About salutary loose approach, the right to your own emotions, making choices and how important is being together - interview with Maria Mrugała, the mother of seven and babywearing consultant in Akademii Noszenia Dzieci.
When I proposed this talk, you said “Oh Mama!”. Well… how many times you hear it during one day.
Ohhh, a lot. All the time. I have never counted it. You have planted an idea of making lines on a board, as a statistics. 😊
There a lot of things to count. Would you introduce your brood?
Four great sons at the age of 12, 8, 4 and 14 months. And three wonderful daughters 11, 9 and 6.
Have you ever dreamt of having such big family?
I knew that you’re gonna ask that question😊. I hear that frequently. Having big family was always my dream. So, I have it.
There are moments when I do not know what to do with myself and I am fed up with everything and I am wondering, whether parents with several children have such a thing as own life? And then I look at you and…. I see the total opposite: calm, prim woman, having a really close relationship with her children. Tell us, how do you tune in everything?
I also hear it all the time! How do you do it, having so many children? The secret is - I don’t! I have such freedom when it comes to motherhood, it came with time. And it becomes a true blessing. The discovery that I do not have to control everything, it was a wonderful experience and gave me freedom. This freedom, spontaneousness with the mess in the background, a pile of dirty dishes, scatter toys, because “ we want now to read, watch a movie, play board games or just do nothing”, gave a lot of positive sides. Because pot will not run away from the sink, and the toys can be swiped on the side, in such a way you can move freely, and being together is what I want to give my children, but not always I can give my children as much as I want. We are living in hard times when whether you like it or not, scrolling the Internet, we compare ourselves with each other. Me too, being a young mother, I had a lot of remorse that I do not tune in my home, my children, dinner and I don’t have time for myself. That freedom that came, that right not to control everything, has given me much more. Sure, I want to have my house clean all the time ( especially when unexpected guests pay you a visit) but it does not work that way.
That close relationship with your children that you mentioned….I have to say at this point that it does not look the way we would like to be. Because I, even though I see myself as patient and calm person, explode, sometimes acutely and like a volcano, that is rapidly and without hesitation on what I am talking about and what I do, and sometimes I am ashamed. But living with children means emotions. The whole range of emotions. And in our home with seven children - the amount of emotions is even bigger, different emotions at the same time. I do my best to be close when they need me, but I also can say “no”, which does not cause much enthusiasm. I think, however, that each emotion is important and that children see different “versions” of us. And I think that this is real, more human.
What do you think, what this freedom and giving yourself the right to tune in everything means to children? We are living in times when the rat race starts from the preschool….
They show us that we are only humans. That pots created such a pile that there is no room even for a spoon but there is an apple pie or a bun. That you are not able to do everything at the same time. That we have the right to choose. It means that when do not want to clean the room because they got into the swing of a computer game, book or play they can do it later. And that’s fine for me. I do not put a lot of strain on such things that everything has to be made now. Apart from situations, some things have to be done right now, because there are such situation and such a kind of mess that it has to be done. But I also see that working together, as a group, is easier and simpler. It does not mean each member has to be involved, but for example, some of them. We do something together: cleaning, for instance, making meals is much faster and simpler.
The rat race begins much earlier than in the pre-school, which, nota bene, my children do not attend to. I am not a part of this race and I do not want to.
That is a valuable lesson because I get the impression that we have less freedom - and it is needed. Do I want to ask about the source of the decision of not sending your children to the pre-school?
The decision was natural. That is, you are with children at home since there was always a baby or a baby was about to come to this world so I did not need to send them to the pr-school. But I think that it is an individual issue. One mother will feel fine having several children in the home at the same time. The other will want to send her older children to the pre-school while staying at home with the youngest one. I did not feel such need, but it was not easy. And from the perspective, that was a real hardcore. One on the back, another in the front and two in the bath
When you stay at home with children you have to plan their time or they can spend most of their time playing by herself? What do you do when all of them say that they are bored?
Ohh, some of my children can be called “iamalwaysbored”, but most of the time they take care of themselves. They are pretty good at playing with themselves, they are created to such a degree that they sometimes surprise me. When “iambored” mode is on, we go outside. We live almost in the wood where there is a lot of things to do. Plus different air, trees, stones, sticks and it is enough. Even those who did not want to go, enjoy laying on the grass and doing nothing.
Recently, I have started to consider more seriously sending children to outposts, but only because I want to focus more on what I love, my work, but here I also have this freedom that in case the plan will not work out, there always will be another option.
How do you find time for your work?
Being babywearing consultant has always been my dream work. I believe that there are no accidents and everything in life takes place at the right time. I thought about it when I babywear my first baby,however, I made the course when my seventh child was a baby, having an experience gained on various children but they were my children. And this incredible story connected with the course that I was at Magda’s course ( Magda Sendor - co-founder of AND) a long time ago at my first babywearing course. And now Magda and Marta have their school for babywearing consultants and it was a very touching experience. Wrap history, memories.
I see that you not only consider your work as work but also as a kind of mission. What would you like to tell fledgling parents?
To listen to yourself and your children. That love cannot be measured by the number of toys and gadgets, which are beautiful and colorful but will not replace parents. That the closeness it is important and the time we spent with children. These things will pay off in the future, but you consider it different at the beginning. What’s more, comparing will not do good and can feel some remorse by looking at other parents and more on some fragments of the life of others.
Beautiful words! thank you very much for the interview!