This thing of being a mother terrified me. Before I was a mom, I found it very difficult to find a way for me to justified having children. I usually didn't find myself comfortable around children. It took a lot of time for me to decide that this motherhood thing was for me indeed, and when I became pregnant my search for my own way to mother started. I decided that I was going to listen to my instinct and only take people's advice if it resonated with how my heart felt. I read so many books!! I admit it, I was afraid. I am still afraid. My fear is for disconnection. I always watched parents that were totally disconnected from their children and I wonder how they got to that place. I feel that indeed is very easy to go that way in any kind of relationship. There are so many factors that cause for you to just drift and protect yourself and give up. But I can tell you, like you, I am determined to keep this relationship with my daughter strong. Which involves a lot of time to devote to connection and to grow!
My daughter is eleven! yes, a lot of changes are coming our way and I can already see them! When she was a baby, we spent a lot of time together. I was fortunate to do so. I know is a privilege. I decided that I was going to breastfeed on demand, have a slow pace in our routines and to use a natural approach. They call this Natural Parenting or Attachment Parenting. This is just one way to do this, relabeled. Their principles make emphasis on the gentle guidance, constant touch with your baby, and reading your baby's behavior to make your decisions. I really appreciate that there was something like this because I knew that I am not the type of person to enforce too many schedules or to have too many gadgets. I adapted what was making sense for me and did it! If you want to know more about this parenting style, I can recommend the books of Dr. Sears. There were really good for me for guidance. Here some recommendations from his series of books ( please consider using my links to buy, Thanks):
On those guidelines, I have tried to carry a natural approach to discipline and family culture. Still, my foundation is the relationship and bond that I have with my daughter and how changes with both of us changing. So I will like to share with you what we are doing to get ready for her Menarche which is the first time she will have her blood. Sadly, when I was growing up, it was a taboo to talk about this. So when I had my first period, I thought I was going to die. I grew up in Colombia, where sexuality is still mandated by a lot of religious guidelines or sadly is misinterpret. I just knew that I wasn't supposed to do it. So, although I grew up in a house with a lot of women, they were very secretive about their periods.
I had my period when I was 10. We hear a lot about how this change is coming sooner to girls today. Now I understand that many factors can provoke this change to come sooner. One of those things is the exposure to many chemicals and artificial hormones. Another cause is your family history and your ethnicity. I believe that stress can also trigger your hormones. When I found out that I was going to have a daughter, I was determined to help her to be a woman on her own. To be strong and to love herself, and to honor her gift of being a woman. That is why I started talking about the gift of being a woman early on with my girl. Being careful of which messages I am sending my own daughter about how I love my body and how I take care of it, how I honor that time of the month where my blood comes. I will like to share with my daughter that our bodies are precious just the way they are and that we need to remember the long history of women before us, that made it possible for us to be here today.
I will like to share this beautifully illustrated book in Spanish, by Carla Trepat. Is in Spanish. Is "El Tesoro de Lilith". And narrates an ancient story of the seed that is inside of our bodies and how it matures to give life. My daughter loves it. For a good selection in English, I will recommend the book "Beautiful Girl: Celebrating the Wonders of Your Body" by Christiane Northrup and Kristina Tracy.
Finally, I am happily looking forward to keeping growing my always changing relationship with my daughter, and in this process is really important to look what are the priorities in our lives. I feel like my focus hasn't changed, I want to nurture a good relationship with my daughter, and in the process, keep growing as a woman myself! Mutual learning and respect, love and compassion, looking forward to assisting my daughter in her own journey! I am reading these two books in preparation for her teenage years and the changes that we want to go over in a meaningful way. The first book is "Mothering/Daughtering: Keeping Your Bond Strong Through the Teen Years" by Eliza Reynolds and her daughter Sil Reynolds. Half of this book is for the mother and the other half is for the daughter. They offer a great perspective to what we can heal in our relationship and also how to keep a strong connection to support these years. The other book that I recommend if you want to make all this experience meaningful and empowering is "Moon Mother, Moon Daughter" by Janet Lucy and Terri Allison. Is a wonderful collection of tales, myths and real life stories of women coming to their Menarche and that are there to inspire you and your daughter, to open our ancient intuition and to honor ourselves. Please consider buying from my links, Thanks.