Lessons in life are found in the tiniest of details of our day. We simply need to take the time to stop, enjoy and appreciate what is on offer. Whether it be sage advice via a conversation with a friend, or a lovely symbol found in nature while out enjoying a walk. Life always has a way of connecting us to much more than simply what meets the eye.
Being pregnant taught me to surrender and take the time and space to rest and support myself. My food choices, exercise and the way I moved on a day to day basis coupled with this new found surrender within my body made me more aware of my natural stillness. This stillness then connected me to the movements my son Beau made within me. Beau’s movements developed and changed throughout the nine months and taught me a lot about who he is and how his birth would change my partner Daniel and my life as we knew it.
Now Beau is just over 4 weeks old and the lessons continue to roll and flow in each passing day. As a new mother I have experienced a lot of advice and experiences from many people on what to do and how to care for him. Some of it has been super supportive and helpful and some has just downright confused and overwhelmed me. But the one sure fire piece of advice I continue to return to over and over again is to
“Stop, breathe and connect to my body, all I need is right here always.”
My body may hold all of the answers I will ever need, but sometimes it does elude me when I am stressed, tired or feeling overwhelmed. I’m not perfect by any means, just a student of life willing to share, observe and learn from what is on offer all around me. We have that power constantly. Even though Beau is just a tiny newborn he has a lot of grand wisdom to share. We are all teachers, no matter what the age.
So here are some lessons I have learnt from my young teacher already:
1. Connect, Connect, Connect: The best advice I received from one of the maternal health nurses was “Put down google and simply connect with your baby.” She was absolutely spot on. Simply being with Beau and watching his movements, listening to his cries and enjoying his little gaze allows me to know everything I need to support him through these early stages of life.
2. Take a nap when you need it: Babies sleep a lot and although I sometimes love just watching him sleep, so peacefully, it is so beneficial for us as a family to rest when needed and not push through to get just one more thing done. Even though we are here to care for our babies, we need to support and nurture ourselves first. What a great lesson we can then teach our children. Self-care is paramount for a truly vital life.
3. Communication is key: As adults we communicate through all of our movements, not just the way we speak to each other. Babies can’t speak via words, but they can speak through their movement, cries and through their eyes. Observing babies and how they move is a great tool to know when they are happy, hungry or need a nappy change. Being able to observe and read our babies via their movements offers us so much as parents. Observing brings much more ease and simplicity to our own movements which then prevents the feelings of overwhelm, anxiety and stress.
4. Enjoy the space to simply be: Put down the phone, stop folding the washing or trawling Facebook and enjoy the space to be still. Babies are marvels at being still and we can learn a lot from them in regard to stillness. We all have very busy lives and lots of responsibilities, but our number one responsibility is being present and connected. This then supports us with everything we do in our daily lives.
5. Move with gentleness: I’ve noticed how sensitive Beau is to sudden movements. He loves it when we gently rock him or delicately stroke his tummy. Babies love a gentle touch and when we move from gentleness our bodies really light up and our movements are magnified ten-fold. Have you ever noticed how you feel when you move too quickly or in reaction or anger to something or someone? Our bodies are always communicating.
6. Share your joy and playfulness: Sing, dance, move, talk, be light and playful as a child. Beau has recently started smiling and his expression brings such joy to our lives. Why not let your own playful expression soar and see how it in turn changes your day and the people around you too?
Life with a newborn maybe a challenge at times: lack of sleep, long days, endless daily chores etc. But why not take a moment to appreciate how our babies and children are masters of life already and teach us as adults, the true joy of living and the love that holds us always.