Be Generous

If I were to offer baby parenting advise to anyone (and I probably wouldn’t, but this is my blog, I’ll say what I want to)  It would be this…

Give all of yourself.  Give every last morsel and every last crumb of love that you can find and then crawl around on your hands and knees, and find some more.  Be a total fool in loving your baby, give her all of you.  Trust her voice.  Listen to her grunts and grimaces.  Hold her when she cries, even if you cannot stop the crying, just to tell her that you will always hold her when she cries. Don’t be suspicious when she needs you.  Don’t ask questions about why your baby needs your love and patience all the time, day and night.  Just give it.  And then give some more.  Let your baby tell you exactly what she needs.  Tell her you’re listening.  Let your baby find out exactly how to get what she wants from you. Let her know that all she has to do is ask.

People have said that if one gives a baby everything she asks for then she will know how to manipulate you for the things she wants.  The exact opposite is the case.  If you give her everything she asks for (within the realistic confines of health and safety and um reality),  She will know that in order to have her needs met, all she has to do is ask.  Communication is simple.  Straightforward.

If she is not listened  and responded to she will have to get creative.  She will out of necessity be forced to manipulate in order to have her needs be met.  Communication becomes complicated.  Life already offers many opportunities for her to learn that she doesn’t always get her way.  Why create more of them?

Trust your baby, trust her body, trust her voice.  In turn your baby will trust you.

Be Generous.

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7 Comments

  1. marthajewel said,

    September 4, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Do you have any idea what a blessing you are? Do you know how thankful I am that you are my precious granddaughter’s amazing mother? Do you know that you are the kind of mother that I wish I had been? The love that you have for Cora is pure and uncompromising. It is a joyous connection and your instinctive, fierce devotion to your child is beautiful and inspiring. I love you very much. How could I not?

  2. September 4, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    If someone else was writing this blog, I might have a tendency to think you could end up with a spoiled child. But knowing you, as I do, I know that will not happen. I hope you continue to trust your instincts.
    Where did you get such wisdom so early? Cora is such a lucky little girl to have you. I Love you, Gma Sue

  3. amandaisamomma said,

    September 4, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    MArtha, I’m tearing up, because I feel the same about you, and nathan. I love you guys dearly. And thank you for treating me like I am your own daughter.

    Gramma Sue, I know what you mean about the spoiled part, and I maybe could have clarified this- I mean babies- young babies who are asking for love, affection, and attention. Babies who can’t move their bodies when they are uncomfortable and their only method of communication is crying.
    These “methods” become modified as the baby gets bigger and there are requests for toys and candy. But I think the spirit continues, patient communication, trust, and pouring of love (not toys! not candy!) on every situation. Me and Cora are just beginning that journey- I’ll have to write another blog post on the subject a year from now. lol!

    • September 6, 2010 at 5:29 pm

      Well see, there I go, trying to protect you from what others might think. I knew exactly what you meant. I have no doubts about your mothering abilities, in fact I wish you could teach parenting classes.
      Like Martha, I wish I could go back, and be the kind of mother you are. You are a blessing to all of us.

  4. September 5, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Honey, I think what you’re talking about is basic recognition (but more than that–I guess the security of it)–after all, doesn’t everyone want to be known, recognized, loved, accepted and understood for the unique being that they are? At least for me those are the most valuable gifts anyone can give another human being. And mommies have a special responsibility (and the greatest privilege in the world!) to give those things without reservation. Each one has to find a way to do it even when the practicalities of the world get in the way. . . that’s the hard trick:) But I know you’re doing it with great gusto. Cora is already a bright, talented, funny and happy little girl that has benefited from womb to birth till now from your devotion to her.

  5. amandaisamomma said,

    September 7, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I actually wrote this post in response to moments that disturbed me seeing young babies not being responded to when they were in distress. and also to comments that were made to me about how quickly and eagerly i responded to Cora when she cried- “She’s spoiled!” “Boy she knows how to get what she wants out of you!”
    I think the beautiful thing about this blog is how I have a public outlet, and a voice when making a comment to someone would not be appropriate. Even though I am an opinionated person I probably wouldn’t tell a Mother what to do with her baby. Even though sometimes it hurts not to.
    Thank you Grandma and Mom and Martha, for all of your support and especially for all of your comments.

    • Mom said,

      September 8, 2010 at 1:13 am

      Honey, during the times I have seen you with Cora, I have seen nothing but an absolute devotion on your part to give her every ounce of security possible that she will be noticed and recognized when she has a legitimate need. I have also heard you say, “she has a right to be upset about it, but she’s not going to be able to do that”. Both of those things lead me to believe that she is not spoiled; you have given her every ounce of mommy strength possible, and I imagine I did the best I could, but doubt that I actually achieved such high standards. In the end, there is no greater gift to a mother than to see her daughter strive to be the best mommy possible—even if it’s to “improve” upon the kind of care you thought you received. Just conserve a little energy for the years to come:) There will be many. It hurts when others criticize as much as to see others doing things that seem neglectful to you. Trust your instincts. I do. Love you so much, honey. Ma


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