April is Month of the Military Child!

My little military brats!

They say that being in the military is a tough job, but I honestly don’t think it’s that tough as people may think. Yeah, the possibility of deployments, TDYs (Temporary Duties, or “business trips”), long hours at work, etc. may seem stressful initially, but they’re all quite liveable and I can get by… However, that’s just me coping with stressors, but I’m not the only one that carry these burdens on my shoulders. My children carry those burdens, too.

Growing up, I had the “luxury” of remaining in one place my whole childhood: I had the same group of friends growing up, grew up in the same house, went to the same school as my sisters, and even had the same job as one of them. And it’s funny that I can now call my own childhood a luxury compared to my children’s life and their futures.

My oldest just turned seven years old last month, and from what I can remember, he’s only had one birthday where he invited his friends from school and daycare. It’s not because we’re a super introverted family (because we’re not), it’s because military families are constantly moving around. In his lifetime, he has moved three times due to my PCS (Permanent Change of Station) orders. And I am super grateful that he’s a pretty positive child that can make friends with just about anyone. Not only has my oldest endured these moves, but he’s also endured many other unfortunate events that have occurred in my personal life and military career. He never asked to experience any of this, but I am so thankful for having such a resilient child to pick up without being put down for a long time.

We are all reminded in the military to not take our families for granted, because when we take off our uniforms for the last time, our families will be the only thing we have left. Sometimes, days get hard and work just piles on our plate, so missing a few soccer practices are okay, but it’s bad when you neglect your duties as a parent. This is why this month is so important! Celebrate you children and love them everyday. You have only one shot at watching them grow up.

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Breastfeeding in public

My first picture in my blog, hooray!! I feel like I’ve come a long way in my breastfeeding journey. I read all these public breastfeeding-shaming posts of FaceBook, which really enraged me and set me off the “well, if that were me…” rant. Since breastfeeding a perfectly normal, I thought I would have no problem feeding my baby in public. Boy, oh boy, was I wrong.

And its not the fact that there were people that were verbally shaming me about my decision to feed my baby out in public. It was me being over-reactive, sensitive, and self-conscious of what other people may think. And, I know that is absolutely silly to feel that way! Granted, I wasn’t just whipping out my breast, out in the open, with no cover whatsoever. I was still courteous to those around me. Eventually, I started getting used to the idea and the act that it no longer bothered me.

Its unfortunate that our society has suddenly turned the other cheek on public breastfeeding. I always thought its like shaming people just for eating. Why do we have to force women to go into a secluded place (most of the time, it is literally a closet) just to feed their baby? If anything, this should really be the choice on the mother, if she’s okay with feeding out in the open. We certainly don’t expect others to go and eat in a secluded place because their choice of food simply offends us… Or, maybe we already do and I just haven’t heard of that one yet.

I can also understand that our society has also done a great job at sexualizing the female chest, and anything to do with that is just that. There is nothing sexual about breastfeeding, and really, its a fetish to those to find that to be a turn-on. Never have I thought, while breastfeeding in public, that I wanted to try and turn someone on by feeding my baby… My son’s hungry, and if he done’st eat, then he’ll just make everyone around us annoyed and miserable. So, let him eat. Also, its pretty obvious when a woman wants to sexualize her chest when all you can see is cleavage spilling out of her low-cut tops. As a mommy, those type of tops don’t look all that great with a nursing bra underneath.

Anyway, I feel like society needs to back off of moms that decide to breastfeed. Its their choice, not yours. From pregnancy to raising children, moms usually get the bad rap (dads, too!) and are subjected to other people’s opinions. While your opinions may be acknowledged, its still their choice on how they want to care and raise for their kids.