(my baby...feeling a little sick in bed)
Have you read this post? I love, LOVE what Jane has to say about mothering babies.
...because I happen to totally agree with it,
and because she manages to say exactly what I feel, think, and know to be true-- but am unable to explain quite so eloquently,
and because I want everyone to hear what she has to say about it,
and because she's had eleven babies.
I love what she says about babies not being able to understand the words we say, but they are fully (and I believe acutely) attuned to our voice, expression, smell and touch. And that by loving and responding to our babies' needs without reservation we are helping their brains develop as "loved brains" which will help them to develop as more emotionally healthy people throughout their lives.
I also want to point to something else she says:
"Over my lifetime as a mother, I’ve seen a quiet, concerted movement aimed at separating babies from mothers. In our society, women are cautioned to look after their own interests first. Modern methods encourage mothers to teach their babies to soothe themselves—that the ultimate success is to make your baby as independent as early as possible. Why is that success? A neat compartmentalized life doesn’t work with babies. Their needs vary from day to day and their deepest needs are often met at inconvenient times."
I find it so interesting (and am so glad!) that she mentions this because I feel this to be true, although I don't have a lifetime of being a mother to put quite as fine a point on it.
I have sometimes felt challenged in my mothering style, with warnings that by responding so immediately and indulgently to my baby, she would become clingy and insecure and dependent on me. But I never really doubted my instinct to mother this way, and have totally found the opposite to be true. As I watch my baby grow into a toddler, I see (and have others often comment on) how happy and engaging and confident she is. I know that a huge part of that is her own little personality manifesting itself, but I also know that she has a loved brain. And I'll proudly take some credit for that.
At any rate, I know that we all are doing the very best we can for our babies and our children, but sometimes having insight like Jane (and lucky for me-- several other of the mothers in my life) gives, encourages maybe a little shift in our paradigm.
I really want to quote, highlight, and add exclaimation points to about every paragraph she has written, but I'll just let you read it for yourselves. I know what she says is true.