Being a mom or acting as a mom?

In these last days of my pregnancy, my energies have been drastically decreasing and forced me to lay often down in bed, even in the middle of the day, without reaching, however, some sort of comfort.

Tomorrow I am going to the hospital to deliver my third child on Wednesday.

I really feel my baby is preparing himself as well to this event and I think my belly hasn’t been a friendly place to live in, as it had been for him during the previous months.

Since about two weeks, I am confronting with an annoying feeling of tension, that I easily drop on my loved ones, children included.
I believe this state of tension comes out from knowing my body now needs new and slower rhythms.
While my mind, instinctively determined, finds it hard adapting to it.

In some moments, I doubt about finding the necessary energies to front this new challenge of another baby at home and I am facing feelings of inadequacy towards my role as a mom.

I am perfectly aware that my personal path as a mother, a path that began more than 7 years ago, has been changing me completely and has been opening extremely wide horizons in front of me.
The creative energy that poured out from motherhood, has been allowing me to discover real passion and to live the life I strongly wanted for myself, without being influenced anymore by my old role of child.
I know I have been developing the awareness of what I know now is my real inner nature and I believe this discovery has made me a better, more mature, individual.

Lately, stimulated by some readings, by some topics read in the mom-blogs, and of course, by the day-to-day life experience with my 2 children, I am confronting with some thoughts that, as delivery approaches, are becoming more and more urgent.

Meanwhile, I have completely realized my children aren’t little people anymore, have been developing a clear and defined personality and have been facing daily the outside world’s progressively complex challenges.

And what I happen to notice by their behaviors and reflections, is often characterized by my personal feeling, as a mom, I should have, in some circumstances, definitely done better.

I mean, I am aware I usually did what I really could, also being led by a sincere and vivid enthusiasm. But at the same time, I perfectly know that I often couldn’t help my children the way I could or should have done.

As every mom, I immensely love my children, but I am not exaggerating so much in saying that sometimes, even in perfect good-faith, I happened to be more infatuated by the role of being a mom and by the glory of motherhood, than of being, simply, their mom.
As I have been putting acting as a mom before a sincere and direct observation of my children effective needs the moment required.

I actually don’t know if all of this prevented them from completely experimenting themselves while fronting the little-big challenges life has brought in front of them, until now. But I am certain, instead of putting before my presence’s and my adult reasoning’s filter, I should have been “Helping them to do by their own“, just to mention one of the most famous Maria Montessori’s quotes; letting them walk with their own legs and forcing myself to sustain them only in the moment of their real need.

Moreover, what at that time seemed to be the most loving and closest way of being present as a mom, has been slowly actually undermining their trust in themselves, progressively inoculating the doubt inside of them they couldn’t help themselves, without my direct participation.

I don’t think I can define myself as a selfish mother, but I must admit sometimes I savored the bitter taste of a fascinating feeling of power. Mostly accentuated by the fact I am a mom of 2 boys, so the unopposed queen of the house. Talking nonsense, maybe a girl could have been put this insane imbalance in the right perspective and could hopefully have drop all these unconscious matriarchal illusions down, at the right time.

But now, there’s a bigger danger in front of me, and that is a direct consequence of the mistakes I made with my children in the past.
The mistake of surrendering to the fear of making mistakes again and of giving up to stillness, wallowing in an unproductive feeling of failure.

There’s a another quote, by Edmund Burke that I framed and hanged near our door at home that says “Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who does nothing because he could only do a little.
I truly believe the worst mistake I can possibly do now is keeping on feeding any kind of expectations towards myself and my children, pretending to change completely from a day to another.

Anyway, I know that before today, even if I felt some increasing inner discomfort, I couldn’t actually be able to acknowledge all the mistakes I have made.

A great opportunity stands in front of me and my family, now.
The new beginning we are approaching, that will come out from the extraordinary circumstances of this new life that soon will join ours, is a chance to grab quickly. A chance of setting up healthier parental approaches and go crucially further in my personal path as mother:

without interfering with grown-up methods and strategies, lightening up the weight of my bulky ego and of my parental expectations

looking and listening deeply and teaching less

giving up on stimulating them with pre-packaged situations and instead, focusing on being completely present when requested by their real needs.

– Silently putting myself out of the scene and letting, finally, my children be the leading roles of their own life.

My babycarrying Mei Tai

After the reading of this interesting Italian book on maternage and having heard so much around the web, I have been intrigued by the art of babycarrying, all those trans-cultural practices of carrying babies on our own body, with the help of several kind of supports.

Mostly with my second child, since he was 6 months old, I frequently used a baby carrier in specific situations. Indeed, recently I read about the pros about slings and baby-wraps (although they require some time to get used to) because of their flexibility, their less bulky aspect, their user-friendly and their help on adapting to the physiologic needs of both the carrier an the carried person.

In fact, I have discovered that baby-carrying is highly recommended from birth and it entails lots of benefits both for the child and the mother.
As wisely tells FrancescaBetween parent and child, grows a deep high contact -relationship. Detachment from the mom happens more smoothly because the baby feels safe and is absorbed since birth in parents’ world, in which he is plunged with all his senses.”

