How I accepted my mother and became happy

 

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It’s funny and amazing that I got to write about my mother. As an individual, who doesn’t believe in accidents, I have a feeling this has been long overdue. I need to acknowledge my mother and reconnect with her heritage.

 

In retrospect, I have always been daddy’s girl and then, step daddy’s girl, who was even more of a dad to me for as long as he lived until he passed away. My step dad (my mother’s second husband) died seventeen years ago. He was in our lives for ten years.

 

During those years, I barely spoke to my real dad. I felt neither need nor mutual desire. That changed, when my step dad died, and I needed to fill in my heart with new father figure. I craved father figure. For some reason, my whole life has been about fathers, brothers, boyfriends and then, a spouse. Everything about men and difficult relationships with them.

 

I slowly started talking again to my dad; it became easier, since I was transferred to school, where he was teaching physics and astronomy. To me, a fourteen year old traumatized and confused teenager he was a mesmerizing image of god, a source of truth, which was unquestionable, just like his authority. Due to my thirst of connection, I listened and believed everything he said; I was like a sponge, trying to soak every bit of information and attention, even like a puppy, craving love.

 

My father is bright, enlightened and passionate individual, a visionary. He influenced me profoundly. When he became successful in his business, which he was doing on a side from school, I was very proud. My mom was still working in some retail store, she was an owner, but eventually had to give it up, simply because it wasn’t producing enough money. To be honest, after spending all our savings, trying to save her second husband and the greatest love of her life, and after losing this battle with death, things went down spiral.

 

She found a third husband, but I felt she stayed with him, because she couldn’t stand the loneliness.

Her third husband was a complete opposite of her second husband. To make it more complicated he inherited two troubled kids (me and my sister), and a woman, who he loved with all his heart, yet he was doomed to be compared to the one she had truly loved and lost. It wasn’t easy. They were fighting constantly. He even left a few times, but always came back.

 

My mother is a very strong, powerful, insightful, deep and intense individual. For this very reason they couldn’t make it with my father. They were two leaders, who couldn’t give up their authorities.

 

By the age of nineteen, I was quiet and shy individual, with vivid imagination and dreams to be some kind of artist. I had a music band, where I was a singer, and I was constantly writing poems. What I didn’t have was guts to pursue artistic career. My mother was pressuring me to get a “real” education. I left music, went to study Tourism and Hospitality, and when I was twenty one, I came to the United States as an exchange student. I never came back home.

 

My father was trying to recruit me to expand his business overseas, but I just wasn’t wired the same way, and felt really guilty about it. His success and my inability to follow made me feel mediocre.

 

I was looking down at my mother, who was now working as a retail assistant at somebody else’s store. It was definitely under her intellectual capacity, but she couldn’t manage to get out to the next level. I was mad at her, yet I couldn’t find myself either.

 

Next year I’m turning thirty. I am just now realizing that I need to go into artistic field and not feel ashamed about it. I have been drilling everything my dad said out of my head, because I have realized that this man is not always right, and the wall between us can’t be broken even if I fulfill all of his expectations.

 

I’m learning to set boundaries and protect what’s important to me. I’m re-examining my relationship with my mother. My dad got this vibe going, as if she had nothing accomplished in her life, and he’s so successful, yet to me, she was lucky to experience the greatest love I have ever witnessed, and the most beautiful love story with the most amazing man, who had died for us. I envy her now.

 

I love talking to her; she’s my best life coach. I think part of the reason I couldn’t accept and find myself was because I didn’t accept my mom for who she was and her life experience as being worthy.

 

I sense that now things are changing. I’m blessed to have such a great, loving and wise mother. She is forty eight years old, she gave birth to her third daughter at the age of forty, and that little girl made her third husband and their marriage so much happier.

 

She went back to teach history at school, and loves it. Now she feels like she’s contributing to society. I am proud of her, and I want to take everything from her life experience, so I can apply it on my own life and be the best person and daughter.

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Creative Pregnancy, Birth Announcement, Maternity Photos

Browsing Pinterest can give you so much inspiration for great, creative pregnancy, birth announcement, maternity and gender announcement photos. We found this blog to have some really beautiful ideas and had to share!

Creative Pregnancy and Newborn Photos

I took some photos during my pregnancy, but I admit they weren’t planned or made into something creative or cute. I wish I had! At least I did put more thought into taking photos of my son each month. Every time he turned a month older, we took pictures of him with an owl sticker. I know that for baby number 2 I’ll make sure to plan carefully so we can make really cute memories! Here are a few examples of my baby boy’s monthly photos:

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Did you take creative photos to announce your pregnancy or the gender? How about monthly photographs of baby?

