A Letter to Hillary Clinton

Secretary Clinton,

I get it. Strong women don’t like being second. Hell, I think it’s safe to say we don’t like being anything but first. We don’t like being wrong. We don’t like being told we should quiet our voices. And we certainly don’t like being told we can’t do something a man can do.

And you’ve done it all. You are educated – a Wellesley  grad with honors in political science, and a Yale Law degree under your belt. You’ve sat at the tables. You’ve stood at the front of the room. You’ve leaned it. And I respect you for all that you’ve accomplished in your celebrated career in politics.

As First Lady, you revolutionized the fight for a more just healthcare system. Your husband’s campaign promised “two for the price of one”, with you appointing/approving at least 11 top-seated officials in the Clinton administration. I’ve read you even had an office in the West Wing, uncommon for most First Ladies whose offices are usually in the East Wing. But not Hillary. You wanted your spot in the place of power, and you worked for it. And I respect that.

Then shit got weird. I hate to see anyone go through public humiliation. Especially someone who seemed to have it all together, and deserve better (which we all do). But I was young when it all actually happened, and my parents were Republican, so you were just the poor soul who was the victim of another dog-of-a-man. You spent some time in Arkansas, maybe not a lot of time actually among the people, but as First Lady of the state I’m sure you were privy to southern, bible-belt ways of believing when a situation like that occurs in the home.

I can’t even imagine how leaving would have changed your life. But for me, that’s where it could have been different. I don’t want to teach my daughter to stay in a shitty situation because she may be able to gain a few shady favors down the road. I want her to be strong and true to her convictions and know that she deserves better because of the work she puts in for herself. That no one has the power to make her feel like she is less or second to anyone because she isn’t. But yours isn’t my life and it wasn’t my decision, and I’m sure it was a tough one to make. I don’t know the situation and I won’t pretend to, but in my opinion, you stayed in that situation, in some means, to gain power. You had made friends (very rich ones), and no one likes to lose friends in an ugly split. You had grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle, and no one can blame you for enjoying nice things.

But you’ve also made very poor decisions with the power that you have gained by being a Clinton. I’m not going to list them out because on the off chance that you actually ever read this, you already know what those things are. I know the internet hadn’t really made its debut yet when you were First Lady – one could point the finger at this for the “little” “Oopers, didn’t know what a private server was and that I shouldn’t be using it to send very important emails” slip up, but things are a little different now. So let me be very clear – WE ALL SEE WHAT YOU’RE DOING. IT’S OUT THERE FOR US AND WE ARE EATING IT UP. AND YOUR OPPONENTS ARE, TOO.

With that being said, there is something very important that you and  your faithful supporters need to understand: you are dividing the Democratic Party, and you alone can unify our groups by standing behind the one candidate that we all know can beat Donald Trump in the General Election. I know you see the polls. I know you’re hearing the pundits. We all know you’re dodging the questions, just like you dodged debates with Senator Sanders.

I hate that they’re criticizing your looks. Your clothes. Your past and present relationship status. That’s all so petty, and so menial when you’ve given us 20,000 real reasons why you should not be our next President. If you really care about this country you will step aside and let this movement and revolution transform our country into what we all know is possible – a nation with systems that work for all of us.

I get it. It’s a tough pill for you to swallow. But not nearly as tough as it is for the American people to try to swallow the “lesser of two evil” pills. You may not like coming in second, but we don’t like the idea of a leader who is a manipulative, lying, scheming, fear monger. Some might even say those adjectives make it pretty tough to tell you apart from the guy on the other side of this circus (lookin at you Drumpf). We are not fooled. You will make this right, or we will. But your reign is over, Queen Hillary. The people have spoken.

We Are With Him.

#StillSanders

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Breastfeeding, Therapy, Baby’s Only

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I was set on breastfeeding from the second I found out I was having a little one. Without even knowing if my body would be able to or not, I got the pump through insurance because I knew I’d eventually be going back to work, bought ALL of the necessary (and not so necessary) supplies for baby and myself, and mentally prepared for all of the breastfeeding-while-teething horror stories that all of my well-meaning friends and family members had shared with me.

Rule number one in life and motherhood: Things will not go as you have them perfectly planned out to go.

