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We Can Do It!
by Win and Bill Sweet

          "I don't know what to do with a baby," wailed a young, frightened woman, pregnant with her first child. A man with three children: "I don't know how I'm going to survive, let alone get the kids into adulthood okay." A new mother complained, "This is a much bigger job than I wanted." "The responsibility of parenting is almost too much to bear," lamented a Dad of two kids. What is going on here? Parenting is one of the most natural functions in our lives. The other mammals don't seem to be worried about it. Why are we? Why is it so foreign and so scary?

          What has happened to take away access to the natural intuitive awareness, guidance, and confidence that should be the birthright of every parent? Perhaps the answer can be discovered at the beginning of parenting—pregnancy and birth. Pregnancy is often viewed with apprehension as if it were an illness, and birth a hazard, probably requiring drugs and technological intervention. Unfortunately, various versions of these beliefs and attitudes continue to be reflected in many families because the parents carry them along as the children grow. It would be a freer beginning leading to freer parenting as the years go by, if a newly pregnant mother and her husband could have real confidence that her body naturally knows how to be pregnant and give birth and that the baby naturally knows how to develop in the womb and be born. As this knowledge and understanding form the basis for their future parenting, there could be quite different attitudes and beliefs about themselves as parents and their child as a trustworthy individual.

          It all starts with pregnancy. In our culture most pregnant parents are conditioned to turn over managing the pregnancy and the birth to a professional, having been given the impression that they, themselves, are not competent enough to make their own choices and decisions. They often don't even know there are choices, taking, without question, the traditional pathway in the culture. These parents become disenfranchised without realizing it, and this loss can influence their entire parenting experience—with unpleasant results. It is no wonder, then, to discover a lack of confidence and independence extending on and on into the parenting experience.

          How can a new, more healthy paradigm be created in our culture? We need to give parenting, beginning with pregnancy and the birthing process, back to the parents and children to govern and to experience as they were intended to do: "We're in charge. We can do this." Reclaiming the parenting process will reestablish the innate pattern that is already a part of the consciousness of every mom, dad, and child. As the realization and implementation of this natural pattern of the life of a family spreads into our society, an immense freedom and joy will begin to take place. The emotional pain and helplessness associated with parenting, which is so pervasive and expresses itself through parents and children in so many tragic ways, will ease and disappear. We can restore the birthright of choice, confidence, and joyful fulfillment.

          If you ever feel overwhelmed with parenting—frustrated, powerless, and sometimes frightened—reclaim the dominion that you may have lost during the pregnancy and birthing of your children. Just as you could have done it back then, you can be an effective parent now with confidence and trust in your intuition and capabilities. Just as your baby knew how to be born, even if that autonomy was wrested from her or him, your child still knows how to be a confident, cheerful, and cooperative member of a family.

          Declare with confidence, "We can do it! We can have a joyful, harmonious family life." Gather a support team of wise, loving, and experienced people who share your basic philosophy of family life. Take advantage of recent valuable scientific information about children—for example, learning about optimum development and potential hazards to optimum development. Building a structure of irrefutable principles that you come to trust will help you guide your family well. At the same time discard emotionally based cultural traditions and expectations.

          Most families today live "out there," scattered and fragmented—only connecting as a family in a superficial way. Begin your paradigm shift by creating space as a family to be, to enjoy who you are and what you can do together. Above all, play together as a family. This nourishment and awareness will envelop all of you with confidence, personal power, and joy that is not given to you, or produced from "out there," but which everyone has always had and can now call forth into an active family experience. This is true family freedom and joy!  

 

 

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