Since You Came Into My Life, I Sleep Less But Smile More
You’ve done it: Since you arrived you have turned my life upside down, turning my heart 180º towards the most intense and enriching happiness. You have undoubtedly taken hours of sleep from me, but you have also given me a future full of imagination. Now I smile more, I don’t only breathe, I live in a world that is more intense, more lucid and filled with colors.
We know that many new parents in the parenting world have experienced the same. It is as if someone kept secret the little nuances that accompany the arrival of your child. Nuances such as the lack of sleep, the fears, lactation, cramps and the cries of the baby were all written in the fine print that not everyone reads before deciding to have a child.
“A child recognizes its mother by her smile” – Leon Tolstoi
However, none of this matters. It is really about knowing that not everything is easy to understand; that there will be easier days as well as more difficult ones. The important thing is to know how to read the needs of the newborn and, above all, to enjoy it. This is exactly what is explained in the interesting book “The Concept of the Continuum” by Jean Liedloff.
When a baby comes into the world, many parents have their own predetermined scheme on how to raise a child. However, in parenting, there are no schemes. The rules that were suggested to us by our parents, siblings or friends are not always the right ones for our children. It is about living day by day, moment by moment, with the baby, and following our instinct so as to respond in the best way possible.
Similarly, it is important to remember that the first few years of our child are a “continuum,” as explained by Dr. Liedloff. A continuum between the body of the mother and her baby, where the only thing that counts is the physical and emotional proximity, the contact, the skin, the cuddles, the looks…
And yes, it can be exhausting, very exhausting, but also incredibly satisfying.
I am smiling because I know I am doing well
Sometimes I smile when I see that face in the mirror that I barely recognize… Is that me? Is that woman really me? Those dark circles on her eyes are mine? How long has it been since I picked up a hairbrush? Since when have I been neglecting my looks?
After thinking this every time you stumble upon your reflection when you go to the bathroom, you let out a long sigh, putting that loose strand of hair back behind your ear. “And so what?” – you say to yourself. “Who cares what I look like if my baby is ok and if I am doing a good job as a mother?”
A mother who is proud of her baby is not aware of the deep exhaustion she has been accumulating
The birth of a child activates alarm mechanisms in the mother’s brain in a way that she sometimes isn’t even aware of her own physical needs.
- It is a natural mechanism that ensures the proper attention and care for the baby. However, we need to be careful not to neglect ourselves as we need to be careful not to burn ourselves out.
- When the body and brain accumulate too many consecutive hours of sustained effort, we can, at times, overexert ourselves and suffer a level of unconscious stress that can seriously affect our health.
- For this reason it is crucial to divide tasks. Fathers can also help raise a child. A father can perform the exact same tasks a mother can with the exception, of course, of breastfeeding.
- Let us enjoy childrearing to the fullest by dividing not only responsibilities but also the tiredness. Let the dark circles affect both of our eyes. Let’s balance the exhaustion with the equal amount of happiness, the worries with the smiles.
So, remember: you are doing a great job with your baby, no doubt about it. But never neglect yourself in the process.
Since I have you by my side, positive emotions are part of my life
Being a mother, or a father, changes certain structures of our brain – we know that. This extra dose of oxytocin not only makes us more protective, more sensitive to the needs of our child, it also helps us improve aspects that make us a better person such as empathy, strive for success, resilience, dreams, and even the need to cultivate certain values that make this world a better place.
“Never forget to smile since, the day in which you don’t smile, will be a wasted day” – Charles Chaplin
On the other hand, ever since the birth of your child, you have turned your weaknesses into strengths. The simple act of hugging your child brings out a smile. Don’t forget that smiling is not just a reflection of your inner wellbeing, it is also the light that guides your child.
Smiles are a highly significant emotional gesture that guide your child to a proper social behavior, communication, and affection towards other beings. Your beautiful smile transmits love and recognition that helps your child build a strong bond.