Posts tagged parenting
Posts tagged parenting
where you really think about how little you can do to protect your child. Even though nothing has happened to them yet that you know of, you also know how each day makes the statistics on that look worse and worse.
And you want to hold them close to you and never let them go.
But you know you can’t do that either.
Because they deserve to be as free as they can be.
an incredible point which i have been trying to put into words for years
Okay, I’ve been seeing these sentiments before, and it’s erasing as hell. So I’m going to take a minute to remind you that transgender people exist, and have partners with different parts than they do. So, it IS CONCEIVABLE that a gay couple COULD get pregnant.
Please remember, it’s LGBT. Please don’t forget that T.
As part of a queer couple that conceived a child together without medical intervention, I really have an issue with arguments that erase us. Yes, the child we have was wanted, and we were actively trying to conceive when we did, but we have also had pregnancy scares, and currently the potential for us to conceive again, yes, even by accident, still exists.
And when you consider that there is nothing out there as far as support or suggestions of what to do given legal challenges to our parenting rights or even just writing a damn will that acknowledges the particularities of our situation can cause us a whole series of other problems down the road. Telling us to “write it ourselves” puts us in a position of waiting until something goes wrong for our family and being left with no help for the sake of others that come after us. Which is bullshit. To blaze that trail, we are expected to sacrifice our families and accept the cold comfort of “at least we can help someone else.” Its one thing to do that when a tragedy has already occurred, but expecting us to wait for it rather than doing what we can in prevention by getting the medical and legal professions to recognize us is really fucked up.
There is a great lie out there about trans* folks, where they are assumed to be nulliparous, and/or sterile. Doctors tell transitioning patients that they can’t have kids, and then no one in the medical or legal community knows what the fuck to do when they do.
I would also like to politely point out, that wanting your kids does not make you a good parent. Not wanting them, or at least not planning for them does not make you a bad parent. That is some shitty, classist and potentially racist stereotyping bullshit.
After much fighting, and great sufferings brought about by the torments of war, the child has gone down for their second nap of the day.
The eternal question remains: was it magical tall mommy boobs or sheer exhaustion that brought the conflict to a close?
I’m voting for magic mommy boobs
The baby is weaning, so my oxytocin levels are dropping. I’m having to adjust to mood swings, but more than that, I have to learn how to deal with the baby without the help of my hormones. I adore hir, I do…but I have to start at the beginning in some ways. I have to bond with hir differently than I have until now.
Plus my spouse is becoming the primary caregiver, and I’ve been feeling a bit useless lately.
I miss being engrossed by hir. I miss hir needing me.
So you want to have a kid, or you want to interact with kids, but you’re not a big fan of the gender binary and the 10 trillion ways children are asked to conform to it, nor do you like the way that gender identity is offered to children as the primary way to make sense of themselves, and you’re also irked by the fact that even the children’s books that emphasize gender nonconformity (like My Princess Boy) fail to distinguish between “girls’ clothes” and “clothes marketed to girls”? Ok, me too. Read on!
This is one of the best resources I’ve seen on this subject yet.
Go read and add comments with suggestions!
yup. parenting. and immediately after the pulling and yelling, the baby lion giggled in such a purely joyous way that the parent lion couldn’t help but start laughing, even if that spot under their mane was still sore.
We’re rocking out to my political punk Pandora station here at the house. Squishy (our 10 month old) is enjoying their self immensely. They got a lot of punk and folk in utero so it only makes sense….
Lots of singing, dancing and smiling from this Squishy.
Train your children young to dismantle the hetero/cis/male/white-centric capitalist kyriarchy.
Nothing like independent development of thoughts and opinions!
“Train” your kids, folks.
How about ‘training’ your kids to develop the skills necessary in facilitating their growth into responsible mature adults? Nah, better to instill a victim complex before they’re old enough to spell h-o-r-s-e-s-h-i-t.
Also, ‘they/their? Please don’t tell me you’re projecting your own distorted sense of self onto a 10 month old infant?
This is fucking disgusting. Will you reprimand it when it learns to talk and (in all likelihood) expresses an innate/un-imposed interest in toys and activites appropriate to its gender? What will you say then? Will re-education and personality correction be on the agenda?
People like you really should not be having kids. You’ve given your child an identity before it has even opened its mouth to declare what it thinks it is. Is that the sort of treatment radical, free-thinking parents render onto their infants? Bring down the binaries and replace them with your own ones. Absurd.
