How many moms out there know their babies? Now that’s a silly question isn’t it? A momma knows her babies more than anyone else, right? We are the ones with them more than anyone else. We see what makes them happy, what makes them sad, and know just what to do to avoid (most) meltdowns.
(I write mom in this post, but want to clarify this is usually true for whomever the primary care taker is.)
I think it’s safe to say most moms do their best to be proactive. They see the early signs of their children’s needs and act accordingly to get those needs met before it’s too late. Sometimes this means laying them down for a nap at the first eye rub or yawn. Sometimes it means preparing lunch and offering it before the child runs in crying they are “sooooo hungry.” Sometimes it simply means knowing the child’s triggers and helping avoid them or prepare them for transitions long before anyone else notices the need.
What about when the avoidable isn’t avoided? Then what? How do you react when your child’s upset or hurt by a situation that could have been avoided? I don’t know about you, but this is something I’ve been struggling with lately.
It’s easy to get caught up in the “but if you’d just done this, this could/would have been avoidable”. It’s easy to
say yell, “I do this everyday, this situation is avoidable.” What do those words do though? Are they lifting up or tearing down? Do they make a difference? Probably not. How would I feel if someone told me these things?
But, but, but… these situations really can be avoidable by you, the caregiver who’s there and sees it avoided time and time again. Life happens and, sure, maybe others should listen to you and follow your guide because you’ve experienced more and seen it happen another way. BUT that doesn’t always happen does it? Others come in, plans change, meltdowns ensue and that’s life.
I’m trying to practice weighing the pros and cons of the avoidable situation. Does the person in your life who can’t seem to avoid the avoidable quite like you, try their best? Do they love your child as much as you? Do they just want to spend the few precious moments they have with that baby just like you would if you were in their shoes?
Sometimes I try to put myself in others shoes and it really helps. I don’t know what I’d do if I only got to spend 2 full days and a handful of weeknight hours with my baby girl. If I had to work all day outside the home and come home and my daughter was already in bed for the night it’d break my heart. I, too, would go in kiss her forehead, and risk the chance of waking her just to see that smile or even hear that sweet cry just one more time.
Avoidable situations or not, sometimes we have to remember there are many people in our children’s lives and they may not know them the same way as us but they love them just as much! It’s not the end of the world if occasionally the avoidable isn’t avoided. 9/10 it will be and the 1/10 your child and you will move on from it on to the next thing.
I just want to clarify I’m not talking about safety/avoiding teachable moments/growing opportunities. I’m a firm believer children need to have time and space to figure things out and sometimes fail. They’ll learn from their choices and continue to grow and make better ones as time goes on.
If it comes down to safety obviously everyone will/should try to avoid dangerous situations.
This post is more related to basic needs needing to be met in a timely manner. Meeting them proactively verses reacting to an already upset child who was clearly giving the person who spends the most time with them signs of the need long before a meltdown ensued.