Nurtured or Not

Have you ever wondered what makes a child “nurtured”?  I got to thinking about it today.  Someone made a breastfeeding comment that offended this very vocal (formerly) nursing mama.

It made me feel bad about the minimal formula my older two had after birth.  They were jaundice and my milk took awhile to come in…blah, blah, blah.  My second child had exactly one syringe of formula, every other drop came from mama.

Anyway, none of that actually matters.

What I am trying to say, is that got me thinking about what makes a child nurtured.

A few things it is NOT:

  • breastfeeding
  • cloth diapering
  • cry it out or not
  • homemade baby food
  • babywearing

It is:

Mamas making the best decisions they can for their child(ren) taking all aspects of a situation into account. Maybe for some moms, at least for a season, they choose to do some or all of the above as part of nurturing their child(ren).

Other mamas may look at their life and child and find other things nurture their child.  Maybe it includes formula feeding, daddy doing the night time feedings, co-sleeping, staying at home full-time, working outside the home full-time.

It takes different forms for different women and families.  And for everyone, it will take different forms as the child(ren) grow.  Somehow, mamas need to know and understand that nurturing is different for every family and will be different in all the many phases of growth and learning.

Nurturing is not defined by any one action or decision.  It is loving that child in the moment for who they are and how they are.  Loving will lead to nurturing, no matter what form that takes.

8 Responses to Nurtured or Not

  1. A-freaking- men sweetie. This was beautiful. Thank you.

  2. Loved this post. Excellent reminder to all of us.

  3. I loved all the points you made here. It was perfectly written. :)

  4. Yes, Yes, and Yes.

    Nurturing is about loving your child and making them feel loved. The aforemention lists are tasks that we might choose to do out of love but are not the love itself. Many people need to get this! It’s OK to do what fits within your family’s style and structure.

    • Exactly. I am having to learn new ways to nurture my kids as all of the things I listed, they have now outgrown…

      Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  5. Daniel and I were talking about this last night. Because of our exhausting weekend of family fun with our extended family at a wedding, Vance’s bedtimes were about 3 hours late both Friday and Saturday night. Not the thing to do to a 6-month old or to his momma. Anyhow, I finally got him almost completely asleep last night, laid him down in his crib and left to take a shower. When I am in the shower, Daniel is on Baby Watch. On cue, Vance woke up. Like any good daddy who is faced with a crying baby, Daniel picked him up. Vance saw Daddy and thought, “YAY! It is play time!” and immediately started chatting and cooing and giggling. Daniel tried so hard to rock him back to sleep, but Vance just woke up more and more and was ready for full-on play time. Daniel came in the bathroom and said, “I feel like such a failure as a dad because I can’t get him to go back to sleep. He just sees me and starts smiling and talking and wants to play.” I then told him, “You are not a bad dad. You would be a bad dad if he saw you and started crying and screaming because he was afraid of you. He sees you and wants to hug you and talk to you and play with you. That makes you a great dad.” Daniel smiled and realized I was right.

    What makes a child nurtured? A child who is secure in their own world of friends and family because he or she is so well-loved. A child who has measurable growth physically and mentally. A child who gives love freely. A child who experiences obvious joy in life. A child who, if sick, is given options for healing. Those are some of the things I am working on and hoping for my son.

    Formula, cloth diapers, reading by 12 months all seem of utmost importance until you are faced with the unexpected. Then you start looking at what is really important. Love, Joy, Health. That is it.

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