Beyond The Forty Days: What Next?

I have written some blog posts in the past regarding the forty days after birth as a time to be easy on oneself, a time to be with one’s baby.  Then, you may ask, what happens after the forty days are finished and people expect you to be “normal” and “back to your old self” ?

I had a friend the other day tell me she thought the time when a baby was  between two to four months old was actually very challenging, because people stop coming over to visit.  They stop bringing you meals.  People expect your older children to get places and participate in things.  Meanwhile, you are juggling a baby who is perhaps already starting to get teeth and who is not sleeping well or juggling a baby who is not sleeping well because he or she is doing new things developmentally. 

But  there are still  those moments to drink in and savor.  Those first smiles and laughter.  Those dimpled cheeks and chubby thighs.  The first time they roll over.  The way they wave their hands and feet when you sing to them.

Sometimes, with parenting, all you can do is hold on. Enjoy those wonderful moments, learn to ask for help when you need it, learn to seek out the company of people who parent like you as you find your own path.  And the path will change as you get older, because you are still growing and evolving, and the path will change the more children you have because children are all different and have different things to teach us.  And so we learn and we grow with our babies.

But, we can never err on the side of being gentle.  We can never err on the side of bringing light to our family.  We can never err by seeking out and becoming a part of a supportive community of  mothers and parents.  We can never err by choosing a path mindfully, even as we give ourselves leeway to do things differently down the road with different children. 

Children deserve our honor and our gentle voice and hands.  They deserve recognition that they are indeed different than adults.  They deserve to have a childhood filled with warmth and love.

And as mothers, we deserve support, we deserve love, we deserve peace.  We deserve a partner to make our load lighter and our steps happier, we deserve cherished friends to make the road a joyful one, a faith to make it all possible, and laughter along the way.

May all of these simple joys be yours in this Simple February!

Many blessings,

Carrie

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5 thoughts on “Beyond The Forty Days: What Next?

  1. Carrie, you have such a way with words. I’ve always found that it takes my family at least six months to develop a new rhythm after a baby comes. The most challenging time has been the 2-6 month span when I feel that I should have a healthy body, a clean home, and a clear mind…and I don’t have any of them

    • Oh goodness, isn’t that just so true? You feel as if you should be so on top of things and it can be discouraging when you are not!
      Many blesssings,
      Carrie

  2. Carrie, I’m new to your ‘blog and exploring Waldorf both for my homeschooling children and as a way to put into words a feeling I have that reaches for order and rhythm…all I read of Waldorf resonates with me the same way the term ‘Attachment Parenting’ did when my first was a year old and I was so grateful to find that there was a whole world out there of other parents doing what we were doing. Everyone in our life thinks we’re strange and awkward for putting off Christmas gifts until Epiphany, for instance, and reading up on your celebrations gives me such a feeling of camraderie!

    Thanks for your baby posts. I think we must have babies born around the same time! My little one came on Advent 1 this past year. It’s in some ways easier this time (he is our third baby) because I’m better able to speak what I need and I am already familiar with the pathways that lead to meeting both baby’s needs and mine in a somewhat balanced way. And it’s harder, too, with two older boys and the fact that the birth was in the middle of our first ‘official’ year homeschooling.

    One thing I have noticed this time around is that the baby has really helped me to slow down. He’s taught my big boys the value of patience and the skill of managing themselves while Mamma nurses. It’s perhaps couterintuitive but I think baby #3 has brought more peace into our home….I love it!

    I love the rhythm of 40 days that courses through the church year and the Waldorf way. I think that Peregrine’s short life has been in 40-day periods thus far. 40 days of real ‘confinement’ as I got too big to do much else besides waddle around the house, 40 days indoors in the quiet of the Winter with a newborn during the most meaningful Christmastide in our lives thus far, 40 days of reintroducing ourselves to the world as a transformed family. It feels so right, doesn’t it?

    I spent time in divinity school and I truly see such a wonderful meeting of the temporal and the spiritual in the Waldorf family. We are very blessed to have resources like your ‘blog and various internet supports as we raise our Waldorf babies (and I didn’t even know that’s what they were until recently…).

    Thank you for sharing so much of your spirit and wisdom.

  3. This is so true & so helpful. I feel like it took 6 months for me to feel comfortable in this new role of Mother. I had much higher expectations of what I could & would do, and as a result, spent a lot of time berating myself for not living up to my pre-motherhood expectations. Within the last month, I finally feel like I can relax & enjoy this new little soul. I feel like as I grow accustomed to this new rhythm of life, I can get more done, but it’s a matter if relaxing into it instead if forcing. Love this blog!!

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