that baby thing

If You Hear a Baby Crying…

…don’t turn into an absolute jerk face.

I’ve always believed that when recurring things happen in your life, that there’s something important about them that needs to be said. In this instance, it’s about babies.

Babies & airplanes to be exact.

I recently told y’all about a horrible situation I was caught in on my way back to Amsterdam. Then my friend Chelsea shared the terrible flight she & her little one had to deal with. This past weekend, I took two flights with a semi-fussy LB. And then, last night, as I caught up on Grey’s Anatomy, the episode started off with a baby crying in a plane & a grumpy passenger.

If You Hear a Baby Crying

Are you catching on to why I feel like this needs to be discussed?

To begin this, let’s start with the child, ok? Most children on a normal day, without restraints placed on them, are bonkers. They have energy levels that even your 20 year old-college-partying-self wouldn’t be able to keep up with. From dawn to dusk, they run, they scream, they ask for cuddles & high fives, they cry like banshees and on even the best of days, they exhaust their parents. That is the life that we, as parents, signed up for. I get that.

But now, let’s talk about what happens when you take this ball of energy & squeeze them into your lap for a long duration.

In a space that doesn’t provide a comfortable place to sit in, much less, room to walk around, you’re going to get a fussy baby. Hell, at times you even get a fussy adult.

And you know what? WE KNOW THAT. As a mom, I know full well that Sofia is going to get out of hand at one point or another. But here’s the thing: I do everything in my power to prepare for it.

I pack a bag full of snacks, milk bottles, snacks, toys, snacks, cartoons, and you guessed it — snacks.

But sometimes, it.is.not.enough. Because Sofia is a human. She has feelings. And she has frustrations. And sometimes a freakin’ snack won’t fix that. So when she cries because she’s anxious and annoyed at being stuck in a tiny space, trust me when I tell you that my anxiety levels are through.the.freakin.roof. I know, in my heart, that some person in that plane is rolling their eyes, huffing with exasperation, and thinking that I am the worst mother since I cannot get my child to quiet down.

But you know what? I am not a terrible mother. I am a freakin’ awesome mom. Because, I will not yell at my child for being annoyed. I will not spank her just because as a 1 year old she doesn’t know what an inside voice is. Instead, I will continue to play with her and try to keep her occupied so that she doesn’t disrupt you. And that, y’all, is the best I can do.

So when you hear a baby crying, instead of shaming the mother with the child, take a moment to think how you would feel about YOUR mother being shamed if YOU were the upset child. I can guarantee that you probably also had fussy times as a child & that you would never want your mother to have been yelled at or huffed at or made to feel like a terrible parent.

Instead, if you hear a baby crying, try this:

  • Be like the incredible person who sat behind us on Monday and played peek-a-boo with Sofia.
  • Be like the kind individual who picked up her pacifier & her stuffed animal when she threw both of them on the ground behind me. TWICE.
  • Give the little one a high-five & giggle with them.
  • Ask if you can do anything for the parent with the child.
  • Perhaps just even tell the parents that they are doing a good job.
  • Say “it’s not a problem” when the parent apologizes for their crying baby.
  • Put your headphones on & ignore the fussing because you know at some point the little one will chill out.

An encouraging word or 10 minutes of being kind to the child will not kill you. If anything, the parents are most likely to send you every kind prayer in their heart to thank you for what you’ve done to make their life a little easier.

I cannot tell you how many times I must’ve thanked the kind stranger on the plane on Monday. And every time, when he responded with “don’t worry; she’s precious” or “it wasn’t a problem at all,” my heart let go of a little bit of the anxiety I was feeling.

We, collectively, as a human race need to learn to be kinder to & more patient with others. And since I’ve now been on both sides of the coin, I’m going to do everything in my power to ensure that I help out where and when I can.

Will you?

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Biana
    April 19, 2017 at 12:54 PM

    I so hear you on this – I always sympathize with the parents on flights because I think of my sister who on occasion had to travel with one or three of her kids by herself when they were little and not always in the best moods. It’s not the babies fault they are crying or the parents fault – it’s uncomfortable to be on a place for everyone LOL!

  • Reply
    kerri @ cheshire kat
    April 19, 2017 at 2:44 PM

    seriously i give you props girl. i just wonder why people think they can judge when you CAN NOT control another tiny human and expect them to be perfect. i mean please. but people are heartless. so here’s hoping this post helps at least one person realize it’s ok to be friggen nice 🙂

    xoxo cheshire kat

    • Reply
      Myra
      April 20, 2017 at 3:17 PM

      Nailed it, friend. I can only do so much to control another person — especially a tiny one at that. When people are nice, it just makes it a little easier for me and often it quiets Sofia up too because they take her mind off whatever frustration she’s dealing with! Kindness always wins. xo

  • Reply
    Miranda
    April 19, 2017 at 2:51 PM

    Good for you for speaking your mind on this! I myself do not have children yet, but I know when I do one day that I would want people to show compassion to my child and I in difficult situations. I’m glad you had a smoother flight, and it’s nice to know that for every one jerk in the world, there seem to be five decent people.

    • Reply
      Myra
      April 20, 2017 at 3:27 PM

      That’s the word, friend — compassion! I think too many people are unwilling to remember to just show a little compassion. If it’s hard on someone without a kid, just imagine the mom or dad who is having to know that they cannot do more than they are. I’m thankful for every one of those five decent people who come to the surface when there is a jerk hanging around! xo

  • Reply
    Allison Arnone
    April 19, 2017 at 10:22 PM

    I’m so sorry you had to go through that. It’s not ideal to listen to screaming humans (babies or otherwise) during any kind of travel, but blaming the parent of a young baby is just absurd. It’s par for the course– there are annoyances everywhere you go in life, and you’re entitled to be annoyed, but keep it to your damn self. OR, if you can, maybe try to be helpful?

    Some related humor for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acWdh0a_92A

    • Reply
      Myra
      April 20, 2017 at 3:28 PM

      YUP. Exactly! And it’s not to say that you can’t be annoyed — by all means, be annoyed, because I probably am too, but there’s nothing more I can do than what I am doing at that time. If I could hug every helpful person though, I’d probably still be hugging folks, haha. xo

    • Reply
      Myra
      April 20, 2017 at 3:30 PM

      LEGIT LAUGHING OUT LOUD AT THAT VIDEO. Thank youuuuu.

  • Reply
    Lind
    April 20, 2017 at 12:26 AM

    I don’t have children but I do try to be kind when this happens. I imagine it’s not ideal for the parent, either! I’m sorry that this happened to you – I said the same thing to Chelsea. People can be terrible.

    • Reply
      Myra
      April 20, 2017 at 3:29 PM

      That’s exactly it — it’s not ideal for me either! I hate to see my kid cry, I hate it more that we’re crammed together and have no place to really go, but I’m doing my best. Boo for sucky people and amen for the good ones! xo

  • Reply
    chelsea jacobs
    April 20, 2017 at 7:23 PM

    YESYESYESYESYES. It is okay to be annoyed. I, too, am annoyed by the screeches coming out of my child. But it’s never ever ever okay to be rude. Because truly: WHAT WILL THAT CHANGE? Nothing. Like Jack and Sofia are seriously going like be like, “OH, this is bothering you, stranger? Cool, I’ll totally stop, my bad.”

  • Reply
    Misty
    May 4, 2017 at 9:51 PM

    It’s never right for anyone to shame a parent in this situation, but it’s especially wrong when another parent does it. They should know better than anyone!

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