“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a
listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all
of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
― Leo Buscaglia
Somewhere along the line of our social evolution we have become fearful of touch. Whether it be a mother with her baby, a lover, a friend or even a stranger. We are programmed to accept every touch with hesitation. We must evaluate it’s intention. Our first instinct is to be fearful.
How very very sad for us.
In this article I will be covering the mother and child aspect of this subject. In the next few weeks I will publish articles regarding the rest of the above mentioned subjects.
When I was pregnant with my son it seemed that I received parenting advice from just about every single person I came into contact with. It was a sure bet that every single time we went grocery shopping some well meaning old lady would reach out, touch my stomach and ask me a whole load of personal questions. The one piece of advice that I was consistently given was not to hold the baby too much. I was told over and over that holding my baby too much would spoil him. I was told that babies will manipulate you by crying just to get you to hold them.
Each and every person who gave me this advice did so by perpetrating the idea that holding your baby was not a need to be fulfilled like eating and clean diapers. They presented the idea of holding your baby as some sort of extra that we give our children on our own terms and definitely in measured amounts.
What a horrible philosophy to have let alone pass on.
Let’s look at the experience of being born for a moment. Aside from the traumatic event of the actual birth you are accosted with bright lights and cold air. There are people wiping your skin with rough cloth. There are people sticking things in your nose and mouth and sucking stuff out. All of this chaos and then finally you are placed on your mothers bare chest. Your skin is touching her skin and the chaos has calmed. The first comforting moment of your life is when your skin meets your mothers. When you feel her warm hand stroke your face and hear her soft voice. You feel safe.
You are the one steady rock in a sea of chaos and confusion. Your touch is a need. It’s not a want.
We are told as mothers to never sleep with our babies. The risks of SIDS are pounded into our heads.
Breastfeeding mothers have to hide in public to feed their baby because the general public deems this act unacceptable. We have all of these people constantly asking us when we are going to wean our baby. They try to cut short even that touch.
Let’s give that comfort to our children. Hug them. Hold them. Rock them to sleep. Sing them a lullaby and rub their back. Give them that safe loving feeling that touch can provide.
Do not be afraid of touching your child. Relish in the closeness of the only person who knows what your heart sounds like from the inside.