As some of you may know I’ve recently had a baby (she is doing really well by the way), and my son has just turned two. My daughter is now 9 weeks old (or her corrected preemie age – 2 days), and it’s been interesting for me remembering what it’s like to have a small baby around the house. So I found this article (Lily Allen is right – babies are boring) really interesting, though the most interesting bit was the comments.
It seems admitting that babies can be really dull is a total no-no. But why is this?
Right now my daughter is fast asleep in her cot, she will remain fast asleep until she gets hungry. Then I will change her nappy, feed her and wind her, then she will fall asleep again. This cycle will repeat over and over for the rest of the day, with the occasional change in routine to give her some medicine, clean up her vomit and wash her. During this time I will talk to her, sing to her, and cuddle her. She will not respond at all, of course she wont, she’s a tiny baby. I’ll be lucky if she actually looks at me.
On the other hand my toddler will do so much that I don’t want to start writing it as I’ll be here for hours, and this blog post is going to take long enough to write as I can only write it in the brief periods where he is otherwise engaged.
My daughter, cute as she is, is definitely boring in comparison. I do find caring for her much less interesting than caring for my son right now. Surely no one can look at the routine I go through with her as anything particularly interesting? When she hits milestones that is exciting, though right now the milestones consist of weight gain and occasionally having a larger feed. Thankfully it wont be too long until she’ll get more interesting, but for now, babies are definitely boring!
As far as I’m aware I haven’t said anything incorrect, neither have I said that I neglect her needs, or that I don’t want her or don’t love her. Because I adore her, feel my life is better with her in it, and will do everything I can for her. I also haven’t seen Lily Allen say any different. And yet there are many comments attacking her as if she were a bad mother for admitting that babies are boring.
Finding a baby boring doesn’t mean you don’t care for them, fulfill all their needs and find them amazing. It does mean you find the day to day stuff boring. Not an unreasonable thing to think.
But for some reason we parents (especially mothers it seems) are expected to be totally and utterly selfless, we’re meant to be focussed on the baby above all else. It’s as if just the act of giving birth means we should stop existing as people in our own right, our needs and wants should cease to exist. Obviously a parent who neglects the child in order to fulfil their own needs/wants is wrong, but there is a middle ground surely?
It shouldn’t be seen as bad parenting to admit that maybe, just maybe, we’d rather be doing something we enjoy rather than being stuck rocking a screaming baby back and forth for hours on end. Because what sane person would rather be doing that instead of something they enjoy? Obviously you do actually do the rocking back and forth, rather than walking off and ignoring an upset baby, but you should still be able to think/say that you’d rather not do it without being vilified.
Obviously as children get a bit older and more interactive they get more interesting for the parents (or any adults around them), but there is still some level of boredom.
In the time since I started writing this blog I’ve had to read my son the same book 3 times, and I know I’ll be reading that same book many more times today. He adores it, and it’s one of the more bearable books he likes, but reading it over and over feels like a punishment for some crime in a former life!
When he was about 9 months old his favourite thing in the whole world was Gangnam Style, he’d scream if it stopped. I think our record was 20 times in a row. If there is anyone out there who thinks they wouldn’t be bored by that they will have to take a long hard look at themselves.
So it is dull at times, the younger they are the duller it can be. It is still the best thing in my life, and I still wouldn’t change them for the world, but my boredom threshold was not removed along with the placenta. I can still get bored, and I can still parent to the best of my abilities.
And on that note I can hear my daughter waking, time to do the exciting job of a nappy change..