At least a few times per week, I put my baby in her crib, turn on her mobile and dash into the shower. Because the mobile is the wind-up kind, it usually stops spinning just as I’m rinsing the conditioner out of my hair.
Cue the fussing. Which I blithely ignore so I can shave my pits.
I know that my baby is fed, changed, and safe in her crib. Unless a monster poop has made an appearance while I’m in the shower – always a possibility but not a crisis – her fussing is about boredom. It’s the baby equivalent of her big brother popping his head into the bathroom to whine about Doc McStuffins being over. I don’t jump out to reset the DVR for the big boy and I don’t jump out to wind the mobile back up for the little one. And I don’t feel bad about it.
While I’m not going to ignore serious crying from my baby, there are times I just let her cry a little. She cries in her car seat because she doesn’t like idling at stoplights. Neither do I but, alas, there’s nothing I can do to improve the situation for either of us. And sometimes she gets tired of her bouncy seat when I’m up to my elbows in raw chicken so she’s out of luck then, too. It’s ok for her to cry long enough for me to make sure she’s not going to contract salmonella from my hands. She might even have to cry until I get said chicken into the oven. We’ve all gotta eat, ya know?
In situations like that, babies cry because crying is all they’ve got. Nothing is really wrong. They just want to be doing something a little different and they don’t have the words to say “Hey Mom? Can I play with my feet now? I’m tired of watching the bubbles on my crib aquarium thingy.” Letting a baby cry for a couple of minutes while mommy takes care of business isn’t a bad thing. Obviously, no one LIKES cooking dinner while a baby cries in the background but, as long as the baby isn’t sobbing in pain or hunger, it’s not the worst thing in the world.
Letting a baby fuss so you can take care of something else does not make you a bad mother. It makes you a person with only two hands and more than one responsibility. And that’s ok. You’re allowed to take a shower. Even if the baby doesn’t like it.
Photo credit: photo stock
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