Author: Jessica Hendrickson

Why I am Relieved World Breastfeeding Week is Over

I swear I started writing this during World Breastfeeding Week, but for a variety of reasons didn’t finish. I debated whether to even post this, being that we’ve likely reached our limit on boobie stories. But then I thought, everyone has a different experience with feeding their newborn, and as much as you may have read or heard, you don’t know my story. Maybe you can relate, maybe not. Regardless, I am one of the millions (billions?) of women that have an experience with, and an opinion on breast feeding. So alas, my (late) post on World Breastfeeding Week.  First of all, when I found out it was World Breast Feeding Week, I cringed. And that reaction surprised me. Wasn’t I confident in my decision to stop breast feeding after 8 weeks? Apparently I wasn’t. Of all the articles, blog posts, TV bits on the subject, the overall message I received was “Breast is best; however breast feeding is not always feasible, and in that case, whatever works best for mother and baby is best.” This is a wonderful, supportive message. And yet. And yet I still feel guilty.  I breast fed both of my sons until they were about 8 weeks old and then stopped. I didn’t have any valid medical reason that would fall into the “not feasible” (and therefore forgivable) category. My reasons were basically selfish. I...

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The Birth of my Second Child: How My Life Became Complete & I Stopped Wishing For a Daughter

I always pictured myself with a daughter. I didn’t just hope for a daughter one day, I flat out assumed I would have one. We would play dress up and do our hair and nails and go shopping together. She would ask my advice on fashion and boys and life and I would teach her everything from how to walk in heels to how to become a strong independent woman.   When I got pregnant the first time, of course I thought it was a girl, my mini-me, my future BFF. Well, that magical 20 week appointment came and...

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Walking Cliché

While walking out of the grocery store with my 3-year-old, a middle-aged man smiled sympathetically at me and offered to put back my grocery cart (that awkward, impossible- to-steer car that my son insists on). When I got home I caught a glance of myself in the mirror: yesterday’s mascara smudged under my eyes, hair haphazardly stuck up in a clip, and a spit-up-stained tank top. Later that day I learned I also had half a dozen Spiderman stickers on my back to complete the look. I took my hairclip out, shook my head, wiped off my eye makeup and gave myself a half-smile. Hey, not so bad, right? Ughhh…who was I kidding? I’m a sad, pathetic mess. Rewind time five years. Freshly-showered, refreshed from a full night’s sleep, makeup applied perfectly, cute outfit that showed off a flat pre-baby tummy, I sauntered through that same grocery store, reveling the fact that guys’ glances lingered. Walking past the Diaper/Baby food aisle which was completely foreign to me (what the heck is a “Boogie Wipe”?) I saw a frazzled woman with a newborn in her shopping cart and a toddler running down the aisle, pulling things off the shelves and screaming as she ran. I looked disapprovingly at that woman and thought, “Would it hurt to put on a clean shirt? Who wears sweatpants in public? Is having a kid...

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The Terrible Threes? Not My Son! {Or so I thought}

I was warned.  My friends told me.  All the blogs and parenting websites contained endless articles on the subject:  The Terrible Threes.  Everyone said the “Terrible Twos” are nothing compared the “Terrible Threes”.  Well, not my sweet baby, I thought.  The gentle little boy who caresses my face and tells me “I love you Mommy, we’re best friends” will never go through “that” stage.  Sure, he has his moments; he gets cranky once in a while, but terrible?  Not my Jack. Then he turned three.  And guess what?  It turns out my sweet, gentle boy does not in fact defy all odds.  Suddenly, my good boy was throwing his toys at me.  Demanding he wants milk: NOW.   Give Mommy a hug?  No way!  Take a bath without protest?  Impossible!  Hold my hand in the parking lot?  Never! I have applesauce on my fingers and you’re not cleaning it fast enough! What happened?  Where did my little angel go?  Who is this defiant, whiney little kid?  Where did I go wrong?  I agonized over these questions for weeks: is he craving attention?  Do we give him too much attention?  Is he spoiled?   I was not prepared for this.  I didn’t want to be that mom who constantly yells at her kids, but that’s just what I’d become.  I lost all patience.  I gave in to him when I knew I...

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