Thursday, May 29, 2008

Where is the Desire to Learn?

Had an interesting experience a couple of weeks back that I have to share. I don't know how much I can say with regard to specifics and the questions asked, but I'll share with you something that really rocked my sense of trust in the midwifery qualification. I sat on an examination panel as a consumer representative (as a representative of Birthrites: Healing After Caesarean), for the local university on Tuesday. The students were the post graduate diploma of midwifery students, all of whom are already nurses, and have already studied at a tertiary level for a number of years. I responded to a call for someone to attend from the convenor, and was happy to put the kids into care for the day for the opportunity to have something else to put on my eventual portfolio when applying for either the BMid or the BNurs/BMid... it's all very selfish really. The university had obviously requested consumer reps from a couple of groups, as when I arrived, I met with a fellow activist, who is active with Maternity Coalition here.

But anyway... this examination was something that the students were given 6 weeks to prepare for. And from what I could gather, as someone who is not even educated in Midwifery, it was a very basic knowledge that was called upon in response to the questions asked. But for the most part, the students could not even offer this.

4 months into a post graduate midwifery degree and I can't believe how much they DON'T know. It was if they had read the lecture notes, and skimmed their text books, and that was it. They had done NO wider reading, had not sought out other midwives already practicing to talk about anything, had not contacted a singly consumer organisation, not read anything from a journal article, not researched or reviewed ANYTHING. I was appalled.

Bear in mind that these women (and they were all women) already have a degree in Nursing, they are all doing POST GRADUATE study, so I think it is fair to assume that a desire to learn should exist. Otherwise I don't see the point in enrolling in a university course... unless it's just the payrise they are after. Ever the cynic.

I was under the impression that a desire to study midwifery would involve some understanding of what STUDY is. Study is NOT being spoonfed information, it is not being told all that you need to know. Study is about learning for ones self, aquiring knowledge by 'desiring to learn'.

I will admit that I met at least 3 students who did impress me with their knowledge, their commitment to self education and stepping outside the square of the university. One had (to her credit) become a subscribing member of a number of consumer organisations, and had attended information sessions outside of the university timetable. But that was ONE in TEN. Highly disturbing to think that the women who are planning on supporting women and babies in the BIGGEST and MOST IMPORTANT moment in their lives are seemingly totally disinterested in really learning.

It left a sour taste in my mouth.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Unconditionality vs. Desires

Ok I am not wanting to be guilty of regurgitating other people's writing but another one of Noelle's Daily Grooves struck me. I am still learning how to not blame, how to not blame my 'lack' on the actions of others. I am learning how to accept that those around me do not always have my interests at heart, for it is human nature to serve our purpose. In the society in which I live there is a great divide between what I want, what my partner wants, my friends and family also have their own wants. Our wants generally rely on the actions of others, actions over which we ourselves have no control. Without letting our desires be known to the other party we really have little hope of those desires being fulfilled.
It's all well and good to say "I will love him more if he does this" or "My life would be better if only he'd...", well I have to say. "I love him". That statement cannot have a condition imposed on it. I love him, and his actions reflect his love for me. It's up to me to decide whether what I am putting out is being reciprocated, but I cannot make my love conditional. I can only love. He is flesh made from me, but that's always going to be the case, regardless of the emotion I feel towards him at any moment. I love him as my child. I can be angry, sad, mad, happy, outraged, excited, impressed by him. But ultimately I own my emotions and he cannot be expected to be responsible for how I feel about him. I love him unconditionally.
Life is good. Life could be better. But right now. Life IS good. Accepting that right now, life is pretty sweet, it's as sweet as it gets having three little men worship me, a roof over my head, food in my cupboard and coffee at my desk. What I wish to improve I can work on, I am not limited by much that cannot be resolved if I choose to make it so. I am privileged. I am white. I am married. I am female. I still have scope to be the me I want to be, to have the life I want to have. All in good time. But right now. Life IS good. It's good without being dependent on any variable. Life flows. Whether I want it to or not, life flows.
But anyway, a ramble, a ramble. I want to share this daily groove with you all. And I want to have it saved as something to refer myself back to now and again. In the midst of day to day chaos it can be easy to lose touch with NOW.
Unconditionality vs. Desires
Q: How do you reconcile "unconditionality" with having preferences and desires? If you're totally unconditional, shouldn't everything be fine the way it is?
A: Unconditionality doesn't mean having no preferences or desires; it means that you don't let the temporary absence of your preferred conditions prevent you from enjoying the present moment... "When conditions are to my liking, I feel great! (Obviously.) And when conditions are not to my liking, I enjoy anticipating theunfolding of my preferred conditions." The idea that you can't enjoy this moment because of unwanted conditions is a LIE perpetuated by our conditional culture -- a lie that serves no purpose other than to keep people feeling powerless! Unconditionality says, "Enjoying the here and now is my top priority, so I'm not going to use these conditions as an excuse to separate from my natural state of well-being." So when your child "misbehaves," or your partner is unsupportive, or you're sleep-deprived, etc., use those unwanted conditions to help you clarify what you *do* want. Then practice unconditionality by accepting the present conditions AND joyfully anticipating the fulfillment of your desires.
http://dailygroove.net/unconditionality-vs-desires Copyright (c) 2008 by Scott Noelle

