This is great! I wish I had been informed about this before I became a mom. I used to be one of those judgy-wudgy people who disliked when people nursed in public. I regret this so much - I was ignorant and had no idea what I was judging. I had no idea I would nurse my own child one day (even when I was super preggo). I did not prepare. I would never have imagined how it would change my life in positive ways and how magical it truly is. I also had no idea how many people struggle with it and planned for it only to have their hearts broken. That some exclusively pump. That they sometimes want to breastfeed really bad but they just can't and their bottle-feeding has nothing to do with your comfort and everything to do with feeding their baby the best way they can. That sometimes pumping doesn't work and direct feeding is the only solution. That breastmilk is a miracle and its potential has only begun to be revealed.
Parents are out here trying to make it through the day. The last thing any parent needs is you judging or shaming them for doing their best.
Parents need support. All parents need adequate family leave to bond with their baby and establish breastfeeding. They need education around breastfeeding. They need access to resources and equipment to facilitate successful breastfeeding. They need adequate insurance coverage to buy pumps and hire lactation consultants. When they return to work they need time and a safe, clean, private space to pump. They need somewhere to store their milk. They need TSA agents to respect their milk and not treat it like it's some kind of security threat.
Notice how "they need your unsolicited advice, dirty looks and judgmental BS" is not on that list?
Feed your baby whenever and wherever. And really, you shouldn't have to nurse or pump in the bathroom (that's gross).
#sorrynotsorry #feedthatbaby#normalizebreastfeeding #fedisbest #transinclusive
Wearables are already big like FitBit and smart watches, but for me they are a bit cost prohibitive. Lately, I've seen a lot of smart jewelry coming out which is cool if you're not sporty or into giant wristwear. They all connect to apps that let you accumulate data overtime like you're some kind of science experiment! Data can be helpful in setting, maintaining, and keeping track of goals.
We're trying to keep up and do everything, better, faster, and easier. Integrating technology into our bodies makes it more seamless. It's also a status symbol, shows you're fashionable and up with the latest trends. Wearables are integrating technology more seamlessly into our lives. We want to be the best at everything and being able to track, quantify, and measure everything can be comforting in a high-pressure world. We have to be fit, the perfect parents, and be in tune to what's going on but still be present at the same time. It's exhausting! Our robot friends are here to help,
I think it also has something to say about women taking more ownership of their health and lifestyle choices. Re-designing a breast pump to be more comfortable, easy to use, and wired can be revolutionary for a lot of women, considering that many companies or public spaces like airports, etc do not provide safe, private, clean or comfortable places for women to pump while traveling away from their babies or working. This could help women be more effective in the work place and less at risk for firing, demotion, or straight up shaming at their jobs. Smart jewelry that helps track menstrual cycles, fitness, etc can help women be more in tune with their bodies and keep them healthier so they can go out and be a major boss at life. A better baby monitor can help prevent SIDS, give mothers with postpartum anxiety or depression a chance to be less vigilant and worried and get the crucial sleep they need to stay mentally and physically healthy. All in all, wearable tech is GREAT for women! The price however, means it's really great for women who can afford it. Hopefully as it catches on it will be more accessible to more people so those that really need it can reap the benefits as well.
I think it's cool and interesting, but not something I'm willing to try right now. I have concerns about privacy and what all this data will be used for and how safe it is. I'm already tetchy about wireless monitors because they can be hacked by creeps who can use them to speak to your baby or just silently watched (you can google a website for live fees of poorly secured wireless cameras - creepy as hell!). I don't think everything about our lives needs to be connected to an app, although I do find them useful for staying organized, remembering things, and tracking my period, stuff like that. I think this is just the beginning and it will get more intense. We are kind of like the frog boiling in the pot with our privacy. Adam Ruins Everything does a great episode about us giving away or data to Facebook, etc.
It's going to get more intense. I've even read about people being microchipped. We'll become bionic before we know it! I think you can get upset and put on your tinfoil hat or just accept that Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc own our asses and this is the future! I just hope our robot overlords are kind and treat us fairly. On that note, here are a few wearable tech trends I find fascinating!
Ringly buzzes you for important notifications so you don't obsessively look at your screen and allegedly helps you be more present. It's also pretty and looks like normal jewelry. I'd love to try this and see if it helps me be more in the "now."
The Willow is a wearable, wireless, app connected breast pump. Instead of pumping in gross closets and bathrooms, it's discreet enough to do at your desk! I for one am ALL for this! I have pumped in hospital waiting rooms, random conference rooms, you name it. I think this would be great for pumping on your commute, on airplanes, and in offices. It's a high price point, but if your insurance can cover it, it's worth its weight in gold! (Note, mine does but not for the full amount, still pretty amazing! Willow also offers financing).
According to their site, "the Owlet Smart Sock tracks heart and oxygen levels and sends real-time insights to your phone. It also includes a base station which glows green to reassure you baby is okay but will notify you if heart rate and oxygen levels leave preset zones." If you're anything like me, you havespent many a night staring at the tiny glowing screen instead of sleeping, making sure baby is breathing. I'm really eager to try this out just to alleviate some of the new-mom anxiety (normal) and intense post-partum anxiety (normal, but scary) for baby #2. Here's one mom's review below.
Bellabeat Leaf is a personal health tracker specifically geared towards women's health (they also have a smart water bottle). This tracker and app encompasses multiple facets of women's health including sleep, activity, stress, meditation sessions, and menstruation. It's a lovely design with lots of options to choose from, and is a similar pricepoint to FitBit.
