Saturday, January 9, 2010

Who Holds the Crying Babe?

I’m struggling with a seemingly never-ending dilemma of how long to let my baby cry when others are holding her.

I want her grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others to be able to spend time with her. I realize that by holding her, they are able to bond with her and get to know her. However, I also don’t want this to happen at the expense of my daughter feeling secure and safe. Yes, she loves them, but there is no substitute for the kind of comfort and security a mother can bring.

I’ve come up with a few ways to better cope when she fusses with others. When she starts sounding less than content, I usually let it go one for at least five minutes. I give myself little jobs to do. For example, before I take her from them, I force myself to get a drink of water, go to the bathroom, or fold a load of laundry. This gives them a chance to comfort her, and helps distract me from the fact that she is upset. What I really want to do is take her right away because I know I can get her to stop crying almost instantaneously! But, I don’t want to hurt the feelings of the person holding her, especially if that person has already raised children. I get the impression that that would be insulting – they obviously know what to do if they’ve raised their own children, right?

Anyways, I usually try to wait awhile, but if she is getting upset and nothing is working, I take her. Sometimes I say something like, “I think she is hungry,” but other times I simply say, “Come here, sweetie,” and take her.

I always wonder what impression this leaves on the person holding her. The following questions run through my mind: Are they relieved that I am taking her? Does it hurt their feelings, because they think she doesn’t like them? Are they insulted, thinking that they are perfectly capable of comforting her and don’t need my help?

I’ve decided that, although I definitely care about the feelings of others, especially those of people in my family, I care more about my daughter. If she is upset and wanting me, I’ll let it go for five minutes, but that’s long enough. I’d rather an adult be upset, because adults have the ability to reason. When my daughter knows she wants me, she can’t understand why I’m not getting her right away. I try to take her in the nicest way possible and give people a chance to comfort her, but if it doesn’t work, I don’t hesitate to step in.

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