Category: Be A Mom . . . be a family

What are our Rights as Parents?

Last week, a couple had their 5 month old baby in the hospital. He had suffered from heart murmurs and was developing flu like symptoms. After seeing a nurse give their baby a medicine she could not identify, later finding out it was antibiotics, even though the doctor told them the baby should not get antibiotics, and other incidents that raised their concerns as to the reliability of the hospital and staff where they were, the doctor told them the baby needed heart surgery. The left against the doctor’s advice and sought a second opinion. The second doctor said the baby was fine to go home. There were no concerns for the parents. The next day their baby was taken from them by Child Protective Services. After a week with their sick 5 month old baby in custody, where they were only allowed a single 1 hr visit under observation. They finally had their hearing yesterday and were told

“The court also ruled that the parents must follow all future medical advice, including not removing their child from Stanford Medical Center without proper discharge.”

Since when do we not have any choice but to follow all medical advice? I though we always had a right to decline treatment if we did not want it. Or is that right no longer ours? They did not trust their first doctor because he kept making mistakes, so they went straight over to another doctor who said the baby was okay to go home. They were responsible, caring parents, not some drugged out idiots leaving their baby sick at home while they went out partying or drinking. And for being good parents their baby was taken from them for almost a week, and they weren’t even allowed to see him except for one 1 hr visit. This makes me sick.   How long until they start taking our babies for feeding them solid foods or peanut butter before they doctor says it is okay? They could easily look at our Facebook posts about such topics and report us as bad parents if we admit to doing these things.

Doctors can now ask you at routine checkups if you have a gun in the house and then record it as a risk factor on your file. Just recently a German immigrant family is facing deportation after coming here seeking political asylum so they could homeschool their children. The Department of Homeland Security ruled that homeschooling is not a right and so they cannot stay here. If they go back to Germany they will have their children taken away because they chose to homeschool instead of sending them to a state run school. In Germany, even if you send them to a regular school during the day, you can have your children taken from you if you try to teach them anything at home. It was a policy instituted under Hitler that was never repealed. They were on their final warning and were about to lose their children when they left Germany and moved here in 2008. Now our government is ready to send them back to Germany to have their children taken from them because homeschooling isn’t a right, so they do not qualify for political asylum. Our government has made this decision.

If they can take our children away for seeking a second opinion from a doctor and then tell us we have no right to deny medical treatment for our children, what is to stop them from saying we are abusing our children by not puting them in Head Start programs at regular schools? They have already set precident that homeschooling isn’t a right. If we don’t have the right to decide when someone is going to perform a surgery on our baby, what makes us think we can argue we have the right to decide how to teach them the alphabet?

If we let incidents like this go by un challeneged, we will not wake up until it is our child they take for no reason, and we are left begging to have our baby given back to us.


MSNBC is doing promos saying that our kids don’t belong to us. They belong to the collective. Scary stuff. So the same people who say we have the right to kill our own child are now saying that same child doesn’t belong to us. What is with these idiots? My children are mine. I had the morning sickness that lasted into the 3rd trimester both times, sciatic pain that started at week 6 of each pregnancy and stayed around 5 years later, stitches, bed rest and horrible heartburn that lasted for months. I struggled through two and half years of pumping and breastfeeding, no sleep, endless doctor appointments, and many, many illnesses running around the house. I am the one there when my kids have a nightmare or learn to walk. I suffer through all the crap because children are precious gifts from God, and it is worth all the pain and hardship to care for those little miracles. So MSNBC can go walk off a cliff and follow their crappy ratings into the void. Leave my children alone. You don’t deserve them, and you can’t have them.

Watch the crazy video here:

-A.D. McLain

The feminist movement promised women freedom of choice. All it did was take away our choice of being a mom. Today, stay at home moms are criticized and looked down on as lazy. Career women often don’t understand the feelings of co-workers who are tormennted by the need to by home with their children, taking care of their house and being domestic. “Domestic” is the new insult. I know, because I used to feel the same way. These moms are told, “You’ll get used to it,” or “They’ll be fine.” But what if you don’t want to get used to it? What if you are plagued every moment of every single day by the belief that this is wrong? You are not where you should be.

