School for Shammy and Mommy
A lot has happened over the past few weeks, not all of it worth reporting. After months of constant stress over having care for Shammy while I worked, we have finally found a long term solution.
I had a very strong aversion to commercial daycares when Shammy was an infant but I am ok with the idea after 1 years old. So after our babysitter put in her notice we then started the frustrating search for the right place. It was quite an adventure to navigate all of the options available. Our friends and acquaintances seemed to think that we were made out of money or really needed to save our son’s soul for all of the recommendations that we were getting cost more than I make in a day at work thus making it cheaper for me to just stay home or it was religious based.
We do believe in exposing our son to different religious to foster understanding, acceptance and help him find his path when he is old enough to make that choice but we are against emphasizing a religion that is not our own on a daily basis by sending him to a place that has bible time in lieu of story time.
For a while I was so frustrated and overwhelmed that I started to considering private babysitters again, what a barrel of rotten apples that was. In previous occasions we had found the right person very quickly, but this time it took us almost 2 weeks to find the right place.
Early in my search I had come in contact with a brand new licensed home day care not far from our house. It looked good on paper and the address had symbolism special to us, it took us a week to finally set up a meeting. It has a maximum enrollment of 5 and it is set up like a preschool classroom with a play based curriculum. The price is right, home cooked nutritious meals are included and cloth diapers are cool.
How do I know that we found the right place? When I go to pick up Shammy and at first he is happy to see me and eager to nurse but as soon as he’s done breastfeeding he waves bye bye and goes back to play. He is only going 3 days a week but so far he likes going to “school”.
Over the past month I have been doing in depth research on educational options. Despite what some people may think, I don’t aspire to become a doula or midwife, I don’t have what it takes and quite frankly I’m not very interested in that. Since I get paid to talk about breastfeeding and I still don’t tire of it I feel most drawn to pursuing a breastfeeding specialty certification. The ultimate goal would be the IBCLC certification since it’s the only title that is widely recognized but sadly the fact that when I went to college I took the wrong classes since I never imagined myself working in the health field means that I would have to go back to college for 8 classes in addition to the lactation education required.
I would totally do this is if wasn’t for the fact that I can’t afford such a large tuition cost ($300 per class plus fees at the local college). I’m still struggling with my student loans from my first stint in college over 10 years ago which messes up my changes for financial aid.
So IBCLC is out for the time being but there are a variety of other options available. The title earned varies by school but the course content is practically the same. The tuition ranges from $700-$1,000, still steep in our current situation but not so impossible. There is one program that offers me a payment plan that I can almost afford so I may just go that route, depending on how much time I find to study it can take me 6 months or 2 years. Since the Certified Breastfeeding Counselor title doesn’t open as many doors or brings as much money as IBCLC I have also looked into becoming a Certified Childbirth Educator as an additional revenue stream. So I just need to find a spare $1,200 to get this all accomplished.
So in the meantime, I’ll start small with Breastfeeding USA, it’s very affordable to become an accredited Breastfeeding Counselor through them because it’s a volunteer gig and I’m already doing it with every non-WIC mom that I help. The most expensive thing is the textbook, which is also the required text for the bigger course so if you really want to support me I could use this book
Some people mistakenly assume that I have a problem with mothers that choose to formula feed, my problem is not with the mother but rather with the formula companies and their marketing tactics. While I listened to the Health Department’s Head of Tobacco Prevention discuss their program I saw many similarities between what tobacco companies do in their marketing that formula companies do as well and wonder if we (meaning lactivists) should take the same approach of grassroots work to get local resolutions or ordinances to regulate the marketing of Artificial Baby Milk. I am not advocating a formula ban, not at all, but rather for Enfamil/Similac/Nestle/etc to stop their predatory practices undermining breastfeeding.
And then we come across the latest big debate about the free formula samples given in hospitals, my boss firmly believes that there would be riots in the local hospital if the free samples were no longer available. But like a popular article recent states on hospitals sending breastfeeding newborns home with formula “is like giving somebody divorce papers at their wedding.”
So since formula freebies are an addition for some just like cigarettes and every body ears violence at the unfairness of completely removing them from hospital cold turkey, how about locking them behind a key and distribute BY REQUEST ONLY to moms that are only formula feeding! that way the mom that is breastfeeding and doesn’t need a confidence buster won’t be tempted and the mom that is dead set on her god given right to give her baby substandard nutrition can still get her free can.
And this installment’s rant:
As you all know I hate bucket babies, I totally get the convenience of getting a sleeping baby out of the car without waking them up by just taking the car seat out, we’ve done that here. What I hate is when the baby spends the better part of the day in the bucket and gets minimal skin to skin.
So imagine my disgust when at a consignment sale I come across a contraction that allows the mother to “wear” the car seat, OMG! I’m all in favor of babywearing but this is just ridiculous, those car seats are heavy without the baby and this is far from ergonomic. The one I saw for sale was practically new indicating that the mom didn’t get the benefit intended from it, I would be that the money she was hoping to make selling it would go towards her chiropractic expenses after messing up her back.
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