I was always kind of the perfectionist. Be perfect at what you do, make no mistakes, show everyone just how happy and perfect your life is. That changed dramatically when I became pregnant. With J floating inside my belly I started to let go of my own perfection. I didn’t care anymore if I looked good whenever I left the house or if I had perfect grades or if others knew of my problems. Because what I actually started to care about was that little being inside me and that everything would be perfect for him. I guess I stepped to another level of perfection.
So what I did is probably something that many know: I tried to be perfectly healthy during pregnancy and prepared every single bit for him in a perfect manner (homebirthing, using a natural rubber passy, ecologic linen sheets, no plastic toys, only ecologic cotton clothes, cloth diapers and water to clean him instead of chemical wet tissues). And it all went on with him being born. He made us so happy, I had to cry the first days whenever he lay sleeping in my arms and I thought I couldn’t bear the thought of losing him or anything happening to him. So what did I do? Or what did we do? (Please insert we whenever I say I, or my husband goes nuts ;)). We wanted him to have a perfect joyful life. Whenever he cried a little more than usual we were searching for our mistake or his mistake: was he sick? Was it his clothes, what he ate, what I ate, was he teething or did he have a growth spurt? I think these thoughts and feelings occur in many families. Your little one cries and you desperately search for an answer, a reason to soothe him. So we did everything we could: we carried him, I nursed him, we massaged his belly or sang for him. And often times that worked and we were satisfied with our role as parents and what we could manage.
But on other days that didn’t work and there were days when he just screamed and screamed. So we asked ourselves again: what went wrong?
He screams, because he is not feeling well, right? What is wrong about that? Sometimes we feel bad ourselves for a lot of reasons; the wheather, hormon levels, it’s monday or we are just in the mood. And that is ok and accepted. Still for some reason we don’t concede our children to just feel grumpy, unhappy and bad. And they have so many reasons to feel like that! They had to get out of that perfectly secure environment -the womb- where it was nice and warm and cozy, where it was dark and where they could constantly feel us around them. They could get food whenever they needed via the umbilical cord and they felt us around them in a tight embrace. With birth and coming into a separate earthly being that was all taken from them instantly. So yes, they cry. And they have a lot of reasons to do so.
So let us spoil them! Nurse, hold, carry them.
And then, after 6-12 months and whenever they have a growing period? Babies and Toddlers cry a lot then and that birth reason can’t hold forever! So why do they cry then?
Babys, children or even humans don’t need a reason to be unhappy! They are as moody as you are and as unexpectedly as you are. And saying: It’s ok darling! Nothing happened! Hush hush! won’t make it any better. It will just make them understand that they aren’t supposed to feel that way. So instead say:
You’re not feeling well, are you? Are you upset? You are unhappy, I see! Cry sweetheart, as much as you want. I am here for you. I hold you. I won’t go.
Hold your baby in your arms, look him in the eyes and show him, that you are there. Breathe deeply and watch yourself breathing. Watch how your body calms down or feel your emotions flooding you. You can even cry with your baby, that often helps a lot. And if you embrace the thought that you’re baby is just a human being that needs to know that someone is there to hear them out, then it will be the first step to bear the pain whenever your baby feels bad.