Rocking in the New Year

How is the Rockin’ Mama Challenge going for you?  I am thrilled so many of you have joined me.  To be honest, it keeps me going knowing that I’ve invited you along on this little journey – I certainly can’t be a slacker now.

A few questions have come up that I want to address.  I’ll just add here that I am not an expert in any way — just a mom doing my best to love my kids and heal their hearts.  As you read, imagine we are sitting in my kitchen sipping coffee together.

1.  What if I don’t have a rocking chair?

Bee answered this one for me, “It’s okay if you don’t have a rocking chair.  Just sit in a comfy chair with your kid and hug her.”

Good advice.

In my opinion, rocking is particularly soothing – it is primal.

We were rocked in our mother’s wombs as they went about their days, and our children were rocked in their mother’s wombs.  We rock our babies as we stand holding them in our arms.

I’m pretty sure if we asked somebody who knows a lot about brain development, they would say that rocking actually does something good to the brain.

That being said, holding our children close seems to be the most important part of this whole thing.  We are attaching, we are loving, we are resting their bodies against ours and holding them close.

You may want to keep your eye out for an affordable rocking chair. I just glanced up from my computer and saw two of mine; I got my glider rocker at a yard sale, my “ugly chair” (a big, old recliner rocker) as a hand-me-down, and another swivel rocker at Goodwill (and yes, I did have it cleaned).  I also have a wooden rocker, but it isn’t as comfy for rocking a big kid.

2. What if my child doesn’t want me to rock her or barely touch her?

This is my Eby.  Some days he is will come close, other days he pushes me away.  I try to get him to sit on my lap with his back to my chest.  Sometimes he’ll let me rock, other times he won’t — but he lets me know!

There is no way he would sit for 15 minutes on a “not-so-good” day, but I might get five minutes with him.

We rock Eby and Little Man at “Quiet Hour” and bedtime each day and give them warm milk in a sippy cup.  They both seem to need this time and the milk keeps Eby in our laps for a few moments.  He will also stay much longer if I read to him.

If you have a child who resists being rocked and held, try five minutes three times a day and see if that works.  I would offer warm milk (even to an older child), a piece of gum or a caramel, or even a little snack to see if that keeps him in your arms longer.

3. What if I can’t rock for 15 min. at a time?

Try breaking it into two or three sessions with a goal of 15 minutes total.  Our objective is to intentionally hold and love our children.


This challenge is not about perfection or increasing our burden, although I won’t deny that it is a sacrifice for me — I didn’t call this a challenge for nothing!

Today is Day 12 for us and it is getting easier.  I find my heart is feeling more tender toward Honeybee — my attachment to her is increasing as I work toward helping her attach to me.

It is much the way our love and attachment increase toward our newborns as we nurse them, rock them, and meet their physical needs.

Rocking is meeting the need of Honeybee’s heart and mine.

Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

0 Comments

  1. shonni
    December 31, 2010

    Yea…thanks for the challenge and the and the encouragement!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      December 31, 2010

      Shonni, glad to see you are joining us! Be sure to sign up so I can add your blog to the list.

      Reply
  2. lisa
    December 31, 2010

    i started rocking on the 27th with my little four year old son who came home to us from ethiopia as an infan. he is healthy and thriving but our daughter who is 8 and who came home feb 2008 has a severe trauma history and is in therapeutic care in oregon until may and she was like your little guy and couldnt be touched. so, i have decided to "practice "rocking with my little 4 year old. he loves it and i love it and in less then a week he is calmer and more cuddly and i feel more connected to him. i am so happy you issued this challenge because i have been terrified of rockling and cuddling my daughter when she comes home but know we both desperately need it. "practicing" with my little son is breaking down fears and blessing all of us. so, i thank you very much and wish you all a very happy new year.lisa

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      December 31, 2010

      Lisa, thank you so much for sharing this with me. I understand the fears and I'm so glad you are working toward preparing your heart and overcoming your own secondary trauma as you anticipate your daughter's return. How lovely that your relationship with your son and his little heart are being helped in the process.

      Reply
      1. lisa
        December 31, 2010

        thank you for providing a place to share. it is so nice to be able to journey and encourage, support and share together. thank you for your inspiration and sharing your heart. lisa

        Reply
  3. Tonggu Momma
    December 31, 2010

    The Tongginator and I do this every day. We'd kinda stopped this year, due to less time together because of first grade, but your challenge made me remember how important this is for my kiddo. Our holidays this year were MUCH more serene because of it. Thanks for reminding me how important this is. (And no, we don't rock. The Tongginator has informed me that she is "too big for that." We cuddle in a comfy chair instead.)

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      December 31, 2010

      I've been thinking about how it will be more challenging to fit it in once school starts, but probably even more important. I'm glad to hear that cuddling works just as well!

      Reply
  4. Emily
    December 31, 2010

    Lisa, just curious- do your biological children ever express desire to be rocked now that it's such a present part of your family's day?

    Praying for all of you!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      December 31, 2010

      Emily, yes, they would like to be rocked too, and I do manage to get them on my lap throughout the day. Once school starts again, I plan to try to rock all of my younger kids each day, at least for a short time. Thank you for your prayers – I am so grateful.

      Reply
  5. Dawn
    January 1, 2011

    I am in!!! I have started with just cuddling because we don't have a rocking chair. I have missed mine though….so I had money left from Christmas and ordered a rocking chair. SOOO happy to have one again!!!

    Reply
  6. Cassc
    January 6, 2011

    I love this idea and I think it seems like a wonderful tool for attachment but I'm wondering- what about children who come home as teens? I would guess that while ultimately the benefit would be just as great at a certain age a young person's personal space requirements reflect a much more mature world view and rocking or similar physical contact might be inappropriate…

    Reply

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