Thursday

to be attached

when i had my first child 9 1/2 years ago,
someone told me to never let her sleep with me,
i might roll on top of her and
it would create bad habits.

 
someone told me not to pick her up if she cried,
just to let her cry,
let her learn to soothe herself,
that she needs to know she cannot
always
have
me.

someone told me to nurse her on a schedule,
not to feed her more often,
not to let her fall asleep nursing,
not to let nursing be her comfort,
and that she didn't need breast milk
for more than six months.



and as a new mother,
when my wee one wouldn't sleep and
every time i would put her in her crib she
woke up,
and i nursed her and kept her wrapped in my arms
and she slept,
we slept together,
baby and mama,
i felt such. guilt.
someone had told me,
had warned me,
and here i was holding my precious baby,
sleeping with her in my arms,
beauty,
and i felt like i was a failure.


but i wasn't.
and slowly, as i responded to my baby,
and she grew attached to me,
and i to her,
and she knew that in me she had comfort,
love,
security,
i knew it was right.


and,
sorry to that someone,
but i have never looked back...
six babies later and i have slept with them all,
nursed them all until they were done,
and picked them up and loved them,
held them, comforted them
when they cried.
and they are attached to me,
and i to them,
as it should be.


no,
i don't want my babies to learn to self-soothe,
i want them to know they can trust their mama and daddy,
that we will always be there,
always come to them,
always
love
them...
i want them to know they cannot do it on their own,
that comfort lies not within,
but without,
in God and that He
is always there,
will always
love them,
and that when they are in need
and they cry,
scream,
doubt,
fail,
He will wrap them in His arms and impart the most perfect
of all comfort,
He will lift them up...
and if we don't teach them to love, to trust,
by showing them they can love,
they can trust
and their love and trust will not come back to them void,
then they may only look to self,
for they were made to self-soothe.
 


6 comments:

  1. Wow.
    I have never heard anybody put it this way and I so agree with you. I nursed all of my babies and cuddled and slept with them all.
    Beautiful picture you painted of this life and our God.

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  2. Yes Amy, this. I relate powerfully as I was told many of the same things and, with practice, learned to ignore all the experts, all the well-meaning friends and family members, and just follow my God-given mothering instincts. And yes, that's where we find peace and beauty.

    Such sweet pictures, your precious children. Attachment looks good on them.

    Sending love.

    xx

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  3. wonderful, beautiful words, and I love the pictures, especially the last one. So precious.

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  4. You're such a rebel! In such a good way :)

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  5. We were told the same things. But we did it our way, just like you. Not only have my children grown up just fine, but those with children are great parents, doing all the same things you mentioned. You and your husband are doing a great job. Love you, Amy.

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  6. Love this. I also love the C.S. Lewis quote about prayer in the post above. Thanks!

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