Confession: I Have A Case Of ‘Easy Baby’ Envy0
It turns out I’ve got a bad case of ‘good baby’ envy, and I haven’t been able to easily shake it. When I see my neighbour out with her infant and she is rocking a fantastic hairdo and a perfectly matched outfit, I feel envious. When my girlfriend tells me her sweet baby sleeps 12 hours through the night on a regular basis, I feel jealous. There is a part of me that thinks, ‘I wish you could experience what I experienced!’ and another part of me feels a sort of sadness that I didn’t get to enjoy my boy’s babyhood the same way mum’s of ‘easy babies’ get to enjoy it. I know every baby requires a lot of work and parenting, even an easy baby can be a crabby pants from time to time! There is just a general difference that can be easily acknowledged. It goes like this, ‘WAAAAAAAA’ for eight hours in a row.
There is a wide spectrum when it comes to the temperaments of babies, and I know that as parents we get what we get in the baby personality department. Knowing this doesn’t make me feel any less envious though, especially as I was given the super loud fussy baby as my first. Surprise! You just gave birth and get to go home with a newborn that will get progressively louder and more difficult to soothe! Congratulations!
Throughout the time I’ve been a mum, I’ve only had one girlfriend who has had a comparable fussy baby to mine. She wore her yoga clothing with pride and had the fussy baby dance down to a fine art form. She didn’t go anywhere without a sling and was harried and frazzled and totally shattered from lack of sleep, and I loved her a bit more for that. She looked at me with tired eyes and said, “I totally get you”.
When our boy came home from the hospital we knew he had a louder than normal cry, but we had no idea what we were in for! 4 months later, our next door neighbour moved out.
Jill, from the fabulous blog Baby Rabies, wrote an excellent blog post about giving herself more credit for surviving colic with her firstborn, who was a high needs fussy baby much like my beloved Benjamin.
I really appreciated her acknowledgement of her first experience in comparison to her second baby, who she happily reports to be an ‘easy baby’. It was after the birth of her easy baby that she was able to look back and give herself the recognition that she deserved for parenting her first baby. Because, it is really night and day in the experience of parenthood.
The Different Experiences Of Parents In Regards To Baby Temperaments
Easy baby= cherishing sweet moments and never wanting them to grow out of their babyhood.
Hard baby= oh my god! When will you stop crying?!! Wishing away time because you heard that older babies are generally less fussy.
Easy Baby= chatting on the phone to your girlfriend while your baby is sleeping.
Hard Baby= unplugging the phone because if one more person disrupts your baby from falling asleep while strapped to you, you will also cry.
So tired! Husband wishing he could sleep standing up! Baby wearing was mandatory for parenting a fussy baby.
If I ever get the nerve to have a second baby, I hope that when they’re born they will be a self declared easy baby. They will come out of me cooing and not screaming. I will relish their lovely quiet demeanour and be subtly boastful of their easy baby status. If this doesn’t happen, you will all be hearing about it right here, and I will be that lady in the grocery shop crying while doing the fussy baby dance and managing a toddler with bribes of treats.
*In hopeful news to all those parents with current fussy babies: Ben is now 2.5 years old and very much a delightful toddler. He is sweet sensitive and has a quiet demeanour.