How often should my baby nurse? – Basic breastfeeding rhythms

A mother breastfeeds her 2-month-old baby girl...

A mother breastfeeds her 2-month-old baby girl at a UNICEF-supported breastfeeding counselling group in Vinzons, Camarines Norte province, the Philippines. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“On the rhythms of breastfeeding”

This is the most frequently asked question on breastfeeding forums. Every mother wants to know – “how often a child should nurse? And how often mother needs to offer the breast? I’ll briefly review the basic rules of rhythms in breastfeeding a baby.

Home Formula – nurse around naps and to soothe. I.e. nursing rhythm tied to the rhythms of naps (see the post about baby bio rhythms).  For each age there is a different characteristic of attachment, which is necessary for the child’s development.

Here are the examples of rhythms for different ages:

Newborn usually breastfeeds around naps. He sleeps a lot, stays awake for short periods of time, and relieves his needs, nurses and goes to sleep again. Sucking duration can vary from 20 to 40 minutes, sometimes less. Total, during one day and night the baby breastfeeds about 12-17 time, at this period he nurses to eat, to get full.

4-month-old baby sleeps 5 times a day, always breastfeeds before going to sleep, after sleeping, between naps and sometimes in the middle of the nap. During the day there can be 16-18 feedings, plus 5 at night, a total of 21-23 a day. Sucking duration reduced to 3-15 minutes.

7 month old baby sleeps four times a day, i.e. has 8 nursings around naps. At the age from 6 to 8 months, there is a reduced contact with the breast in the first year of life. It is due to the beginning of solid foods and start of crawling. While awake he may not require to nurse, or it can happen only 2-3 times a day. He can chew on a carrot, an apple, or even the chicken bone. He may already drink sips of water from a small glass. Next – is nursing in the evening to fall asleep, during the night – 3-4 times, and nurse before waking up. Total is about 15. Here, too, the duration of sucking will be minimal.

9-month-old baby sleeps 3 times a day, and has 6 nursings around naps.  During awake period he’ll need to latch 1-2 times. 4 times waking up with 1-2 nursings – is about 7 nursings for comfort. Then he will nurse to fall asleep, during the night 3-4 times, and again whenever he wakes up. Total: 6 + 7 + 5 = 18. The longest nursings that are associated with saturation shift to the daytime nap nursing and nursing to go to sleep for the night. The child nurses mostly when waking up or for comfort, to sooth.  The value of milk as primary food starts to decrease.

Nightly nursings – are very stable and stay unchanged up to a year. Obviously, all of the above would be characteristic for the child who sleeps at night next to his mother. If not, he will have other rhythms. But this cannot be called rhythms. This is a schedule-based model proposed by mom and pediatricians. Initially, this model has been set for children on formula.

A child of 1.5 years has one nap. If the mother is at home, there will be two nursings around this nap and 1-2 in the day for comfort.  Night – remain at around 5… But … the morning berastfeeding can turn into “long meal’ with the duration of 1-1.5 hours. Mom by then has long mastered the skill to sleep while nursing her baby and it does not cause her any discomfort or lack of sleep. Totalamount of breastfeeding for 1.5 years baby: 2 + 2 + 6 = 10 nursings.

Professional view on Babywearing

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Indeed, babywearing – is an art of holding, but like any good cause, it must be approached intelligently.

Wearing a newborn

Every child is born with a “habit” to be in direct physical contact with the mother around the clock. His vulnerability is a cause for constant, almost continuous stay close to his mother. I emphasize the word – “stay.” A kid can be with mother in direct contact, if she rests, eats, moves around the house. In this case, he may be staying in her arms, lying close to his mother, or on her lap, feeling the warmth of her arms. Newborn needs this contact, but this is not the only need he has.

Everyone knows that most of the day the newborn sleeps. However, he often wakes up, about every hour. He stays awake for short periods of time, and cycle of active holding is replaced by a cycle when mom puts him down for short periods of time.

When sleeping, the child should be lying on his side, his head just above the level of the chest. This position is the safest for him, and is provided by deftly wearing him in hands and by the skill of co-sleeping in the position “in hand”. Naps in the vertical position are not physiological for the child, and will lead to a breach of the spine and cause overall anxiety. Mom should lay the baby down in his sleep for a short period of time, about 20-40 minutes. This will facilitate the process of separating the baby from the mother, which must take place, starting at birth and as they grow older. Part of this process should be performed by giving a child an experience of independent sleep during the day. Of course, it is important not to go overboard by laying him down too much, not to force the issue.

