So I made it through four years of my child’s life and this is the first year that I have become aware of a growing concept in parenting psychology called “attunement parenting.” I thought we were progressive with our baby wearing, prolonged breastfeeding and co-sleeping. Turns out there is much more that is asked of us as parents. Something much more difficult than just being physically present to our children. Attunement means really dropping into the moment with your child and deeply participating with love. We can manifest this presence through listening, play or physical affection. Sounds awesome right? Except I have a ton of sh*t to do every single day. How does one do this yet manage to work, feed and clothe their family at the same time?
In comes the dance. The way we become more able to attune is actually to step away and then step back in. Yes attachment people I mean like actually leave them with someone you love.
Radical self care is how we make room to be present enough to attune. When we are surviving on psychic crumbs there is no way to hold this kind of space for our children. It really starts with our relationship with ourselves. This attunement lays in our ability to drop in and listen to our own hearts and desires. It is only then can we really hear the ones around us. Meditation, yoga, dance, writing, painting, fill in the blank. We need to be able to list 5 things that fill us up and be able to have access to some of them weekly. This ability to care for ourselves requires a partner that is also capable of self care or they could feel resentful when you try to step away. For me it took therapy, coaching, and dancing to really begin to understand what caring for myself looks like. My own mom was amazing at sacrifice but never showed me anything about loving on her Self. So despite all that seriously hard work she put in, I rarely felt heard.
I want something different for my own child. I want something different for the women I love that are mothering. If we can move this change forward the entire world could change with us. Mothers it is time for radical self care. And it is radical because in our culture self care is yet to be seen as a truly worthwhile endeavour. But I think it may be the doorway to something better for both our littles and ourselves.