Friday, July 06, 2007

Why don’t you just let him cry?

How about because I’m not a heartless bitch? How about because he’s a tiny baby and he needs me? How about because I didn’t sign up for the shortcut route to motherhood, aka “how to ignore your infant’s needs for your own convenience”? How about because he’s hungry, or scared, or lonely, or cold, and he doesn’t know how to talk? I’m his mom. I think I know him a little better than you do.

Spare me the “he’ll never learn to fall asleep on his own” crap until my kid is bigger than a loaf of bread, OK? Unless you’re right here under my roof, all night, every night, figuring out that this cry means “I’m starving” and that cry means “Don’t leave me,” that he burps best if you hold him like this and that he likes the blue blanket best, then keep your helpful hints to yourself.

You asked me how he was sleeping, I told you, now I wish I’d kept my trap shut. I didn’t ask for advice. A little sympathy would have been OK. A remark that I could just “give him a bottle” would not. My kid is not waking up at night because he is breastfed. He is waking up because he is a little baby. Do you actually think I would stop nursing because of your brilliant suggestion? Breastmilk is the best food I can give him, and I’m not going to stop just because you think a can of formula is magically going to zonk him out for 12 solid hours a night. It worked for you? Fine, keep on believing that tired old myth. I'll stick with what I know my kid needs--whether you like it or not.


I wish I could have just handed them this instead. Today’s Parent Bloggers Network Blog Blast posed the question: What’s the most annoying question you were asked as a new mom, or while you were pregnant? Post yours--and the snarkiest answer you can muster--and submit it to PBN. There are prizes involved (beyond the satisfaction of telling someone off). Get all the details.

14 comments:

Lady M said...

Ha, heartless bitches!

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

I hate the 'give them formula so they'll sleep" bit. Ugh!

And who lets their tiny baby cry and cry????? I don't...and I having a colicky/GERD/high maintenance kid.

mothergoosemouse said...

A friend of mine once told me that there's really nothing you can do to start so-called "bad habits" with a newborn. You just do what you've got to do to keep them (and yourself) as comfortable as possible.

That was some of the most reassuring advice I ever received.

mama k said...

I hear ya! I can totally relate. The worst is when I get this advice from other moms unsolicited. grrr...

I'm loving this blogblast! I wrote about the sleeping through the night thing at www.mamaknj.blogspot.com

Julie Pippert said...

Oh that one got to me too. I really believe you can't spoil a newborn. I also believe there is degree of individuality and short of breaking the spirit, there is no one size fits all approach that works.

Annie said...

I have a 'friend' who subscribed to the Babywise approach and let her 4 week old cry it out. Broke my heart when she told me. I took and take the same approach as you!

Tere said...

Loved it! I can TOTALLY relate!! I still feel my blood boil when I hear comments like "picking him up every time he cries is going to spoil him." Is it? Or is it just going to reassure him that his mother LOVES him and is tuned in to him? ARGH.

And don't even get me started on suggestions to put cereal in the bottle...

Karianna said...

Amen! Golly how I hate people sometimes.

Lil' Viking said...

I have to agree with you - they are babies! That is the only way they have to communicate! It's one thing when you've tried everything, but to hear that and as their MOTHER, you know they need something, people just need to keep their mouths shut! I have a 6 month old and it's hard to explain to people the emotion that their cries invoke in us...

Daisy said...

My MIL kept asking why I didn't have the newborn baby on a schedule yet. I snapped back at her with "He can't read a clock yet. He's only been alive for 24 hours." Oops. Well, it worked. Blame the hormones.

Lara said...

okay, i have two things. first, that is an awesome response, and anyone who starts a sentence with "why don't you just..." to a new mom deserves to be dangled over flesh-eating anchovies until they've been completely consumed.

second, it's funny timing that you posted this now, because i just gave you an award at my place for being one of the sweetest bloggers out there. :-P

jen said...

brilliant. go girl.

and THANK YOU for the book recommendation. i bought it online just now!

TB said...

Don't you wish that you would have been coherent enough to think of these responses at the time? That's the suckiest part... most of these comments come when you're so sleep deprived and on the edge that you can't think of a good comeback.

chatty cricket said...

....finally gets around to commenting...

My pediatrician confirms: you cannot spoil a tiny infant. People are asshats. Plain and simple.