Tag Archive | The father

If men breastfed

Visited site:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Male_lactation

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My 3-year-old son asked me:

“Why can’t men breastfeed?”

“Well, because only women have breasts.”

“No. (Showing me his nipple): I have a breast, too.”

Of course, explaining to a little child about mammary glands and more was too much. I laughed but asked myself: why does the male human have nipples, after all?

For my surprise, it wasn’t just a “child’s doubt”. There are people doing serious researches and also publishing books about the theme. I found out, too, that it is actually more a matter of hormones than of mammary structures (fact: due to the maternal hormones during the gestation, boys can be born with milk inside their little breasts, and newborn girls can have a “pseudo-menstruation”).

I even found out cases of men who breastfed their kids. Have you ever thought about what could happen if it becomes commonplace?

Man breastfeeding his baby

If men breastfed…

… the care for the newborns could be shared. Father and mother would take turns nursing. With bigger intervals, the nipple fissures would have more time to recover.

… while one nurses, the other could take care of the oldest kids, attenuating the jealousy among brothers.

… the maternity leave would be for the couple. So, there would be no more discrimination on the labor market, since the conditions would be the same for men and women.

… the exclusive breastfeeding for twins and triplets (so common nowadays) would be easier.

… in case of impediments for the mother, this time would be calmer.

… the milk banks would have more donors.

… breastfeeding in public would be seen as natural, and not as “indecent exposure”. By the way, men usually take their shirts off.

… men would be able to feel more intimately the physical link with their children.

… children could indistinctly call “mom” and “dad”.

That last topic deserves reflection. We women always complain about the overweight and incomprehension from men. Would we mothers, however, be inclined to share that power? the power of being exclusive in the children’s preference?

More: would women approve a legion of such “maternal” men? A quick look at the photos with men breastfeeding automatically causes some discomfort.

Man breastfeeding his son

Since men don’t breastfeed…

… they literally don’t feel what it is and, because of that, in order to comprehend the dimension of the task, they need to be INCLUDED in the process.

Let’s remember that breastfeeding is a very recent thing in our postwar society. Men just don’t understand the importance of raising this flag. Before the immense disrespect to women, an angry reaction can be natural and the most probable. Although, as my mother says, “don’t worry about the chaos; put in it the missing element.”

Diminishing men, judging them as “Homers Simpsons”, selfish, weak before pain, rowdy, inept, rude or violent people DOES NOT HELP. At least, we stay at a nil-nil draw.

Only observing the current place of men and trying to equal them with truculence and meanness are not the best way for women to find their place. I have two boys and definitely it’s not the legacy I hope to give to this generation. If I keep attached to this imagery and harp on about the same distorted values of a sickly society, what can I expect from my kids? that they become “Homers Simpsons”?

That’s the reason why I believe in a mutual respect posture.

I end this post with the phrase I said to my 3 year-old son:

“You won’t be able to breastfeed, but you will be able to hug your little kid very tight, in order for him to hear your heart. In the same way your Daddy does with you.”

Baby sleeping on his father's chest

Nivea Baby ad: heart with heart

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You can also see:

A short and bald guy

Love is…

Because we are mammals

This post in Portuguese: Se os homens amamentassem

The little strategist

“Parents trying to elicit good behavior from children must become amateur strategists (the children are the pros).”

(DIXIT, Avinash K. & NALEBUFF, Barry J. “Thinking strategically”.)

The phrase above is in the preface of a technical book about Game Theory, which intends to teach the principles of strategy reasoning. The authors are wise when they are able to find, in children, the reasoning that we end losing and having to re-learn after being adults. Mainly when we become parents.

One day I went back home and received from my husband a so-so “good evening”. I soon asked what was going on, and he said to me, annoyed:

“I bought a new videogame. I spent a lot of time choosing. I was sure it would be a complete success among the kids, until I inserted the disc inside the device. Only 15 minutes past, and they were already screaming and fighting in the room. I didn’t preach, I didn’t do anything: I just turned off the device and prohibited them from playing for one week.”

In the blink of an eye, I mapped the “atmosphere” which had been installed. The sadness of a father who brings a present hoping for union and seeing the opposite. Adding to my delusion of… Gee, why can’t they play nice? In the room, the little three all blue. The oldest one, writing in a notebook, a kind of diary, feeling so wronged. The fight had begun because he was – under the pretext of teaching the youngest brother how to play – taking off the controller from his hand all the time; the youngest didn’t want to accept “interferences” and then TOOF!! beat the controller on his brother’s head. My daughter was even more frustrated, because she hadn’t taken part in the confusion and was being like so. And the youngest was letting the tears drop with no sound.

My husband said again:

“I didn’t do anything. I just turned off the game.”

This kind of silent action from the parents weighs more than a scolding, you know? It’s when the children realize that they provoked something more serious. I tried to pacify and also give to Caesar what was Caesar’s. With the father’s “OK”, I released the girl from the prohibition for one week. I praised the oldest boy because he just wanted to help, but also asked for patience. To the youngest son, I said that nothing could justify hurting anybody, much less if the person was his brother, even worse because he was trying to teach him. I saw he regretted it, but I couldn’t leave it be, even for the sake of justice.

Later, I saw that he was still shedding tears and, that time, he was dedicating himself to make a drawing (since he didn’t know how to write).

See the drawing:

crying stick figure

When I saw it, I couldn’t resist; I squeezed him in my arms and covered him with kisses. I covered all three with kisses. I asked the little boy to apologize to both his brother and sister, and his father too, what he did with a wet face, and also promised that it wouldn’t happen again (uh-huh).

