I recently read this post by Woman, Uncensored. She does an excellent job of paralleling how an adult feels when forced to be treated in this manner. Really makes you think, no? How would you feel if your partner turned his back on your tears? How would you feel if he suddenly stopped sleeping next to you in bed (remember, your baby has been sleeping inside of you, listening to your heartbeat, for nine months!)?
I remember hearing this advice only a few times when my daughter was a baby. I felt lucky to be surrounded by loving, supportive family members who appreciated and respected the importance of her needs.
I also remember the story of a family friend whose husband held her outside her infant son’s door to keep her from soothing his cries. The pain on her face, even after 10 years, as she told this story made me feel it. Other stories from other mothers didn’t affect me as much. One mom, from a playgroup I was in, told of how she always ran the vacuum to drown out her child’s cry. She advised another new mom to take a walk around the house so she didn’t feel so bad.
The way I see it, if you feel the need to comfort your child…you should. There’s a reason that we, as mothers, can not stand to hear our babies cry. They need us. They need to be comforted, to be fed, to be warm, to be held. They are incapable of manipulating us. I wonder what happens when that feeling is ignored long enough? Does it go away, along with the natural attachment fulfilling your child’s needs brings?