Saturday, March 10, 2012

Questions I am asked ...

Sometimes I notice I get asked the same questions by multiple friends and contacts and giving pretty much the same answers, so in case you were also wondering ...

Why are you so passionate about breastfeeding?
I joined a breastfeeding support organisation 28 years ago, after the birth of my first child. I started training as a volunteer breastfeeding counsellor when my second child was a toddler and qualified when my youngest was one. My passion has been part of my whole adult life, having started motherhood when I was twenty and now approaching 50! I believe that many of the problems facing women as they learn to breastfeed are because of the society they live in, not due to personal failure or physical barriers. My life goal is to improve support and information available so all mothers make an informed choice about infant feeding and have access to the very best help. I continue to be a volunteer breastfeeding counsellor and reach my 20 year milestone in May and I work in a Breastfeeding Centre three days each week in a paid capacity, helping mums.

How do you keep in touch with all the breastfeeding news on the internet? You are always sharing stuff!
My secret is Google Reader - it does the searching for me! It feeds blog posts and news articles containing relevant words like "breastfeeding" right to me! I share many on my Facebook Wall, primarily as a form of bookmarking but also because I have many friends who also advocate for breastfeeding women arund the world.

You have multiple sclerosis, but you don't look sick! How can you do so much?
I began having symptoms of MS in 1995 and was formally diagnosed in 2000. I have a mild form of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (at this time - we have no crystal ball) and my main symptoms are invisible - fatigue, sensory disruptions, balance, pain, memory - and apparently cover them well! I manage my well-being by only working part-time, paying for a cleaner two days a week, spending 12 hours in bed each day between 8.30pm and 8.30am, and using my non-work weekdays for health management activities. I also have fibromyalgia and chronic back issues. I can pace myself in the workplace so not to overload myself and only work three 6-hour days. Most of my volunteer work can be done by phone or email and I spend a lot of the weekend resting.

What is art journalling and why are you doing it?
Art journalling is a form of mixed-media art which has interested me for a couple of years and 2012 seemed a good time to get into it. As a scrapbooker since the 90s, I was looking for new challenges in memory keeping and creating. I also find it healing, as depression is part of my MS and Fibro symptoms, so it helps me work through stuff rather than fret over it.

You have over 1200 Facebook Friends! How on Earth do you know so many people
LOL - I ask myself the same thing! Have you ever heard of Dunbar's Number? I seem to be an exception which proves the rule. I like to connect with people and Facebook is the ideal medium for me. I have actively searched out people who I have had good friendships with in the past but become disconnected from due to life changes - people I knew when our children were at school together; people I knew through NMAA/ABA who moved on as their children grew beyond babyhood; people I have worked with or went to school with myself: but I also take the opportunity to connect with new friends and these days, many of those are cyber-friendships only, because we live in a global community. So I have online friends with shared interests in breastfeeding,  scrapbooking, photography, reading, family history, art ... and everything else I list as "interests". I am not afraid to say "Hello, Would you like to be my friend?" even though in my early years I would have cringed at the thought of rejection. Funny how good maturity can be! These days, some of my closest friends are people I interact with daily but will (probably) never see in real life. Like Catherine "my old Nursing Mother's friend's cousin in Canada"! Or a women's fiction author whose work I admired long before we connected (actually, I have met her in person once - we met for coffee and to exchange books for a cause I have forgotten!). I am cross-generational - friends with my kids' friends, my friends' kids ... my youngest friends are barely old enough to be on Facebook, my eldest shouldn't even know how to be on Facebook (according to some!), yet we all find something to chat about each day. Its my village fountain.

So - any further questions?????

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