I recently read this blog article by my sister-in-law. I found it quite invigorating. I have found myself (after reading her article) thinking(a bit) about child development as I interact with my babies. I love thinking about how much good I am doing them by loving them wholeheartedly and providing them security. With Joshua (my three year old), I fully gave myself to nestling him on my chest- just loving the fact that this “kangaroo care” was so very good for him developmentally. Research has shown that this type of nestling can regulate tempature and breathing in infants and it is routinely used in the NICU with premature babies. Parents will spend time holding their babies, skin to skin, chest to chest, and this has real healing power! I had learned about this(kangaroo care) more when Joshua was an infant(just through some reading I was doing- not because he was premature- he wasn’t- but I reasoned it would benefit any baby!) and I would nestle him under my chin and rock and sing. I have precious memories of Jonah tucked under my chin as close as can be while I fed him his bottle. It was a whole cuddle/body experience. Recently, I have read a bit about RAD. This is reactive attachement disorder that deeply affects some adopted children who are neglected and traumatized when they are infants and this extreme neglect and pain literally rewires their brains and some become brain-damaged. It is difficult to impossible to heal from what I have read. Although, nothing is impossible to God. It has just served to underscore how much good I am doing when I interact with our precious ones, meet their needs- not just physical but also emotional. Our very interaction is building their souls. So I am mightily encouraged to smile and talk to my little ones, read stories and great literature with older ones, and interact on all levels with the children. Soul building.
Motherhood has shaped me tremendously. I think it does any woman. Life of your life. It is transforming. I am not one of those who can look back with no regrets at so many, many different things but I am grateful for all I learned. I have learned a lot. It is sanctifying and humbling. I remember my second born’s intense need for me and I struggled. I struggled with that need- I remember rocking him and singing to him and how still and calm he became. ( He was one of our fussiest babies.) I wish I would have done that more. And with each child, O! the errors- but O! the graces, too.
I found it invigorating to realize intellectually the soul good I am doing just in the natural, daily duties of mothering little babies. It is encouraging to realize that it really does matter.