Thursday, June 16, 2011

Generational Patterns Part 2: The Art Of Mothering

The baby is here! Rylie Kae McNeil was born June 3 at 12:49 am. She weighed 9 pounds and measured 21 inches long. She has a lot of beautiful black hair like her mom. Her mouth and face shape look like her grandpa Robinson. (Everyone has noticed!) She has her dad’s ears and her mom’s dark eyes. These are physical patterns that we can see.

There is also mothering or nurturing patterns that are noticeable as well. There are strong nurturing instincts when it comes to mothering in humans and in the animal world. Mothering brings out the beauty of being a woman. The need to protect and nurture are a powerful part of mothering. This is part of our genetic and our cultural patterns. Bonding between mother and child is important during the time right after birth.

With the two little ones to take care of now, my daughter as a young mother, will be bonding with a new baby and also striving to keep the bond she has with her oldest daughter strong and connected. With the arrival of a second baby in the family, it can mean a huge change for everyone. My daughter and her husband already have a game plan when it comes to handling this transition with a new baby. They have talked and come up with ideas to support their oldest child Lily.

They are aware of Lily and her need to still feel important and valued in the family even with the arrival of the new baby sister. Part of that plan includes:
• Special time with daddy while mom takes care of the baby.
• Alone time with mom while daddy takes care of the little one.
• Letting Lily help with the baby.
• Conversations with Lily explaining that they love Lily, even though there is a new baby in the family.
• Clear boundaries with Lily especially if Lily acts up. Teaching her to ask for love and attention with her words. Reinforcing that “words” are more effective than behavior.
• Focusing on praise when she asks for love in appropriate ways.
• Holding, cuddling, and reading to Lily as much as possible.
• Letting grandparents and other family members offer support.
• Being committed to date night. Knowing that mom and dad are better parents when they have consistent and regular time alone.

In watching this new beginning it brings back memories of my early days of mothering. I was very nervous about taking care of a newborn baby. (Yes, even the best game plan can end up with everyone crying and having an emotional melt-down.) But, there were things that had been modeled to me by my own mother that helped me and then there was information that came naturally to me about mothering. Also, I learned along the way what worked for each child and what didn’t. Confidence was established in me and my mothering abilities. It came over time.

Patterns of nurturing and mothering passed from my mother to me, are now being shown to my daughter, and she is modeling these same patterns of mothering to her oldest daughter Lily, who is watching and participating in taking care of a new born baby sister. And if you think about it, the baby is also learning about patterns of love and mothering through her experience. She is learning what nurturing feels like and the connection and bonding that her mother is expressing to her. This new little baby is actually learning, through her experience as a baby, about this special love that is created between mother and child. And when she grows up and becomes a mother herself, the art of mothering will continue to be passed on to yet another generation. Mothering is a part of our genetic and emotional patterning. The art of mothering illuminates the beauty of being a woman.