I hope you enjoyed my round up of wearable tech for the female future. Whether we come to welcome our robot overlords, or simply become bionic ourselves, these female and mother-centric devices hold a lot of promise. I hope they can become more ubiquitous and offer more diverse price points so more women can enjoy them!
We live in a consumerist, disposable culture. Just watch The Story of Stuff and you'll realize it's not just a personal problem (though many suffer from disorders that cause them to hoard and I by no means wish to trivialize that). Learning about planned obsolescence was a real downer for me: the fact that companies make things specifically to break down faster so you'll buy the newer version. The Earth, and we as humans cannot sustain this forever. I'm sure you have plenty of things you could throw out, or are maybe saving for that magic day when you meet your goal weight, have somewhere to wear it, etc. You can't seem to part with it, but you can't hold on to it forever or you'll literally drown in stuff. If you're feeling stuck, it's time to make a change and start minimizing clutter, making some money, and living your best life!
Ready to get started? It's time to get real. Do some thinking about the following topics before you start decluttering:
Got it? Good! Here are 4 Methods to Minimize Clutter, Make Money, & Live Your Best Life:
Subscription boxes - surely you've heard of them. They can be anywhere from utterly frivolous to overwhelmingly practical. I believe sharing is caring so I'm rounding up some of the ones I've tried for better... or worse! Full disclosure - My posts do contain my affiliate links but this post is in no way sponsored or endorsed by any of these brands. I share of my own free will!
My whole life I have not enjoyed exercising. Gym glass was always tough for me as a kid. I could not run very fast or for very long. I could not climb the rope. I did not enjoy the monkey bars. I preferred to spend recess curled up under a tree with my diary, recording my playground observations, or with my latest book. When forced to interact, I would chill at the top of whatever tall structure there was and chat with my friends, or teach them French vocabulary. I took 1 dance class, did soccer for 1 season, and took all the light sports in high school: archery, step aerobics, even "aerobic walking." HA! I ran a cool 10-12 minute mile and nearly barfed afterwards. I did not pretend to be sporty.
As an adult, my exercise became tromping through the city streets, dodging slow walkers. It became hauling ass up and down subway stairs and running to catch the train before the door closed. It became hauling groceries up 3 flights of stairs to my apartment. Only when I returned to my native land of NJ did I realize what I thought was a sedentary life was actually quite active.
1 pregnancy, and 10-20 pounds of weight gain later, I have been hit with the reality of my aging mom bod. In addition to my loathing for the gym and physical activity in general, I also enjoy the finer things in life, mainly delicious food that is bad for me. Bacon, fried anything, cheese, carbs on carbs on carbs. I absolutely love food. I know that any weight I put on is my own fault but yet I don't care. I'd rather be fat and happy and enjoy my life, to be honest!
And then: A routine physical and a blood test revealed elevated liver enzymes - this was the wakeup call I needed.
A friend of mine who is into yoga, healthy eating, and all things organic shared a free workout plan with me by Betty Rocker. Normally I am one to cringe at these types of things. I hate working out. I hate challenges. I hate being told what to do. Something about this one felt different though. I have to say - I really like her. She is genuine, encouraging, sweet, and energetic. She feels like a person I would be friends with - not some intimidating gym person spouting "No excuses!" (Because trust me, I am really good at coming up with excuses).
I also was browsing Pinterest and came across 100 days of Real Food. I am always trying to figure out what to feed my finicky one-year old, who rejects food she loved only the day before. It only so happens that when mommy is quietly enjoying her own delicious food (or her rejects) that she shows a sudden interest. I started to think that it would be really nice to be able to feed her off my plate without having to grab the box and read the list of ingredients.
It also occurred to me that if I am so concerned about putting the right food into her little growing body, why am I not affording myself the same courtesy? Why don't I value my own body as much as hers? Why do I consume chemicals, fat and salt and not think twice about the damage I may doing whereas with her it is my primary concern? Obviously it's because I'm her mama and I'd move heaven and earth to give her the best of everything because SHE is my everything. But what about me? Where do I fit in? How many times do I forget to value myself? Where am I?
So I started Betty Rocker and I must say I was really impressed with what I am truly capable of (not to say I didn't sob audibly through the first 4 or 5 workouts). But 15-20 minutes a day when I would otherwise be crushing candy is not that much of a commitment. The noticeable changes in my strength, the mood lift, and the energy increase were all palpable. I finally broke free of the "exercise is not for me mindset" and it felt really good.
I have an "I'm a bad cook" mindset also and default to microwaveable meals whenever possible. But I started a 100 days of Real Food meal plan with my family anyway. Thanks to the meal plans and shopping lists I made some gorgeous meals like Halibut with sweet potato and fresh green beans, and a whole chicken in a crock pot which became stock, which became soup. I felt like a galdang pioneer woman!
It all boils down to a choice and the readiness and willingness to make that choice. It's not about not making excuses - sometimes we really just can't or don't want to do things and I don't think we should have more guilt thrown at us by holier than though "experts" who know nothing about us. I think the best thing is to realize that you are worth it, that you are capable, and you will actually enjoy it. Do it when you're ready, and do it in a way that is authentic to you. Take care of yourself and love yourself - you're worth it!
Nice to meet you!
I am a tech pro, blogger, DIY'er, reader, TV binger, music lover, nerd and semi-crunchy mom. I write about professional development, being crafty, motherhood and politics. Thanks for joining me and letting me share my thoughts with you!