I recently became a great-aunt! My oldest niece is now a Mom! And, as with most new moms, her focus these days is on the baby and breastfeeding!
She's no different than any of us when we bring that new baby home. But that euphoric feeling of having a newborn will give way over the years to the realities of parenting.
We've all heard it (even said it ourselves) "It's the hardest job you'll ever have!" And when you stop to really think about it - it is.
Raising a stable, well-balanced child is a tough job. And a never-ending job. It's a huge responsibility instilling confidence and hope as well as good moral character. Nurturing your child's soul can be overwhelming!
All kids need order and consistency in their lives as well as authority! I'm no expert on parenting but it's been my experience so far that as we struggle to learn we cannot forget to instill the basics in our children - the basics of right and wrong; respect for others.
Empathy and compassion need to be taught and we can't leave this up to the schools! We need to really pay attention to the special needs of our children too. There is no shame in asking for help either!
I've found other adults (friends) who also help mentor our kids. They are involved in activities that connect them to a broad community. These don't have to be costly activities. Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs all offer free help.
For parents, Boys Town is an organization that offers free advice if you're feeling overwhelmed. (1-800-448-3000).
I think we all understand the huge health benefits of breastfeeding but it's only the beginning of parenting. Raising healthy children goes way beyond that.