My thoughts on that breastfeeding photo

Some friends asked me how I felt about the photo circulating around on social media, of a lady breastfeeding openly on the mrt train. And then her subsequent facebook post declaring that she was not affected by the photo going around AND standing firm that there is nothing wrong with it. 

Well, before I start, congratulations on making it to the news and raising awareness on breastfeeding. 

My personal views on this episode? 

First, as a breastfeeding mother, I  feel the difficulties. Many times over the last 2 years,  Little Foot wants milk at the most inappropriate moments. And she wasn’t going to guai guai keep quiet if I didn’t let her get to the tap. And nope, she wasn’t going to wait till we reach the next private spot. 
Sometime before her 1st birthday, she also started to protest about the nursing cover. So I would run. Literally carry her and run to find a nursing room or sit in the car (oh yes, the luxury of having the mobile space). So we will not be nursing in full view of others. 

Then I started to educate her. Logic + nagging. Because I got tired of the situation!

“Do you want other babies to drink milk milk?” …”do you want uncles to see mummy milk?” . She got the idea somewhere along the way. And so we reached a nice compromise. She goes into the carrier and she would say “cover cover!” and nurse. Only in the car or when we have a room of sorts can she nurse without restriction. Fair deal.
So that’s us.  

Second, we all have rights. Your rights don’t overshadow mine and vice versa. I feel that perhaps all parties need not be self-entitled/ overly self-righteous.
It was not right for the busybody person to take the photo and post it online. That person ought to be ashamed of him/herself for doing it. 

Yet I also wonder if it was a little much to demand that a cabin full of folks who are not used to such a sight be made to watch in discomfort or “just look away” as the lady puts it. Just because “#proudbreastfeedingmama #useplasticbagtocoveryourselfwhenyoueat#nowrong #mybabywillalwayscomefirst #breastservingdifferentpurposes #notjustsex“?

 (so many hashtags…#fierce)

No babies are the same. Some prefer bottles, some want to directly latch, some reject milk. Some are feisty, some are gentle. So are adults. No two persons comfort level are the same. 

Personally, I respect that breastfeeding may make others uncomfortable. I have been there. I respect Papa Long’s discomfort at letting other men view what he felt they weren’t entitled to. 

And I respect our community’s awkwardness at what they feel is too much while some mothers, especially those who champion breastfeeding, challenge that it is a natural thing to do.

I also understand that there are girls and women who haven’t gotten to my stage and will be uncomfortable at the sight. I remember declaring how I was “scarred for life” when I witnessed my elder sister expressed milk some 10 years ago. And I almost never got round to accepting that I will do it one day because that is a natural thing to do. 

Today, people are actually awkward when I mention that I am still breastfeeding. Some of the elders frown discreetly. Some tell me in my face “够了” (enough already). I take it in my stride. Imagine me getting all riled up, whipping out my boob and breastfeeding in front of them just to make a stand. A bit much isn’t it? 

As an early Gen Yer, I watch how people from Gen X and older complain about us and the millenials saying we have a false sense of entitlement. Perhaps they are not too far from the truth? 

The lady challenged naysayers to try eating and drinking under covers.likely adapted from  arguments of “if you wouldn’t eat your lunch in the toilet, don’t ask my baby to.”

Telling people this is common space. Not happy you look away also hint of that sense of self-entitlement. 

Well…. if it was me, perhaps I would have gotten off the train and searched for a quiet corner to nurse. Maybe on days when I have more resolve, I may have tried to promote delayed gratification (a necessary lifeskill that parents today are stuggling to help their children learn because of or “instant” society and indulgent ways, and which Papa Long nags me about) and told Little Foot to wait or she can cry till we reach our destination (woe betide the other commuters). I would definitely have first offered alternatives like milk bottle (is it still no milk bottle drinking policy on trains?) or tried other distraction techniques. 

Still, who am I to say or judge? Because her comfort levels, views on this subject, and circumstances are not the same as mine. 

So I will reserve my judgement on this. 

And I wish her well on her motherhood journey. 

Meantime, I prefer that people don’t make sweeping statements about breastfeeding mums. 

We are have something in common, but that’s almost as good as just saying we are all humans. 

What I write may rile us some in the breastfeeding, but well, it is my personal stance. No offence. 
Peace. Out. 

“Just a little while more…”

it’s been almost 2 weeks since Little Foot fell ill.

So one day, I woke up and found myself with a crabby feverish toddler, who was already very clingy since she started school, and starting to display terrible two behaviour.

Not fun for sure.

We battled 9 days of fever bouts, somewhat like a roller coaster… with three visits to the PD. There were the days when Papa couldn’t be there (and couldn’t handover the car), so we took cab. PD finally found out from the blood tests that it was mycoplasma infection (it sounds more horrible than it really is).
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Saying I was worried & emotionally exhausted felt like the understatement of the year.

Poor Little Foot had to endure all the medicine sessions, had to be disappointed when we say no, she can’t go out to play with the next door korkor and meimei. She had no appetite, rejected her milk bottles. She just wanted to keep directly latching (God knows how much milk I have left in me!).

Heart wrenching.

And then there were all her tantrums, brought on by the discomfort from the bug. On three occasions, I lost my cool and shouted at her.

And then there were the “test my boundary” antics. She got a smacking on the calf from me for purposely pouring the green tea bottle contents all over the floor.

Exasperation. 

AND she was super clingy to me. I took leave to bring her to the doctor, ran home when the fever persisted. Every moment I was in the same space physically,  she wanted to make sure I was in line of sight and preferred to plaster herself to me, or act like a baby koala.
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As I described to my friends, her love really overwhelmed me.

There were moments in the last 2 weeks that I wished I could return to life before baby (I hear some exclamations of “Nooo…no good mamas ever say that! ” but Harlow, I am human). The banging outside the toilet door with her calling put “MAMEEE…. MAMEEE….!!!” would jolt me back to reality.

Thankfully, there were also pockets of funny, cute or heartmelting moments from her which would smack any wish for my old life back out of my head.

“Just a little while more…” I told myself as I gave her all my time, attention, energy and love… “Just a little while more…”

Just give her a little while more, because one day, she won’t want or need me like this anymore. Then, I will miss my little no. 1 fan. Then, I wouldn’t regret that I didn’t hold her just a while longer and a hug her a tad tighter.

Grateful.

The fever finally went away since Saturday, and she’s on the road to recovery.

This week, Little Foot went back to school. After such a long break,  we had to start the adjustment all over again…. yet again, she is clinging madly to me, and would randomly cry for no reason. Emo!

Let’s hope things get better…. while my heart and my sanity is being tested day after day.

On the bright side, finally the medicine worked on her. And maybe I can finally get some rest. (One can always dream.)

P.s. as I looked through my photo gallery, I realised that we did manage to get some very nice activities done during the moments when the fever was at bay. I’m glad we tried to keep her happy and entertained meaningfully.


Cat hunt moments

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Haircut session @ Turf City
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Playtime @home
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New rides
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It really takes a lot of courage and conviction to be a parent, and I am still being trained and tested everyday.

Parenthood really is a lifetime project filled with flying spanners and fireworks.

With the benefit of hindsight, it is a good thing that we took a long long time deliberating whether that parenthood would be our kind of gig, so we can’t really say we jumped in blindly. Everytime I feel like I am running on empty, I remind myself that we agreed to hold hands and take this leap of faith together, and that come what may, we will always try to be the best that we can be for our child.