Why I will not apologise for my baby
You all know the scene. In a busy public place, full of adults and your baby picks that moment to have the mother of all meltdowns. No amount of soothing or distraction can help. Your baby is crying. You don’t know why and nothing you have tried is working. Your first instinct, after seeing to your little one, is to look around and apologise. Well don’t! You certainly don’t have to.
Sometimes babies cry! Sometimes they get hungry at inopportune times and cry, sometimes they have a nappy explosion when you have just boarded a busy train, and then cry. Sometimes on a plane their ears get sore and they scream for the duration of the flight. Sometimes they are having a bad day, sometimes they are teething, sometimes they are tired. They cry. That is what babies do. That is how they communicate.
We wouldn’t dream of apologising if we were in a busy place and we laugh a little too loudly, or have a noisy conversation with a group of excited friends. We don’t worry when adults get a little tipsy and voices raise slightly in an intimate restaurant. Or if on a busy train someone is talking on their mobile phone or rustling a crisp packet. We may be mildly perturbed but we would not expect them to apologise to the whole carriage, or dish out sweets to their fellow air passengers if it were a plane. We would not look around sheepishly and apologise for something we literally have no control over, so why apologise for your baby?
Guess what, babies cry. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you need to say sorry for that, because you don’t!
I am saddened to see so many mums feel they need to do this, and I did too as a new parent. Even in settings full of children. We imagine people looking over means they are judging. It doesn’t. It is natural when people hear a noise they look to see the source. Some people are just interested, some were in this position last week, last year, 20 years ago. Some are probably feeling sorry for you; some are wondering if they can help. We don’t know what they are thinking.
Babies cry and that is the only way they can voice what they need to say. It is the most natural and normal thing in the world, all parents have been there. Please don’t feel you have to apologise.
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