Shut That Baby Up?

Mommy thoughts: “It’s pathological to restrict the natural human characteristics of a child” (ex. play, having friends, crying, etc.)

The Break: We all hate being in small spaces with strangers & a screaming baby is added to that equation, right? … Wrong! Moments like this actually intrigue me because I love watching and analyzing how the parent(s) respond. How they’re able to calm the baby, or not, with reaction.

Already annoyed sitting at the gate, a baby waiting at the same gate begins screaming. After missing a flight earlier in the day I thought, “wow…and now this.” Almost instantly catching myself and realizing that I was putting my negative feelings off on a child doing nothing, but being a child. The feeling of annoyance came from thinking I’ll have to sit through a flight with an unhappy baby, meaning there would be no peace or quiet. To my ignorant surprise, after the first 10 minutes of flight, I never heard baby again.

After boarding and getting comfortable in my seat, the baby started screaming & I just so happened to be in the row directly in front of them. It was almost like I felt the energy of others on the plane, because I could tell there were many uneasy adults thinking the same thing I had thought before hand. Not only was it felt by me, but I believe the mommy of baby was also able to feel it. Her rocking, shaking, and patting became more aggressive followed by grunts and “What do you need?!” Questions to a baby small enough not to comprehend anything more complex than “hi” & “bye.” I continued to listen as she became more frustrated and I could tell that her worry came directly from how her child made others feel versus what it was that her child needed. She continued saying things like “oh my god” as if a baby being annoyed on public transportation, surrounded by 100s of strangers, is abnormal.

I mean really, think about it, when we find ourselves in uncomfortable situations we are more than likely to voice this. When you’re upset, someone aggressively trying to calm or soothe you isn’t likely to work. Instead you’re trying to figure out how they could be genuinely concerned if they’re mad while “helping” you. An infant’s strongest way of communication aside from nonverbal, is crying. So responding to it with annoyance and anger, believe it or not, is already teaching them that their needs are too much to be met. Thinking of this, I started to ask the universe that both her and baby were covered in calmness. At this point not because I didn’t want to hear a crying baby, but moreso because I hated to witness her frustration rubbing off on baby and her not realizing that she was only making the crying worst. I asked the universe to release them from the cycle of baby being in need, mommy not understanding need, and making baby even more upset by transferring her energy. I wouldn’t call it magic, but as stated, I never heard the baby again after the initial 10 minutes of flight.

Now in no way is this to fault mommy or judge her for how she responded. I share this story in hopes that it will serve as a reminder to all mommies that as frustrating as this journey may get for us, and it will, we have to remember that when we freak out, children freak out. It’s also to remind us that regardless of our cultural belief that kids “know what they’re doing” or wait for the right time to “show out,” they are only practicing their natural ways of communication. Believe it or not, it starts this early! When your child begins having an episode in public, it’s important that you ignore other energies in the room, especially being that they’re unknown to you. Regardless of age, remember that your response is to meet the child’s need, not ensure that everyone else in the room is comfortable and at ease.

Here are a few ways to remind yourself in those moments that we lose sight of the goal:

  • Breathe Take it back to 3 deep breaths in & out. Be sure to count “1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3 Mississippi” while holding breath & when blowing out push any energies that don’t belong to you, out. It may seem like a silly thing to do, but I promise this simple technique gets me through daily struggles as a mommy!
  • Listen I’m sure you’ve heard it time and time, do not listen to respond. Listen to understand. This rule is no different when it comes to our children. In fact, it’s most important when it comes to our children.
  • Stay Present Energy not only transfers, but it happens almost instantly as it relates to our child(ren). Keep this in mind when addressing their needs because it’s felt when you’re not genuinely interested in what it is.

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I Really Don’t Know

Mommy thoughts: “You’re not alone. We’re all battling struggles with both life and parenting. You’re also not a superhuman so just focus on & start at step one, which is simply acknowledging that you’re struggling with something!”

The Break: Where to start? I have like 5 places I would like to but I don’t know where it makes the most sense…I always say I want to have a better relationship with time, but up until about a month ago, I’m not even sure what that statement really meant. Currently in a space where it feels like I have all the time in the world, to have no time.

I wish I had some fancy statement to explain why I haven’t blogged in two months, but it’s as simple as life being too damn heavy. The thought of sitting down and writing has seemed like such an unreachable task & I can only blame myself for the disconnect. However, life is heavy enough so I won’t. I’ll simply start here and only hope that I can retain and maintain balance in this life moving forward.

I still don’t know if the neurologist delivered the news so calmly because the news was that I cannot tolerate stress or if it was just her natural demeanor given the line of work she’s in. Either way it didn’t make it any less stressful. In fact, I can’t remember a time before this, that I cried so hard snot was able to rest on my face. The way she explained it was that there is no explanation. The seizures that occur in my sleep could be life threatening and because of the rate that they’re happening I am now considered to have “Epilepsy.” She let me know that I would need to start medication as early as tonight because with each episode I am minutes away from losing life. She explained that when my body is transitioning from one stage of being awake to sleep, something is happening too fast for my brain to handle. This in turn sends something like a sudden shock to the neurological system. She stated in “simple” terms, what makes this life threatening is that my brain is losing oxygen during the episodes. So if you could, imagine how terrifying it is to get this news followed by a 72 hour sleep study where you’ve had a total of 8 seizures!!

Now, to be beyond thankful, during my brain scans there were no tumors or cancer found, which are found on about 20% of epilepsy patients. I fall within the 80% of us that are told it’s not much of an explanation behind the ‘why.’ So with this, I need to avoid any type of stimulating or stressful situations, events, or lifestyles. Not hard at all, except what the hell is stimulating and stressing me out in my sleep? I’ve had a couple months to think about her words. Replaying over and over trying to find something to trust about them. That is until I no longer wanted to understand the words. I instead wanted to know why they felt like such a knife to my chest, then they made all the sense in the world.

From her words I was reminded of what life really feels like for me as an individual. You’re telling me some of the hardest news I’ve ever heard and doing so in the most emotionless way. In logic, I get it. But the picture it brought together for me was enough to recognize that I have a real issue with feeling like people don’t see me as a human, who has the capacity to feel hurt and struggle as any other. What’s backwards about it is the feeling only emphasized after becoming a mother and being given another life to be responsible for. This moment made me reflect to ask myself, “why?” Why is it that I could go through the worst shit and the only thing that’d amaze people would be me freaking out about it.

In conclusion to my reflection I was able to address myself versus the people who may choose to look beyond the struggles I face. People will only treat you how you treat you. Up until this point I have believed that I’m taking care of, catering to, and being gentle with myself, but the reality is, I’m not. I don’t allow myself the proper amount of grace and ease that I need to fully walk and live in my purpose. From what I know, it’s bigger than what I can see and it’ll take a level of dedication that I’ve never seen. And I don’t mean dedication in its usual form, I mean dedication to really just stop, listen, and follow. We take dedication and make it into an action but in this case I think it’s calling for the exact opposite. After all of this, I took a 30 day break from social media and work in general. What was learned is that there shouldn’t have been a time stamp. I need to take as long as I need because what’s for me will always be for me and that stands true for ALL OF US! There shouldn’t be an urgency to get to the things that are set for us because it creates unnecessary stress, even if we’re managing it well. Remember, the goal should never be to properly “manage” the stress, we are working to eliminate it as a whole!

Please share in the comments or find me on social media to share your thoughts for a chance to win $10 Amazon gift card! 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_MsMackkk

Instagram: @_imaniwatson & @mommysbreak_

Facebook: https://business.facebook.com/MommysBreakT