Qualified social worker and family therapist Leisa Stathis has written a beautiful, compassionate and helpful book called Becoming a Mother for all those new mums who sometimes feel overwhelmed by the responsibility and the unknowns in caring for a new baby. In her blog post today, she talks about ‘attunement’, the process by which a mother learns her child’s secret language. It takes time, but it does happen.
As Leisa says, “In the first few days and weeks of motherhood, learning the language of our newborn baby can seem insurmountable as we attempt to decode the mysterious cues and signs our babies give us about their needs. In the absence of any words which they could actually use to tell us what their needs are, the early weeks for many mothers are a confusing time as we attempt to interpret our child’s secret language. In amidst our confusion there may be a few tears, our babies and our own, as we navigate this complex journey …
“In the early days of being a new parent, understandably this dance may be a little awkward. When faced with the multitude of signs given to us by our baby, we may feel a little bewildered as we attempt to decode our baby’s secret language. To the relief of parents, however, researchers tell us that we don’t need to offer perfect attunement 100% of the time. The good enough parent doesn’t always read her child’s secret language first time around. We misread the cue, we misinterpret the feeling , we feel out of step…and yet if we can reflect on this and meet the need eventually we offer our babies something very powerful; reparation.
Read her full blog post here.
Do you know a new mum? Would she benefit from a hug and the reassurance that the difficult days will pass and she too will become a confident, happy mum?