Time being awake increases at 1.5 months to 1 hour, and during this hour the baby may be put down several times. This can be for 2-10 minutes – to wrap him in a new blanket, to care for the navel, the skin, as well as to let the child explore his body, and motor activity. In addition to “cradle” position, starting at about three weeks, we use the vertical position on the shoulder. Active holding – carrying a child with frequent changes of positions and short cycle of putting him down – provides, first of all, the development of motor skills. Additionally, elimination communication process will help him to establish control over the sphincters, and health of the genitourinary system.

Now consider this in terms of Babywearing

First, let’s ask the question: in what time period, we will wear a sling (or wrap), and most importantly – why? To wear him for ten minutes before the next cycle of letting him down or before the next time he will need to pee? Most of the time, putting the baby in the sling while he’s awake is pointless. These 10 minutes mom can carry a baby in her arms in a “cradle” position without any harm. After all, he is not heavy yet. And if your hand is tired, you can switch it to another hand, or sit down to rest.

If you mean that you put the baby in a sling while he’s asleep, sleep vertically, as we understand, is not desirable. And if we put him to sleep in the sling in “cradle” position, you ask? Then the important phase of laying him down for short periods of time will not be passed! A habit of sleeping only in mother’s hands will show very soon, when the attempts to lay him down later will fail, and the child will keep waking up and show reluctance to sleep alone.

But that’s not all. Mother masters carrying the child in her arms, and her hands need to “get used” to the child. Mom hones this skill, not using “substitutes hands”, or “crutch”, in other words. A baby should get used to the maternal embrace and mother’s hands, so then he can safely and without any resistance get down. Active holding in this period is used as an effective method of upbringing.

If the mother in the neonatal period will use a sling, it will lose an important upbringing tool! In fact, mother’s hands are here to stimulate child’s growth – bone and muscle tissue, musculoskeletal system, nervous system – all it needs is an active stimulation. Keyword – active. Sling will hinder activity. Put the baby in a sling, and that’s it …  I will add that extended wear in a sling requires prolonged use of disposable diapers, and it is harmful for the baby.

We only consider babywearing after 1.5 months old.

Between 1.5 and 3 months

Child is awake for longer periods of time, and is more interested in exploring. We still don’t use wearing “on the hip” position, we use mainly “cradle” and “vertical” positions. The child becomes heavy, and putting him in a sling sounds very enticing … on the other hand, the growing weight of the child makes you want to lay him down. This is where it’s not an easy period to wear. Relief comes at 3 months, when it becomes possible to hold him “on your hip,” and release one hand. But before this happens, you need to carry him in your hands, and train his neck and back muscles. It will be useful for the ‘Hip” position in the future.

During this period, we start taking walks, if weather permits. Here using a sling can be very “handy”, but the baby should be in a cradle position, because he will most likely fall asleep with the breast in his mouth. Here, incidentally, it is also not good to sleep in a vertical. Should you ask when it is useful? Never!  You can go to different specialists and do a research on this matter, but the truth is – there is only one norm – one. Only pathology is diverse.

Therefore, those slings where sleep is only possible in a vertical position aren’t good.

From 3 to 6 months

We can start using a position “on the hip.” But learning this position should be temporarily practiced without a sling. Child should learn to embrace his legs around mother. This helps to prepare the feet to crawl and then to walk. It may also resolve the problems with the tonus in the legs that babies often have. If to put the baby in a sling right away in the “ hip” position, without him learning to cling to you, baby feet will just hang down (make your own conclusions about that!!!). But, nevertheless, it is the best sling period! Because taking walks with the heavy child in the sling are very reasonable. It is important to use a sling only when you need to walk a long way, which takes a long time, with no opportunity to sit down and relax, or to use at home in situations where falling asleep  in a sling will be followed by laying him down as soon as the baby fell asleep. I guess this would work well for the urban mom.

Again, wear your baby to sleep in a cradle position.  There may be exceptional cases where the child fell asleep in a «sitting” position, when no one noticed that he fell asleep. But this is the exception rather than the rule. Therefore, we need a sling where you can shift from “sitting” position to cradle, without waking him up. Why not wear at home – because it is necessary to lay the baby down often. What’s important here is the frequency and timing. And remember about practicing Elimination Communication. You can of course, exercise Elimination Communication in a ring sling, by just pushing the edge of the sling. But this will not always work even with a very attentive mother. Then there is the risk of being peed or pooped on, and it is very unpleasant and even humiliating for a mother.

Cycles of putting the baby down can be evaluated by: 1) the degree of fatigue or how tired is the mother 2) the type of activity at the moment 3) desire of the child to pee. In this case, the mother holds the baby in the sight, focusing on him and his needs, while maintaining the principle of symbiosis, i.e. mutual comfort.

