“The truth is, it would be better if you didn’t give him so much”, “it would be better if you gave him a little less.” They are phrases that in a somewhat lapidary way lead us to ask ourselves basic questions about what we do or stop doing in the day by day with our children.
It can be very helpful to be able to define a basic concept, I mean: “Love in Two Times”. What is it about? Let’s see.
The First time of love is the time of “filling” and the clearest example is the nursing baby after suckling. Rozagante, satisfied, semi-asleep and with the milk running down his lip corner, he gives us the image of what it means to “be full”! We have given him all our milk and the baby responds with his fullest satisfaction. It is the time of delivery and total supply. Metaphorically I charge it with “Premium gasoline “because I dedicate myself one hundred percent to him / her.
The second time of love is to be able to offer him a place of his own where “to use the gasoline” with which we have loaded him in the first time. It is the famous “Own space” of utmost importance because it is where being alone, daydreaming, fantasy will take place. In a baby, it can be that “talk” that he maintains with the mobile that hangs from the ceiling, in an older child it could be that game in the bathtub or quiet in his room displaying all your imagination.
Quality and quantity
So we get out of the quantitative (if we give too much, too much or little) and we tackle the qualitative, i.e. install healthy rhythms that assure us delivery times (give) and times of “letting go”. In this “going on being done”, since there is no possible autonomy if it is not rehearsed in a proper place. It is a continuous exchange between fantasy and reality.
It will be a challenge to be able to install these rhythms fluently.
First Hazard: If I fail in the first half and my fill is insufficient, I will send it to its own space with the gas tank half loaded. Then you will not be able to find satisfaction in your being alone, you will not finish letting go completely and you will claim what you still lack. For example, they will be 2/3 year old children who will be holding their mother’s skirt all day with a kind of continuous lament and who cannot discover or enjoy their own space. I remember a mother who was reflected in this dynamic and when modifying it, she exclaimed “Now I give him Premium gasoline and everything is much better”.
Sometimes it is difficult for us to realize that our filling time is very “choppy” due to the multiple tasks that we carry out and currently also due to the cell phone. It is very reassuring to discover that when we can install and fully surrenderIt takes very little time and the effect is immediate and very effective. I remember when my daughter told me “Mom, sit down and play with me, but without shoes”, thus making sure that I would not go elsewhere!
Second Hazard: Occurs when the delivery time is extends indefinitely, there is no court between mother and child or presentation of their own space. It is the same as having a car with a full tank stopped in the garage. This mother cannot point out another place other than herself, it will be a baby that will be attached to its mother all day, unable to gestate its place. At two or three years, he will be a “sticky” child.
Simple examples from everyday life
A mother walks carrying her baby, bags and purse. The image is reminiscent of an Ekeko, since everything hangs from it. The scene reflects stickiness, overwhelm, the whole is messy, almost chaotic. Another mother carries the baby in her stroller, lying placidly, capturing what the world is proposing to her. She has hung her bag from the car and walks relaxed, each one saves a place,its place. The scene reflects placidity.
In a restaurant, a mother sits her son on her lap and feeds him: one plate, one place. Another sits him next to her, in a chair suitable for her ten-month-old baby; He brings him a plate, lets him eat with his hand, interspersing tablespoons to feed him: two places, two plates.
The baby who walks in his stroller looking at what the world has to offer him (people, cars, children, dogs, trees, etc.) or who eats on his plate enjoying his food will be satisfied to be able to use your gasoline in your own space.
These experiences will be recorded within you to be sought over and over again. We can predict that you will be an adult who will keep a treasure that you can draw on: the ability to be alone, creating and recreating your own space and activity that you find enjoyable.
We, mothers, will always be very attentive to perceive “The two times of love” and know when it is time for delivery and filling and when it is time to create your own space where you can spend your gasoline. Always taking into account the different ages that require our constant adjustment to their new needs.
When we can harmonically balance between these two times we feel that the rhythms flow and that the mother-child duo has conquered a great challenge!
Adriana Grande (MN 58,804), is a doctor (UBA), a psychoanalyst member of APDEBA and IPA (Buenos Aires Psychoanalytic Association and International Psychoanalytic Association). Specialist in parent-child bonding.