Those who know me well know that when I feel strongly about something, I really do feel STRONGLY! And tend to voice those feelings strongly too. Case in point, my most recent blog post, berating those who choose to explain our daughter’s behaviour away with, “it’s because she’s a girl”. My husband actually expressed his surprise at how strong the post was and my mum found it “interesting but rather vitriolic”. But the comment that made me decide to look at it all from a different perspective came from a very close, very honest friend: “Forgive others for their well meaning but meaningless advice”.
What might prompt another parent to make such sweeping assertions about someone else’s child? Is it because that is what they tell themselves when their own child won’t sleep? Or won’t eat or cries incessantly or doesn’t make any sense? Because if I’m honest, I too have my default explanations to try and help me find the much sought after answer we all seem to be after. Reflux is the first port of call. Thereafter I usually look to teething. And if it’s a particularly bad day, it will be because she was in NICU. None of which might be right, but it makes me feel better to have found a reason. Nobody likes a mystery to remain unsolved and babies, to my mind, are the biggest mystery of all.
So while I really would prefer it if Beth’s sleeplessness and occasional niggles weren’t put down to her being a girl, I get it. We are all doing everything in our power to get through each day as best we can. And sometimes we just need an explanation for why it is so darn hard!
Please forgive me my judgy rant and I will forgive the “because she’s a girl” brigade for their “well meaning but meaningless advice”.