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What If? Are We Overloading New Mums With Too Much Advice?

Tuesday, 17 September 2013 20:00
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What if?

 

I  love working with new families, watching them develop and grow as they get to know one another. I love to see a new mother grab hold of their instincts,  I adore watching her confidence grow,  seeing her hold on to herself, and never let go. Newborn mothers are just as amazing as the children they bear, the have so many new experiences to adapt to, so many new things to learn, and so many parts of themselves that are opened up for exploration. 

 

But newborn mothers, just like their tiny babes, can be vulnerable. They have doubts, fears and can be unkind to themselves. For many women, that path into motherhood can also be a time of sadness as they let go of the person that they once were, and create space to become familiar with the person that they are becoming. 

 

On top of this, they have a whole new human being to care for. One whose very survival is laid at her feet, who thrives on love and connection, warmth and peace. But one that can also create storms of uncertainty within her. One who can push her to the edge like no other. 

 

What if you knew your words were the last thing a newborn mother repeated in her head before she went to sleep?

 

What if everything we said mattered, mattered deeply, and mattered profoundly? Would we be so haphazard with the things we say to others? Would we throw our advice around so non-chalantly? 

 

So what if you knew that the last thing that this mother heard, when she closed her eyes at night are your words? Would you still be so firm with your advice? 

 

What if your words replayed in her mind every time she went to pick up her crying newborn? Would you still be so harsh in your criticism?

 

What if, at that time of indecision, of wondering what to do, of thinking about how the future would unfold, of hoping, what if yours was the advice she heard?

 

Would you still tell her not to make a rod for her own back?

Would you still tell her that she was spoiling her baby?

Would you still question her decision, her instincts, her expertise?

 

Darkness can be a lonely time for mothers. Darkness brings the vulnerability, the doubt and the fear, and so often with it the words, the advice and the sentences. What if yours was last voice that she heard? Wrapped in darkness and alone, what if your voice was the one that played in her mind? Would you change your words? Would you choose different advice? Would your sentences look a little more like this?

 

Whatever you think - you are enough.

Whatever you are told - you are enough.

Whatever you decide - you are enough.

Even when you are struggling - you are enough. 

You are enough, listen to your voice, listen to your heart, listen to your child.

because you are enough, always and forever.

 

 

When words become sticks and stones, they may not be able to break your bones, but when thrown around without care, they can wedge into your consciousness and break your heart. So often, I hear of women whose confidence is torn to shreds by these unskillful words, by pieces of advice whose only goal is to justify someone else’s experience and to parade righteousness. So often these words are fired at these women by those who are hoping to help, to provide assistance, by those who love them the most. 

 

Words can also be the sticks and stones we put together to build a shelter, to build confidence and to build strength. So often when we share our experience,  our doubts and fears, all we want is for someone to tell us that we are enough, that we already have the answers, that we already know what is right. When a mother is truly seeking help and advice, would it hurt to ask her what she thinks first? I am not saying that advice is the enemy here, but often the way that it is delivered is. 

 

What if...

 

What if we wrapped our newborn mothers in the warm, gentle arms of our words?

What if our advice became the pillow, atop which they can rest soundly amid their own instincts?

What if our sentences provided her a soft place to fall, a place where she can doze in the tranquility and contentment of her own self?

 

 

What if?

Read 4289 times Last modified on Saturday, 21 September 2013 21:02

Hi! my name is Renee, I live in Sunny Australia. I am a military wife and mother to four delightful, challenging but gorgeous children.

I am a childbirth educator, student doula, student counsellor and mindfulness practioner. I am passionate about natural birth, helping parents trust their birthing and parenting instincts, and teaching children / parents the benefits and skills of mindfulness and meditation. 

I am currently deveopling training packs to deliver quality, personalised natural birth education to families in their own home at their own pace. I also consult with families via email on how they can integrate mindfulness into their family life. I'd love you to visit me:

presentmoments.com.au

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