F_3 (5)

Attention & Autonomy: What Your Older Kids Need

Many people are overflowing with excitement when they find out they’re pregnant. But perhaps after the initial craziness fades, or maybe after you’ve already given birth, the realization sets in: Oh crap, I have to be a parent!

I’m here to tell you: It’s not a riddle!

With everything in my life, I do my best to keep things simple. Oi. Otherwise, my mind can’t keep up! I hate second-guessing myself and have tried to develop and trust my gut instincts. The same is true in parenting.

There’s no need to discover complicated parenting theories. All you need is your heart and confident knowledge of your kids. The one parenting expert I could listen to and read again and again (because she’s so simple!) is Amy McCready.

The core of her literature (and really, all you need to know) is the two things kids need from you emotionally: Attention and Autonomy! I love this thought. I keep those two simple tidbits in my mind and even when I have a little baby, if each of my older kids get some of my undivided attention and feel a sense of significance and charge over their own lives, I count that as a win.

Attention: Spending intentional time with your kids directly and without distraction. Day in and day out, attention looks like:

  • Reading books together
  • Getting on the floor to play when baby is happy or sleeping (extra point if you tap into the autonomy piece and let them choose what you play!)
  • Tea time
  • Simple quality time – unscripted and without agenda
  • Taking your child out for one-on-one time – to a coffee shop, the library, or the park. In our family, we called these “dates.” All day long, I get to hear: “Mom, I want to take you on a date!”

Autonomy: Giving your kids control and choices. Despite their size, they are humans and need that, too. You can let them choose:

  • Their day clothes
  • Their own snack
  • Which book you read together
  • How to perform their morning routine
  • How to complete a task you give them

It’s as simple as that! I’ve found that kids really just want to be a part of our lives. They want to be included in what we as a family unit have going on. Those two pieces – attention & autonomy – are all they need to feel loved, connected, and significant.

How does Marabou support women?

Moms who used to “lie-in” for forty days now have to pick themselves up within a week to get back to work. Grandmas, sisters and best friends who otherwise would have been there to help a woman transition into motherhood now live too far away and often can’t take time away from their full time job. Household chores and caring for older children fall on the woman who just delivered a new life and whose body needs rest. But we live in a sprawled world and helping hands are plentiful but often too far to be of benefit. 

Marabou Services is a unique gift registry which provides services instead of stuff. Most mom’s get too many onesies, too many baby blankets and not enough helping hands. How can you give you daughter living in Japan married to a Navy sailor a helping hand? How can you lend a hand to your best friend who moved to California? How do you ask for help when none of your family lives near you anymore?

Start a Marabou Gift Registry!

With a Marabou gift registry you can ask for any service you know will be of benefit during postpartum recovery.

Postpartum doulas for a first time mom

House cleanings for moms of multiples

Childcare for moms with older children!

Once your registry is created, add it to any other registry or post it to your Facebook and ask that your friends and family contribute to your postpartum service, rather than buying you more stuff.

More and more moms find they have to figure out postpartum alone. Women don't have the same support like they used to. Is it any wonder why PMDs are on the rise? Women are embittered by the journey through motherhood simply because no one was there to lend a hand.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email