This Mom Will Damn Well Pick Up Her Crying Baby Whenever She Wants

Mom and baby
The Leaky Boob/Facebook

If you ignore your baby when she's crying, you're labeled a neglectful mom or cold. If you turn and soothe her in your arms every time there's a tear, you're told that you're spoiling her. So what's a mom to do? Well, Jessica Martin-Weber doesn't care how anyone else thinks she should act in this situation, because as the mother of that crying baby, she's going to do exactly what she wants: pick her up. And anyone who doesn't agree can judge her elsewhere.

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"My baby's cry hurts me if she's not in my arms and I'm not comforting her. Her cry brings on enormous stress and anxiety, elevating my blood pressure, making it impossible for me to think about anything but soothing and helping her," Martin-Weber wrote on her Facebook page, The Leaky Boob. "But she doesn't do it on purpose to cause me pain and discomfort. She's not being a spoiled brat by crying."  

Keeping this in mind, Martin-Weber does what she can to soothe her crying child and refuses to let others make her feel bad about it. "I'm not a bad mom because my baby cries. I'm not a bad mom for responding to my baby's cries. I'm not a bad mom that sometimes I can't stop my baby's cries," she wrote. "Babies cry. Not to manipulate, not to punish, not to judge, not to be difficult, not to make your life miserable."

Mom and baby
The Leaky Boob/Facebook

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Since welcoming her fifth child, Martin-Weber says her experience has changed the way she thinks about a baby's tears and how a parent handles them. "I used to think that babies would never cry if their parents were responsive and paying attention to their baby's cues before it came to crying. But now I know that sometimes, babies just cry," she wrote. "When they're sick, if their tummy hurts, when they're having a bad day, if they are scared, if they're developing a new skill, and any number of reasons. Kind of like when I cry." 

Martin-Weber has come to the understanding that babies cry because it's one of the only ways they have to communicate. And since they're brand new at this communicating thing, she's okay with responding as they test it out. "Babies cry because of their own stress and discomfort, not to cause stress and discomfort for others," she wrote. "I don't take it as a personal judgment against me as a mom if my baby cries any more. Nor do I see it as my baby being broken or difficult." 

Mom and baby
The Leaky Boob/Facebook

"I was warned that if I picked my baby up every time she cried, I would be teaching her that she was in charge," she continued. "There were cautions that if she wasn't on a schedule or left to cry sometimes my baby would be undisciplined, demanding, manipulative, and unable to self soothe."

So when she had her firstborn 19 years ago, Martin-Weber thought that without schedules, limits, and even ignoring her newborn's cries at times, her little girl would grow up to be a spoiled manipulator. "I tried to heed the warnings. Aimed to be sure I wasn't manipulated or controlled by my baby with her crying," she wrote. "I believed it until I didn't anymore."

Mom and kids
The Leaky Boob/Facebook

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That meant that she ended up ignoring those warnings almost immediately from the start and spent the entire time thinking that she was parenting wrong while also refusing to do it any differently. "Because not responding to my baby's cries felt wrong. It caused my physical pain. It brought on anxiety. It made me desperate to get to her. I couldn't let my baby cry," she wrote. "So I responded. Sometimes it has meant I just comfort and hold them while they cry if I'm not able to soothe them, say with the breast or a diaper change. Even that feels better than not responding. The least I can do is be there with them when they are upset."

She's since gained confidence as a mother and learned that she can respond to her child's call for help or expression of distress every single time if she wants to, with no need for that pang of mom guilt. "It will not ruin her ... I also know now that my baby crying isn't a sign of my failure and that it's OK for someone else to respond to her if I need a break. It's even OK for me to let her cry for a moment while I collect myself and take a deep breath when I'm feeling overwhelmed by her cries -- that isn't ignoring her or neglecting her, it is giving myself what I need to care for her," she wrote. "It's OK that sometimes I can't soothe my baby and all I can do is simply hold her while she cries. It's even OK that sometimes I cry because of her cries. It isn't failure. It's parenting."

All that matters is that Martin-Weber and all other parents of crying babies are trying to be the best moms or dads that they can be in that moment of tears.

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