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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?

We live in culture where “bouncing back” is more valued than proper rest. As admirable as it may be for a sports star to get back on the field, the same rules don’t apply to postpartum recovery. The traditional resting period has been stolen from women through pressure to get back to their job or simply through lack of presence.

Grandmas, sisters and best friends who otherwise would have been there to help a woman transition into motherhood often live too far away to be of any help. Household chores and caring for older children inevitably fall on the mom. But she just delivered a new life! She needs rest. 

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. Break out of a destructive cultural norm and start a Marabou registry today.

Start a Marabou Gift Registry!

With a Marabou registry you can sing up for any service which will benefit you or someone you know during the postpartum recovery period.

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 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. Is it any wonder why PMDs are on the rise? Or women are embittered by the journey of motherhood? We can change that by giving the gift of peace.

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