Our Children Don’t Belong to Us by Caitlin Matte
Our children don’t belong to us. They are not property, they are not something to be owned or kept. We cannot say they belong TO us. We need to say they belong WITH us.
From the moment that I found out I was pregnant, I have never been more confident of a relationship in my life. I’ve never loved someone more, missed someone more, or learned as much as I have from this sweet soul I call my daughter.
My daughter belongs with me, not to me. She belongs by my side, as my littlest love, my best friend, and my motivation. My motivation to be a better mother and friend, to see the world differently and spread love. I see her as my partner in figuring out this new life together. We cannot say our children belong to us. Saying so puts a hierarchal status to our relationship, sending a message that we are above our little ones, and I would like to think that someone who is capable of bringing to light so many thoughts and feelings is actually my equal, no matter her size or age.
Just as much as we spend our time trying to help them learn and grow into strong, smart, independent little men and women, they too are teaching us along the way. They teach us to better ourselves, to heal ourselves, to speak kinder, love harder, behave gentler and feed our sense of self-worth. There is much to be said about a parent who can put themselves at their child’s level, not just emotionally but in learning and playing too. In doing so we are creating an element to our relationship that allows for a stronger, more trusting connection.
Giving our sweet babies the gift of trading in the need to control them by saying they belong to us, for the gift of creating a mutual space of love and understanding to be ourselves and belong alongside one another is irreplaceable. These free spirits, these wild souls, these little angels that we call our children belong with us, never to us.
Caitlin is 26 years old and a strong believer in gentle/attachment parenting. Only after having her daughter, Cora, did she realize how strong her passion was for understanding the emotional path of raising children and am working as a pre/post natal health and parenting coach while continuing to further her education in the area of infant mental health as well as holistic care. Her hope is to help mothers and fathers open their hearts and minds to alternative methods of parenting so as to allow their children to embrace their emotions so we can all have a more peaceful tomorrow.