Please mamas and dads stop apologising for your baby.
Let me tell you what I mean by this. You see I did it myself for quite a while. My eldest who is now 6 was in relative terms quite a small baby. She weighed all of 6lb 5oz (2.95 kilograms for those of you who like metric). She also had major bowel surgery when she was 24hrs old and didn’t feed from me without a nasal gastric tube for a week. So naturally as with most newborns her weight dropped to around the 5lb 5oz mark. She was tiny in all proportion and in the NCT baby group line up she was definitely one of the dinky dots in our regular sofa photos.
Family, friends and strangers in the supermarket would coo over her and say ” oo she’s tiny, how old is she?” I would always reply “she’s …..weeks but she was born a little early”. Or “yes she had to have an operation” or whatever my hazy sleep deprived mind could think of at the time.
Anything that was said I would mull over in my mind. Wishing I had responded differently, said something in a different way. Were they saying it to imply I wasn’t looking after my baby? My sleep deprived PND infested mind would create all many of scenarios to which I would think of appropriate responses. Keeping me awake when all the household were asleep.
I’ve even asked other mums how old their little ones are and before I’ve had a chance to compliment them “he’s a gorgeous baby” etc etc. Their automatic response has been “yes he’s a chunk” or “his dad’s big”. Or the opposite similar to my response “she was premature”. Why do we do this? Are we preemptive in the fact that we think that stranger or even friend is judging our parenting on the size of our baby or have we heard well meaning strangers or family members say “ooo he’s a big boy/girl”. “How old is he? Oh I thought he was older than that”
In one case I remember being outraged on behalf of a friend when the swimming teacher said “she’s never going to be a ballerina is she?!” My friends baby was 10 months old!!! I mean WHAAAAT??!!
What in earth gives anyone the right to comment on the size of your baby? And why do we then follow suit by then saying excuses such as “well he’s a good eater” or “she always likes her food”. Bloody well done I say, you mama have nurtured and tended your baby in the best possible way giving them dollops of love and heaped spoonfuls of cuddles. They are healthy and loved.
Can you imagine if we did the same to adults. I can hear the conversation now.
“Ooo you look like you’ve gained a few pounds”. Answer “yes well you’ve seen my dad haven’t you?!”
“Ooo look how tiny you are” Answer “well although I’m 36 I was born premature”. Response “oh I thought you were younger than that!”
Sounds ridiculous right?
So mamas it’s time to be proud and say it loud and proud. With no buts or howevers. Just as it is. Chances are that well meaning stranger is just cooing over your gorgeous bundle and if they dare to say something further then respond with a smile and say “excuse me I think my baby is just perfect”. .