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Half Sibling vs Whole Siblings?

Children in Jerusalem.

Image via Wikipedia

While visiting a friend, I met a group of children.  All of them are related by their mother, but have different fathers.  I know what this is like as my only sister has a different father than I do.  Growing up, my mother always told me that my sister was my sister–there was no “half” sister.  Thinking about it, there is no way she is my half sister.  She is a whole person, has grown up with me, and is the only sister I know.  However, these children spoke of their sibilings in terms of half.  I was introduced to one sibling, by another sibling.  The girl said “This is my half-brother ____________”.  I was completely shocked and stunned.  I thought they were all raised by their mother and couldn’t see how any mother, baring children, would allow her children to refer to their brothers and sisters as half.

After talking to a friend of mine that knows them better, she explained the situation: the mother raises some of the children, the grandmother raises some of them, and some of the children’s fathers raise them.  It kind of made sense to me, but I guess I just don’t agree with it.  Not that it is any of my business.

I have four children, two of which share the same father.  They all live with me and are MY children.  When they talk about their siblings, they refer to them as “my brother” or “my brothers”.  It would hurt my heart if I heard my children use the term half.  Even when I had a step-child, I would tell people he was my son.  He was and I didn’t feel it was necessary for anyone to know he wasn’t related to me biologically.  He would occasionally refer to me as his step-mom when speaking to some of his friends, which was fine.

I’d like to imagine that all of my children will be close-knit and loving enough to look at their emotional ties, rather than their biological ties.

 

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The Extended Breastfeeding Debate

Breastfeeding of a child

Image via Wikipedia

I was pumping breast milk today and my two older children, ages 3 and 5 were in the room with me.  My three-year old had been asking for breast milk.  I thought it was brought on by jealousy of his newborn baby brother.  I finally asked him if he wanted to try some and he said yes.  Then my five-year old asked for some too.  So I gave them each a taste of the expressed milk.

My three-year old looked disgusted and when I offered him more, he declined.  Then I left my five-year old try it and he too, had an unpleasant look on his face.  Then he said it tasted plain.  I offered them both more and while they would have taken it, I didn’t give them any.  My oldest though the whole situation was disgusting and didn’t want me to start breastfeeding them again.  I told him there is a difference between breastfeeding and giving them breast milk.  Then I also asked him what’s the difference if the milk is pumped out of a cow or a human?  I think cows milk is pretty disgusting.  I don’t drink it and rarely use it.  A gallon could last us a month if it would stay good that long!

I began thinking about extended breastfeeding and decided to look it up.  Although the most people object to breastfeeding past infancy and toddler ages, some people choose to breastfeed their school aged children.  The you tube video I linked to details the story of a woman breastfeeding her school aged children.  What is your opinion?

I couldn’t do it myself.  My children are big and it would feel awkward.  I breastfed my oldest till he was 15 months and I felt that it was long enough.

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Today’s Savior: The Baby Swing

Having a newborn baby coupled with being a single parent isn’t easy.  I’ve found myself asking the baby why he won’t sleep, if he has gas, and so on.  My oldest has been my savior since the day I brought him home, but he tires of guessing what the baby wants as well.

I bought the baby swing a few months before he was born, bought batteries a week after he was born, but the day I decided to put him in there, it just looked like it was swinging too fast for a newborn.  Then I decided I’d try the bouncer.  He’d sit in it for a few minutes only to begin crying again.

I was almost at my wits end today when I decided to try the swing again.  I put him in there and he just looked around, but stayed quiet.  Next thing I know, he was sleeping (like a baby lol).  It was at that time that I decided that maybe, just maybe I was being a little over protective.  I left him in there and was able to get some chores done.

An hour later and he is still in there and I still have my sanity.  Wish I would have realized this a week ago or even this morning, when I was trying to sleep and he decided that it was not time to sleep 🙂

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Moving with Children

I am wondering how difficult challenging it will be to move with four children.  The last time I moved, my ex-husband and I hired movers.  Although we had a small child at the time, we found time to pack up all the boxes and we were actually ready when it came time to move.

This time, it’s a different story.  There is me and the four boys, but I feel some stress about just how to get everything packed (and quickly) with a breastfeeding newborn.  I might actually have to pull out my breast pump and recruit some help with the baby, so I can sort through everything (clean house style) and pack whatever we are taking.

I’m also wondering if the whole moving plan will work.  I am planning on selling my house and moving into a friend’s house temporarily until we can find a new home.  Then, we will face the task of moving again.  Sounds like a  lot of work, huh?  I think it is.  On top of all of this, I am supposed to continue working and going to school.

One big problem with moving in with my friend is that she doesn’t have children and never has.  She is considerably older than me (about 21 years), so in essence, she could be my mother.  However, it is my personal belief that people that do not have children have a somewhat distorted view about raising children.  Even more so, everyone has different beliefs about parenting children and, with the age difference, we don’t see eye to eye on things.  Parenting is not as easy as it looks!

BUT, I am willing to deal with it to get out of this hell hole I live in.  I need a child friendly neighborhood, better school districts and a sense of community.  Where I live now, the children curse more than I do, steal, lie, cheat, and talk back.  My children are not allowed to play outside and as they get older, they wonder why.  With my oldest son, I’ve created a computer monster.  His interests include using the computer, using it some more, eating some ice cream, and then using the computer again lol.  I want a child that has more interests than that.

While I am nervous, I think it is time…time to make sacrifices and move.

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