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Preparing for Baby - Preparation of the Adult

With just a few weeks between me and the anticipated arrival of our fifth baby (and fourth using Montessori from birth) I'm once again flooded with all the emotions that come with welcoming a new baby. It doesn't matter how many times you've had a baby, each time is filled with so many of the same myriad of emotions. There's excitement, exhaustion, wonder, and anxiety. A lot of these feelings have been amplified this time as I find myself about to give birth in the middle of another wave of uncertainty in the ongoing pandemic. Even so, as I've written about before, I'm powered by the sensitive period for motherhood and know that we will all adjust as the time comes. 

Maria Montessori called for the spiritual preparation of the adult. She taught us that adults in Montessori environment's have to work not to understand the materials but to understand themselves and their role in the lives of children. In her book The Absorbent Mind she said, "The real preparation for education is a study of one's self. The training of the teacher who is to help life is something far more than the learning of ideas. It includes the training of character, it is a preparation of the spirit." I see my job right now to be similar. 

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It's turning inward, examining my own feelings of readiness. It's taking the time to shift my mindset again toward this new perfect, completely whole human I'm about to give birth to. It's getting ready for to guide a new child on a completely new journey. To be willing to see this baby for who she will be and lovingly embrace that. Thankfully, I have some help along the way in shifting into this mindset. 

I've been pulling out a lot of my Montessori baby books and rereading sections of them. Since Teddy's birth, I've added a few more Montessori and RIE books to my collection that have inspired me and my shift including:
This mindset shift might be one of the most important things I do to prepare for welcoming a baby. Accepting that my role is as both a physical caretaker but also to observe, to keep calm, to be gentle (with myself and my children.) This is big work. This is hard work. And, this will definitely be a work in progress for many months to come. 

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Comments

EmmA said…
Sounds like gestational-wise our babies are pretty close in age! Just had our second baby 2 weeks ago (2 weeks early). I always enjoy reading your thoughts, and all your helpful research and tips from your own experience. Thanks for your work for respect and understanding for children, not just yours but those of all who read your content too. I’ve been encouraged by your blog and your newsletter many times. You truly help me remember to focus on being prepared and centered as the adult.

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