Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The First Born

Oh, that first child. Sometimes referred to as "the first pancake," the one with whom we test the cooking griddle or perhaps more aptly, the waters of parenting.

My guess is that for many parents, the birth of the first child creates enormous upheaval. 

Imagine, two people who have lived life on their own terms for years suddenly have a small person who is entirely dependent on them for everything: nourishment, warmth, being held, being soothed and stimulated, being kept clean and dry, being moved around, being touched, being wanted, being respected, belonging. The newborn needs care. Immediate care.
So we adults make a huge shift... we go from living our lives as the center point to moving to the periphery, and placing the child in the center of our existence. A baby's needs are so pressing. There is little time to wait with feeding, changing and soothing the newborn baby.

In the beginning, the child is like the little prince or princess, a tiny bit of heaven, who has come to earth and that tiny bit of heaven, that little person, can fill the whole room with his or her peaceful presence.

This is a wet and squishy territory. Our Mama bodies are wet and oozing fluids. Jack Petrasch likens birth to the place where the land meets the sea. A place of wild winds, surf and tides. Forces of nature meet. We are standing at the shore in the wet sand. Then we head west to encounter dry land, mountains and varied terrain.

There comes a time on this journey, when we adults, must assert ourselves as the Queen and Kings of the castle. The royal "we" is born. Time to step into the big shoes. For the little child sees us as being so big, so very big. Step into the royal shoes.

I suspect it is harder for moms because we are biologically primed to be head over heels in love and awestruck by our babies. We are lulled into the dream world of the newborn by our hormones and our bodies, completely driven to nourish and protect this little being with all of our being.

Yet there comes a time to step back, just enough to remember who we are, and to more clearly see this tiny being. For when we are too close, we cannot see clearly. We see only the magical being before us, not the whole picture.

In order for our baby to be the little prince or  princess, he or she must had royal parents too. With the coming of the little prince or princess must come the awakening of the Queen or King. For the prince or princess needs to learn from the royal parents how to be human. 

That is our task and it is a very big and daunting one

What happens for some of us is that the baby remains in the center and we in the periphery. We forget about ourselves and our needs. We forget that we are grown ups with adult lives that were meaningful before we had a baby. We get lost in newborn land.

This is just fine in the beginning, when we are adjusting to life with a newborn, yet over the first few months, our job is to move back into center point.

For the child looks to us to learn what it means to be human. If we are looking at the child to lead us, we won't get anywhere but exhausted and confused.

The baby needs us to be engaged in life. For it is through our example that the child learns and imitate what it is to be human.
So that means time to pull up the big girl panties and Be the Queen. This way we can teach our children how to be in the world.

Small children come with great awareness and connection from the spiritual world to the earth, the material world. They will teach us so much in our lifetimes. Yet they arrive and need to figure out how to be in this world. They know not of day and night, near and far. They are here. And now.

Our task is to step into the center and be the example and the wise and strong, kind and firm, loving and gentle guide.

If this is something you'd like to take up and examine in more depth, join me in my new eCourse Love :: The Heart of Discipline for 4 weeks of work on discipline "from the inside out." here


  1. What an amazing thoughtful article this is Lisa! What a wise woman you are!

  2. I have just found your site, and love it. I was wondering if you will be offering the planning course again anytime soon? I have spent years trying to live a rhythm in our home, but I struggle with the nitty gritty of the school planning elements. I would love to experience this course!

    1. Yes Anna, I will offer it again. Keep an eye out for it here.

  3. What a beautiful article!, I am not yet a mother, but have often found myself in deep thought about subjects just like this. Thank you for putting so easily into words what rattles around in my mind without getting out.


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