Read an article today called Restoring Harmony by Abigail Warren. It talks about how a child needs a mother that is calm, centered and in control. A child pushes for control only to see if Momma will stand firm, because they need someone to show them how to interact in the world. Based on Jean Liedloff's book, The Continuum Concept (see The Liedloff Continuum Network - Home Page for more info) and Attachment Parenting, as well as reading up at AskDrSears.com, as well as a basic human instinct, we had decided to practice the "old way" of parenting and baby wear, co-sleep, cloth diaper, etc. Something that some people refer to as "Child Centered" Parenting. I have been somewhat confused on what this really means as far as my wants and needs. This article helped clear this up a bit. Reminded me of what Elizabeth and Dean are always saying "If Momma's not happy, nobody's happy". This doesn't mean that I need to be selfish or disregard Lily's needs. Rather, it reminds me that she picks up on the emotions I may think I can conceal from her. Just last week at the Birth Center the midwife was checking me out and discovered that I was going to need some help in healing from Lily's birth; that at over three months, I shouldn't be in such pain. So, as they were working on me, one of the other midwifes held Lily. I was doing my best to not show Lily that I was in pain, but she picked up on it anyway, looking intently at my face and staring into my eyes as if to ask me what was happening. Even my smile and reassuring words didn't work, she knew something was happening with me and wasn't sure how to react. Mark later pointed out that she listens to my breathing all the time and that a person in pain breathes very differently. I thought I could keep something like that from her, but the reality is that she lived inside me for almost a year and since then has spent a grad total of maybe 10 hours away from me. She knows me and I'd be a fool to try to convince her of something that is simply not true. I need to be happy in order to help her be happy. This is why, I think, kids become so angry when their parents marriage is suffering. Especially when their parents are trying to conceal the truth from them. You are showing them one thing and telling them another... it's confusing. So they act out.
The best thing I can do for my daughter is to live my life with honesty. Will this be hard for me to do? I don't know. I do know that if I am thinking about doing something like going back to school or getting a job or staying home or... (well you get the idea) then I need to explore these ideas so that I can be a happy Momma. I need to show my daughter what it is to live within your own skin and enjoy the fit. I need to show her what happiness is so that she may know how to have it in her own life. I need to encourage Mark to do the same (although he's already pretty good at it, as many men are!).
Wow. Didn't expect to have so much to say. Don't even know if I ended up saying what I started out to say. And now my beautiful daughter is fussing and I need a shower and I have laundry to finish... ah life!