Guess what? You’re opinion about whether we should have kids or not is irrelevant. US QUEERS CAN BREED and you can’t do jack shit to stop us.
And if you think there is such a thing as innate, unimposed interest in specific gendered anything, then you need to do something about that rock you live under. Or tell me where this vacuum exists that you apparently think you were raised in.
Seriously, y’all. One post about what music we listen to at home tells you all this about how we raise our child? TEACH ME YOUR PSYCHIC WAYS, OH OMNIPOTENT DOUCHEBAGS!
Its an astounding revelation, that your mother doesn’t like you very much. I’m in denial of it a good deal of the time because it just seems so stereotypical.
Its unavoidable, though. Its ridiculously painful. I look at my baby, my sweet little child who annoys the hell out of me sometimes but who lights up my day regardless, and I remember the day when I was 11 when my mother told me that while she still loved me, that she wasn’t “in love” with me anymore. I remember all the arguments where she spent the entire time accusing me of things I would never do, and equating being willing to admit when I’m wrong with being “unreliable.” I think about how she is still convinced that I talked my spouse into transitioning and how everything I have ever been has been for attention, and all of my emotions are either irrational or calculated. I think about all the things she told my spouse I was when I was out of the country and how those things almost ended my marriage. I think about how she congratulates my spouse for “supporting” me and “putting up with” me. I think about every offer of help that has been pulled back after I’ve committed to needing it and every emotional rollercoaster that resulted from rejecting her help. I just can’t comprehend it.
Maybe it has something…everything to do with the fact that she felt obligated to have me. She’s as much as admitted that she wouldn’t have been able to do the type of parenting I do because she didn’t want to be that involved with me.
I don’t doubt that she loved/s me in her way. No, that’s a lie. I think she thinks she loves me. That’s not the same thing.
I don’t know where I’m going with this. I hope that some day I can stop letting her live rent-free in my head. I’ve dedicated to essentially maintaining as little contact as possible, so that should help.
Okay friends, I need your help.
I need to interview someone for my Health and Human rights class. I specifically need someone who has been pregnant, has given birth or who has adopted a child. My interview will focus on pre-natal care, birthing experiences and post-partum care.
My first preference for the paper I’m interested in writing is someone who is not female identified who has been pregnant or given birth, and if you breastfed that’s a huge plus! If you are genderqueer or trans and were the non-birthing parent, I’d also like to hear from you. The interview will be 12-15 questions via email and I will identify you in the way you are most comfortable with.
If you can’t help me, can you reblog and boost this signal? I need to have someone to interview by the 22nd of Feb.
Anyone that is interested can message me here on tumblr and I will give you my email address from there. Thanks a ton!
I don’t know why, but parenting advice always makes me depressed. I keep researching various theories and reading various books and all of them, even the ones I like, make me feel inadequate and like I’m fucking up.
The traditional “what to expect…” series of books was given up on around two months in. It was just making me paranoid and it was mostly advice for a style of parenting that I wasn’t following anyway. Attachment parenting advice books have been great, but there are some things I’m not doing (elimination communication as an example) and some things I’m finding hard to follow through on (I’m short and fat, so baby wearing is not a viable solution if I need to do laundry, dishes, or cook, which comprises the three chores that I have to do regularly. That’s not even counting the fact that the baby doesn’t like being restricted by the sling.) I have a roommate that is assuming that the attachment parenting I am doing is “spoiling” my child, which isn’t helping my confidence about this. Then, I find that according to the montessori method, I’m fucking up my kid by co-sleeping because it encourages dependency.
I know I should just follow my instincts, but its really fucking hard to hear them through all the noise. Especially when that noise is playing on my deep seated self-confidence deficit. This was one major reason why I avoided reading up on any of this stuff while still pregnant.
(Image description: an indented circle of silicone that peaks in a cone in the middle)
I have been using a nipple shield as a breast feeding aid since coming home from the hospital. Above is a picture of the type pf shield the lactation consultant gave me. My baby was 4 weeks early and apparently with babies born that early there is usually issues with initial breast feeding. Their jaws are not developed enough to latch on without help.
