PARENTING FOR PEACE news

JULY 2014

So we in America just celebrated our independence with BBQs, bake sales and fireworks. It’s a wonderful blessing to have fun and to enjoy ourselves, and I really hope you had a great time, whatever you did this past weekend.

Every year around this time, though, the rabble-rouser in me gets restless. Yes, the U.S. has achieved remarkable things and pioneered tremendous innovations in many realms of industry, human rights, technology and so forth. But I’m a true Aquarius, which means I can be a little… impatient.

Do you ever look at where we are in our birth practices… in our NON-progress in maternal-neonatal health stats… and even in our societal resistance to breastfeeding… and wonder, “Are we in a freakin’ TIME WARP??” I mean, weren’t we supposedly tackling all this reform back in the 70s and 80s?!

This newsletter features a small sample of big (yet surprisingly simple) ideas that really COULD bring us freedoms that we’ve somehow not managed to yet achieve in this great country: freedom from seemingly unsolvable problems that begin at the most intimate, personal level — depression, anxiety, addiction, eating disorders — and become expressed at family, community and society levels in many forms of disconnection, aggression and violence.

Which then become embedded in our culture’s institutions, such that a couple can emerge from a birth experience with PTSD… a child expressing symptoms of early loss gets disciplined and labeled but not understood… or a mother nursing her baby can be exiled from a public place.

Okay, I’ll cop to it: I’m going all activist on you for a second here. And some of what I’m sharing in today’s newsletter is admittedly challenging. It’s daunting to the souls of us idealists, and not all of it makes for breezy reading.

And if you’re in the day-to-day thick of parenting young children, it may be best to NOT put your mind to these big questions just now. You are doing the work of freedom every day.

But it’s imperative that we at least begin to recognize that these questions are wide open and very important. Pace yourself, there’s a lot to bite off here. Yikes, suddenly I feel like the graduate professor I used to be. But no grades given out here, just the enrichment of becoming more aware & awake.

Empowered Birth Checklist for Couples

Let’s start with some GOOD stuff, stuff that DOES free us and empower us! Since I’m about to lay some discouraging info on you, I want to first give you a little gift — my latest ebooklet, which will be for sale at my website store soon. It spotlights 25 concrete ways you can confidently parent during this momentous family experience.

Get Your eBooklet!

…and Prepping for Baby’s Arrival

Did you know August is one of the top months for births? So lots of folks are busy getting ready for baby right now. This tends to generate long to-do and to-buy lists, which can also generate stress — not good for Mom or for baby! It can be so much simpler and more tranquil than we tend to make it.

                                                           

Who’s Oppressing Us Now??

It’s becoming a (sad) 4th-of-July tradition: I will run a version of this post as long as it’s still so relatively unsafe for mothers and babies in America. (Sigh)

                                                            

The (Very) Early Beginnings of Mental Health

Together with co-author Joel Evans, I had the privilege of authoring a chapter in a new professional text that just came out from Springer Publications, Women’s Reproductive Mental Health Across the Lifespan. We cite the latest research on just how early our children’s (and our own) mental health is seeded — research that would / should change our cultural approaches to pregnancy, birth and even conception, once we as a society decide we’re ready for true healing change within our human family!

While I doubt this is going to be your bedside table reading unless you’re a professional in the field, you might find the first few paragraphs inspiring, given your parenting-for-peace choices. Since ours is the opening chapter, we pop up when you click on “First Pages” and Amazon provides a lot for your sampling pleasure — take a look!

                                                          

Why Your Pediatrician Won’t Tell You All This*

It isn’t terribly complicated: overwhelming research shows that early childhood stress or trauma “results in adaptations that help the child survive in the short term but are the basis of pathology, physical illness, mental illness, later on.”

This simple idea (which, by the way, has helped many adults better understand and address their own challenges) could transform how we prevent and heal addiction, depression, and chronic illness of many kinds. But it is resisted tooth and nail, especially by professionals. Michael Mendizza’s excellent Touch the Future newsletter features author/physician Gabor Maté discussing this culture of denial, and why it exists.

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[*Not all pediatricians and other physicians, but the certainly the majority.]

                                                        

Wanna Vent? Laugh? Cry? We Do That HERE!

As they say, it takes a village to raise a child. And as I say, it takes a village to raise a parent! (Especially when there is so much out there that can discourage us, waaaahh!)If you’re looking for a safe haven where you can bring your biggest frustrations, your messiest parenting “failures” and your stressiest family issues… and be held with compassion and guided with expertise… then the C&C Circle might be right up your alley.

Marcy, thank you again. So thankful
I have this group!
~ Elaine Gonzalez

And a great way to find out if it IS up your alley is to come to our Summer Fun Palooza this Friday! It’s a very special occasion (that I’ll reveal later) and I’m inviting everyone to come share a funny, weird or otherwise memorable story from their early days of mothering.I’ll be answering your questions too, so it’s an extra coaching call on top of our normal bi-weekly gatherings. And you can get the full scoop on P4P Coaching & Care Circle membership, with big ol’ discounts & bonuses.

Thank you for your wonderful insight and ideas, Marcy. I think using the
“gas tank” analogy would work wonderfully with him. Great idea!
                                                                  ~ Jenna Gomez

 

Recent blog posts

The Joys of Adult Children | The more we can make peace with our own past, the more joy we find in parenting our infants, toddlers, tweens, teens, and ultimately, our adult children.
A Precious, Radical (& Free!) Gift for Fathers | New parents often find themselves in separate corners of their marriage, where it can be pretty lonely. Here’s a story of a surprising choice one wife made.
Men and Pregnancy: Inviting Fathers In | Though it is rare for a father to be considered pregnant along with his wife, why should he not be given this consideration and status? He, too, is on a profound, life-altering journey!

Years ago I was told by someone close to me, “Marcy, you ask a lot.” It’s true, I do ask a lot–of myself, of others, of Life. I have certainly asked a lot of you simply by sending you this fat issue bulging with nitty-gritty stuff.

If you know anyone who’s passionate about birth & social reform… or who is a dreamer of big dreams for our human family… and who might be interested in this meaty collection, please forward it on!

Thank you — having you as part of our Parenting for Peace tribe is a gift & and a joy.

Blessings,
Marcy


Author of Parenting for Peace:
Raising the Next Generation
of Peacemakers

A Purrrfect Idea

Let me make one thing clear: I’m usually agnostic on the subject of videos featuring cats. BUT… this 19 seconds of video is worth 10,000 words in expressing a profound and powerful teaching: how to respond when a little one (or ANYONE) for whatever reason is not able to regulate his or her own inner state (of fear, frustration, anxiety, etc.) Sometimes we do it literally, physically, like this mom, and sometimes we envelope them figuratively with our calm, loving assurance. Watch

We ARE Energy

The young child “feeds on our consciousness” — and the graphic in this article is very effective at getting us to think about just what are we feeding our kids. The article highlights new research (published in the prestigious journal Nature) showing that plants can draw energy from other plants, and extrapolates how this probably works at the human level as well. This is just one more reason why mindfulness practice is so helpful in every way for parents! Read up here

Graphic Blog Post

You’ve heard of graphic novels (VERY cool) — well, along comes a graphic blog post, natch. And hallelujah, it’s written (drawn?) for parents of toddlers, who may be too bleary-eyed to read text. Enchanting, and oh so true! Take a look

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