run out of womb

... learning how to be a mum from scratch

Sunday 19 June 2016

Is your baby good? What does that even mean?

'Is your baby good?" asks every curious bus passenger and supermarket shopper..

Well, I think of replying, he didn't do nine months inside me as punishment for criminal behaviour. 

He's not thinking of voting for Donald Trump, or any other evil act. 

The closest he gets to insider trading is hiding rice cakes inside his vest (how?). 

And anyway, what baby isn't good?
But now I've clocked it. When I enthusiastically respond "YES! He's amazing!" and start reeling off the amazing tricks I'm daily wowed by - the regal wave! The beaming smile! - they don't care. 

That's not what they mean.

Nope. A baby who is 'good' is one who sleeps. They can be a miserable, sad little baba who never smiles, but if they leave their parents alone between the hours of 6pm and 8am they must be 'good'.

The thing is, when grown ups have a bad stomach, or toothache, or a hunger pang, or just a bit of insomnia, we might feel sad about it, and tired. 

We might have to get up for some water or some consolation if in pain - and we'll try to get on with their day as best they can. But we don't berate ourselves for being BAD. 

So why does society rate babies - and by implication their parents - as 'good' or 'bad' because of how many hours they can continuously sleep? Our babies all get there in the end. 

And in the meantime their parents are probably knackered. And don't need to be judged based on something they really can't control. Babies can be happy, and sweet, and brilliant, which they all are. And good? All babies are amazing. So stop asking a silly question.

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