Anyway, the shield was a godsend at first, since I was having the hardest time figuring out how the fuck this breast feeding thing was supposed to work with a child that was smaller than one of my boobs, while my boobs were leaking everywhere and almost drowning hir, AND we were on an aggressive feeding schedule to help hir get hir bilirubin count down to a normallish level and avoid re-hospitalization for jaundice. I couldn’t for the life of me get hir to latch without it, and my nipples had this awful habit of almost retracting into my breast when I tried.
The only problem was that the shield was a bit too small for one of my nipples and caused me quite a bit of pain. there was blood, and scabbing and throbbing, yelpy pain. I’d cry while feeding on that side, or kick the floor really hard. Made life miserable for the entire house, let me tell you. It got so bad that I spent two days nursing exclusively on the undamaged side and only pumping the side that hurt. Which meant staying in the same spot all freaking day, and essentially doing nothing but pumping and nursing.
One night I lost the fucking thing and almost had a total meltdown because the baby was hungry and crying and I couldn’t feed hir and I was broken because I couldn’t feed my child without help and Oh My God I was a miserable fucking failure failure FAILURE! (I felt like a right dickhead when I discovered I’d thrown this awful fit thinking it was lost and the damn thing was just shut in my computer.)
After quite a few frustrating attempts, I had almost quit trying to move to feeding without it, and had resigned myself to pain and the stress of keeping track of this little piece of silicone for the duration of our breast feeding relationship. Then about a week ago, my aunt that was visiting to meet the baby was watching me breast feed with the shield, and she suggested, gently, that I was ready to try and get hir to latch without it.
This aunt and I have always been close, to the point that I see her as almost a mother/sister in my life. While she subscribes to some spiritual ideas that can be obnoxious in some ways, she has also given me some great insights through the years. So I gave it a shot. And holy shit, first try and zie latched on like we had never done anything else! Today was the first day we went for all of our feeds without it, and the only things that have changed is how I feel about feeding my baby.
I’m so proud of hir…and of me. We are fucking awesome :D
(I pulled this idea from Blue Milk and her posts about and for her kids)
Its been nearly 6 weeks since you were born, even though it feels much shorter than that. I want to keep track of the things that make the deepest impression on me since this time with you is flying by so fast.
So here are two lists: one of my five favorite things so far, and one of my five least favorite things.
5 least favorite things:
5 15 most favorite things:
*Not hir actual name, but the name that I will be using online when talking to or about hir.
Sean Penn as Harvey Milk.
This movie is so good, IN EVERY WAY, and imagine anyone else delivering this performance. You can’t.
This is one of the greatest and important movies ever made, I am not kidding.
He is so good and must has something in there, somewhere, RIGHT?
Embarrassing admission time: I had no idea who Harvey Milk was until I started hearing about this movie.
Maybe not embarrassing. I’m actually a little annoyed by this. My mother was living in SF during the riots immediately following his assassination, yet I never knew who he was.
(warning, this is about to turn into a rant against my parents, and against not going far enough)
I posted Arwyn’s piece on raising her kid purple and being aware that not every kid is cis or straight and being open to the idea that your kid might be trans or queer on my Facebook. One of my friends responded by saying “I’m just going to let my kids be themselves.” When I talk to my parents about being queer (they don’t know about my gender issues) my mother talks about “teaching you guys to love the person, not the body.”
Well, revelation time, I didn’t even know that being queer or trans was possible until I figured out that I was queer and a friend told me that she was planning on transitioning. I was 16. I told my mom as soon as I realized, because I did trust her and I wanted her to say she was okay with it. That’s not what I got. I got “well, have you had sex with any of your boyfriends?” “Well, how do you know?” “Don’t you think its just a phase? I mean, you do a lot of things just for attention…”
we didn’t talk about my sexual orientation for almost a decade.
She still believes that because she didn’t threaten me, or kick me out or be physically violent that she was completely supportive. (My dad just sort of ignores the whole thing after making constipation faces when the subject comes up, or makes homophobic jokes about gay men then accuses me of being too sensitive when I point out that those jokes are only funny if you think there is something wrong with being gay. He also has deep insecurities about masculinity, specifically his own, but I think that can make a post in itself.) I’m sure my friend is comfortable leaving her support at “letting them be themselves” without any examination of how her expectations of who they are based on cultural expectations of cis and hetero normativity will give them a very specific message of how much she will support them if they aren’t cis or straight thinks that is enough.
Its not enough.