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I've Been Tagged

Ive been tagged Barenest.
The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.Each player answers the questions about themselves.At the end of the post, the player then tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.
a) What was I doing 10 years ago?
Hmm well 10 years ago it was 1998, so I would have been in Yr 10, my best year of High School, I was at Carine.
I was a Naval Reserve Cadet (*nerd alert*). And my baby sister would have been oh... 16 days old today! I was living with Dad and Vic and Shane and Lynnette!
I had just met Donna about 4 weeks ago, and we became instant besties. She rocked my world!
b) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today:
Well to be honest, today is almost over and it was a totally non productive day. I spent most of it boobing on the couch or washing kids or making food. My plans for tomorrow however -
* go to markets for fruit and veg shop
* mop lounge room
* have Will ready for kindy by the time he goes to bed, so I am not rushing like mad Monday morning
* spend some one on one time with Andrew.
* do the dishes
c) Snacks I enjoy:
Iced coffee, chocolate, dutch licorice. Especially the double salt and the salmiak.
d) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Fund homebirths for those who wanted them with independent midwives.
Buy a nice house down south somewhere, and work when I felt like it as an indie mw (once I am qualified).
Watch my kids grow up.
e) Places I have lived:
Tasmania, Queensland, WA, NT, NSW, Vic...
And who am I tagging?
No-one yet.

Happy Birthday Ted

Andrew celebrated his birthday last night. We had delicious Thai take out (a massive splurge for us) and I had a cake for him, a gorgeous vanilla sponge that he likes.
We had dinner with his mate (Will's Kindy teacher) and he put together his new office chair.
I can't believe how old he is now. Old, old, old. 30 Just seems so far away for me, but knowing that he was younger than what I am now when we got together and that feels like yesterday, means that 30 really is closer than I want to believe.
I have been asked, through my capacity as a coregroup member of Birthrites to help out at the local uni next week, on Tuesday. I am sitting on a panel of examiners for the Post Graduate Midwifery students, part of their examination is short interviews on specific topics, and it's a pass/fail exercise. I am the consumer voice on the panel and I get to ask them questions relating to certain topics... I have to admit I am a little bit chuffed at this opportunity.
It's an all day ordeal though, so it's a day without the boys... but they cope well enough when I am at work, so I am sure they'll survive.
In other news, Will is recovering from yet another bout of croup. He's had to take a day off daycare and a day off Kindy. He was pretty unwell with it this time around, but like always, he's bounced back straight away. Not much down time for a kid on a mission.
I have enrolled in a full time load of units for a BSc (Nursing) degree for next semester. I am really excited now. Not nervous at all. Andrew started a new job three days ago, and the increase in pay that he gets means that I can really take time off working and just study to get myself headed in the right direction. It works out that the boys don't have to be in care for any more time than what they already are, which was a major concern for me, but it's turned out fantastically. I just need to sort out a couple of hours care on a Friday and we're sweet. I am allowing myself to be stoked about all this study and life plan stuff now. Now that I can see it's achievable and not going to be interrupted by me having any more children. Because that's NOT going to happen, thank you very much.
Apparently next year ECU are offering Nursing and Midwifery as a double degree, rather than a direct entry midwifery degree without the Nursing qualification as Curtin have done. I am going to look at applying, and moving across to completing the double qualification if I can.
Right... off to play trains with Will... and then to the beach for a rockpool walk.
Ciao x B

