Sunday, July 3, 2011

The challenges of a new birth (1)

The birth of a child in a family is always a great opportunity to celebrate and to thank the Creator for this gift from Heaven and ... to think in a practical way for the new logistics that have to be set up in our home to live truly this event in happiness. If this birth is the second, third ... our obligation to think is even more important: with four or five children under the same roof, the challenges are different from a family that welcomes its first toddler.

If we do not pay enough attention to this aspect of the situation, happiness and joy might turn into tiredness, anxieties of all kinds, constant stress ... In some cases, the pressure may even lead to disputes between the couple, an animosity between the children in the house, a depressing mother and a rejection more or less conscious of her new child, G-d forbid. This occurs frequently enough to motivated me to try to help. With Hashem's help, this article is the first in a series of three; my goal is to help families - and especially mothers - to keep smiling and being happy with their newborn.

An adequate preparation

Hashem made the world perfect: nine months before his or her birth, a child has already announced his or her coming. The advantage of this situation is obvious: it gives the parents plenty of time to prepare themselves for the arrival. If they use this time in an optimal way, the return of the mother from the clinic will not be experienced as an earthquake and the (not so good) surprises will be limited to a maximum. This truth is undeniable: each important event has to be prepared intelligently and to the extent of our preparation will drop the difficulties.

Knowing that her couple will soon welcome a new child should make the mother think about how to receive the additional help she will need (a housekeeper, mother or stepmother, her husband ... ) and the father to imagine what he can do to make himself more available (to come back earlier from work for a few weeks; to devote his weekends to his children and his wife; possibly to few days of vacation ...)

The young woman must realize something obvious: the clean and neat home she likes, her regular schedule, her different activities (religious, cultural, outdoor ...)... all this must become secondary when the child will be born. This does not mean that the young woman will have to give up everything for a long period; rather, she must realize it will be difficult to predict in advance her usual activities.

Her priority will be to make sure her baby sleeps well, and her too! When her baby will have well eaten and that she has the necessary strength to want to leave the house, she will be able to do so in order to breath some fresh air. Psychologically, this means that her priorities will change and that she must to her best to live this new situation with real joy.

To prepare mentally ourselves for these changes allows the individuals who attach great importance to their daily activities to accept the fact that they will have to be put in parentheses for some time. If a mother lives ill the fact of not being able to go to her weekly cultural event because of a new birth, it is that she has ill-prepared the arrival of her child. This was foreseeable and she should have taken steps to accept it mentally.

Also, if the young mother enters into the category of women who are a little obsessed by the tidiness of their home, she must realize she is in a dangerous situation. In fact, there is a general rule: more a house is tidy and well maintained, more the hostess is usually under pressure when she sees that things change and that dust appears on the shelves, toys litter more and more frequently on the floor, the kitchen looks like a battlefield ... Of course, the order and cleanliness in a home are important; but in situations where that goal is impossible to reach, we must do without it. Individuals who know themselves to be sensible in this area must be prepared themselves to the new situation.

To be continued ...

This Dvar Torah is dedicated to the recovery of Michoel ben Devorah.

To dedicate a Dvar Torah, click here

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