About two years ago, when i got pregnant; most of the people we knew, were genuinely happy for us. Almost all of them wished we would have an easy and happy baby. We wished that too! When you are pregnant and ready to receive that little angel, you kind of know what is waiting for you: sleepless nights, a crying baby, breastfeeding every 5 minutes, you hardly have time to do anything, and let us not forget the endless war you will be having with your hormones. So automatically you wish and pray that you will have a good baby. One that sleeps all night long, one who will hardly ever cry, one who you will be able to take with you to the supermarket or to all your other outings, without expecting some kind of drama. And of course once you become a mom and the little peanut arrives, you will know how crazy you were for even dreaming of having these things.
I became a mother, I had my little baby in my arms, I was waking up with him every two hours, I was holding/carrying/wearing him the whole time. We chose to co-sleep until we decided it was time to move him to his crib. We would run to him every single time he would make a noise. I took him with me wherever I went (and I only went to places where it was appropriate to bring a baby). I was reading books and stories to him. I rocked him to sleep, I even slept with him in his crib when he was a little older (we thank my petite figure for that), I let him feed himself and make the biggest mess at 6 months and every time since. I let him sleep in my arms for hours when he was sick or unwell. And I did much more, yet I never thought I had a bad baby!!
It is not my fault that before I had my little bundle of joy, I even thought there was such a thing as bad babies and good babies! We always hear that good babies don’t cry, good babies sit still, good babies sleep at night, good babies share their toys, good babies eat their food, good babies good babies and more good babies!! So we assume that all babies should be this way! We hope and dream for our kids to be creative and stand out from the crowd, but before he can do any of that we limit him to what we think is good or bad! How badly do we need to change our ideas and our norms! Let these babies be babies! Let them cry when they are upset! And instead let’s look for ways to deal with their emotions! Let’s teach them how to be upset, confused, frustrated, instead of yelling and shouting and hoping he/she was a “good “ baby! Let’s be more acceptant of the baby we have, yes it is a lot of hard work and bags under your eyes, but isn’t that what it is to be a mom? Aren’t we all supposed to go through that? Just like my mom and your mom did?
When Adam runs around, makes a mess, shouts, screams, and pushes every single button in my system and almost throws me into a break down, I think : “so if that is how frustrated I feel, me, the adult, the mother, the person who can talk and express her feelings, How must he feel like? The tiny one, the helpless human being!” He doesn’t want to be bad, he doesn’t want to make me upset, and most certainly he doesn’t want to be a bad baby! All he wants is express these new sensations and feelings he is having and he doesn’t even know what they are. Yes it takes a lot of courage and patience to take a deep breath, to go to him and slowly show him what is a gentle touch and softly whisper that it is OK to be sad, mad, upset or frustrated! It is normal and natural! However, we have to be aware of how we react to these feelings! I know he doesn’t understand a word from what I am saying but this is my way of preparing him( and myself) for when he can .
Being a mother is the toughest job in the world, it is a 24/7 kind of job with no vacations or days off. It is a tremendous amount of work, an endless to-do list! There are times when you will feel like you are doing it all wrong and others when you will feel that you’ve got it all, like if you have cracked some kind of mommy code! The struggle to raise little human beings is universal, and everyone have to go through their own path to figure out what will work for them! There are no “bad babies’ and “good babies” they are just babies, craving for your love, attention and compassion! How can we bring up caring, loving and responsible human beings if we start judging them from the minute they were born! We welcome them to this world with a little label that we stick into their backs and we expect them to somehow rise and shine! I refuse to put a label on my son! I let him be the baby / little boy/ teenager/ man, he wants to be / become! Yes I will be there when he deviates a little and needs guidance and I will take his hand and show him how we do things but I will let him be who he is! Who he wants to be! Unlike what anyone might think, these little babies also have their mission in life, which is to teach us, parents, lessons of life, teach us how to slow down and think, how to see the world from a new perspective.