Hours after Ella was born (w/epidural because I couldn’t handle “natural”), my body was ready to produce, but she couldn’t latch onto my flat nipples. Thanks, bod. I was super bummed but was grateful that I was still able to give my baby breast milk. I became a slave to the pump. I remember, at one point,  hearing the pump “say” to me, “Just keep going, just keep going” in rhythm with the pump during a 2 AM sesh. It was exhausting, and I love my daughter more than my next breath. It is just exhausting.

I got thrush twice and a clogged duct every other week the last month of pumping. I was hallucinating and sleeping on my daughter’s bedroom floor because I was terrified of the worst case scenarios playing out again, and again. I made my first therapy appointment.

Mama wasn’t doing well.

I saw my doctor once and it took her no time at all to decide that self-care needed to be my homework, and being the best mom I could be meant my baby was not getting breast milk anymore. It took me about two weeks to totally get on board with stopping, but once I did, it turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made. I was actually spending time with my daughter instead of with the breast pump. I was getting to eat dinner with my family, but not having to eat SO MUCH throughout the day to maintain my supply. I was able to start exercising without worrying about supply drop.

I decided it didn’t make me a bad mom if I couldn’t breastfeed, and my baby would still thrive on formula.

I went back to work after eight weeks and started supplementing formula. I did a lot of research. I read a lot of user reviews. I am not a fan of “name brand” stuff. I do not like overpaying for products that are going to be linked to our failing health ten years from now. I chose Nature’s One Baby’s Only LactoRelief for Ella’s first formula, and it was a slam dunk. I cut out dairy from my diet while pumping after my baby spent two days with her knees tucked up after I had yogurt for breakfast and sour cream with dinner. She was happier than ever after about a week. So, that is why I chose the LactoRelief variety. I am not a fan of Soy products as I found, through reading, they back a lot of babies up and that is exactly what happened when we ran out before the next case of Baby’s Only arrived and got a Soy substitute…not a good outcome for my babe. The lactose/ase(?) enzyme is what the allergy is to, so being milk based (not soy), but having that enzyme removed is what you’re probably looking for if your baby has a dairy/milk allergy.

Anywhooooo…

If I don’t learn anything else from motherhood, I’ve learned that “natural” is what’s your best for you and your baby. It can’t be measured against anyone else and their natural. Do your best as a parent and human, be healthy and happy…ultimately, that’s what your baby needs.

-Manda

Daily prompt – Natural

Hello…Is Anyone Reading This?

Probably not. But here’s the deal – this is my blog and I’m here to write what I want.

I’m Amanda…Manda for those that know me well, and this blog is going to be an account of my moments, if nothing else. I’ve tried this before, almost two years ago, actually.

Then I got pregnant. By a guy I met on Tinder. My moments are quite different now.

Interested, yet? Maybe not and that’s ok. I really just want a spot to write that is a little more organized than the notebook I carry with me all day. Somewhere to archive my journey, so that in 20 years when my daughter is saying, “What. The. Fuck. What is this thing called life?”, she can come to this little spot on the interwebs and realize that she isn’t the only one who has ever wondered that…and that her mom really is pretty cool. HA One can only hope.

I’m not going to pretend I’m an excellent writer, but I am going to do my best, so that at least if anyone does read my moments they aren’t distracted by too many misspelled words and run-on sentences. Don’t roast my writing, with practice I will get better. I’m going to ramble and there will be tangents, and I understand that some brains are not wired the way mine is and my style may drive you crazy. You are not obligated in any way to continue reading. Please move on. There are many blogs. Mine may resonate with 1 person, and I am perfectly ok with that.

That being said, I long for connectivity and community. I’m a self-described hippy who wants to share in the joys and sorrows of my fellow humans because that, I believe, is what this is all about. The moments. And these are my moments – moments about my kid, my job, my hobbies, my love, my hopes and fears. I am passionate about all things, and that includes religion and politics – read at your own risk. They’re just my opinions and you are free to agree or disagree, but they will be here. My road may only be (just short of) 30 years paved, but those 29.5 years have been filled with the good, the bad and the ugly and I am sure I will experience more of each type, and I want them to be on the record from here on.

So read if you wish, or don’t if you wish not to. I look forward to any comments, feedback, opinions, or stories that you would like to share. We’re in this together. Let’s make some moments.

-Manda

“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” – Buddha