My parents didn’t realize the importance of teaching me, a daughter, to care for myself. They taught me to be kind, thoughtful, and take care of others. My parents and I came from separate sources. It seemed to me as if we were as different as salt water and fresh water.
As society changed for my parent’s generation, they were still swimming in their saltwater tank. From the viewpoint of my culture, saltwater can kill you. Structure. Rules. Binding contracts.
I’ve learned to celebrate discovering my needs, all of them–for comfort, happiness, and safety. It started when I was feeling abandoned. I needed to GIVE and GATHER for myself–not wait and allow resentment to build when another doesn’t come through for me. Being polite wasn’t helpful anymore.
Caring for yourself
Once I was hanging out with a guy at his friend’s house, (boring) which was to be a short visit. After an hour, I NEEDED to eat. I took some initiative and told him I’d be back in a few minutes. I was going to grab a bite to eat (tacos.) It upset him, surprising him a little, but my needs were dire. Blood sugar issues are more important than a man’s ego. Quite honestly, I realize now that I was having a panic attack. But this taco moment is when I realized I had power.
Keep your power. Reclaim any scraps you find along the way–any.
Every breath I take has been taken before
Every note’s been sung………
Who can I sing them all again for? Baba, Baba Baba….
Please don’t give up - please don’t lose that sound
So many people fought to gain that ground
Please don’t give up – please don’t hide your voice
So many people did not have that choice. - Bellow/Unzip The Horizon, lyrics from a song released on April 7, 2018, Moira Smiley
When I was raising my children, there was a standard trend to treat children as individuals. It was a part of the growing psychology of the day. It was the trend.
Every generation, every social movement has its experts such as, Benjamin Spock, James Dobson, PhD. or Robert Myers, PhD. The cultural meme flows as if it were a living thing. Maybe it is. Maybe instead of flowing, it vibrates as the music of the generation beats through our bones. Pulsating like the jazz of the 1920’s or the hip thrusting music of Elvis in the 1950’s. Once children were born to a family as if they were slaves. The more children in a family, the more wealthy you were. Now there are countries that are needing families to procreate, such as Denmark.
Have children changed? No. Babies still form the same way as before. They cry when their hungry or tired. They grow up and develop just about the same as they have for 100,000 years or so. So what’s the deal? Why do we fuss so much about pre-K and special formulas?
There are two things that impress me the most in mankind’s progress. The first is the lowering of disease and mortality, which includes childbirth. Think of how precarious it was for a woman to give birth even just a hundred to two hundred years ago. The second is the increase in brain size which happened a lot further back. And there are certain things that we have learned that have made an enormous impact, such as the need for touching and talking to your child. And how important it is to their neural growth. This isn’t instinctual in mothers by the way. These are things that are taught from one mother to another.
Babies are still babies, but as parents I think we’ve come a long way. As a society and as humans we have a lot further still to go. Someday we might discover the virus that spreads this disease of war and be able to immunize our children at birth.
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