hang up the gloves

When it comes to motherhood, all bets are off. Any woman out there will tell you that having a baby changes everything. Motherhood is an incredibly important job AND an incredibly hard job. There is no instruction manual to follow. No step-by-step guide for guaranteed success. We all just take a deep breath and jump in.

That being said, there is an enormous amount of pressure for us to do everything the “right way” when it comes to raising a family. This pressure comes from expectations we’ve set for ourselves, as well as from outside sources such as our own moms, family members, friends and yes, even strangers. And probably the harshest critics of all: OTHER MOMS. No one tells you before you become a mom that you will soon be entering the Mommy Wars. A place where everyone has an opinion of what you’re doing wrong, what you should be doing instead, and why they want to punch you in the throat.

I think one of the hottest topics when it comes to bringing up babies is breastfeeding. There seems to be this ongoing war between moms about the pressures to breastfeed, the successes and failures, how long to do it (short-term, extended), and the thought that bottle-feeding (not only formula, but breast milk as well- yikes!) somehow makes you inferior as a mother. This is all a bunch of malarkey. While everyone clearly understands that breast milk is best, there are barriers that keep 100% of all moms from breastfeeding. Some of these include milk production (or lack thereof), premature deliveries, latching problems, medications, single-parenting, working full-time, lack of support, etc., etc. Add to those the fact that breastfeeding is certainly not all sunshine, lollipops, rainbows, and lemon drops all of the time.

Breastfeeding is hard work. Bleeding nipples, cracked nipples, inverted nipples, flat nipples, blah, blah, ouch. Exhaustion, confusion, infection. Cradle hold, cross-over hold, football hold. The list goes on and on. You know what else is hard work? Yep, you guessed it- everything else that goes along with having a new baby in your life.

I am a breastfeeding mom. I exclusively breastfed both of my children well past one year of age (ages two and three if truth be told). I was extremely lucky and my babies were perfect little latchers. I had a great supply (I seriously could have fed a small country) and everything just seemed to click for me. What does this mean for you? Really it should mean nothing. I am not in competition with you. I do what’s best for my kids and my family and I would expect you to do the same.

The greatest caveat to achieving and maintaining the health of my children and myself is AWARENESS.  It is unacceptable for me to “just go with the flow” so to say when it comes to decisions that impact my family. It takes education, tons of reading, mucho support, and a “BIG” set of balls to stand firm in my beliefs. I take what I learn and apply it to my life as best I can. If others warrant my opinion or advice, then I give it. I’ve created this blog to help, not to divide.

The bottom line: Be confident and secure in the choices you make for your kids and there will be absolutely no room for others to knock you down. I can only hope that sometime soon we see motherhood as a journey we’re all facing together.

So ladies, whatta ya say-

Shall we hang up the gloves?

dr . lisa

one thousand and one

As moms, we are everything to our children. They see us as the smartest, the funniest, the nicest, the prettiest, the cuddliest, the oldest, the fastest, the strongest. Meeting their day-to-day expectations of us can be hard and daunting sometimes, but it can also be quite simple, really.

This is part of a conversation I had with my three-year-old little boy the other day:

No honey. Besides the fact that dinosaurs don’t live here anymore, I’m pretty sure we couldn’t fit one in our living room or in our kitchen for that matter. They are kinda big.

thanks kiddo.


momthropology 101

Knock knock.
Who’s there?
High School.

Why is it that it’s the year 2012 and yet sometimes I feel like I’ve been transported back to the mid-90’s? It’s not the latest fashion trends. It’s definitely not the music. And it’s not even the fact that today I spotted at least 3 women (4, if you include me) at the grocery store sporting “The Rachel.”

After careful observation, I have concluded that mommyhood is basically high school all over again. You know, the time in your life when you’re desperately searching to find out who you are and where you most fit in.

In high school, we had the jocks, preps, punks, popular, dramas, nerds, grunge (yes, grunge).

