Saturday, 8 June 2013
Gentle parenting, instinctive parenting, attachment parenting, cry it out, wait it out, baby led and parent led. As a new mum holding the most terrifyingly delicious bundle of perfection in your trembling arms you suddenly realise you belong to the greatest club in the world – you’re a mummy and you have experienced something only mummys can experience. However you soon realise you’re also expected to make what could be one of the most important decisions of you and your little poppet’s life – “what kind of mummy am I?”
Do I want to be like my own mother? As I tragically try to cling on to what’s left of my hip young self, the answer would be a resounding NO, but curiously as I sit and watch my daughter drifting off to sleep or I stroll around the park with her in the winter sunshine, I find myself again and again revisiting some of the wonderful times I spent as a child with my own mother.
I remember the baking, the crafts and the trips to the library. I remember standing up at the huge library windows waiting for my dad to come and collect us after story time. There wasn’t anything she couldn’t make, bake, sew or build but most importantly she had an endless supply of love and cuddles. This is so clear in the way she loves my daughter and it made me realise that I do want to be like my mum – I want to mum like my mum!
What mum didn’t realise is that she was a gentle parent, an instinctive parent. She followed many the aspects of attachment parenting without realising it, she just did what mums do – she loved, she protected, she cared and she watched as we grew the confidence to leave her, knowing that she would always be there when we needed her. It made me think about how desperate we are to belong to something, a trend, a group, a movement and how that need is purely our own – our children just want us to be mummy and that’s what I hope to write about, Being Mum.