I love research.
I think it comes as part of the “I-have-an-anxiety-disorder” package that I research things obsessively. Getting a dog? Buy ALL the dog books. Having a baby? Spend hundreds of hours trawling through research study abstracts.
So when I saw a notice at the Reproductive Mental Health Centre looking for participants in a study on infant feeding in mothers with depression and anxiety, I volunteered. Why not give back?
Infant feeding and maternal mental health are slightly controversial topic. Research has shown that mothers with post partum depression are more likely to be formula feeders than breast feeders.
What no one really knows is which causes the other.
Does breastfeeding make you happier? Does formula feeding make you miserable? Or does post partum depression just wreck your chances of breastfeeding success? (more…)
Where in the world do you live? And, are you from there?
We currently live in Kisumu, located in Western Kenya, Barak Obama’s ancestral homeland. (See here for more on the city). I’m originally from the Chicago-area but have lived in Philadelphia, Boston and Washington D.C. My husband grew up in Southern Africa, as his parents moved around doing development work.
In an eerie coincidence we moved to Kenya when our son was 2, the same age my husband was when his family moved to Kenya. His father had landed a job as a Country Director, same title my husband now has.
What language(s) do you speak?
English, bad French and Swahili that my 3-year-old son sometimes has to correct.
When did you first become a mother?
I first became a mother relatively later in life but quite early in my marriage (2009 if you’re looking for specifics). Because I was a little older we thought we’d get a jump-start on trying, and were a bit surprised (more…)
We arrived in the dark, our headlights sweeping around the corners of the single-track lane as we drove and illuminating fringes of fields and hedgerows that suggested vast open spaces further beyond.
Snow and ice crackled beneath the tyres. In front, suddenly: a white-faced owl, which rotated its neck magisterially at our approach then slowly flapped up and over us. A little further along a muntjac deer high-stepped cautiously across the road, its retina reflecting night-vision green in the beams of our car.
We had left London three hours ago. In the back seat baby Betty was entertaining herself by playing hide and seek. “One, two, three, comingreadyornot!” she shouted, snugly strapped in to her child seat. “Boo MummyDaddy!” She bubbled with laughter then gently subsided, turning her face up to her window to gaze at the thousands of stars above. No sodium street-lights here. My baby daughter, more used to pointing at the trains that pass along the bottom of our garden, was entranced by the massive constellations over her head.
Tired, broke and frazzled by the constant juggling of work and family, my husband and I had called time on our responsibilities. With our eldest children weekending elsewhere we had thrown two small bags of food and clothes into the car, hoisted Betty aloft and run from our terraced house to a tiny countryside bolthole.
Which we had just found, tucked away in the dark where we might never have seen it but for a friendly (more…)
My son is 7 1/2 and has been taking showers on his own for a while now. Recently, he has been taking baths. The last 3 times, he has completely soaked the bathroom. The floor was flooded, the counters were wet, and I just couldn’t imagine what he was doing in there.
He’s really into weather and the ocean, so I always say, “No tsunamis in there.” He knows I mean that he can’t make big waves in the tub that cause the water to spill out.
He’s an honest kid, so I believed him when he said he hadn’t been making tsunamis in the tub after the first time I found the bathroom soaked.
After his next bath, it was the same thing. Water was everywhere. I started thinking he was just walking around the bathroom when he got out and not drying off. I thought of this soft ball that he throws in the tub. I figured that maybe he was throwing it out and getting everything wet. I meant to ask him about it, but I was busy so I dried up the floor and forgot to talk to him. (more…)
This is a follow-up to a post I wrote a short while ago titled ,”The Choices We Make (For Them)“. To summarize, in January we moved back to Riyadh, the city we used to live in. My kids want to go back to the schools they were in before.
I want them to go to a small school with a higher standard of education. The old schools are big and chock full of students (My son S had 28 classmates, My daughter J had 18). This school is small and has relatively few students. In S’s case there’s only one other student in 3rd grade!
Well, I made the choice! I chose the small school for both my kids. Needless to say, neither child was thrilled. But I am the adult in charge of making these decisions for them. The decisions that will make them sad and angry at me and say things like “it’s so unfair” and “I want to be with my friends.”
When I told them the decision they instantly crumpled. (more…)