Thursday, March 29, 2012

Why I Love Being a Mom and a Blogger

“This is an official entry to Dainty Mom’s Bloggy Goodies Contest, in celebration of the Dainty Mom blog’s 2nd anniversary.”

Hearing your baby's heartbeat for the first time, feeling their warmth in your arms, teeny weeny hands holding your finger, toothless grins, sloppy kisses, gentle coos and endless giggles, days when you stay in bed doing nothing together -- who wouldnt love all of these?

Who wouldn't fall in love with these angelic smiles?
Motherhood came when I least expect it.  And I never thought I'd love it as much as I do now.  I must admit that there are certainly days when I feel overwhelmed by the demands and the responsibility.  

At times I feel frustrated that I couldnt get a time alone for myself.
I feel tired that I have to deal with two kids and having to work at the same time.
I don't like going home to a house full of cluttered toys and books.
I get cranky if I dont get enough sleep during the day because of a toddler squeezing himself in my arms, wanting to nurse and a daughter telling you how her day went. 

But at the end of the day, you look at their faces and they give you their sloppy kisses and you know its enough.  I always joke at work that really, I am just a part-time manager.  I am a full time housekeeper and a mom; And proud of it. 
creating happy memories together
Sometimes when you become a mom, you become attached to that identity.  But without your children, what are you really? Who are you?  These are the questions that I keep asking myself.  For years I've struggled with that because I grew up in an environment where people around me expect a lot and in turn, I do everything to live up to their expectation.  I became a pleaser.  I craved for approvals.  I care too much about what other people think. I am scared of how people will perceive me.  I do what they want me to do because I want them to like me.  I ended up restricting and doubting myself.  It's sad because I lost me and my self esteem along the way.
It was only when I started Blogging that I felt liberated.  I am able to write about how I feel about things and experiences that I go through.  Here I write because I want to and not because I've been told that this is what I should do.  Little by little I am starting to discover who I am and what I am through writing and blogging.   

Ask me again why I love being a Mom and a Blogger.  The answer is as simple as two little letters -- M-E.  It's me.  You may think that I am being selfish but I see this as a journey --- a never ending discovery of who I am and what I am capable of

The day We Won the Ameda Elite

My husband always say "What Tyna wants, Tyna gets."  Not being a brat but I know when I set my eyes on something, I move heaven and earth to make sure I get it.  It can be negative at times but most of the time, it works to my advantage. 

Right when I found out what the prize in Babymama's and Chronicles of a Nursing mom's online contest, I knew I want to be a part of it.  No, I want to win it.  

My passion for breastfeeding started when I breastfed my son.  I had such a challenging yet very rewarding experience that I hope moms would get to experience.  What I learned is that any woman can be successful with breastfeeding if armed with the right support.  And I am not just talking about support from your family and friends. You should have the same amount of support from the medical professionals and from your employers. I guess you can say I am one of the lucky ones.

We have a private, well-lighted and well ventilated room where I can express my milk at work while some of the people I know had to use the comfort rooms or conference rooms

We have a refrigerator that is exclusive for breastmilk storage while a friend I know had to bring several ice packs and a cooler to work. 

I have a Senior Manager who understands my needs and lets me skip a few meetings because I need to use the nursing room.  (Thanks Lyndon!)

And for this I want to give back.  I am winning the Ameda Elite. 
Like Brigade at work
My email to our HR department took 5 minutes to compose and I was delighted when our HR AVP found this as exciting as I do.  In the next couple of days a lot of emails were thrown back and forth, everyone suggesting which photo to submit and if the write up was enough.  I was overwhelmed with the kind of support I received from the company that I have been working with for the past 7 years.  And when the entry was finally submitted, the communications team posted notifications of the entry on the pantry PCs. 

The last day of the contest was when I witnessed everyone working together to get the votes.  I had my team on their laptops, me giving the update and everyone checking who's online and convincing everyone to vote for our entry.  I am not a big fan of Facebook contests where they identify the winner by the number of "likes".  Why do I want to do this again? 

Because I believe in breastfeeding
Because I believe that you can go back to work and still provide breastmilk to your baby
Because I want to reach out to other mothers who are breastfeeding or pregnant moms who have plans of breastfeeding their babies. 
And my selfish reason -- Oh yeah. I will get to use a double electric pump and not spend money!!

It all paid off....

WE WON!!! 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ameda Elite Contest

When I learned that Babymama and Chronicles of a Nursing Mom are having a contest online and that the prize is a one year free rental of Ameda Elite, I knew I had to join.  I thought, it's a perfect opportunity for me and our company to reach out to other moms - preggy or not - about breastfeeding.


