Becoming a mother brings a lot of confusion. There is a lot to learn for a little while, and it seems that the whole world has something to say, from the good friend to the grocery owner’s wife. You are trying to figure out whether to listen to your mother, to your mother-in-law, to the baby whisperer or to your gut feelings. Usually, the advice and theories that are lavished on the exhausted woman in heavy showers come from a caring place, but that does not necessarily mean they are true. There are quite a few myths that need to be broken.
With the baby comes the love
Those who spread this malicious rumor among millions of expectant parents probably saw too many Hollywood movies. This illusion, of the great love that floods you with the birth of this yellow, squeaky, wrinkled creature – yes, the one who is claimed to be your child – is about the same as the promise that the body will return to itself.
Well, maybe it’s not exactly accurate. Along with the birth of the baby, love comes: love for a continuous night’s sleep, love to anyone who is willing to set you free, even for half an hour, from this dependent creature, which claims that you are the one responsible for his welfare.
So if you don’t feel this instant connection to your baby right away, don’t feel bad about it. You are ok, and this is normal. The love will come gradually. In a few weeks or a couple of months, you will start to feel this great love everyone is talking about.
Another thing that is expected of you, as a mother, is to feel bad when you go to work and leave your baby (in a kindergarten or with a nanny). But the truth is, it feels good. It is actually nice to dress nicely, put some makeup on, look like a human… Also, speaking to adults is a refreshing experience. Not needing to change diapers, and not struggling to calm down your screaming child for 8 hours or so is also nice. So again, don’t feel a bad mother if you feel happy to go to work. You are just human.
Babies should not be held too long on arms, otherwise, they will be spoiled
Wrong. Holding a baby in your arms means being at their eye level. Usually, after the baby starts to crawl, we stop lying next to them on the floor and start moving out of their sight, where the babies want us to be. This is the way they feel safe. Studies show that this is very important for their self-confidence. In addition, researchers found that holding and caressing infants help them to release hormones that are very important for their growth.
Although sometimes it is difficult for us physically, we shouldn’t prevent children from wanting to be held by us, and some children need it more than others. Preventing them from spending some time on our arms is to do them an injustice.
It is better to feed the baby and not to let him eat by himself because this is how we know exactly how much he eats
Not necessarily. Parents often fear that the baby will not eat enough and that their development may be affected as a result. This fear leads to the use of all kinds of tricks in order to make the child eat, sometimes even by force. It is important to know that babies are born with the ability to regulate the amount of food they eat during the day, unlike adults, who do not necessarily stop eating when they are full. In addition, it is important to allow the baby independence and control during the meal within the suitable abilities to his age.
In the beginning, around the age of six months, make sure that he is already ready for solid food (interested in the food we eat, holding his head steady, able to sit and consciously put things into his mouth) and then offer him a spoon with food. It is important to respect the body language of the baby, which indicates his desire (or unwillingness) to eat. You should wait for him to open his mouth himself and respect him when he refuses to accept the food that is offered to him. A little later, around the age of 8-9 months, most babies are already able to eat “finger food”, which is a great experience on the way to their independence on the subject of eating.
It is not advisable to talk to the baby in a babylike way
Not true. Research has shown that the high sound that mothers make opens passages in the baby’s brain. All over the world, in all cultures and languages, women speak to babies in a small, squeaky voice, and it turns out that it develops the brain. This murmur belongs to the world of babies, it is familiar to them and is part of them. It invites them and pleases them. There is no need to try to make the child grow up ahead of time. There will be time to talk to him as an adult.
A good mother is a mother who is always willing to fulfill her children’s needs, sacrificing herself for them and always with them
Not exactly. A good mother is a happy mother. If a mother is just tired and frustrated all the time, she can not be a good mother. She can not have the needed patience for her children. She is not really able to fulfill her children’s needs if her own needs are ignored. If you want to raise happy kids, you need to be happy.
So a good mother is a mother that, first, takes care of herself. Which means, that not always she will be with her kids, or sacrifice herself for them or fulfill their needs.
Of course, your children’s basic needs need to be fulfilled. This is your obligation. You’ve brought these human beings to this world, and you are responsible for their wellbeing. If the child needs to eat, but you don’t feel like making food because you want just to lay down on the sofa and watch TV – this is not exactly being a good mother, although maybe it makes you happy.
But it doesn’t mean that you need to fulfill all their needs, and constantly sacrifice yourself. If, after taking care of your child the whole day, you want to go out with your friends for a few hours, or you want to take yoga or painting classes once or twice a week – you definitely should do it. Even if your child doesn’t want you to go. Even if he cries when you are leaving. (Assuming that during this time he stays with his daddy or grandma or another responsible adult that will take care of him.). You need to do it in order to fill your batteries, and eventually come back to your baby happy and relaxed, so you can give him all the love, care and attention he needs.
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