I was somewhat thrown today. That’s when I realized, how fragile I am, now that I am a mother. Every judgement about my baby is somehow a direct offense to me.
Today we had our routine pediatrician check up. The appointment was very early. Aurélie usually wakes up a little late, because she goes to bed rather late. We have this kind of rhythm, because we want the little one to spend some quality time with her dad before she goes to bed.
Because of the very early appointment I had to wake up Aurélie. And you know the sayings..“You don’t wake up sleeping babies“. She was surprisingly in a rather good mood, remembering that mommy interrupted her beauty sleep. We didn’t have so much time left before we had to leave home, so that she couldn’t have a complete breastfeeding session. But still, she was then a little miss sunshine until we arrived at the doctor’s practice and until she got her body measurements taken by a nurse. We got called in very fast so that I didn’t have a chance to breastfeed her before the physical examination.
And then came our pediatrician. He has a really deep voice and Aurélie is just not used to this kind of voice. No one in our family or friends circle has such deep voice. By the time the doc said hello and pet her in the head, Aurélie screamed. She screamed, got louder and didn’t stop.. The doc still could do the examination and the vaccinations, but of course in a rather difficult circumstance.
Just after the examination, when I calmed Aurélie down, the doc gave me a long lecture. Aurélie stopped screaming by the time she was back in my arms. The doc was troubled about Aurélie’s behavior. In his eyes this kind of crying is not normal. She shouldn’t have fears for strangers in her age, he said. And I was really appalled. My little one is now about 6 months old. In my eyes it is a perfectly normal thing. I thought (at least after reading so many baby literatures), that it was completely normal that an infant around 6 – 9 months starts to have separation anxiety and fears of strangers. But it is apparently NOT normal for the doc.
He really judged this behavior and MY way of handling my baby. He was so immersed in his lecturing me that he didn’t really want to hear my explanations. He pointed me of being an over-protective mother and that I should start „disciplining“ my baby. Otherwise the baby could turn into a tyrant and we the parents could be enslaved by the little one.. Yes, he really used this term.
I realized that he didn’t want to hear my explanation and I became extremely troubled and also ashamed, that I had seriously self doubt. I know that I am a first-time mother. He is much older than me, having his own 2 children and having seen hundreds of children in his practice. But does he really have the right to judge so fast? He examined Aurélie for about 5 minutes.. Yes, the little one screamed and cried until he finally let her go. But is that enough to judge a mother for being too overprotective and too spoiling? My self confidence was sinking to a zero level at that moment.. Walking home I was feeling very depressed. But luckily after talking to my family and friends, no one actually thinks that I spoil the baby too much.
Aurélie is usually a very relaxed baby.. Yes, she doesn’t smile to every stranger. But that doesn’t mean she’s asocial. Even I won’t smile to any stranger. I take her out almost everyday to see various friends and she NEVER complains. She sleeps in her own room since she’s 2 months old and I can take her to almost any normal activities.
If an adult can have a bad day and be grumpy for the day, why is a 6-months-old baby not allowed to show her grumpiness?
Just a late-night thought of a troubled mommy..