It is very difficult these days to survive on one income. Short of cutting out all phones, movies, internet and moving out to a cheap plot of land in the country, many can’t do it. Those who can are often only one paycheck or emergency away from trouble. Medical bills, unemployment, reduction in hours and natural disasters like hurricanes and flooding take their toil and push many families over the edge.

We are told to deal with it. “No one wants to work. You just do what you have to do. Stop being so selfish. Besides, what if your husband dies or leaves you? You need work experience so you can take care of yourself. You can’t depend on any man to take care of you.”

We used to plan our futures based around family, love and hope. We now plan based on everything falling apart. We used to dream of big families full of laughing children. Now every child is just another daycare bill and mouth to feed, who we only see for a few hours a night between dinner, baths, homework and whatever other chores need to be done. No one is at home to help keep up the house, so everything piles up. Nothing gets doen. Couples fight, because even with both of them working, there still isn’t enough money to keep up, Marriages fall apart, children are raised by daycares and schools. And we wonder why there is so much violence and dispair.

I am not saying every mom should stay home. I am saying there should be a choice. Whether you work because you have no choice or stay at home because you have no choice, the result is bitterness and anger. But what do you do about it? Do you give up or fight for what you know in your soul is right? And how do you reverse a problem that has been 50 years in the making?

Why does it matter?

So, say you don’t have kids, don’t want kids, or you have kids and want to work. Why should you care about women who want to stay at home? Well there is the old saying, “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” The argument is that happy moms will lead to happier families and children, which will lead to a happier society.

But let’s look at some less emotional arguments:

1. Pregnant workers and breastfeeding mothers are a burden to businesses.

2. Working moms who want to stay at home are unhappy workers.

3. Because of financial burdens, they will push themselves to work, often at the expense of their health or the health of the baby.

4. This leads to increased healthcare costs for everyone.

5. If women who don’t want to work are able to stay home, it frees up those jobs for the many unemployed workers who need and want the jobs.


During pregnancy, many women work until the birth of the child and return promptly after maternity leave, purely for financial reasons. They need their paycheck and employer based health insurance. This puts a tremendous strain on businesses who must make countless accommodations. Pregnant employees have doctor visits and physical restrictions. This can be an annoyance, a hinderance, unfair to co-workers who must pick up the slack and it puts a lot of stress on the health of the mother, which can lead to complications, premature births, increased health costs, and sick babies.

(See my earlier blog post on Inequality in the workplace)

Breastfeeding moms are still a burden on their companies and often stop sooner than they would have if they were at home. This can also contribute to health problems in children and increased healthcare costs.

Unhappy moms working just for the paycheck, wanting to be home, are more likely to be less productive workers. If they are allowed to leave the workforce, they can clear those positions for the many on unemployement who are looking for and want a job. Businesses get workers who want to be there and moms get to be home with their children. Everyone wins.

What do we do?

Step 1: Access to financial planning. There is a lot of bad advice out there. It can be easy to get lost trying to do the right thing. The right financial advice early on can help get a family on track and stop many problems before they begin.

Step 2: Work at home. Sometimes cutting costs and clipping coupons isn’t enough. You need more income. We need a network of businesses who have legitamate work at home or telecommuting options, both part time and full time, to get together and offer these jobs to moms. By hiring these contract workers, companies save on benefits and health insurance they would have to pay to full time, regular workers. They also save on things like utility costs, misc. office supplies, paper, toner, coffee, water, etc. by having work done by people at home. They aren’t using company computers, producing garbage, using the phones. Meanwhile, the moms have the flexibilty they need to take their children to doctor appointments, playdates, for breastfeeding and time spend on bedrest.

This plan would have applications beyond pregnant women and mothers. It could be adapted to allow fathers to take paternity leave or time off when children are sick or in the hospital. While federal guidelines do allow people to take off for things like this, financial burdens often prohibit the use of these policies. It is time we come together as communities to take care of our own and help our friends, neighbors and family to produce happier families and provide more productive workers for our businesses. It can be done, but we have to work together.

I am gathering information to help local moms at

This is just the start, but together I believe we can begin to change things.

