Wednesday, 25 May 2011

A Bad Year for Breastfeeding

This year has felt like one attack after another on breastfeeding.

There's been the ongoing Facebook debacle; photos of breastfeeding being removed while Playboys pages are continued to be allowed to flaunt more flesh than a whole convention of breastfeeding mothers.

Then there was the ridiculous opinion piece in the British Medical Journal which many newspapers, including The Daily Fail regurgitated as fact, further undermining the benefits of breastfeeding.

Just this week I saw a short piece in Practical Parenting magazine about the Chinese developing GM cows to produce human milk! One sentence says the milk will have more nutritional content in it, though its unclear whether it means than breastmilk or than formula milk.

And now this.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/campaigners-livid-as-whitehall-axes-breastfeeding-week-2287445.html

Our beloved government in its wisdom has cut national support for National Breastfeeding Week and for what? Money? Dare I say it corporate sponsorship from a certain multi million pound unethical, immoral corporation? A quiet word to the Prime Minister, axe the funding or the Kit Kay gets it?

I digress into Nestle mudslinging but honestly, why is good health so threatening? Breastfed babies equal healthier children and adults, so less strain on the NHS, less work time lost for employers as parents take less time off to care for sniffly kids, the list of benefits to society goes on much further than I am attempting today.

Breastmilk is heroic, miraculous even... life saving and extraordinary. They still haven't discovered all there is to know about it and new studies all the time are realising the incredible properties of this liquid gold.

When will the world start to stand up and be counted on the side of health rather than wealth?
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Monday, 16 May 2011

Listen to me?

I appreciate that the title of this blog post sounds a tad on the self centred side, but do bear with me.

At work today I had a bit of a 'moment'. I found out things I wasn't happy about, hadn't been consulted on and to add insult to injury I felt that I was being dumped on work load wise. In my job we do manage our own day to day work, in that I have an amount of tenancies to 'look after' so how I manage that time is up to me so long as the net result is the same... I achieve the targets set.

So when I realised today that yet again a colleague was expecting me to do their work for them despite them being able and available, I guess I threw all my toys out of the pram as it was the straw to break this camels back. Fuming and very upset to boot I rang my line manager.

10 minutes later I came off the phone even more frustrated and upset than before. What happened?

I explained how I felt, the circumstances as I saw them and the response I got was excuse after feeble excuse and I was told I couldn't be upset because this is the way it is. By the time the call ended I was in tears.

A while after that, my 'big boss' rang. She had clearly spoken to my line manager as she wasted no time in asking how I was. And she listened. She didn't offer any reason behind my colleagues behaviour, or excuses, nor any solution to the problem, she just listened until I'd finished. Then she said she could hear I was very upset about it and that she'll be in the office tomorrow so we can discuss a way forward.

My 'big boss' didn't resolve the situation, but what she did do, which is far more important I believe is recognise that I was upset... for whatever reason that might be, whether right or wrong, she acknowledged that I was feeling this way. She listened to me.

I have no idea how the meeting is going to go tomorrow, there's a lot to discuss but I do have confidence that I won't be dismissed and ignored.

In the book 'Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus' we learn how men need to solve our issues when women need someone to simply listen, sympathise, empathise. This is what enables us to feel valued. I've never been entirely comfortable with the generalized notion of the book - women are like this, men are like that... but I do truly believe that this concept, that listening equates to valuing is an important thing to learn, male and female.
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Sunday, 8 May 2011

Haiti

In January 2010, a massive shattering earthquake hit Haiti with the epicentre in the capital of Port au Prince.

In Haiti now there are an estimated 1.2million orphans. Entire communities were destroyed in the space in seconds and families devastated forever.

In my church we have a couple who are involved with the charity Direction for Life, him as a Police Chaplain and they responded to the disaster by going out there with a team and making contacts, channeling aid and welfare to the people needing it most.

They now have a vision to create a community for some of the orphans.10 x 3 bedroom houses with 'house parents' to become family to children. School as well. These things cost money and so I've been thinking how to raise a bit of cash.

Kev and I haven't been able to travel for some time now. I know some people travel all the time with their kids, it just hasn't happened for us. Anyway, we've done a fair amount of travel in the past and we've also both done mission work with an organization called Soapbox Trust. Between us we've worked in Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador & Bolivia.

We don't know if those days are over for us but for now we are bringing up our 3 children which keeps us fairly busy... So we can't right now be intimately involved in the mission work abroad but we can raise money for those who are in a different season of their lives.

So out of this came the Swish. We didn't exactly set the world alight with loads of money raised but it was a start and I'm so glad I gave it a go. Not to mention brought home a couple of new outfits.

If you want to know more about the project in Haiti, visit www.themangotreevillage.com
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Monday, 2 May 2011

Wordless May Day

We recently went for a walk in the woods and after taking this gorgeous picture of the three men in my life, it occurred to me that they rarely get a look in on my blog so here they are.

A beautiful day spent with my most favourite people in the whole world. One of those days when you remember to count your blessings, each and every one of them.
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