A book about Infant Massage taught me the most valuable parenting lesson
I highly recommend the book Infant Massage: A Handbook for Loving Parents (2000) by Vimala McClure
Not only did this book teach me practical massage techniques and all about the psychological and physical benefits of massage, but it also taught me a very valuable parenting lesson.
One particular passage in this book was about a mother who couldn't understand why her baby cried during their entire massage, every time. The author asked about her baby's daily routine, and found out that she and her baby spent most of the day apart.
The mother said, "But her childcare providers say that she is so happy all day long. She only cries with me."
The author explained to the mother that the massage helps her baby to release the tension accumulated during the day. She cries with the mother because the mother is her safe place.
And there I was, a newborn mother with wide eyes and open heart reading these words, thinking about all the kids that I’d ever seen crying with their mothers.
And I thought about my baby, and why she might be crying.
And I realized that crying is not necessarily something that we need to “stop.”
As a teacher myself, I like to constantly remind parents of this phenomenon. The students might be on point with me for many hours in a day, and as soon as they see their parents they have a stomachache, are crying about not being able to go to a friend’s house, or whining about their twisted socks.
Parents, you are your child’s safe place. Crying is a release of tension. And thank goodness they have you to relax with and let it all out.
And thank you to author Vimala McClure for helping me realize this very important parenting phenomenon!
Another great book by this author is a book of short passages called The Tao of Motherhood (2011). Here’s an excerpt entitled Serenity:
The best mothering looks like no mothering.
Smothering heats up, stillness cools. Be a still, cool stream for your child’s agitation.
A serene mother rocks the universe in her arms and all is well.