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Raising Bedford: The Easy Baby Myth

The urban legend of the easy baby is just that, and I am here to that baby to bed.

 

Believe it or not, I have a friend who once claimed, “I am bored at home because raising this baby is so easy. My baby is easy!”

Of course every set of eyes at the dinner tabled rolled with contempt as our friend blathered on about life with an easy baby. "She coos all day. She goes to sleep without any fuss and her poops smell like roses."

Blah, blah, blah.

None of us bought it for one moment and, while I wanted to press her for the real deal, I let it go. If she believed her baby was easy, then what was wrong with that?

For starters, it makes the rest of us feel like inadequate, unappreciative underachievers. And I was not having it. Therefore, I have decided that there are no “easy babies." There are only degrees of difficulty that do not go below really, really hard. With that said, and to back up my argument, I had two babies on the difficulty scale of really, really hard, which I look back on with massive appreciation. I have a feeling my friend who thought her baby was “easy” really meant that they were really, really hard.

Confused? Let me clear it up a little for you.

When you newborn wakes you up every 90 minutes, has head-to-toe diaper blowouts and screams for no apparent reason, then you can say that your baby is really, really hard. But we all know that the afore mentioned is 100 percent normal and just part of the deal. When you haven’t showered all week, don’t even know the last time you ran a brush through your hair was and have laundry piled all over the floor, then you can say having a baby is really, really hard. But again, we all know that this is status quo and, as my mom would say, “this too shall pass.” But for the love of God -- and all your fellow mom friendss -- never say you have an easy baby.

It’s just not possible. It’s not possible to go through your day as a mom (or dad for that matter) of a baby whistling "Dixie," catching up on your reading and preparing all those gourmet meals you pinned on Pinterest.  

No baby ever, in the long history of babies, has ever been easy. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines easy as causing or involving little difficulty or discomfort. Have you ever tried to change a newborn’s diaper in the middle of the night with zero sleep and no lights? It is difficult. Have you ever nursed a baby for the first time? It is uncomfortable. I could go on with this list for days but we all know deep down that as much as we love and adore our little bundles they are not easy. They are the definition of difficult and uncomfortable.

So why did my friend feel the need to announce her baby was easy and she was bored at home? Maybe her baby degree of Difficulty Scale is off. Maybe she had an easier-than-usual day. Or maybe she thought that is what a new mom is supposed to say at dinner with her fellow mom friends.

Just stay positive and move forward. Because, after all, now that our babies have grown and are in school, don’t we all look back with a sense of accomplishment? I do. But I never ever look back saying it was easy. It wasn’t. But it was the most wonder hard work I have ever done.

And I would do it all again. 

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