That’s why baby-carrying, as wisely tells Esther Weber, author of the italian book Portare i piccoli (Carrying babies):”It’s a respectful and particularly appropriate approach in parents-children relationship, mostly in western societies“.

According to lots of recent studies, recently expressed in Italy by Alessandra Bortolotti: carried babies, cry less, because their needs of closeness with their mothers are easily supported and their trust in the relationship grows faster, helping them to be sooner independent.

Baby-carrying, just for its inner close contact between mother and child, helps communication and builds mom-baby relationship faster, easing the continuum from inner to outer-gestation. So, it’s really helpful on overcoming birth shock, mostly in case of c-sections, premature birth, twins or difficult deliveries in general. Also, the sling offers containment and protection to the child as he felt while in uterus, also stimulating balance and body development.

Baby-carrying is comfortable, convenient, money-saving, eco-friendly and sustainable.

But also, as well is written here : “The aim of carrying isn’t in the purposes we long to obtain (less crying children or more comfortable moms, or stimulated children) , […] what really counts is closeness. From this closeness comes out all the benefits of baby carrying, that are the effects of love.”

And also Francesca underlines that: “Using the sling isn’t just fashion, but a choice, a sort of educational pattern: in our society we tend to teach our children to become emotionally independent from parents; with the sling indeed, parents are forced to adapt themselves to baby’s needs, being present and giving them safeness just when they are more vulnerable.

There are several supports you can choose. A friend brought me her baby-wrap I am longing to use, meanwhile, waiting for the baby to come, I sewed a Mei Tai, the Chinese baby carrier, that can be used in different assets from birth, too.

I sewed 2 versions: the quilted one, suitable for winter months (on the left of the picture above, the flower printed fabric) and the simple version (on the right of the picture).

I used this tutorial that is the Italian translation of this one, that I see is no longer available online, but you can easily download the original pattern in English from the Italian blog.

To understand what is a Mei Tai and how to use it, you can also refer here where there are lots of pictures on how wearing it.

Anyway, you can search on the web to easily find tons of info, reflections and tutorials on the use of different kind of baby-carriers, slings, baby-wraps and on the meaning of baby-carrying in general.

What do you think about the topic?
Please fell free to share your personal thoughts and experience in the comments below.

The versatile blogger award

I am a novice in the beautiful, stimulating and exciting community of bloggers, and I am extremely proud to announce vitadimamma has just been nominated versatile blogger by unamammaperdue !

I really want to thank her for this award. It’s been an honor for me to receive this gift from a veteran blogger like her and that I truly think highly of , as some other bloggers, for the way they express their thoughts on the blogs and they are able to do it! This award gives me the right kick to push forward in experimenting on writing online and mostly, to confirm that bloggers’ world is a vital and absolutely fun community to join!

To deserve this award there are some rules to follow. It is in fact necessary to:

– Thanking the blogger who gave you the nomination, adding her link on your blog.
– sharing 7 facts/things/news on you
– giving back the award to other 15 bloggers you think deserve it, because their blog is interesting and make them know they have won.

So…thanks again to unamammaperdue!

Here are 7 facts/things/news about me:

1. Motherhood has been a revolution in my life and it has change it completely…for the better! My children give me the insights to recognize daily in myself my true inner nature. As Maria Montessori said: through children we walk back in the path we began at birth, form the center to outskirt, from outskirt to center.

2. I instinctively tend to feel as a victim and to surrender to melancholy, but I am learning through experience to manage these energies in a positive way and transform them in consistency and determination in reaching goals. Beyond results, this is helping me a lot in reaching interior peace.

3. I can’t stand going to bed when kitchen is a mess! I know for many people isn’t a real problem, but, for me, it would be such a torture getting up and finding dinner dishes and stoves to wash and put away!

4. I am passionate about natural cooking and healthy living, but I easily fall apart when facing…Nutella!

5. I believe right or wrong choices I have made in the past, made me the person I am now and I am truly grateful for that. Maybe one of the resentments I have, is not having joined one of the Odin Teatret workshops, when I had the opportunity, during University years.

6. I am an “early bird” person, I like getting up at dawn and enjoying solitude for a while. The first thing I do when I wake up is getting dressed! I so much enjoy putting my pajama on at night and so much I hate it in the morning! I think it’s related to biorhythms!

7. I thank daily for the blessing of having a wonderful person as my husband Matteo in my life, the best man I have ever known. He’s handsome, talented, sensible and an indefeasible whiner. I wouldn’t want to share life with anyone else.

And now, these are 15 blogs I admire and I follow with interest and gratitude (strictly listed in random order!):

1 Equazioni
2 Genitoricrescono
3 La casa nella prateria
4 La pappadolce
5 Mammamsterdam
6 Mammachetesta
7 Mestieredimamma
8 Bilinguepergioco
9 Fabiodellamarta
10 Panzallaria
11 Steadymom
12 Keeperofthehome
13 Lifeasmom
14 Itmom
15 Raising Happiness

…hoping you can take a tour in these wonderful blogs! Now I am ready to share the news with them!