If it was enough, it wouldn’t have taken me until my twenties to know that someone like Harvey Milk existed, or about Stonewall, or that transitioning from your birth assigned gender was even possible.
When the whole world around us tells us that only straight cis folk are real, we need more than not openly being hateful to be supported.
Half of my family is Jewish, so one of the things my mother asked me when I revealed my pregnancy was if we were going to plan for a bris in the advent of having a child with a penis. I told her no, despite my desire to raise my child with an awareness of their Jewish heritage, I have no desire to subject them to unnecessary surgery. Its hir body, not mine and I will no more get a child with a penis circumcised than have surgery done to “correct” ambiguous genitalia.
I got into a big argument on New Year’s with a bunch of people in my family about this. To be clear, I was asked if we were planning to circumcise (it was not presented as though it was assumed we would) and I just said “no” citing that I believed that the kid’s body belongs to hir, especially once zie is no longer dependent on my body for survival so I don’t feel I have the right to decide that for hir. This has been my stance on everything from forced sexual assignment surgery as referenced in the above paragraph to ear piercings in infancy. Suddenly I’m being forced to defend my stance on this to a roomful of people, some of whom I don’t know very well if at all. (As a note, my mother was supportive of me, though not vehemently, and did apologize for bringing it up in a place where I would have to defend it to almost complete strangers.)
My two favorite arguments? “But, you’ll have to teach them how to clean it!” Yes, I’m going to have to teach hir how to wipe hir ass too, provided zie is able to. This is different how? And “Well, I just think that cut penises are more attractive/cleaner-looking” Well, that’s a wonderful argument. You think I should remove a part of my child’s genitalia because you won’t want to look at it if I don’t? How about this? Don’t like uncut penises? Don’t look at my child’s penis!
And all of this before anyone even knows if the kid HAS ONE YET. Hell, I don’t even know!
And this is just part of it. I did realize that most of what was driving the arguments was that my stance made people feel like I was accusing them of being willing to abuse a child for no reason (to be fair, by virtue of explaining my stance, I was) and a feeling of insecurity in the men that were defending the practice. I actually had to tell one guy, who is the same age as my father and whom I had just met that evening, that he was allowed to feel comfortable about the state of his penis regardless of whether he had a choice in that state, but could he please stop trying to use religious law that I don’t believe in to argue for me cutting my child.
What sent me reeling the most about the entire thing was that no one batted an eye at being presented with evidence that cutting off the foreskin is not in any way scientifically beneficial to a person that has no medical complications surrounding said foreskin. I mean, I present people with facts in the face of popular oppressive myths all the time. I have a file cabinet in my brain and a list of authors and research papers in my phone that I use as back-up because I believe/d that when presented with enough evidence of a specific “legitimate” type, people would be forced to listen and at the very least, I could plant a seed in their awareness and show them the direction that seed was growing in.
And with most of those discussions, I’m forced to use evidence that is often waved away as “opinion” because its not quantitative “hard” numbers. People regularly respond to my evidence with “well, I think that…” as though their opinion somehow cancels out decades, if not centuries of evolving scholarship, not to mention the detailed and documented experiences of the people actually living through the conditions being discussed. I was actually surprised how even the quantitative evidence was met with “well, I think that…” when confronting a structure like circumcision (good for you! you have an opinion! that flies in the face of both medical evidence and my child’s right to bodily autonomy, but hey! We can pretend that those things are equal if it will get you to shut the fuck up and leave me alone.)
I realize I’m relying on a specific social construction of “logical science” as defined by an oppressive power structure to try and make people see the flaws in said power structure and the ways in which that structure is perpetuated based on “we said so” as opposed to anything that actually fits its own definition of “scientific evidence.” Maybe that’s why it doesn’t work.
Its situations like this that make me wonder if there is any tool that will help people see the contradictions in the world around them that lead them to support oppressive power structures. Is just living in an awareness of those structures and living a life attempting to subvert as many as I can enough? Beyond enough, is it all that I can reasonably expect to do? Because it doesn’t feel like enough. And it does feel like if I just stretch a little farther, try a little harder, mix just the right amount of information in just the right way, I’ll find the cure. Like its hovering on the edge of my consciousness and I can see it in the corner of my minds eye but it disappears as soon as I turn towards it. Like trying to see yourself in a mirror with your eyes closed.