Gypsy, a reader of this blog from New Zealand, wrote this post on her blog that I wanted to share with you:
I am sharing Gypsy’s concern regarding not only the general lack of time mothers today have to prepare and dream for a birth while pregnant, but also this thought that as soon as possible one must jump back into the old routine.
My Dutch neighbor asked me yesterday why people in the U. S. brought tiny infants to movies….. (My European and Down Under readers, is this only a U.S. phenomenon??? I would like to know! Please leave me a comment!) Her thought was that a movie is so very loud and overstimulating and she wondered why mothers are trying perhaps hard to prove that “they have had a baby but can still do all the things they used to do”? I am not sure if this is the reason mothers bring infants to movies, or if it is just “something to do to get out of the house”, but I do wonder. What makes us think that this is okay for a tiny baby? (Well, okay, what makes us think this is okay for children in general under the age of 7 or 9? That is a whole ‘nother post topic!)
A child under the age of 9 and especially a small baby is WIDE open to the world with no filters, no sensors. All those sensory impressions just come pouring in! I cannot tell you all the number of hospital rooms I have walked into to treat a tiny newborn and had to ask the parents to please turn a very noisy and loud television or radio program off! I have felt badly for these infants’ assaulted senses.
I am a very attached mother, and I have many, many attached friends. But please, let’s not use the fact that we can breastfeed in a sling to drag a baby all over creation! Our bodies can act as a filter for some of the sensory impressions for our babies, but the question is shouldn’t part of being a mother be that we put the sensory needs of our smallest and most fragile first and foremost? Shouldn’t the birth of a baby be a time of wonder and enjoyment and yes, a slower pace? What have we to prove by running errands all over town and everything else? I had one friend who came from a large family who commented wryly that a new baby was always
Your baby will only be a tiny baby once. I encourage you to not only take your forty days, but also to slow down your life for a year and get used to being home. I think this adjustment comes sooner or later. I have had many mothers who have lamented to me that once their baby was walking and such it “was difficult to go to Starbucks and enjoy a cup of coffee” or go out to lunch as the child wouldn’t sit there any longer. I understand that, I really do – they hit an adjustment period, a true adjustment. They realized after a bit of time that they needed to be more firmly entrenched in their homes and that having a child was changing them and their lives. It was this sense of surrendering that had to occur and these mothers had to take charge of their own homes. This can be a difficult journey for so many of us, and I would love to dialogue more about how to make this transition to home a reality.
More to come,