Learning how to parent

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I have the privilege of helping many friends and strangers learn "how to parent" except this is not accurate.  I don't teach them anything--I show them what they already know. Because we do know- even if we don't know we know.

Part of this includes the privilege of being with friends as they labor and birth their babies- I also have had the pleasure of helping new moms learn how to breastfeed (it may be natural but it isn't always easy!!)

And the other day someone asked me where I learned how to parent. Interesting question. Honestly? I am doing what feels right and hoping for the best.  As luck would have it there is a fairly large body of evidence that supports attachment parenting as an emotionally healthy parenting option.  But where did this come from?

My mom.

When I had my first I was 22 and so immature having a goldfish would have been too much responsibility.

My daughter was a preemie-- and my mom helped me gain the confidence to hold her, to change her, to feed her and to parent her.  I was terrified of breaking her- so when she came home from the NICU at a whooping 3 lbs- my mom came down to stay with me and helped me figure out what I was doing. She taught me how to bath her, and supported breastfeeding even though she never breastfeed me.  She found resources to help me.

The biggest thing she did was help me gain the confidence to parent Princess and trust myself to know what feels right.  We have instincts for a reason- fighting them is counter productive.

So now I get to share what she guided me to learn.  You can do it.  You are enough.  Your baby needs you.  

Little boy/big boy

Monday, September 7, 2015

Now I take pictures of LittleDude almost every night when he nurses to sleep.  One of these times it will be the last time that he snuggles to sleep and looks for my cuddles overnight. Soon one day, my milk will not be the thing that he needs to soothe his owies or mend his broken heart.

There of course are frustrations, when I want him to just go to bed.... to stop following me around, but he is my last little baby, so I am really trying to to focus on snuggling and enjoying every moment I can, because one time- it will be memories.

I love my little ones, and this is different, because I usually had delivered another baby by this time and had my time divided between a new baby and a three year old toddler.

Its hard not to have another baby, it is hard to know that this is my last snuggle bug, and I don't like it.  Being a mother has been such a huge part of my life- leaving this stage is a struggle for me.  What will it look like?  Will I still be needed? Loved? How will we navigate this?

A huge part of me hopes that this is not my last baby, I don't feel done. My heart aches for more nursing time, for more baby-wearing time, for more singing, and feeling a baby move in my womb