters anyway – I also couldn’t walk in and tell you which child has been raised as a homophobe or which one kicks his dog when he’s mad. Each puzzle piece that makes up your child is unique, is important, and deserves your best effort to put in the right spot so the final picture is as healthy, as happy, and as good as you can possibly make it.

 

 Christie Haskell is a writer, coffee addict, and mother to two adorable, hilarious and exhausting  children. She has written for CafeMom’s The Stir, Daily Momtra, Attachment Parenting International and Brio Birth, where she currently now tells other writers what to do as well. She’s a  huge car seat advocate after her own traumatic accident as a teen, and babbles endlessly about babies,  birth, breastfeeding, boycotting (Nestle) and other crunchy things that don’t start with a P.  Find her on Facebook here.
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