Many of the news stories this past few weeks center around employees being forced to come in to work on Thanksgiving. Opponents say it is an attack on a family holiday and unfair to the employees. There are strikes and petitions and everyone is mad at those evil, greedy companies who only care about profit.
But what of the customers who go to these sales? Do they share no blame? Are we so weak-willed that if they open we must shop? In these difficult economic times companies are grasping at every sale they can get, desperate to survive until things can get better. Is it right to open on Thanksgiving? Probably not. I am one of the many who roll my eyes at the forgotten holidays trampelled over on the way to Christmas. I actually saw Christmas decorations up at stores before Halloween this year. Even the Halloween decorations were sparse this year, but when was the last time stores even bothered promoting Thanksgiving? (other than a few generic fall decorations of brown and orange leaves and maybe a sale on turkeys).
But whose fault is that? Is it the evil, greedy corporations, or are they just reacting to us? Maybe we hate them, because they reflect who we have become, and we don’t like what we see. It is easy to blame the stores, but that is just addressing the symptoms without attacking the illness.. We could end this trend right now. All we have to do is not shop on Thanksgiving. That’s it. If no one comes in th to the stores to shop on Thanksgiving night, the stores won’t open. we pay lip service to family, but we aren’t spending quality time with our family while standing in line, running and pushing and shoving to get to the deals before anyone else?
So the next time we want to jump on the “Blame the Companies” bandwagon, take a look in the mirror and look at the checkout person at the store. Ask yourself if that deal is worth making that employee work on Thanksgiving, and instead of shopping, go home and give your kids a hug. We get so few days to spend with our families, let’s not waste it  with arguments, lawsuits, petitions and shopping. If you think the stores should be closed., don’t shop on Thanksgiving. It really is that simple.
Amanda McLain-Young

Congratulations to my uncle for publishing his book of short stories. We love you Uncle Bill Dickey. (currently available in paperback and ebook ).



Rich Man’s Daughter

by Betty McLain

When Carol discovers her father plans to force her into a marriage she does not want, she must take matters into her own hands. But how can a girl who has always had everything prove to her father and herself she doesn’t need money or good looks to make her way in the world?

Buy the eBook on Smashwords for $0.99 here
Buy the paperback on Createspace for $5.99 here
View the Teaser Trailer here

Congratulations to my mom for publishing her first book! You can read more about her and her writing at

Scam alert: If someone calls saying a relative is in jail in Sarnia, Canada after being involved in a car accident near Niagra Falls where the driver was drinking, and needs $1000 wired to them so the judge will let them leave and come back to the USA, it is a scam. Courthouses do not have a Western Union in them, and Sarnia is not that close to Niagra Falls. It is about 3 to 4 hours away. Anyone arrested near Niagra Falls would be taken to neared jail/courthouse, probably Saint Catherines.

The attorney calling claimed to be Daitalin Eisner with Johnson and Johnson law firm in Canada and gave a Vancouver number: 778-239-9035.  Sarnia courthouse had not heard of this attorney or lawfirm. Lawyer claimed relative was being held, but not formally arrested, pending the payment of the fine to release him. Thus, the police and courthouse had no record of him. Attorney refused to provide any proof of who she was or where she worked. Could not provide name of judge, number or courthouse or police station (I had to look those up online), website for lawfirm, proof she was even a lawyer, and we were given one hour to pay fine or he would have to go to jail.

“Relative” claimed to have a cold to cover up the fact that he didn’t sound exactly like the real relative.


Sqeezable Fruit

I’ve noticed lately an abundance of fruit puree in squeezable pouches. It started out as a toddler snack on the baby food aisle. First came the name brand, then the store brand knock offs. Yesterday I found that they have made the jump from baby/toddler food to the fruit isle. I often get fruit cups for my older son. The diced fruit makes a good snack, and he likes it. I try to get fresh fruit and berries, but inevitably they go bad before we can finish them. I don’t know if is our grocery stores down here or what, but I often find food that is either at or past its expiration date still sitting on the store shelves. I’ve bought macaroni and cheese that was expired for two years, cookie dough that was stored at improper temperatures and didn’t cook correctly (twice), and tried to get some bottled water only to see that it was best by six months ago. Fresh fruit and veggies don’t usually last very long once I buy them, making me wonder how long they have been on the shelf, too. Fruit pouches don’t go bad as quickly and have a couple other advantages as well. They are easy to take with us on the road and they usually have a good variety of different fruits and berries that aren’t as easy to come by in the cups. But they do leave me with one observation. Feeding my 10 month old son, I’m excited he is transitioning to more solid foods. He is moving away from baby puree and eating more table foods. As parents this is a fun time. Yet my four-year old is now moving back to puree for his snacks. Strange how things work out.

