The Rebirth of Slow Mothering 3.7.17
Is it enough or is it too much? I go back and forth daily. Did I schedule enough activity, enough memory making, enough community time this week for my son and I?
Or have I scheduled too much of it and should we be staying home more? How did moms care for their kids before there were soft organic childrens clothes and curated nurseries and organic kids snacks? Before the mommy and me classes, parks, playdates, and storytimes? What was the expectation for parenting before the digital age?
I want to say that mothers did the best they could with what they had. Which is what most of us or maybe just myself hope that I'm doing. But really I'm measuring and comparing, either subtracting too much or adding too much.
Millenial mothering seems to be all about structure and good intentions. Terms such as "gentle parenting" "co-sleeping" and "attachment parenting" have been coined in this generation. Discpline your kids, dont discipline them. Have a schedule, dont have a schedule. Let your babies sleep in the crib, no let them sleep with you.
We are all desperatedly trying to raise healthy, kind, loved, balanced human beings. I think the danger happens when we no longer emobody the qualities or characteristics we hope too instill in our children. For example, if I want to raise my son too be kind but am no longer being kind too him. If I want my child too be healthy but don't let health have a priority in my own life. One of the many hard things about parenting is the areas where we may strive to be a shining example for our children seems to be the areas they dont realize, while other areas we don't even realize that they are watching end up being the ones that they take examples from.
Even though my son may be small, I hope he realizes that Christ and our faith are a priortity in our home. But if all the activities or actions surrounding that priority(church, bible study, prayer, serving etc) occurs with me yelling at him or getting impatient with him and having no grace for either of us- what message is that really sending? Some days I fail- I yell, lose my patience, and don't choose the process. Other days the light bulb clicks on. On one of our early mornings (let me just say, these are not a great idea for moms and toddlers) I was trying to get us out the door for bible study. You know the drill- breakfast, your ready, your kids ready, diaper bag, purse, etc. My son was not having it. It's too bright, I dont want to play with kids, I'm tired- all the reasons from my toddler of why he did not want to go. Rather than losing it like usual, I realize I have a sleepy little guy, the world is moving too fast for him this morning(too fast for us both) and I pick him up and hold him for ten minutes. He sucks his thumb, and twirls my hair. And I wrap my arms around this chunky little boy. We weren't on time that morning, but we weren't crazy late either. I'm going to call this a "slow mothering" moment.
There seems to be a light turning on in the world as I type this, a re-birth of a "slow living" moment. Minimalism, tiny houses, zero waste living- they are all gaining traction as I write this. Own less, live more. Live small, travel more. Less waste, more life. More people are shopping at farmers markets, eating a paleo diet, and doing digital detoxes. We are all trying too "slow down". I pray this light bulb this urge to "slow down" finds its way into our parenting.
Slow mothering might look like a little more savoring, a little less rushing. A little less progress, a little more process. A little less structure, and a little more kindness. Here's some equations for reference, feel free to make your own: overworked mother+overworked toddler =a really tiring day. mistakes+good intentions+grace= a chance to try again. irritable mother+irritable toddler+going outside=better mood for everybody. trying your best+balance = a good day.
All content and Images Copyrights Hannah Lacy 2017