About each cycle in detail:

Degree of fatigue. Sling may be really convenient because it facilitates carrying heavy baby. It can be worn for 1-2 hours without taking off, according to the active sling-mamas. But think about it: how many times during this hour or two you could put your baby down, because you have tired arms and back? Frequent use of the sling in the home leads to addiction in baby to “life on a mother,” which is characterized by a sedentary first. Passivity and limited movement never contributed to a better development of the children, this fact is obvious.

House activity. Of course, a lot of household chores you can do with a baby, and some of them may be done while using a sling. Say, water the plants, to ennoble their appearance while holding the baby in a sling. Obviously, his close presence should meet two criteria: safety and convenience. In particular, we are talking about safety, if watering, say, cactus. By convenience here is meant mother’s convenience, because she’s the one who does useful work, and the baby only accompanies her, and should not interfere. This is where upbringing kicks in. But, if there is boiling soup on the stove, it is safer to put the baby aside. And mopping the floors with a baby, too, would be superfluous. You should be able to distribute the household chores so as to match them with the child’s need to explore and stay close to his mother. Rest is better to plan for the time when the child is asleep. You can also lie down, relax, or read, or sit down at the computer. With this approach the mother is always rested, and dinner is always on time, and the hair is styled, and husband’s shirts are ironed.

Desire of the child to pee. Important note – is to understand that after three months, a child stops giving a mother signals about his needs, and starts to pee on his own=). Knowing his rhythms he should be put down before it happens in mother’s arms. After he’s done with his business, the child returns to mother’s hands. It should be noted, that a child should only be picked up in a quiet state, calm. If he demands or cries in order to get on your hands, it shows serious mistakes in upbringing, and indicates the beginning of manipulation.

From 6 months until walking

At this stage, there is so much new stimulus for development that he finds on his play mat, so that he can explore and learn to crawl. There is such a big world around him, so much unknown and undiscovered! For us it is just a pan – a dish to cook lunch, but for a child it is something fascinating that attracts him with its form, sound, and new ways to play.  Mother goes to a background. He starts solid foods and continues exploring home space. At home sling is used very scarcely; mainly it is used to go for a walk. You can organize long, educational walks, and come back home for a day nap to put the child down.

If the child started walking, outside the house would be a great training, too! Training muscles and sprint walking with the toddler sleeping in a sling will bring mom by more frustration than pleasure. Here it will be useful to get help from dad or grandma to accompany the mother and the baby, who is still walking a little uncertainly. Sling is slowly losing its value in the life of the mother with a baby, it can assist the mother in the long-term walking, and only.

I think that many people simply forget about the fact that the baby is growing and needs a variety of incentives for development, and experience. Children cannot grow only by following their own instincts. Proper active holding and laying him aside on frequent basis are key incentives for successful separation from the mother and the formation of the child’s independence. In-arms phase should end with the beginning of walking! And there are other incentives, and other tools. Undoubtedly, the sling is very convenient and necessary for each mother. Its very convenience can be a trap! As sometimes I want to put my daughter in a sling and go do stuff! But she is in her second year and is capable to walk by herself!

Elimination Communication vs. long-term diapering

Many women don’t know that there is a healthier alternative to diapering, which is called Elimination Communication or Natural Infant Hygiene. Many sincerely believe that diapers are the way to go and relatively harmless as long as you change them frequently. The benefits of Elimination Communication, however, stretch far beyond physical level. Our grandparents, who raised children when diapers weren’t available, would confirm it. Elimination Communication (EC) or Natural Infant Hygiene (NIH) – is a participation of mother in one of the most important needs of her baby – to help him relieve his natural needs to urinate and defecate. This need will always be there, no matter where and how the child was born. It is known that infants signal their mothers about their needs. If he wants to eat, or sleep, or pee – he is calling mom to help him. This very ability to give signals can be used to organize successful Elimination Communication.

Urethral reflex

Behavior of the newborn is based on reflexes and memories of his life inside the womb and birth. All reflexes are aimed for survival and gradually turn into conscious actions, which the child is capable to be in control of. Before it happens, control function lies entirely on the mother, and the child fully trusts her and obeys her in it. As they get older mother hands over responsibility for his life to him, teaching him to be independent.

