If you’re a mom, you’ve been there…
It’s your first outing in weeks. You’ve been sleep deprived and isolated from the world for months. You haven’t taken a shower or even brushed your teeth in days. Every two to three hours ‘round the clock, it’s feeding time and just maybe you might get a nap in while the baby naps.
If the baby naps.
Sometimes it feels like the walls are closing in.
Finally, to keep your sanity, you decide you need some air. Not just air, but maybe a nice meal. Another peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and you might become one.
So you wait until the baby’s done napping, feed him, pack him up, and head out. On the way, you glance back at your baby in the car. He’s happy now, all rolls and smiles, but somehow you’re unable to shake the feeling that you’re chauffeuring a ticking time bomb.
You get to the restaurant and order the food, breathing in the first sense of normalcy you’ve felt in months. So far, so good.
And then, the inevitable.
Your baby starts screaming.
One head turns. Then two, then three. Soon, it feels like the whole restaurant is glaring at you. You can hear the whispers: Why can’t she control your child? Why doesn’t she just leave him home? How selfish can she be?
It’s happened to all of us. Most of us panic, cancel the order, and pack up the baby as fast as we can.
But Lucy Hatami, a UK mom, had a different experience…
It was a rare breakfast buffet outing. When her 8-month old son started crying, Lucy was mortified and panicking, trying everything to calm him down. And then she heard a 20-something voice from the next table mutter, “I wish she’d shut that thing up!”
Lucy wrote on Facebook, “Before I could even respond, his dad comes up behind him clips him round the ear and says, ‘What and you think you were perfect? You were a right little sod. Now stop being a brat, go up there and apologize to her and offer to get her breakfast as she clearly has her hands full!’
“So I got my buffet breakfast with waiter service along with a lovely coffee…
“Thank you to that dad who even after 20 odd years still remembers the difficulty of being parents to babies!”
If only everyone responded with the same kindness!
So many people don’t realize the struggles that most new moms face on a daily basis. Postpartum depression is a serious condition that affects 40 to 80 percent of new mothers. It’s described as “an emotional state of tearfulness, unhappiness, worry, self-doubt, and fatigue.” Though many cases go away within weeks, some cases can last months. It happens as a result of hormones, environmental, and genetic factors that are out of moms’ control.
It’s also a good idea to start teaching babies early on how to properly behave in public places. Though this is hard in the beginning, eventually the baby gets used to going out, and it becomes less stressful for both the child and the mother. There’s also health benefits to starting him out early. In fact, the earlier you start taking your baby out, the faster it builds his immune system and the less he’ll get sick.
So the next time you see a mom struggling with her baby, offer to help her. Remember, there is so much more going on in her life than what you see on the outside, and she might be barely holding it all together.
Sometimes, as Lucy Hatami found out, a little understanding and kindness can turn everything around!