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Oxygen Mask Rule - Scott Noelle

The Oxygen Mask Rule :: from THE DAILY GROOVE ~ by Scott Noelle www.enjoyparenting.com/dailygroove --> Flight attendants always remind parents that if the airplane's cabin loses pressure, you should apply *your* oxygen mask first, and then your child's. This is because a parent without oxygen is likely to pass out before getting the child's mask in place. Likewise, if you were stressed about some problem with your child, the conventional response would be to focus on "fixing" the child. But stressful states like fear, worry, anger, and resentment are like oxygen deprivation: they undermine your capacity to help your child. So remember to get *your* oxygen first, literally, by taking a deep breath and feeling for your Center. Once you're centered -- present, connected, "in the flow" -- you'll be more creative, and you'll emanate a "vibe" that your child will *want* to align with. Whenever parenting becomes stressful, stop and tell yourself, "I want to respond from my Heart, so I will take no action until I find my Center." http://dailygroove.net/oxygen Feel free to forward this message to your friends! Copyright (c) 2008 by Scott Noelle

Saturday, May 10, 2008

May... Mayhem... My Men!

Well, it's MAY!! A month of birthdays.
Hippy bathday to Travis, Rose, Ron, Jackie, Andrew Uncle David, Aunty Maxine (R.I.P.) and anyone else I haven't thought to mention because it's late at night!
It's now term 2 of kindy, and for the two whole weeks that Will was on holidays he was adamant that I was deliberately keeping him from his precious kindy as some kind of obscure torture. He was in real pain, desperately in need of a kindy fix by the time term 2 started. He had a playdate with the kindy kids in the holidays, to satisfy his aching belly, but as it turned out, that same day was the beginning of a couple of rough weeks of illness in this house.
Lochlain and Tristan both got, at the same time, conjunctivitis, sinusitis, otitis media, tonsilitis and Tristan copped bronchialitis on top of that... so it's safe to say they have some upper respiratory immunity issues. Lochlain was really ill with it, his body does not cope with fever very productively and as much as I am one to let a fever rage if it needs to, sometimes you just have to intervene and say "Nah, this is a bit uncool". He has some drama with taking oral medication and the suppository options I had on hand were out of date, so it became a late night sojourn in the ED just to get some respite for him from his fever and get some fluids into him.
Will copped a bit of gastro, and so did I, but I am putting that down to dodgy food court chinese we'd snacked on in the city the day before. How embarassing, you know it's crap when you eat it, and you suffer for you sin that's for sure!
So it took about 2 weeks before the boys got right, Tristan still has a nasty lingering cough, but he seems well enough otherwise. Andrew and his dad both copped sore throats for a week or so, and they suffered with the dreaded 'man cold'. You know the one, it's about 3000 times stronger than the cold any woman or child gets. It must be, because the whinging that comes with it is 3000 times more annoying, I can assure you.
Managed to catch up with Mum and Tony last week... had a great quick lunch at the marina and a play in the sand. It was a lovely warm, humid day on the beach. The kids had a blast and it got me out of a funk after being stuck in the house with sickies for so long.
Last month I had some friends pop out some sproglets, so I am wanting to give a shout out to some beautiful babies... Jarrah, Nadia, Wiremu and Leo... all spunks, all born within 3 weeks of each other... 3 at home in water as planned... and wee Jarrah bought into this world a bit before his time but his mama birthed awesomely and he looks just as rockin' as the rest of the brood.
I finally caught up with their mamas yesterday, and got to sniff some newborn heads. Had a little cluck and quickly regained my senses. Googling hyperemeis is the best way to remind myself of my plan to have no more babies. Ick.
Will and Lochie went to watch the WAFL today... it's their normal footy season fun, WAFL on the weekends that the WCE don't have a home game, if we can help it and the weather is fine. They get all dolled up with their footy jumpers, and take their swannies ball out for a kick at half time with Grandad.
Tristan and I used the opportunity today to strip some more of the wallpaper border and run errands. Not fun, but productive, I grabbed some cheap wool and some seeds... I put calendula in the front garden along the fence, see how they go. I am not particularly known for my green thumb.
I am enrolling in a couple of Nursing units for next semester, just to keep the old brain ticking along, and to move a step closer to my midwifery qualification. It really still depends on Andrew's work stuff though... he's applied for a couple of jobs here and there, and if something good comes up, it's another 'wait and see' moment for me.
Anyhoo, here is some photos of the boys. Well the ones who sit still long enough to get shots taken.
Yes, that is Lochlain in the background cleaning the tiles with MY toothbrush. Little bugger. We have some photographers living here. They love to take pictures of each other and of Tristan and even Lochlain has taken to setting up shots, the same way Will does. I love going through some of the pictures they've taken that I haven't been aware of. It's awesome to be able see thier day through their eyes.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

