Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How Could I forget?

I've noticed how parenthood seems to be more and more complicated nowadays.  There's just too many things out there to read, to listen to, to consider.  Different methods have sprung out confusing many parents what to follow and what to avoid.  I wonder how parents of many, many years ago have gotten by this so called parenthood without these modern day methods of parenting. Yet we are all doing fine.  

I, for one, was almost carried by the tide.  I only want the best for my Little Spanish Pinay and hearing one thing here and there that promises good results for parenting, is something hard to dodge.  Especially if they came from well-meaning close people around. But Little Spanish Pinay is wiser than me. She has taught me that what's still best is my own instinct guided by her own instinct. We are connected and I only needed to listen to her as she knows how to communicate with me. She knows what she needs and what will really help her.  All I need is to listen to her and follow her signs.  

I remember during her few weeks of life,  I was caught by surprise of this tremendous realization that I do not know what I am doing and what I suppose to do.  Not realizing that I was just too caught up by a false image of what a good parenting should be.  I was confused and was lost touch of my own instinct.  All because of what people say about the taboos on taking care of your baby; **Do not take the baby in your arms every time they cry, they will learn to manipulate you**, **Do not breastfeed whenever the baby asks for it, you'll become a human pacifier**, and **Do not ever, ever put the baby to sleep on your own bed, it will be hard to send her on her own bed even after 15**.  I was obsessed on making her sleep for hours, making her nap various times in a day as it seems like when she does, it's like a badge of good parenting.  But alas, Tala is not the model baby they always describe in books or magazines.  She is an individual with her own pace and own rhythm.  I felt frustrated and defeated.  Until one time I just did what felt right to do while she fussed.  Not minding whether it was what people say to be right or not.  I noticed she was happier and I was more at peace. Things suddenly made more sense to me. I felt more in tune with my instinct that I kept on suppressing because I lacked trust in me.  And then I remembered my mom and how she has taken care of us.  I remember her taking care of my younger siblings and her ways were never like what modern day parenting is about.  How could I forget?  

My mom carried us in her arms everytime we asked for it.  Crying it out was never in my mom's vocabulary.  My mom breastfed us without looking at the clock. She continued to breastfeed us even after we learned to bite.  She continued to breastfeed us as long as we wanted.  My sister was breastfed until she was 3.  We slept with my parents from newborn till I can't remember when.  We were never left on our own to teach us to learn how to console ourselves and put ourselves to sleep.  But my mom never felt manipulated.  No one of us had separation anxieties as we grow.  No one had problems sleeping on their own later on.  No one turned out to be a headache of the society.  No one had mental problems. How could I forget how my own mom has perfectly raised us?  

It's sad how society's trying to impose how children should be raised and treated.  Sometimes it feels like it is geared towards separating the baby from the mom as soon as possible.  **Send the baby to their own crib as early as possible so they'd learn to sleep on their own**, **Send the baby to her own room for better intimacy with the partner**, **Send the baby to daycares as early as possible so moms can have their time for themselves or for couples to continue living like a couple**, etc. etc.  What is it with society nowadays?  Why are we so scared about turning our babies into a very attached child?  Why are we so afraid to love our children in a way our hearts dictate and not with the set of rules professionals and experts invented?

I am so glad I got reconnected to my own instinct.  I am so glad it didn't took a while till I get to realize again that I have a perfect example of a good parenting.  All I need is to close my eyes and picture my mom taking care of us when we were a lot younger....

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