Following the Principles: Use Nurturing Touch

Part 4 of a series of 8: Carrying our little LF#5 (Loin Fruit Number Five) in my body is the ultimate in nurturing touch. A tiny body wrapped up inside of mine.  Bouncing. Rolling. Rocking. Swaying. Swirling. Surrounded by warmth. We are hoping to have another gentle homebirth for our new little one . We will enjoy our Babymoon as long as we can, remaining in bed and nursing for 2-3 weeks while my body heals. Of course we have made preparations (as much as anyone can prepare for the unknown at any rate) in case of an emergency need to transfer our care to a hospital and are prepared to do whatever it takes to make even the most medicalized situation a high-touch, high-compassion one. No matter what happens with our pregnancy and birth, we know that we are committed to our attached and connected parenting principles. We trust that our new baby will be lovingly connected to our family even if that means finding new ways to apply the attachment parenting principles to whatever circumstances LF#5 is welcomed into the world under.

A Rare Moment: Everyone together! T-Bird, Sir Hubby, Bug, Brent, Ella
A Rare Moment: Everyone together! T-Bird, Sir Hubby, Bug, Brent, Ella

But what about the rest of us? We are already dealing with situations which are challenging our ability to stay connected. It seems as if the past few months could be defined by one word: Distance. Distance keeps our family apart while Sir Hubby attempts to balance his business, his father’s health, and our family. Distance has my son several hours away at college.  Our older girls are both at ages where they are pulling away (in healthy ways) to explore independence, self-directed learning, and social pursuits without holding our hands. But the biggest distance I feel is the one between my little T-Bird and I. Continue reading “Following the Principles: Use Nurturing Touch”

Following the Principles: Respond With Sensitivity

Part 3  of a series of 8. It seemed as if the universe was not willing to allow me to get this post completed on time. With strong opinions firmly in hand, I have sat down a dozen times to write this post…and nothing. Sure I have some drafts…some ramblings about babies, and how this pregnancy has confirmed and reinforced my feelings. But they all lacked a real story. But now, I see the reason behind these delays. It seems as if the universe wanted to show me a deeper and broader truth about treating the most vulnerable members of our society with dignity, respect and sensitivity.

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A memory we hope Grandpa gets to keep...
A memory we hope Grandpa gets to keep...

Very recently, on a beautiful sunny Wednesday afternoon, Sir Hubby receives a call from his brother. Their father has just been diagnosed with brain cancer. After an all night drive across the great state of Pennsylvania– Erie to Pittsburgh to Philadelphia — Sir Hubby and Sir Brother-In-Law arrive just in time to drive their father to his consult with the surgeons. Sir Hubby keeps me updated on his fathers rapidly deteriorating condition via text. “Dad can’t recall how to use his phone,” and, “Dad is calling his dog the wrong name,” and “Dad can’t remember why we are talking to the surgeon.” Continue reading “Following the Principles: Respond With Sensitivity”

7 Ways to Fill Our Mama Cups

My last API Speaks blog post, Running on Empty, about feeling mama burn out was hard to write. I felt ashamed. I felt like a failure. I felt worried that motherhood was going to turn out like so many other jobs I’ve had: fun and interesting at first, then drudgery. It took me two days to write the post because I kept editing my feelings. If I just cut the words, maybe I could delete the feelings too. I wrote while my toddler son napped in the next room. I kept walking in to look at him, so peaceful while he was sleeping. I kept willing him to sleep longer, give me more time. On the second day, right after I’d clicked the button to submit my post, he woke up sad. He clung to me and cried. Maybe he’d had a bad dream. Maybe he’d picked up on all of my conflicted feelings while he slept. I was sure that if he were old enough to read what I’d written, he would  feel betrayed. Maybe all of that was true, or maybe I was just finding one more way to not give myself a break.

I needed a vacation from my mama job, which wasn’t realistic. Getting a vacation from my state of mind, however, was absolutely possible. Just admitting to myself (and those who read the blog post) how burned out I was feeling helped. It helped me to understand what was contributing to my exhaustion. It helped me acknowledge my feelings and give myself some space to actually feel them. The comments on the post offered me some great suggestions to renew balance. I tried those and some more. And I’m really starting to feel good again, having fun with my son, being more creative about how to spend our time so our life together doesn’t feel like the movie Groundhog Day. Maybe some of what has worked with me will work for you. Continue reading “7 Ways to Fill Our Mama Cups”

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