Twenty-seven years ago as a semi-hippie-wanna-be-earth-mama, I gave birth to my first born.
As many of my generation and elephant journal readers will relate to, I eschewed the concept of structure.
There was no way I was putting my baby on the common and strict every four hour feeding schedule: I would nurse her on demand. Our walks outside wouldn’t be the same time every day: we’d explore nature at varying times, when the mood struck.
And so forth.
Structure felt like another word for “the man,” “establishment,” “authority”— a host of entities many of us attempt to turn our backs on so we can walk on some perceived higher ground.
Visualize this new mother in her white eyelet nightgown, awake and nursing her young baby multiple times during the chilly winter night. The final time she sits in the old fashioned wooden rocker, snuggling her gorgeous baby to her breast, a lovely soft angora throw around her chilled shoulders, bare feet feeling the cold hardwood floors beneath her and trying not to let the rocker creak so her her partner might sleep uninterrupted.
Yes, that was the semi-painless and ever so lovely scene I had imagined in my mind’s eye but roll that scene on a bit further and include the edits on the cutting room floor—every time I put the baby down she cries and having read up on attachment parenting there is no way leaving that innocent being to “cry it out” could be humane.
No one told me about the physical cringe I would feel at the sound of my baby crying—as if, very deep inside, it was physically piercing my heart.
I rocked. And I rocked. And I rocked . . .
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