From the ‘sleep-all-night-like-an-angel’ newborns to the ‘scream-bloody-murder-til-mommy-comes’ babies, we all know that children are wired very differently. Still, it can be hard to not internalize their behavior as a failure in our parenting—especially when you are “blessed” with three of the latter type.
In the words of Jordan Harrell, “THREE hard babies? That seems illogical. Surely, the common denominator is their flipping ill-equipped mother.” She WAS the problem.
At least, that was her conclusion, until she recalled a poignant experience her young mother once had in church that completely transformed her perspective. The mommy blogger took to Facebook with a viral post that’s now encouraging mamas of those chronic criers in the most beautiful way:
I went 0 for 3 on easy babies.
There was a lot of colic and crying and ear infections and food allergies and little-to-no sleep.
My tubes are tied, just in case you’re wondering how much I loved it.
During those years of long nights (and long days), there was LOTS of crying. There were a few nights I wasn’t sure I could take it anymore. I wanted it to stop and told the baby as much. They never listened.
So the crying would go from a solo to a duet, me and the baby swaying in dramatic harmony, alternating heaves as we wondered who would be able to reign it in first.
A lot of those nights, I felt like such a failure. THREE hard babies? That seems illogical. Surely, the common denominator is their flipping ill-equipped mother. That would make more sense.
But during those moments of questioning my mommy-fitness, I would think back to a story my mom had told me.
She was a young mom with her first baby, my brother, who was, you guessed it, HARD. He was colicky and clingy. He only wanted my mom and never slept.
One Sunday morning at church, baby Justin started crying mid-service. My mom quickly made the long walk to the back of the church to calm him down in the nursery.
Sitting next to her in the other rocking chair was another mom, a baby laying against her chest about the same age as Justin. He sat nuzzled peacefully against her, not a peep out of him, even as Justin screamed at the top of his lungs.
“What’s your secret? How is he so easygoing?” my mother half-joked, half pleaded.
“Well, he’s actually not mine. I’m his foster mom, and it’s not so much that he’s easygoing. He just spent the first few months of his life crying non-stop with no response. Nobody ever came. The crying didn’t work for him. So he stopped. And now, he never cries.
Your son’s crying is a good thing. It means he trusts you, trusts that you’ll come.”
So on those really bad nights, when I was so sure this was my fault, I would replay that conversation in my head.
His crying is a good thing.
He’s crying because he knows I’ll answer.
So to the mamas of hard babies, be thankful for the crying. Go scoop them up and hold them close.
They’re not crying because you’re a bad mom.
They’re crying because you’re such a good one.