is all about commitment. My children were the ones who taught me all about it and how critical it is to sustainable health, wellness, psychological fortitude and the establishment of one’s BACKBONE – that critical element in the development of self that gives us resilience, confidence, self respect and a core internal belief that we are connected through love. Our backbone determines everything about us: how we take on the world, our curiosity, ability to try new things without fear, not give up, give unconditionally, love without fear of failure, trust and bounce back after a fall.
I believe that every woman, upon giving birth, feels a powerful biological drive to nurture and protect her newborn. If left to her own devices she will be drawn into an immediate and deep connection with her child, afterall it’s a simple preservation of the species drive. What happens to most mamas however is a rapid disconnection with their infant.
To begin with, most pregnancies are managed by doctors and women are guided to believe they know less than the experts about their bodies, labor and delivery and infant care. This conditioning sets the stage for the massive failure of a mother’s natural ability to make a deep and lasting connection with her infant.
Hospital birthing, even when the birth is completely undrugged and natural and the mother has rooming in with her baby, will work to separate the mother from her child. Monitoring of the mother by professionals to “teach” her about how to hold her baby, how to nurse, how often to nurse, removing the baby from her arms when she is asleep, disrupting her flow, rest and thoughtful connection with her child all serve to disempower her natural, biological drive to nurture and protect her child.
In a typical situation, even while the mother is feeling and enjoying her bond with her newborn, she is bombarded with well meaning friends, experts and loved ones who convince her they know more than she does: advice on how not to “spoil” the baby by holding, feeding or carrying him, assurances that all babies go to daycare or have babysitters/nannies and they are fine, declarations of mama boredom which will ensue if mom doesn’t return to work, fear that lost income will be devastating to her family, etc. In most cases, there is so much pressure to conform to the fears and advice of others that babies are quickly put on the back burner of priorities and relegated to schedules, third party caretakers and managed to conform to what the norms are for their family or community, religion or culture.
It’s no wonder the vast majority of children, teens and adults in our world are in desperate states of dysfunction! Witness the rampant dissatisfaction among people of all ages: how often do meet anyone of any age who says they love their life? How often do you come to know someone who does not spend a good deal of their time complaining about the external variables that impinge on their prospects for happiness? This widespread discomfort and psychological malaise is directly related to one’s sense of self which has its formation in infancy and early childhood.
When left to her own devices, a mother knows how to achieve pregnancy. She is ready for motherhood when pregnancy occurs. She is capable of naturally birthing her child under the most challenging circumstances. She knows intuitively how to hold her child, offer her her breast for feeding and nurturing. She is immediately establishing a core resonance with her child that will grow moment-by-moment and nurture not only both of them but all of those around her through her example. She will learn through her motherly connection how to listen, communicate, respond and resource for child. As nature has designed it, she will learn what her child is here to teach her: human beings need commitment to thrive. It’s as simple and profound as that. There are no shortcuts. Mothering is not only the most important job on the planet but the most challenging, rewarding and life-altering. Why wouldn’t all mothers choose this?