Then, he brought me another drawing:

smiling stick figure

Comparing the two drawings, it’s possible to notice the spirit of each one; the first of them made in brown crayon, sad, and the second in orange, happy.

Some days later, the girl was playing in the computer, and the little boy began to annoy her, wanting to play too.

Aaaaaaah, the usual confusion…

“Spending my beauty” and all of the daily artifices, typical of a career in Law, to be a judge, a juror, a lawyer and a conciliator, I said to him he wasn’t right and must wait until she left.

It didn’t take 15 seconds, and the boy came to me with one more drawing of a crying-stick-figure. But, that time, it didn’t correspond to the funny and smart smile of who had drawn…

Three years old. Professional strategist.

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You can also see:

The tooth fairy

School lunch

Are your kids as mine?

This post in Portuguese: O pequeno estrategista

A short and bald guy

a short and bald guy

(Você nunca imaginou que o grande amor da sua vida seria alguém baixinho e careca)

“You had never imagined that the greatest love of your life would be a short and bald guy

“You had always liked tall and dark-haired guys, until the day when you fell in love with one of them and got married. But, when your son was born, a new feeling came over you. And, nowadays, however much you love your husband, now a new little guy makes you sigh. Having a son changes everything.

Johnson&Johnson”

(Claudia Magazine, Brazil, May 2004)

 The Analysis

The ad intends to be funny, associating a son’s arrival with the standards of masculine handsomeness that are already disseminated in the society. It doesn’t “invent” or “propose” these standards. It evocates them, gives them emphasis and solidifies them in the text. It can be seen below:

Short and bald men aren’t part of the imaginary of “the greatest love of your life”. Tall and dark-haired guys are.

The second point is more sensitive and refers to the place of the husband and father in the family. Pregnancy leads mother and son to an earlier attunement. The postpartum period is also a time when the mother-baby pair seems to be a unique person. It naturally creates an unbalance in the former couple structure. The man, as a husband, no matter how he is still “loved”, is no longer “the greatest love” of his wife’s life. And, as a father, he tries to be included in the family. Mostly, he doesn’t have any reference for that, because the fading family model hadn’t considered a father’s presence as they do nowadays.

It’s not in vain that the father figure is absent in the ad. There is a change in the woman’s interest after her son’s birth: “a son changes everything”. It cannot be denied and is also necessary. But it must be understood in its whole extension and be treated with kindness, in order to include – and not to exclude – the man, in the process.

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You can also see:

A short and bald guy – Marusia speaks

Love is…

This post in Portuguese: Baixinho e careca

A short and bald guy – Marusia speaks

You had never imagined that the greatest love of your life would be a short and bald guy.” I didn’t like this wordplay. It’s not because I don’t have a “sense of humor”. I just think the ad is not funny.

I am not talking about “politically correct” things, that are, by the way, hypocrisy or, at least, a bore, to me. I’m talking about the perpetuating of some prejudices only to not “miss an opportunity to joke”.

To avoid somebody saying I’m grumpy, I’m going to transcribe a tweet I saw, also about babies and baldness – that’s really good:

Isabelly (5 years old), with her vast and curly hair,  observed the photos taken when she was a baby, virtually bald, and shoot: “Mom, was I born man?”

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You can also see:

Love is…

This post in Portuguese: Baixinho e careca – Marusia fala

Love is…

Visited site: http://fansofkimcasali.multiply.com/photos

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Who said that the models of perfection are only related to mothers? Fathers also have to carry them…

love is birth

Love is… staying beside her while the baby is being born. (Kim Casali)

 
Love is newborn

Love is… holding the new-born carefully. (Kim Casali)

 
  
love is newborn and father

Love is… believing that the first son takes after the father. (Kim Casali)

 
love is crying

Love is… getting up when the baby cries. (Kim Casali)

 
love is pride

Love is… being proud of your child. (Kim Casali)

 
love is playing

Love is… letting the kid play and jump on your belly early in the morning. (Kim Casali)

 
love is happiness

Love is… sharing the happiness that the baby brings. (Kim Casali)

 
love is diapers

Love is… changing diapers and… washing them. (Kim Casali)

 
love is difficulty

Love is… saying “our kid”, even when he/she is too difficult. (Kim Casali)

 
love is... jealousy

Love is… not being jealous when she pays attention to the children. (Kim Casali)

 
love is breakfast

Love is… making breakfast while she prepares the children to go out.

 
love is rest

Love is… tidying up the house for mommy to rest. (Kim Casali)

 
love is beauty

Love is… saying she is beautiful even when she is a mess. (Kim Casali)

 
love is flirting

Love is… flirting with your wife even after the sixth child. (Kim Casali)

 
Free translation of the texts from the “Amar é…” sticker album, published in 1980 in Brazil.

In 1980, Abril Publishing (Brazil) launched the first version of the “Amar é…” sticker album (Love is… – copyright: United Feature Syndicate). It was a huge success.

The naked couple was created by the New Zealander artist Kim Grove Casali. They illustrated the love notes Kim sent to her boyfriend (later her husband) Robert Casali, in the Sixties. In the Seventies, the drawings got a permanent space in the Los Angeles Time newspaper and conquered the world, shown in cartoons, cards and stickers.

I collected the stickers of the “Love is…” album. I was 8. I couldn’t complete it, but I have kept it.

Today, I found a curious thing. When children appear on the stickers, in most cases the message is addressed to the father: changing (and washing) diapers, getting up at night, playing… If we consider that the cards are from the 1960’s, Kim was a revolutionary woman!!! At the same time, a realist one: the father in the cartoons doesn’t deny he is annoyed with some of the new chores! hahaha

HOW CUTE!!!!

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You can also see:

Are your kids as mine?

This post in Portuguese: Amar é…