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Breastfeeding Blog Hop: Week 50 – All I Want for Christmas….

Breastfeeeding Blog Hop

This post is part of the weekly breastfeeding blog hop, hosted by us, and co-hosted by Life as Wife, Mummy, and NurseThis week’s topic is, “Gifts to Give a Breastfeeding Mother”

It’s hard to believe that this is our last week for the 2012 Breastfeeding Blog Hop! We are taking the last two weeks of December off due to the holidays, so that Jeniffer, Sarah and I, and all of you, can enjoy time with our families. It has been an immense pleasure hosting the Hop for the past few months, and we are excited to see what 2013 looks like for this community!

Today we are talking about gifts to give a breastfeeding mom. Some of the first things that come to mind when I think about this aren’t things you can buy in a store, or wrap up and put under a tree, but  I think they are the most important gifts.

  • Support
  • Encouragement
  • Respect of her choices

You can’t put a price tag on those three things, but I promise you, if there is a breastfeeding mom in your life, she will be forever grateful if you give them to her. Breastfeeding is hard work. Sometimes we doubt ourselves. We are often going against the grain, and outside the norm of our social circles. A kind smile or word can give us what we need to keep going.

Now, none of the above means that there aren’t some gifts that a breastfeeding mom would love to find under the tree! There are several things that I know I would have loved to receive at any point over my last several years as a breastfeeding mom. I would still love them, for those who know me and are reading this, by the way…. Hint, hint!

A gift card for a good nursing bra

I’m just going to be honest…. Those things are expensive! I’ve told a few family members in complete seriousness that I would adore a gift card so I could by myself a few of them without feeling guilty, but I don’t think anyone has taken me seriously. I. Am. Serious! There are several great brands out there. The ones I have personally yearned for the most are Bravado (supposed to be particularly good for those who are a bit…. blessed) and Cake Lingerie (absolutely gorgeous!).

Nice nursing clothes

You could either choose something particularly nice or give a gift card for this as well. I have never spent the money on “nursing” clothes, but I have thought a few times that it would be great to have a killer dress or two that I could breastfeed in discreetly. As it is, I just spend the entire time I’m breastfeeding avoiding dresses.

A great breastfeeding pump

Now, this one only applies if you know it’s something the momma is interested in and would use. I’ve yet to really have a need for a pump, since I’m a stay-at-home mom, and I prefer to be with my babies most of the time when they are still young. But some moms enjoy having a bit more flexibility, or they need to return to work, and a truly good breastfeeding pump can be a lifesaver. I highly recommend Hygeia. They are a great company, and are truly committed to supporting breastfeeding.

Fun breastfeeding advocacy gear

If the momma in your life is a “lactivist”, she may get a big kick out of a shirt for her or baby, or a bumper sticker, decal, messenger bag, etc with a pro-breastfeeding message. There is some seriously cute stuff out there on Etsy, Cafe Press, and other shops, and it may be the sort of thing she would have a hard time spending money on herself (if she’s like me!).

If you’re a breastfeeding mom, what is on your “wish list”? How would you feel if you received the gifts I mentioned?

Be sure to check out what other moms have to say in the linky below! We would love if you would link up your old or current posts on this topic. Please be sure to mention the BF Blog Hop and link to this post or our page. We would love it if you shared the BF Blog Hop with your readers by including the linky code in your post, too. If you’ll leave us your twitter handle in the comments, we’ll be sure to tag you when we tweet your post! If you are new to the Hop, be sure to check out the Breastfeeding Blog Hop page for more information about how it all works.

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The Great Santa Debate

This past Wednesday, my daughter had a question posed to her for the first time. Is Santa going to visit you? For our family, no, he isn’t.

I realize many people make that decision based on the feeling that they are lying to their children. Others want to minimize the materialistic overtones of the season. Still others want to acknowledge the fact that Christmas is supposed to celebrate Christ’s birth. None of these are the real reason why we have chosen not to tell our children that Santa is coming to visit.

The truth is that neither my husband nor I grew up with presents from Santa. Our parents didn’t tell us that he was coming to visit, and we were okay with that. We don’t feel that we have lost a magical part of our childhood, so we see no reason to make it part of our children’s.

Of course, we also want to make Christ the focus of Christmas, but we both grew up knowing the story of St. Nicholas as well as the myth of Santa Claus. Some of my favorite Christmas memories as a young girl are of watching Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and Santa Claus is Coming to Town, not to mention The Santa Clause and Elf. How on earth can we celebrate the myth of Santa Claus while also making sure that our kids understand it is a myth?

I think it’s important to separate fantasy from reality for kids. My parents never sat down and explained it to me, but any time that it came up, there was a reminder of the truth versus the myth. While I did spend my third-grade Christmas trying to see if Santa did come to our house, I never had a reason to believe that he did either before or since. In many ways, it’s similar to teaching children the Greek and Roman myths or telling them a fairy tale. While some kids have a difficult time separating fiction from truth, I believe most kids can separate the fantasy from reality, especially if it’s constantly reinforced for them.

Now, that doesn’t mean telling your kids anything else about Santa is wrong. Every family is different, and some kids can handle knowing the truth early on while others can’t. In fact, I have a friend who is planning on telling her kids that Santa does exist, so I’m going to do my best to teach my kids not to ruin Christmas for their friends who do believe in him. That magic is important to many parents, and just because my children are told differently doesn’t mean that they should tell their friends the truth. No one wins when that happens. Then again, just because we don’t celebrate a yearly visit from Santa doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy the stories about him.

What do you teach your kids about Santa? How do you keep the magic alive for them every year?

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Worship Wednesday: Immanuel

This Sunday is the day that we celebrate Christmas, Christ’s birth. But many times, in the hustle and bustle of the season and in the anticipation of Advent, I think that we miss parts of the story.

Of course there’s the announcement of the angel to Mary. There’s Joseph’s dream vision to marry her. Then there’s the marriage, the trip to Bethlehem. Jesus is born, the angels sing, the shepherds visit, and the wise men begin their journey to worship Him.

But in Luke, between the angel’s announcement and Christ’s birth, there are several months and a few major events. While our pastor was preaching on Sunday, I noticed a verse tucked away in the months between the announcement and the birth. A verse that spoke to me as I’m sure it did to Mary.

When Mary first arrives at her cousin Elizabeth’s house, Elizabeth greets her and blesses her.

And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.” Luke 1:42-45 (NASB)

That last part stands out to me most. “Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.”

This Sunday, we celebrate the fulfillment of Mary’s faith, this little baby, God wrapped in flesh. We celebrate the fact that He came once, that He has promised He will come again.

We celebrate this, but how often to we live the faith of Mary? How often do we believe that God will be faithful to carry out His promises? I know that right now, my husband and I are struggling. We’re having trouble living what we believe because we have been dragged through the mud. We’ve been beaten down, and we feel abandoned.

But isn’t that the promise of this season? That He will be called Immanuel, God with us? That He will be the Counselor, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace?

May the faith of Mary be evident in all of our lives, that we may believe that there will be a fulfillment of what has been spoken to us by the Lord.

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