I’ve been observing the questions people have asked me after the birth of our daughter, Fatima Zahra Naeem. One question that still perplexes me is
Does she cry or is she a good girl?
I’ve been pondering over this quite a lot (The Hubby could say too much) because saying “Oh no, she doesn’t cry at all” would mean I’ve either lost the faculty to hear or I’m lying & earning the wrath of Allah at the same time (for lying). So far I’ve avoided answering the silly question but yesterday I braved it out and answered with a smile:
Of course she cries. She’s a baby. That’s how baby’s communicate and I’m glad she’s communicating with me.
The questioner looked surprised by my honest answer, paused for a moment as if to recollect her experience, and then replied “you’re right. they do!”
Did this woman forget she had children, I have no clue. Though a few things I wish people would realise:
- Crying is not “bad” but is an opportunity for the parent to understand their baby better and likewise for the baby to get a vital need met (if he/she can’t depend on his/her parents who else is he/she going to depend on?!).
- A baby is naturally good and pure. It’s our own impurities and failed vision that struggles to understand/see this.
- If you are a mother, try to remember how upset and protective you got when a “well-wisher” passed an unfair, negative comment towards your child. Now remembering those feelings don’t put a new mother through that.
- New mothers should be supported, not judged. If she doesn’t take your advice as wants to mother/nurse a different way, then respect her wishes and let her be. Your way may have “worked” for your children. It may not work for hers.
In conclusion, here’s some advice…
- To all those “well wishers”: Next time you go visit a newborn don’t ask silly questions that you already know the answer to as bottom line, babies do cry. If they didn’t then there’s cause for concern and authorities need to be involved. Don’t give the mother an opportunity to lie (not a good thing) or an opportunity to make you look silly. Instead speak good words and say a prayer. Then leave as no doubt the new mother is going to be very tired and will need rest instead of pondering over your silly remarks.
- To new mothers: respect yourself by trusting your instincts (even if others tell you you are wrong). If you hear your baby cry and you know it’s for a feed (established breastfeeding mothers know when their baby needs a feed) then go feed your child. Everything else can wait. Yep, I’ve said it: everything else can wait. Wait let me say it again: EVERYTHING ELSE CAN WAIT! Nothing is more important than you looking after the gift God has granted you. Your FIL/MIL/BIL/SIL/neighbour/business call can all wait. Your baby needs YOU. Go to your baby and be happy for a moment that’s yours and no one elses. Question such silly questions and answer honestly. Your child is learning from you. So speak honestly to ensure your child is honest.