The contest is open to all breastfeeding moms (like me) and all I did was to submit a photo of our nursing station, information about me and my company, what the current set up at work and what I could recommend to my company.

Our Cafe Au Lait that came with a chair, a table, information about breastfeeding posted on the wall and my breastfriend - my Avent pump and via cups.
If we win the contest I'd be sharing the pump with my colleagues, Flora Mae Soriano (breastfeeding), Katrina May Reynoso (breastfeeding), Joan Mata (breastfeeding) and Lynette Lim (pregnant).  These are just five names that I submitted only because they are the ones that I knew who are currently breastfeeding (or who wants to breastfeed).  Given the number of employees that we have, I am definitely sure that we can reach out to more than the ones on the list.

Our company provides us with a private, hygienic and well ventilated station where we can express milk in between our shifts. It is a small area but it has everything a nursing working mom needs:

  • dual voltage power outlets for both 220V and 110V electric pumps
  • light dimmers to suit mother's personal lighting preferences
  • personal refrigerators exclusively for breastmilk storage 
  • hooks for clothing and bags
  • mirrors so we can put ourselves together before leaving the place
  • information materials on breastfeeding, expression and storage

Despite working on a graveyard shift, I am still able to bring home milk for my son who's still breastfeeding at 20 months (and counting).

Did I mention that our Communications team was the one who took the pictures so I can submit my entry? Talk about support! 

(Sadly, it wasnt their picture that was chosen to be posted on the Fanpage.  But thanks Comm team. The pictures were GREAT!!! I'll post them on my next entry)

My Recommendations:
Providing us a venue to express milk is the first step. It would be great to have a lactation policy in place, a yearly or quarterly breastfeeding seminar for the pregnant women, a support group for the breastfeeding moms and maybe a small corkboard in the nursing station where we could put announcements such as the next schedule of the La Leche League meeting or the next LATCH Best Beginnings Class.

You can view my entry here and here.  To all who support breastfeeding, please take your time to vote.  Personally I just like to send the message across all mothers that you don't have to quit breastfeeding even if you have to go back to work.   

Monday, March 12, 2012

Crazy Saturday at ExpoKid

My family and I made the ExpoKid a family affair.  With our two kids in tow, my husband and I went to the event at Rockwell tent.  We didnt know what to expect as it was our first time attending it but we know that we'll be getting a  lot of deals there.

Entrance fee is just 25 pesos and kids below 12 years old are free. Yay! We arrived after lunch so the activities have already started.  We started by going around the area and checking out the exhibitors.  I was pretty excited when I found out IndigoBaby and Caleb's Closet Ecostore are going to be there.  I saw Denise of IndigoBaby and asked her if she could teach me how to wear the Saya.  I'm still contemplating on whether I'd get a Saya or another Ring Sling so we just bought Sleepy Head from their booth. 

If you're wondering where my daughter is at that time, she's having a great time at the Camp Adobo booth.  I was too busy thinking on which carrier I should get to take her picture.  After Camp Adobo, my daughter took interest in the Mad Science Booth.

Enjoying the activity at the Mad Science Booth
While my son is asleep and comfortable in my Ring Sling, we went to check out Caleb's Closet Ecostore and we were able to buy Messy Bessy Insect Repellant - organic and really effective.  I was able to meet Dr. Lei there and she showed me how to use the Bailey Wrap.  That leaves me with three carriers to consider - Saya, Bailey Wrap and Ring sling....what do I buy?

I was able to buy everything on my list except the Baby Carrier.  We bought the toddler tubs by Lactacyd for 178php and got the gift pack for free.

We ended up not buying any baby carrier only because I couldn't make up my mind yet.  But I'm pretty happy with the purchases we've made and my daughter had a great time.  Until the next ExpoKid...

Monday, March 5, 2012

Still Breastfeeding? You Bet I am!

I gave myself at least a year to breastfeed my son.  Before I knew it, more than a year has already passed.  He's 4 months shy from his 2nd birthday, still breastfeeding and showing no signs of weaning.  I've gotten a lot of mix reactions from people when they find out we're still at it:

amazed - "wow, you still have milk?"
supportive - "that's great! go extended breastfeeding!"
curious - "does he bite you?" "when are you going to stop?"
and a few unsolicited advice
"he's old. You should be weaning him. There are a lot of milk available in the market anyway."

They may mean well for reacting that way but I am all for baby-lead weaning.  We stop when he's ready to stop.

Nursing my son for more than a year enabled me to deal with these reactions more graciously instead of reacting negatively to it.  So I just smile and say "thank you."  I've been more than proud that I have reached this milestone.