First published in La Leche’s Breastfeeding Matter’s Magazine, March 2013.
Nursing in a roadside cafe, a Warung, in Bali
In parts one and two of Mothering Through Breastfeeding, I outlined how the first eighteen months of the very special baby-mother breastfeeding dyad developed. My son has now been breastfed every single day of his thirty months of life. This makes me very proud. So far it has proved one of the most rewarding, emotional journeys of my life. Words fail to express how fundamental breastfeeding continues to be to the relationship Ewan and I share; it is at its core. Ewan’s chuckle when he anticipates a feed, the delight shining in his eyes, says it all. He needs his milk; equally I need to feed him.
This article first appeared in ‘The Mother’ magazine, issue 52, May/June 2012, and is reprinted with permission.http://www.themothermagazine.org/ http://www.themothermagazine.co.uk
My son is three months old. I gaze in adoration at this tiny miracle before me, fascinated by his flexible toes and soft feet, which he uses like hands to grip onto my sides. Springtime six months later, I watch transfixed as Ewan expertly crawls around our garden, using his toes to propel him forward, pulling himself up and beaming with pleasure at his new found freedom. On holiday at fifteen months, Ewan walks tentatively, steadying his balance on the deck of a ferry on the Saint Lawrence River in Canada. I almost cry with joy as he takes ten steps all at once, his little feet nestled in soft-soled slippers providing him flexibility yet protection from the ground. By mid-winter, at eighteen months old, Ewan walks confidently; beaming with pleasure as his vision and mobility reach new heights.
Stoneageparent has been busy over the last few months preparing for the arrival of our second child. Tessa Rose was born at home on 9th March. We hired an independent midwife, who was wonderful during the labour and birth, without her help my long, posterior labour would have undoubtedly have meant a medicalised hospital birth. Instead I laboured in peace at home in a familiar space. It was the most difficult as well as the most amazing and profound expereince of my life.
Ewan enjoying a walk in the woods, Snowdonia
I visualise an invisible elastic thread connecting me to my son
Gradually I am loosening the hold I have on him
I am letting go as he reaches further out into the world.
Welcome to the January 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting:
Recovering from the Holidays
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about how their families get back to normal after the holidays are over.
This is part two of a post about sustainable living. See last weeks post for part one.
- We recycle as much as possible, and compost our fruit and vegetable waste. Ewan enjoys putting scraps into the compost, and is beginning to understand what we do and don’t recycle. He watches the bin men with fascination each week too! My family think I’m a bit obsessed with recycling, as I recycle everything I can in our kerbside collection, as well as saving other waste to recycle at recycling centres, such as tetra packs and large pieces of cardboard.
- We save all of our wrapping paper and envelopes, in order to re-use them. This has somewhat diminished the delight Ewan would no doubt have if he was able to tear open his presents, but at least he is gaining some understanding of waste and how to reduce it. I do let him rip open the odd present, especially if I feel I cannot easily reuse that bit of paper. It is a pity we do not all use reusable wrapping paper, so we could keep on using and swapping it.
- Reusable nappies and elimination communication; We used reusable nappies and practiced part-time elimination communication with Ewan before he was out of nappies and we now use reusable training pants, as Ewan is on the cusp of being toilet trained. Continue reading
As it is now the Festive Season, I thought I’d write a post about how we are attempting to change our lifestyles in order to live a little more gently on the planet, giving this a Christmas spin. At this time of year we create excessive amounts of waste, more so than at any other time of the year. Just taking a look at the Recycle Now website page ‘Festive Facts’ clearly illustrates this. For instance, the site states that ‘if laid end to end, approx 364,700km of wrapping paper is used each year, enough to stretch around the equator nine times or even go to the moon!’ That is scary stuff!
We attempt to live as green and sustainable lifestyle as is possible in a regular home connected to the grid. We live in hope that even these small measures, when grouped together, can start to make an impact on our planet, even if this is simply to teach Ewan the importance of reducing, repairing, reusing and recycling, so he will grow up to live a more sustainable life than his parents and grandparents generations did. If it impacts positively on him, it will also impact on others as he grows up;
- We grow some of our own vegetables and fruit; we have fruit trees in the garden as well as a vegetable patch which is growing each year as we develop it. Ewan loves to help pick the apples and make crumble with them, one of his favourite puds! He also loves pulling up the rhubarb, as the pictures show. He is beginning to understand where apples come from, as well as other fruit and vegetables, because he is involved in picking and preparing them. Preparing food using some home-grown ingredients is deeply satisfying. I can appreciate why people are turning to self sufficiency as they become disillusioned with modern lifestyles; however, for us a little gardening is enough, balanced with all the other interests and commitments we have. Continue reading