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How to get out of your head, and into the moment

I've been thinking a lot about being mindful — about how to be as present as I can. Then I realize I am thinking so much about being present that I am letting it distract me from BEING present! So tonight, I tried a little exercise based on one of the mindfulness practices I learned during childbirth preparation: see, hear, feel, breathe.

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I never planned to breastfeed a toddler, and now I do all the time

I don't know how it is in other countries and cultures, but breastfeeding brings out a lot of emotions in this country, mainly of discomfort. The idea that breasts, the symbol of female sexuality, should provide the ultimate nourishment to babies, the symbol of innocence, just seems, so, well, unnatural. Before I had children, I thought I was OK with nursing babies, but the idea of a toddler nursing was, if not obscene, at least weird — a kid being able to ask to nurse! I vowed to be discreet, not to make anyone else uncomfortable. I still remember my cousin feeding her baby during a wedding reception when I was a kid. While she was talking to my father! I wouldn't do that in front of any of my uncles.

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The Good Mother Myth: redefining motherhood to fit reality

Her kids have always slept through the night, and even if they don't, she still manages to look like she has had eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. There is always a well-balanced, home-cooked meal on her dinner table. She either happily stays at home or holds down a fulfilling job while still finding time to join the PTA, run the school's book sale, and makes it to every single soccer game. She is usually white, middle to upper class, heterosexual, and neither too young nor too old. But above all… she's a myth. And it's this myth that divides women and pits mothers against each other while fueling the flames of the manufactured "mommy wars."

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The challenges that come with breastfeeding after surviving breast cancer

In my cancer story, the diagnosis and treatment was a huge, out-of-nowhere inconvenience in an otherwise fabulous life that I believed I had the right to see fulfilled. And I didn't need to breastfeed my son to fill him with all the potential of a healthy young man. Except in MY mothering story, I had to do everything possible to nurse him, simply because I wanted to, I was driven to. I believed it was my right.

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My unplanned emergency C-section renegotiated my parenting ideals

Before I had my baby, I had a lot of plans and expectations based around an unmedicated birth and high hopes for a water birth. This didn't seem unfeasible as the pregnancy had been entirely uncomplicated. I hadn't bought a pram, preferring a Kari Me sling. I was planning to wear the baby all the time, breastfeed all the time (after all it's free and if you're on limited finances that's pretty important) and was overall looking forward to it.