Monday, 27 January 2014

All you need is love...

When I became a mama I never for a moment imagined that one of my major battles would be that of love. The battle that I face daily to give my daughter the unconditional love, support and nurturing that she so deserves, the unconditional love that every child deserves and that I, as her mother, long and crave to give in the face of society's disapproval and scorn. I know that might sound a little strong worded or dramatic but I'll try to explain... I'm not just talking about the judgmental looks should I chose to feed my child in a public place, should I chose to feed her at my breast as nature intended. I'm not talking about friends and family's dismissive comments about "plugging her on" the breast or questions about why, at eight months, we are "still" breastfeeding. Just a note; I do understand breastfeeding is hard and for some practically impossible, especially when people are often not given the best help or advice when they have difficulties: I myself had issues which I will blog about later with ideas for help and support that worked for me. I also do not judge the choice to use formula either, I just wish to be given the freedom to feed as I choose also!

Sadly it seems that in modern society there is an unconscious disapproval of the little day to day acts of love and kindness mothers want to give their babies, echoed in that most insidious of phrases: "you don't want to let them get too used to it." Heard that one? I'm sure as a new mother you did. And how sad it makes me to hear those words. How cold and limiting and unloving those little utterances become, a barrier between parent and child if you let them be....

...Don't let them in your bed, they might "get used to it". Heaven forbid they get used to the feeling of utter safety and security snuggled with mama and papa. Don't pick them up and carry them too much, they might "get used" to being cherished and close. Don't play with them too much, they might "get used" to you freely giving love and time. Don't breastfeed past six months, don't babywear instead of pushchair, don't soothe and comfort those tears: they need to learn to 'cry it out!' (I'll also write about why I chose not to leave my daughter to cry in a later article.) The fact is that at this point in life a baby's brain is too primitive and unformed to make these connections and that is why they need to rely so heavily on their parents.

These are just a few of the don'ts that I've had parroted at me over the past eight months; the suggestion being that if I give too freely of my love my little bean will depend on it. Or worse... Expect it! Heaven forbid! Perhaps I better buy her her own place now and be done with it?! ;) 

Mama Amore xxx

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