Soul-Fed Mama: Know Your Lullaby
When my daughter was a newborn, a mama friend who I consider a mentor gave me this advice: “Have a lullaby. Always sing the same one,” she said. “It will be the way she knows she is safe.”Since then, I’ve been singing Bean one specific song. I sing other songs, but this one is special. I sang it every time she nursed. I sang it in the middle of the night when sharp teeth were cutting through her gums. I sang it while she was limp with fever, while we waited for the Tylenol to do its magic. I sang it after she learned the word “no” and started objecting to every song in my repertoire.I’ve sung it on airplanes, in tents, over her screams on long car rides. I sing it when she bumps her head or scraps her knee and curls into my arms for comfort.I’ve been singing it a lot this week while we cuddle through tired and frustrated afternoons while she transitions out of her last nap.And my friend was right, the song is like magic. Even though she may not stop crying immediately, I can feel her relax as soon as she hears the first few words. It is her song. Her comfort.This week I was thinking about how nice it would be if we all had a lullaby, and someone to sing it to us. But because we don’t, we each learn to do particular things that soothe us.Sometimes those things are unhealthy or even dangerous when used as an escape - cookies, chocolate, alcohol, drugs. But there are other ways to soothe. Other kinds of emotional balm without the negative side effects. [Tweet "We each need to know our own particular way feel safe and soothed."]Over the years I’ve found a few grown-up lullabies for those days that are especially hard and wearing. For when I’m tired and cranky and there are still hours between me and my pillow. When worries and stress are piling up and I need to get perspective.My lullaby is getting my hands into the dirt, pulling weeds or planting a few flowers.My lullaby is the slow meditation of knitting. The soft click and slide of needles and the pull of yarn through my fingers as the pattern unfolds.My lullaby is walking the path along the cliffs in the early morning, feeling the beat and pull of the ocean to one side of me and the salty mist licking my hair.My lullaby is a quiet yoga class, with just enough effort to break a sweat and empty my mind of all the noise.What is your grown-up lullaby? If you don’t have one, what calls to you to try?