My children are all grown up and left home so it is really easy for me to look back with the old rose coloured specs at the whole episode (or three episodes…. yes three….what can I say? I was young). Two girls and a boy with all the usual baby, childhood and teenage illnesses, traumas and hormones. Easy to say isn’t it, now they are all independent, happy, healthy, lovely people.
I started running a Bowen Children’s Clinic a few months ago so I have started to have more regular contact with little ones and their parents. Although I do have friends with young children I realise how remote the whole parenting thing has become to me.
I had three children by the time I was 26, for a lot of their childhood we didn’t have a car or central heating. No tumble drier, terry nappies and holidays either camping or courtesy of grandma. Second hand furniture and carpets were the norm. I made some of their clothes and cooked their meals from scratch. And if it hadn’t been for family allowance there are times we wouldn’t have eaten much at all. So all in all I guess I felt that parents these days had never had it so good………..
Now I’m having conversations with parents who are facing a whole new set of pressures and from areas I didn’t really expect. Competitive dad of Fast Show fame was supposed to be a parody but now seems to reflect normal parental behaviour! And to be fair it seems to be more ‘competitive mum’ from what I am hearing. The pressure that mums seem to be putting on each other to be ‘supermum’ is enormous.
Be the best earth mother, living on organic broccoli during pregnancy. Breast-feeding at all costs. Breastfeeding for at least 6 months. Never giving solids before 6 months old. Feeding on demand (woe betide anyone wanting routine). Never letting them have sweets. The dreaded birthday party with the dreaded goodie bags. Will they be big enough and better than little Tamsins. Can we keep them all happy? Swimming lessons, music lessons, baby yoga. The lists go on and on. Everyone wants the best for their children, they don’t want them bullied, they don’t want them losing out.
I’m treating lots of children now, mostly preschool or early primary ages. Lots of things from colic to asthma. Kids tend to respond really well to Bowen, but half the time I want to put mum on the couch for half an hour and just let her chill and tell her she’s doing a great job!
Why all the competition? Why can’t we encourage each other to trust in our instincts. No one is a perfect parent no matter how much we try, and it’s good for kids to learn that we don’t always get it right? Time after time I say to mums, well what do you think? How do you feel about it? If you feel it’s fine then it probably is. If you feel uneasy then there is probably a problem. Yes by all means seek help and advice, but realise also that you don’t always need a book or mumsnet. This is your child. Trust yourself.
If you want to know more about Bowen for children then please get in touch. I have a Children’s Clinic in Skipton on the first Sunday of each month and from December 1st will be taking appointments in Saltaire.