To The Detached Parents...

I spy you, 'cross the room,
in a park or a shop,
perhaps a couple in daycare
or this your first shot.
Your baby - a sad face
staring out of the pram,
with a mouth full of plastic,
in blue or pink glam.
When babe starts to cry,
you rock pram back and forth.
Pick it up? I must not!
What would that enforce?
From bottle: the modified milk
of a beast.
Food - fresh from jars
complimenting the feast.
Baby is lucky to be held
while downing this gruel.
Much easier to prop -
there is shopping to do.
"My baby is on a schedule!"
is your famous line,
and so baby cries
until the "right time".
Against nature is this
the most terrible crime.
Now you have a child
of about two,
stuck behind bars and
enclosed in a zoo.
Child tied to your wrist,
you might go for a walk,
never let them explore
but always prompt them to talk.
By now babe has advanced
to crying it out.
Never answer their needs,
just make them shout.
Shout and scream
til they vomit; then sleep.
Exhausted, deflated
and spiritually weak.
For you must break that child,
their will and their might,
to establish control
and that you're always right.
All the while you ply them,
ply them with stuff.
Fill it up to the rafters 'til they
can't get enough.
For things must replace you -
too bad if that's rough.
Institution and poor care,
cause issues with health,
so you give them some medicine,
you bought from the shelf.
Then away they go again,
all symptoms masked.
And you can go on with
your other tasks.
I'm sure you weren't always
a bitch to your kid.
Maybe once you believed
(as I thought I did),
that others knew best
about what to do.
The difference between us is:
you bought while I grew.
Because parenting does not
come from a book,
(though sometimes they're
handy for an alternative look).
Discipline should not come from our parents
you know,
who screwed us up in the first place,
when it was their go.
You do not need to prove who
is running the show.
Care does not come from the
experts and clinics,
it comes from the heart
and delving deep in it.
Love comes from support,
a caring community around.
A partner with feet planted
firmly in ground.
And the women, and families,
that came before us,
who adapted to children
and knew just to trust.
Although sometimes we wander,
from what we know best,
we try, we move forward,
and that is the test.
In the hopes that our kids
while walking their path,
will see beauty and kindness
and have love in their heart.
Deep down they will know
that they belong,
As parents they'll improve,
naturally know what is wrong.
And that is the way that our
Earth will live on.
----------Copyright 2008 Melissa Baker