I was standing at my microwave yesterday waiting for my maple syrup to warm for our Sunday pancakes. After needing to put the pitcher back in because it wasn't warm enough, I actually found myself becoming impatient when it still had 10 seconds to go. I started thinking about my life before a microwave (which wasn't that long ago) and I would have no problem waiting for something to warm in a pot on the stove, but in the microwave I somehow expect instant results. When did 30 seconds become a long time to wait?
So as I sat down to eat my breakfast I started thinking about how we as a culture have become so impatient. Everything around us has been expediated, our food, travel, Internet, laundry, dishes, you name it, no one wants to wait for anything. Then the thought came, if we live in a microwave society, it is no wonder that we want our children to catch up to our drive-thru lives and get frustrated when they can't keep up?
I get asked all the time in my classes about how to train a baby to sleep through the night and become independent. I get it. We are a busy society and many of us need to work in order to eat. Although in Canada we have 1 year of Maternity leave, I know many mamas that have had to go back to work sooner just so they could keep a roof over their heads. There are so many books out there promising parents to be Babywise or how to have the Happiest baby on the block or that someone who claims to be the Baby Whisperer will solve all your problems.
The problem here is that babies don't know, and don't care that it is 2010. For all they know it could be 1180BC. Their needs have not changed one bit. They want to be breastfed, they want to be carried, they want to be responded to when they cry, they want to be with their mother when they sleep and they want to be attached, they are incapable of independence. They can't do anything for themselves. If they don't have these things, they go into distress and the essential bond that mother and baby have is put at risk. All of these "experts" have forgotten that children are not dogs you can train and are promising parents things they can't give. Because at the end of the day, babies don't want a 30 second mother, they want a love and bond that takes months and years of patience to solidify.
What we need in this backward culture of ours is not another book on how to have an independent baby who sleeps through the night in the $5000, 00 designer nursery. We need a culture that supports the mother/infant bond by making it possible for us to be able to slow down with our children and really be with them, even if that means a nap together at 11:00 in the morning. This is a huge topic and one that is dear to my heart....there is more to come.