The Gift New Parents Really Want

My husband’s cousin has four young children (I think all under the age of 7) and is one of the best mom role models I have.  She is laid back but far from being a pushover.  Whenever I have a question or concern about my babies I can depend on her to give me solid advice, usually laced with a good dose of “relax, this is normal.”

This past January at a Superbowl party she did something that I still think about four months later.  Like a lot of other people at the party, she asked to hold Haiden for a bit.  But when I gave her my standard disclaimer about how fussy he can be, she replied “I don’t mind if you don’t mind.”

That’s it.  Simple acceptance and understanding that sometimes babies cry for no reason.  I didn’t have to hover over them looking for signs that she’d had enough of his crying.  I didn’t have to feel guilty that someone else was dealing with my handful of a baby.  It was the first time since I’d given birth two months earlier that I was “off-duty” for a few hours and able to relax.  What a precious gift to receive as the parent of a newborn.

I’m going to remember her the next time I’m around a new parent.  Everyone wants to hold the happy baby or the sleeping baby.  However what that parent really needs is someone to take their crying baby and say “I don’t mind if you don’t mind.”


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