September can quickly start to feel like New Year for Mamas as our babies go to school for the first time. Our minds will race - "What if he needs me at bathroom time? What if she sits beside the mean girl at circle time? What if anxiety runs so high that she won't eat her lunch?" and 9 million more thoughts flood our psyche, cause our blood pressure to spike and our guts to turn.
Take a breath, Mama. Remember a time you have not felt like this? I know I always felt like this. "Should we try to get pregnant now? How will I deal with having a winter baby? What happens if I start to bleed in the pregnancy? What if I don't get my midwife at my birth? How do I know if my baby is getting enough of my breast milk? Should we vaccinate? Do I need to sign us up for infant sign language? We start solids when? "
Every single second of every single day is a huge learning curve. More so, I believe, for us. These tiny little dependant souls need us to be on, to be aware, to be constantly engaging our thought processes and to be looking out for them. What they don't need is us to be fully enthralled in worrying about them. They are hard wired to connect and succeed, Mamas. They are going to be just fine. They are more confident about change than we are. We got them this far, right?
Think of what you have accomplished up to this point. You grew them, you birthed them, you nurtured, loved and protected them. You have given them a firm place from which to launch and a soft place to land. That is all you need to continue to do. Breathe, respond....and by doing so you will provide acknowledgement, validation and empowerment to your school age child.
In those first few days, don't overwhelm them with questions about their day. There is a lot of stimulation going on for them! New environments, new people, new routines....these are big challenges for ever growing brains and amount to lots of stimulation! At the end of the school day, you are the soft place to land. A simple "I am so happy to see you" is enough to let all of the stresses of the day slide off...and when they are ready to talk, they will. Bombarding your school age child with a million questions will exhaust them - and will in fact cause them to either cry, cling to you or become even more overwhelmed. Offer a drink (because they will probably in fact be a bit dehydrated) a snack and "gather them up" by holding space and sitting with them. Let it be relaxed for as long as your child needs it to be. This ritual can become a huge pressure valve, a great way to re-connect and an important way to confirm your child's attachment with you. Watch what it can do for you too.
Be brave, Mamas. You have done stellar work. You are loved, appreciated and oh so worthy. Trust that and know we are sending you so much love on this journey that we call being a Mama.
With much love,
the Babies Naturally team. xoxoxo