Women in the spotlight do a lot to promote women’s issues, particularly pushing the line between career and motherhood. There is no doubt that society in general, and attitudes towards motherhood specifically, are highly influenced by the actions and opinions of women that we see in the press. If you’re choosing to put yourself out there and go on record about child-rearing, motherhood, career and family … you’re opening yourself up to both praise and criticism. And I would hope that famous mothers would go on record in a one-of-the-sisterhood manner. Conceding that motherhood can be tough. And that the balancing act is tricky. Even more so if you cannot afford the paid help that many in the press can.
The first in a series of posts about famous women and what they say about motherhood.
— Gisele Bundchen —
I have a love/hate relationship with what Gisele has to say about motherhood.
She’s notoriously pro breast-feeding:
“Some people here think they don’t have to breastfeed, and I think, ‘Are you going to give chemical food to your child, when they are so little?’ There should be a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months.”
Which is great and appreciated by many … except that nursing doesn’t always work out the way that mothers anticipate it will. An interesting BBC article points out that throughout history, there have always been children who weren’t nursed, due to maternal death, the need to work or the physical inability to do so. And that the non-boob options today are far superior to the wine and honey, soups and eggs, milk soaked bread or donkey milk that infants used to be fed (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25629934).
Taking such a harsh stance when you haven’t seen the other side of the coin isn’t particularly supportive of the sisterhood.
“I think a lot of people get pregnant and decide they can turn into garbage disposals. I was mindful about what I ate, and I gained only 30 pounds.”
A little harsh, Gisele.
‘It didn’t hurt in the slightest.” –Gisele has said about childbirth
Well, I wouldn’t put it exactly that way. While I’m sure that the experience is easier for some than for others, saying that it didn’t hurt in the slightest, may be a biiiiit of a misrepresentation. Plus, it sets up other women for failure and disappointment and gives false expectations of what the experience is.
“When Benjamin eats broccoli, he thinks it’s dessert!”
That is great that your kids love broccoli. We’re all striving for that. But I’m not sure that I can convince my kids that broccoli is dessert and keep it that way. Unless we move to a cave and start up our own cult-like community.
You gotta give her some credit for nursing in public. It’s something that should be socially accepted and she’s certainly helping to push the boundaries of acceptance by doing so. Buuut ….this is probably mis-representative of 99.999% of the population’s motherhood experience. It’s definitely the for-instagram/facebook/twitter version of the breastfeeding experience. Although I do multi-task while nursing … I’m generally much less glamorous while doing so. But I guess she’s a supermodel and I’m in tech … so that’s her equivalent of my trying to find a bug in my code with one hand on the keyboard while nursing. So point taken, I guess.<
I do think that Gisele is trying to promote positive things for motherhood. But I think that she injects too much showmanship and overdoes the perfection lens while doing so. To be truthful about motherhood — you have to admit some self-doubt or some weakness to be truly believable. Unless she is a superhero. Which she might be. But not a warm-and-fuzzy one.
- Screwdrivers (world’s favourite toy, apparently)
- Flashlight (which my husband hides in the car with the screwdrivers to ensure its safety)
- Wrapping Paper (prevents the “unwrapping” of the entire roll in the kitchen)
- A “Good” Shirt (the one that isn’t stained, stretched or fingerprinted)
- Birthday Party Clothes (the only way to ensure that the kids have something decent to wear to a party)
- Soothers (self-explanatory life-saving stash)
- Car Crackers
- Purse Hotwheels
- Squeeze Packs (you know, that tube of babyfood that you initially swore that you would never give your kids?)
(Disclaimer — I made this all up. It’s not advice — it’s joke.)
1/ Nothing besides the baby in the crib. Because everyone naturally likes to sleep in the middle of an empty field. When baby flails their arms out — they love to have them hit empty space. Makes them feel safe and secure.
2/ Don’t let them fall asleep at the boob. As if this is even possible.
3/ Don’t use a soother. Babies love to suck. No soothers means mucho crying. Better to listen to a lot of crying.
4/ Nothing near their face when they are sleeping. Babies love things touching their faces. Like boobs. It’s comforting.
5/ Start in the bassinette – then move to the crib. Babies love changes to their environment in their first weeks in a new world.
6/ Let them get used to loud noise. This one is ridiculous. The “wisdom” is — if you keep the house relatively noisy — they’ll be used to ambient noise and be better sleepers. As a mature and former-professional sleeper — you know what loud noise does to my sleeping self? — it wakes me the heck up.
Thanks world of parenting “wisdom” for making up these dumb rules to sabotage our first steps into parenthood.
(Disclaimer – these are jokes)
Lightbot is amazing.
Android: Free version: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lightbot.lightbotlite
iOS: Free version: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/light-bot-lite/id659285751?mt=8
Cost: Free to $2.99
I know that I’ve been going on about it. It’s a good game. Write the code (pick the commands) to take the cute little robot to the blue square — and light it up. In this case — he needs to go forward 2 times, and then turn on the light — just like the instructions say.
It gets more complex as you go. My 3 year old can only do the first 3-4 screens. But then you can work together with them to figure out the problems. Great for introducing the basics of coding for kids. Great for spatial visualization too — they have to make the robot turn … which arrow shows the way that you want him to turn? And great for teaching that trial and error is a perfectly reasonable strategy for learning. Try to write to instructions for the robot. Are they wrong? What else does he need to do? Take one more step? Ok — add it. Try again.
As I alluded to earlier — it’s a hit with parents, too. It kept my husband up late quite a lot for about a week in November.
A great App for basic counting, colours and following directions.
Although the music can drive you crazy after a little while, this app is a great one for learning about a wide variety of things. Besides matching and counting … it introduces early letters and a memory game as well as some puzzles. It’s also good for enforcing one-to-one counting — pointing to an object and saying “one”, then “two”, because as the child touches the objects — the app counts. The App also moves along between levels easily — so that your child can play it for 5-10 mins without running to you for help. Kids get “stickers” to put on their board when they complete levels. Thumbs up from me.
Conclusions — Add a little danger — and you’ve got a great toy.