Before I had my child, like many people, I used to be shocked at how some mothers handled their kids. The ones that really got to me were those who let their child cry and remained calm while people around them became edgy. I wondered how they could stay so calm when their child was so loud and everyone else so uncomfortable.
I have always liked babies, but not so much the crying ones, even though that’s what babies do. The high-pitched cry is just a bit too overwhelming for me, especially when there is no explanation (that I can understand) to it. So when I thought about having kids, I prayed that I have babies who are kind and don’t cry too much. One can dream, right?!
Now that I have my own baby, some of the things I prayed for got granted (lucky me, I guess). For instance, my baby sleeps well at night, and usually cries for reasons that I can identify (e.g. sleep, food, nappy change, etcc). As a result, I have so far counted myself a lucky mother who has a gentle baby.
Little did I know that this rosy idea of a peaceful, gentle baby could be subject to many disruptions due to phases such as developmental stages and health problems… Not long ago, I went shopping with my little one, and she showed me just how disruptive and grumpy SHE could be in public! She refused to stay in her pushchair, would not play with her toys, and was being loud in her own way (She’s only 7 months). I fed her and removed her snowsuit, but none of that stopped her from being “difficult”.
You see, up until that day, I was one of those mothers who get appreciative smiles and start conversations with strangers who think their baby is cute and smiley… No intent to brag there. So, I’m quite unfamiliar with that kind of grumpy behaviour from my little one, especially in public.
On that shopping day, I felt like I became one of those “annoying” mothers, with my buggy congesting aisles and a crying baby. I guess I was… I could feel few shoppers gazing, but that I did not let that bother me much. What I haven’t told you yet is that my baby was poorly that day. Of course, other shoppers didn’t know that, and those who gave me the “look” just wanted to get on with their shopping peacefully. I understood that and was not mad.
One thing I have learnt from this experience is that, whatever situations we come across, we should refrain ourselves from judging others quickly. It’s human nature to draw our own conclusions to events we encounter. But we’ve got to remind ourselves that we probably do not have the full picture to be passing judgements on others.
Motherhood transformed me into a loving and more compassionate woman. In fact, it made me become that mother, for babies are unpredictable little people who do not have a sense of our social protocol or conformism. That difficult shopping episode was just one of many to come, and I have accepted that. I will continue to bring up my child to the very best of my ability, but will always expect the unexpected. So, to those people who will be unlucky to catch my child being grumpy, well, I’m sorry but even babies have bad days…