In mommyhood, we have the working moms, stay-at-home moms, soccer moms, helicopter moms, tiger moms, crunchy moms, yoga moms, yada yada yada. And just like in high school where I floated from clique to clique never really cementing myself into one particular group- motherhood has been a similar experience for me. From the outside, most people would probably say I am more of a crunchy-granola-yoga mom because I choose organic foods, I love to exercise and do yoga, and I try to implement an all around healthy and green lifestyle for my family. But to me, I am just a mish mosh of mom types that never really fit into a mold pre- or post kids:

  • I breast-fed both my children well into toddlerhood, but used disposable diapers.
  • I co-slept initially, but kicked them out as soon as I possibly could.
  • I wore my babies for about 30 seconds, then opted for a stroller.
  • I made my own baby food (once or twice), then busted out the Earth’s Best.
  • I put my kids in time-out and yell when I’m mad.
  • I get tired, cranky, irritated- and am not afraid to admit it.
  • I say “no” to my kids, then change my mind so they will stop nagging me.
  • I make mistakes, but try my hardest to learn from them.
  • Potty training is/was a pain in the ass.

In my experience with motherhood, I think it’s safe to say that versatility is key. Decide what works for you and your family and use it. Keep an open mind and be willing to change and adapt. Take our culture’s obsession with fitting moms into a particular group or category with a grain of salt. The bottom line: We’re moms leading different [crazy] lives and we need all the support we can get to feel confident in our parenting choices. You might be surprised to find the best mom friends you meet could be the ones that do the exact opposite of you.


ps. Meet me in the cafeteria, I saved you a seat.

a mommy’s [not-so-dirty] porn

I came across this blog called Pregnant Chicken and nearly peed my pants laughing at the latest post on porn for pregnant ladies. I started brainstorming on what would get me excited since it feels like I’m stuck in mommy mode 24-7. This is what I came up with. Holla back if you agree and feel free to add. Heck, even Mommy Om mommies need a lil sumthin sumthin~

What a way to manage stress.

Phew. That was good.


I am Spinach

You know those days when you eat like a complete slob? Chocolate chip pancakes with maple syrup and a coffee for breakfast. Slice of pizza on the run for lunch with a tall sugary beverage to wash it down. Fast forward to a big juicy cheeseburger with fries for dinner. And of course, a 100 calorie snack pack for the wind down during Grey’s Anatomy (don’t want to fill up too much before bed). If the old adage, “You are what you eat” is true then on those days you are a sugar filled, g.m.o. flowin’, gluten-overloaded mess, with a side of caffeine. Maybe you should make it up to yourself by going vegetarian for a week.

Tonight, I am proud to say I am spinach. I made a gigantic spinach salad for dinner and it was delicioso. In essence, I am “organic” spinach.

If I were conventional spinach, I would be Permethrin, Imidacloprid, DDE, Spinosad A, Spinosad D, Cypermethrin, Flonicamid, Boscalid, Methoxyfenozide, Pyraclostrobin, DDT and much more. In fact, a total of 48 pesticide residues were found on spinach as reported in the 2009 USDA Pesticide Data Program.

Human health effects known from these pesticides include: 8 known or probable carcinogens, 25 suspected hormone disrupters, 8 neurotoxins, and 6 developmental or reproductive toxins. Environmental effects include 23 honeybee toxins. Pretty crazy stuff, right? Believe me, it gets crazier.

new study out of Harvard shows that even small amounts of a common pesticide class can have dramatic effects on brain chemistry. Organophosphate insecticides (OP’s) are among the most widely used pesticides in the U.S. & have long been known to be particularly toxic for children. This is the first study to examine their effects across a representative population with average levels of exposure. Finding :: Kids with above-average pesticide exposures are 2x as likely to have ADHD.

So think of this post the next time you are at the grocery store buying your fruits and veggies. Below is the 2011 Shopper’s Guide from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to help you on your journey to becoming an organic freak like me. You can also find out what’s on your food? at Pesticide Action Network .  What’s On My Food? is a searchable database designed to make the public problem of pesticide exposure visible and more understandable.
Hope you all have a happy & healthy day.
  dr. lisa.