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
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!