mothering daughters: it begins

I was brushing Birdie’s hair this morning. She stood in between my legs while I sat on the couch. I could see her poking her thigh with her finger while I brushed.

“Am I skinny?” She asked.

“You’re perfect.” I replied.

“But I can see some fat here,” she said, poking her upper thigh.

“That is not fat, it’s just part of your body. Your body is perfect and has everything it needs. If you didn’t have that bit of body, you’d only have a bone and when you tried to walk with only a bone you’d fall over, ” I replied: stupidly, awkwardly, long-windedly. She seemed to accept this answer and think it was quite the joke. She went on laughing about walking around with only a bone for a leg and falling over.

I remembered someone telling me that their daughter started worrying about her weight when she started kinder. I was gobsmacked. Kinder? Are you kidding me? I don’t remember noticing anything in particular about my body until high school.

I am probably reading a lot more into Birdie’s comment than I should. Perhaps it was just a flippant comment that meant nothing to her, yet to me held a tsunami of undercurrents about our culture and society, materialism, body image, questions about whether or not I’ve been making comments while getting myself dressed that she has picked up on, ra ra la la ha bla.

It has reminded me that I am a role model – the main womanly role model they have. They see how I look at myself in the mirror, they hear the things I might say about my body, or about how a piece of clothing looks.

It’s been a good opportunity to think about what I do and don’t want to pass on to my daughters when it comes to body image. A lot of food for thought…

my top five books to read during pregnancy

I thought I would share some of the books I enjoyed reading during my first pregnancy, and am again finding new life and perspective in the second time around. There are so many books out there about pregnancy and childbirth, it can be hard to find your way.

Before you read on, please note, I’m so not the type of person interested in ‘funny’ pregnancy books that try to make you laugh and have cartoon pictures (Gee, aren’t I oh so boring). In pregnancy I like to read books that educate me (about real birth, not birth as our culture likes to see it), books that calm me, and books that remind me about trust – my body knows what to do.

:: The natural way to a better pregnancy – Francesca Naish & Janette Roberts

This is a great book written by two naturopaths, although sometimes you do have to take their advice with a grain of salt as it can be slightly overwhelming. Remember even when things are beneficial, the stress of doing/not doing something can often counteract the benefit. Take things slowly, step by step.

:: The Complete Book of Pregnancy & ChildbirthSheila Kitzinger

The title speaks for itself, and any pregnant lassie who doesn’t know about Sheila Kitzinger, please do yourself a favour and click on the link!! Ignore the dated website. She is amazing. You can also see her on the The Face of Birth.

:: Well Adjusted Babies – Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani

This book addresses a number of different topics from health issues, fertility, pregnancy, vaccination, holistic parenting, nutrition, and chiropractics. Our chiropractor friend lent us a copy a while back and I loved it so bought our own to keep in the birth/kiddie library I have slowly collected. A goodie!

:: Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful – Gurmukh

I love this book. I borrowed it from the library last pregnancy and boy was I glad when my puppy at the time had a good old chew on it and I got to keep it! It was a blessing. Unfortunately between pregnancies I lent it to a friend who I have fallen out of touch with (circumstantial, nothing nasty!) and so last week I re-ordered a copy for myself. I was surprised to find it for sale for $15 after it being at about $45 last time I was pregnant. Nice surprise! I went to this book whenever I felt doubt, fear, anxiety, stress or anything else related to the birth in particular. I would flip it open to a random page, and read. It has plenty of kundalini meditations and other lovely warm advice.

:: Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering – Sarah J Buckley

Last but definitely not least is Sarah Buckley’s book. If I were only going to buy one book from this list, it would be this one. It’s Australian, and is written by a mother and GP who has had four home births. She knows her stuff. There is hard evidence in here as well as reassuring information.

Which books were your favourite to read during pregnancy?

What Happens…

… when you feel like you just don’t fit in?

Sometimes I feel like I don’t fit in. Today I feel a bit like that. Yesterday too. Like I am floating around between here and there, not really knowing where I fit.

Sometimes I wish I could just go along with everyone else, do and think the things that everyone else does. It would be so much easier.

Some days I realise that there is no such thing as everyone else. Some days.

Sometimes I feel like I haven’t figured out what’s what yet.

Do you ever really figure it out?