Solly Journal No. 7 – Connection

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When did you first feel that spark of connection to your baby? Was it with that time seeing their little gummy bear silhouette on the ultrasound, or that first little butterfly kick at the halfway point? Maybe the first time you felt it was the first time you held them in your arms or when they latched for the very first time. It can take some parents a few weeks for that bonding to kick in (or even a few months!). But connection with our baby is just one seed we plant in our garden.

Connection: A kinship relationship vital to the survival of motherhood.

Connection with other people is one of the most important aspects of life, and it becomes even more crucial as we embark into motherhood. We crave connection with our children, our partners, our family, our friends and our community. Motherhood is an ambiguous paradox of feeling completely isolated and yet never alone. We feel a primal urge to envelope our baby in a cocoon while at the same time desiring for human connection with someone who doesn’t require every iota of our attention and devotion.

Motherhood forces you to continually transform alongside your children. Nothing is the same, or stays the same. Not your body, your thoughts, your relationships, your sleep, your time. Motherhood isn’t easy, but it’s better when we share it together. Be vulnerable. Share your thoughts and feelings with one another.

Friendship…is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! You too? I thought no one but myself…” – C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Human beings are social species, wired to connect. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, besides food, water, and safety, love and belonging are the most important needs we must fulfill. This includes our desire for interpersonal relationships, intimacy, to connect with others, and to be integrated into a group. When these needs are met, our overall well-being improves, and we live a more fulfilled life.

This month we plan on diving deeper into each facet of connection: how we bond and how we foster connection, no matter where we are in our parenting journey and what our circumstances are. Connection is everywhere in motherhood, but we also have to be willing to find it.

Try to think of a time when you felt a strong bond with someone in your life. Choose a specific example of an experience you had with this person where you felt especially close and connected to them. This could be a time you had a meaningful conversation, gave or received support, experienced a great loss or success together, or witnessed an historic moment together. Once you’ve thought of a specific example, spend a few minutes writing about what happened. In particular, consider the ways in which this experience made you feel close and connected to the other person.