Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Newborn Life and Why You Should Read Wise Mom Blogs





We all know that I've been living in a fairly continuous season of babies. My oldest daughter is five, eighteen months later we welcomed her first little brother, then only eleven months after that another son, and then twenty six months after that another little boy wonder. Now I'm about a month away from entering the wonderfully strange and unusual land of newborn-ness for the fifth time, this time about 15 months after my last foray. Very tight spacing! But along with this tight spacing comes not only the unneeded remarks from strangers, relatives, or anyone who feels the need to toss in their ten cents worth of opinion, on the busyness or closeness in age of my children, but a more and more casual attitude towards the new wonder of a new child and all that comes along with it. I feel like I'm still unable to articulate this phenomenon somehow, but it does boil down to a casual nonchalance over the impact a new child has upon a mother and a family.

It seemed with every successive one of my pregnancies that people viewed the birth and general upheaval of a new baby as something more commonplace, or no big deal, simply because we had experienced one in the not so distant past. Even closer relatives seemed to dismiss the importance of such a life changing experience. I'm not sure why I felt this impression from others. I'm not the most sensitive person in the world, and I've mostly gotten over any worry about what other people think, but somehow in the back of my mind I was always unsettled as to why I found birth, newborns, and all the changes that accompanies them so immense, so important, so much bigger than everyone else seemed to view them. Maybe its just human nature not to get too excited over the same thing happening to the same people time and time again? Maybe our culture has so devalued life that newborns and all their newness simply don't register in any scale of importance, and if they do only for the first child? Maybe I'd simply had a couple of rough experiences with postpartum in general that I was a little too sensitive to the effects of a new child?

Regardless of where this attitude of casualness instead of wonder comes from I've always felt it without being able to put my finger on the idea of it exactly. It was just a vague gut feeling I had but didn't know quite how to voice. But the other day I read this lovely post by Sarah from Clover Lane and her words expressed perfectly this idea I've been feeling for years:

"I feel sometimes like there is a message out in our society today to "get back to life" as quickly as possible after our babies are born.  Back to our old selves, back into shape, back to work, back to our old routines-just keep life going like a truly amazing miracle didn't just land into our lives.  To go on and appear as if nothing ever happened-this makes me mad that this is applauded and praised today-it's truly ridiculous, but very sad also.  It's an indication of a deep chasm in the most important bond of mother and baby.  

I think babies deserve to rock the world of those around them a little.  To stir things up, to make us rethink priorities, to bond-totally and completely giving ourselves to them when they need it most.  Even if that means little things like fat pants for awhile, or a makeup drawer that goes untouched for months, or big things like lots of "no's" to invitations and commitments, or everything that once seemed so important plummeting down that priority list and maybe even disappearing.  Of course we can rebuild slowly-on the baby's timeline-but things shouldn't look the same ever.  We all need to move over and make space for this precious new life we brought into the world.  Babies deserve it, and we moms do also."

As soon as I read her words I felt instantly validated in my previous feeling regarding babies.  I thought-finally this is exactly what I've been thinking and I thought I was just crazy! Its so wonderful to read truth and feel the reverberations of it in your own thinking. Its also an added bonus when you read these words from experienced mothers. Hence why I think listening to experienced mom's wisdom be it online or offline is so important and necessary for us moms of young children. 

Motherly wisdom comes from years and years of practice. And usually lots of children. I know when I look for real advice I can trust aside from fads and fancies that lots of moms get carried away with I ask my mom, and sometimes my friends' moms. They've been through the ringer with multiple children and have realized the truth of most of these tough parenting secrets that most younger moms claim to have the answers to but usually have only one itsy bitsy kid under their belt. Even though I've got four kids I really think  my knowledge applies pretty much only to some useful attitudes towards toddlerhood and babyhood. An expansive knowledge of mothering can only come from a wider experience of ages, development, and unique personalities. 

So yet again I'm so happy that there are beautiful, experienced mothers with blogs who write about timeless truths. I'm sure most of you have realized this a long time ago and I'm slow to jump on board! It really does help new and young mothers build confidence in the real and often times difficult vocation of motherhood. 

And heres some of my favourite blogs that you should be reading if you aren't already: Clover Lane, Like Mother, Like Daughter, In the Heart of My Home, Testosterhome.

4 comments:

  1. I absolutely love this one, Christy! I'm a big fan of throwing baby showers for moms having second, third, fourth, etc babies because I think it reminds us all that hey! this new life is just as important and special! Even if it's just a shower (or sprinkle) of diapers or even prayers for mama and baby. Maybe it's because I'm terrible about "getting back to life" but your points about letting a new baby really rock your world hits home for me.

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  2. I love Clover Lane! I read that post and it really spoke to me too. Sophie has really shaken up this family with her colic and general neediness (she must be held ALL.DAY.LONG!), but I'm now seeing what a blessing it is anyway. Even if I have to keep my fat pants on :)

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  3. Christie
    What a beautiful, insightful post! and yes culture does devalue children. Recently I was going through baby cards, sorting into piles for each of my children. Our first, a girl, had a massive amount of cards, our second, a boy had a decent amount too, the third, not so much and well our ninth had a tiny handful. Cards of course came with presents, so you get the picture.

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  4. Thank you Christie-so glad I found your blog...I came her by total accident and read thinking, "I can't wait too see what she'll say about newborn life!" and then was shocked and flattered that you linked to ME! :) And I can't wait to check out the other blogs you linked to-I already read Testosterhome-love hilarious Rachel. Thank you again.

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