-A.D. McLain

I came to the realization the other day that jobs are like death. I don’t mean how some jobs can be soul crushing, time consuming wastelands that serve only to suck up all your time and joy and keep you away from your family and friends. I actually have a more optimistic point to make. Now, if you’ve ever watched or read a ghost story you know the plot where said ghost has unfinished business and has to fix something or learn something before he or she can move on to the great beyond. Jobs can be a lot like that. But just like the ghosts in these stories, you have to be open to learn something, or you just end up haunting the same place for all eternity, a wisp of your former self. I’m a writer, so my dream job is of course to write. But darnnit if life doesn’t like to get in the way with those pesky little bills and need for food and such. I’ve had my fair share of jobs on my quest for my dream. I’ve worked in accounting, physical therapy, marketing and sales. One thing every job had in common was that I had them for a reason. They taught me skills, helped me meet people and even helped me move to somewhere I needed to be. Without my first job out of college, I would never have moved when I did and avoided having my home destroyed by a hurricane. I found my first publisher from working at a physical therapy clinic. Whenever I needed a new job, I found one.  I have always been where I needed to be when I needed to be there. And once I learned what I needed to learn, I moved on. I never knew going in what I would get from any of my jobs. Most of my experiences were unexpected and life alterring. I may not always be where I want to be, but I am always where I need to be. Realizing that can make it a little easier to handle difficult times. Ten years ago I never could have predicted where this decade would take me, but I know I have been blessed. I just need to be where I am and let the future take care of itself. I have faith I will reach my dreams and goals one day. In the mean time, I will learn what I am meant to learn and take full advantage of where I am, now. If I hunker down and learn everything I can as quickly as I can, I will be one step closer to where I am meant to go.

-A.D. McLain

Adventures in Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is one of those issues that quickly polarizes people. I just learned of a woman complaining that Target employees harassed her for breastfeeding in the store, and mom’s everywhere staged nurse-ins in response. I wasn’t there, so I don’t know if she was actually out of the way, covered up, or if the employees were rude as she claims. I don’t know if maybe during the Christmas rush, with customers running around everywhere, she might have inadvertently been in the way of customers or tired employees just trying to get their jobs done and get home to their families. Or maybe she was just one of those people itching to start a fight and plopped herself down in the way on purpose, hoping someone would say something. Only those involved know. One thing we do know from the story is that she was offered a place to nurse in private and opted not to do so. Some people argue that breastfeeding is perfectly natural and should not be hidden. Others argue it is gross or at least shouldn’t be done in public. And thus the two sides of the ongoing argument. Should someone who does not have children, doesn’t agree with or feels uncomfortable with breastfeeding have to see it in public? Should a mom just trying to feed her baby have to hide? Here is what it breaks down to:

1. Breastfeeding is natural, healthy for mother and child and cheaper than buying formula.

2. Some people are uncomfortable with breastfeeding.

3. Those breastfeeding need a clean, safe environment to nurse in.

Let’s look at point three:

The woman in the story complained that she shouldn’t have to hide in some bathroom. That is actually not an issue in this case, since she was offered a fitting room to sit down in. As someone who was forced to pump in a bathroom at my job when my first son was born, I can tell you there is a difference. I was forced to use the bathroom, with other people doing their business in the next stall, because my boss (who was female and had children) thought that was the appropriate place to do it. When someone complained to HR, they finally offered me empty offices to use. I was later told I had to use the restroom instead of the kitchen to clean my pump pieces and bottles, since people were complaining I took up too much space in the kitchen the few minutes a day I was in there cleaning everything. That was the excuse I was given. Of course, they didn’t really know what to do with me, since only two other people in that company had ever breastfed (an issue I will re-address shortly).