While in uterus baby urinates, and does not realize the presence of this function.  As we, for example, do not feel the kidneys and liver functions. When the child travels through the birth canal, due to strong pressure and spasms in his sphincter, he has a feeling that it hurts. However, it is just an impression, and the spasm is really not painful. The difference is – we know that, because it’s familiar for us, and the child doesn’t.  This is why? Every time he needs to pee or poop, the memories of the spasms during birth make the baby signal his mom, saying “Help me, do something”. Observant mothers always notice that right before peeing, the baby acts anxiously or even cries.  Mother takes him in a comfortable position, patting the area where reproductive organs are located, marking the spot, which he needs to relieve and relax.  At the same time she says something like “pss-pss” or “a-a”. During the day, an infant, who is older than a week, pees more than 12 times, this is an indicator of how much milk he gets.  Kidneys function according to day rhythm, which a mother watches and supports. In the first part of the day, the baby pees often, in the second part of the day – less often, at night – seldom.

Stimulus to growth

After birth, the baby doesn’t feel his body; he doesn’t know where it ends or starts. When he lived in the uterus, his borders were defined by the borders of the uterus. After birth, these borders disappeared. Mother’s task is to recreate those borders with her nurturing touch and by holding him in her arms. Otherwise how would he know where to grow?

It is a known fact that nervous tissue grows from touch, physical contact. All animals instinctively know that, and they don’t read smart books or have education. They lick their offspring – not because they are dirty, but to stimulate growth. This fact was proven in laboratory experiment, when female rats were deprived from licking their babies, yet still were fed. When mother rat stopped licking her babies, they stopped growing, despite the fact that they were fed. Scientists imitated licking by using wet brush – and growth hormones reappeared.

Man for hundreds of thousands of years has his hands free to perform the function of carrying and “licking” their children. The more the mother holds and touches the child, the better he will grow and develop. However, it is important to develop all the functions of the little man, including the genitourinary system.

Mother practices Elimination Communication, and pats her child, showing him a place for the release of his needs. In the mind of a newborn child, he is – “the ball with the probe” in the mouth, he has no concept of the body, and he does not know where it “ends.” This is what mother shows him, by patting on the genitals, and then the direction of growth becomes clear. Turns out to ensure all the boys were well-formed not only in size but also in function, and that the girls were all well-formed, you just need to stimulate growth – by patting, and by participation in the process of urination and defecation. Sexologists conducted several anthropometric studies in African tribes. Europeans men lose to them in the size of the penis, because in today’s society it is considered inappropriate or even perverted to touch genitals or run around butt-naked, this “shame spot” is rather considered to be “top secret”, and needs to be covered and closed by sliders, underwear, or diapers. If in the African tribe a man has small penis, it could mean that as a child he grew up an orphan … mom was not there and she did not show him where to grow. Women, whose mothers practiced EC in childhood, give birth easier, get pregnant easier and rarely have sexual problems.

Control of sphincters and body control

To own body, you need to figure out what it is, what it consists of. The idea how the front body looks like, the child develops in the first year of life. This idea is deposited in the subconscious. His own genitals child finds, after 4 months, and begins to actively explore them. If he was wearing diapers for a long time – the child will believe in it for a long time. As an adult he realizes that there are his genitals down there, but the subconscious mind says: “No there is nothing you got there! There is only a diaper!  Remember the commercial? Kid leans over to see what’s there, and there is … nothing, only the “diaper.” This can then lead to various psychosomatic diseases. From the ability to control their sphincters and functions of the genitourinary system depends its health and human capacity in adult life to control their sexual behavior, and to be successful sexual partner.

Performing EC while Breastfeeding

This, of course, the highest level of skill and mastery … However, you can learn this skill and need to. It’s necessary that establishing control over sphincters is a comfortable process. Remember, a child is uncomfortable before peeing or pooping. Any nursing mother will tell you that the child calms down with the breast in his mouth. Sucking the breast gives the child a sense of happiness, and in seconds relieves discomfort. As mothers find – baby often “goes” while with the breast in his mouth! Once you wrap him in a blanket and start nursing, and he starts doing his “business.” Indeed, sucking relaxes the anus and sphincter muscles of the bladder, and greatly simplifies the task for the child. Therefore, EC turns into a process associated with comfort (sucking breast). I don’t think you need prove that the baby, who is in a state of comfort, is growing and developing much better!

Urethral reflex is completed by the 4th month, when the child has learned this function and has realized that it is not dangerous. So he stops to call mother for help. But Mom already knows how often the child pees and continues to EC the baby according to his rhythms, gradually reducing the control of this process, and passing it to the child. This was the first step towards the introducing the function of the potty. The success of this step makes all the rest easy and uncomplicated.

Sincerely, Valeriya Isernia*

*(original article by G. Eltonskaya – Lactation Consultant, Science Director of Motherhood and Breastfeeding Support Center “Mother’s House” in Novosibirsk, Russia)