By contrast, a fitting room is much cleaner than a restroom, it offers more privacy, the lighting is not as harsh as one would experience sitting out in the middle of a store, you could feed your child without having to cover up, so you can actually share eye contact and make it a more enjoyable bonding experience, you aren’t in people’s way, and you don’t have sick people walking around coughing on you and exposing your child to illnesses. I’m not saying every mom should run and hide in a fitting room, but in this case I really do not see the down side.

Point two:

Some people, even breastfeeding mom’s can be a little uncomfortable with exposure and public nursing. I pump to breastfeed my son, but I don’t feel comfortable doing so in front of friends and family. If someone is over and I need to pump, I put on a shawl or go in another room. If I’m at a party, I ask for a spare room I can use. Even when I tried to nurse at the hospital when my son was born, I was offered privacy screens just like every other mom in the NICU. The fact is, most women want some privacy. If breastfeeding moms want privacy, why is it so difficult to understand how non-breastfeeding moms, or single men or women may feel uncomfortable about it?

This brings me to point one:

If breastfeeding is natural, been done for thousands of years and millions of women do it every day, why are we all so uncomfortable  or shy about it? Consider these facts; Most of us are formula fed. Now, I don’t have any statistics to back up this statement, and I’m sure the numbers vary depending on where you grew up, but going off my own personal experience, I don’t think I know a single person over twenty-five or thirty who was breastfed for more than a month, if that. The advent of decent formula, coupled with more women in the workforce, left a couple of generations of people with little to no exposure to breastfeeding. Is it any wonder many of us who do try are embarrassed, have problems picking it up, struggle with low milk production, etc? A hundred years ago, a girl would learn breastfeeding from her mom. Every mother she knew would be an expert who could answer questions, give instruction or help with problems like mastitis and low milk production. I had a couple of lactation nurses at the hospital who helped me for the few days I was at the hospital right after my son was born. Other than that, I am on my own. Many moms don’t even have that support. So we are all re-learning something our ancestors took for granted. For those of us with no support system and no prior exposure to breastfeeding, having a child is the first time in our lives where we are told to view our breasts as something non-sexual. We do not live in some European country like Spain or in some isolated National Geographic tribe where women walk around topless. For the most part, breasts are considered sexual here. We are told repeatedly in childhood and adolescence to cover up. Then all of a sudden we have children and we are told we should feel comfortable exposing our breasts to breastfeed. It can leave a lot of conflicted feelings. When girls had babies from puberty to menopause, breasts were always for breastfeeding. But now, women are waiting until later to have children, having fewer children or none at all, and we live in a society that rates a woman’s attractiveness based on her cup size.

We are left with a general public who is a little uncomfortable with or completely grossed out by breastfeeding and a generation of shy, defensive breastfeeding moms angrily pushing it in everyone’s face as we over react to our own insecurities and conflicted emotions. Now, before I get a lot of angry responses, let me add that of course not every breastfeeding mom falls into this category and we should not be afraid to insist on certain rights when feeding our children. But I think we are lying to ourselves and not helping anyone if we pretend these issues aren’t at the heart of many breastfeeding conflicts. So where does that leave us? The public pretends they are okay with breastfeeding to avoid lawsuits and moms become political pawns, fighting over the right to offend people instead of focusing on what breastfeeding is all about, the bond between the mother and child. If  you are all focused on people’s reactions to your breastfeeding, you aren’t focusing on the child and bonding with that child. Everyone needs to exercise a little common courtesy. Don’t strike out to catch people or look for a fight. When I go to a party, I don’t pull it out and start pumping in the middle of the living room. I ask for a room where I can go and pump in private. I know nursing mothers who do the same to nurse their children. Yes, you do miss a little conversation or some excitement, but that is the price you pay for wanting to breastfeed. You have to ask yourself what is more important, that you heard some gossip or spent time with your child. Why should you force other people to be uncomfortable because of a choice you made to breastfeed. And if there isn’t a private room, or you can’t get away, at least use a shawl to cover up unless you are with someone you know isn’t uncomfortable with breastfeeding. And to everyone else, breastfeeding isn’t icky or gross. It is a natural thing, so try to keep that in mind. If you are offended or uncomfortable, ask if the mom wouldn’t mind covering up, but do it nicely. It took up a couple of generations to forget how to breastfeed. It will take some time to relearn this skill.

-A.D. McLain