“If babies and kids who receive too many cuddles and too much affection are ‘spoiled,’ then fine, I’ll spoil the crap out of mine and have ‘spoiled’ kids.
People would always say, ‘If you go to your baby every time they cry, you’re spoiling them.’ ‘If you pick them up every time they cry, you’re spoiling them.’ ‘If you go into them every time they wake at night, you’re spoiling them.’ Yet every time they cried, all I could think was, ‘If I don’t soothe them, who will?’
I can still remember babywearing my 9-week-old twins in the store and a lady working there shook her head at me and told me, ‘You’ll never be able to get them away from you if you keep them so close.’ 9 WEEKS OLD. When did independence become so necessary at such a young age?!
I felt like if I ignored them for no reason other than ‘not spoiling them,’ I was ignoring my maternal instincts. My need to comfort them, soothe them, cuddle them, and provide a sense of safety and security.
I didn’t want them to stop crying when I didn’t show because that would mean they knew I wasn’t coming, and giving up on their mother’s comfort was one of the saddest thoughts I could think of. It wasn’t for me.
So, I cuddle them when they cry. I carry them when they need me. I wake and tend to them overnight. I hold them and comfort them when they’re overwhelmed. I’m there. I ‘spoil’ them as some people would say.
As far as I’m concerned, it’s okay to ‘spoil’ them with affection, because, really? It’s not spoiling them, it’s simply mothering them. And when did that become such a bad thing?
So go ahead. Cuddle the baby, breastfeed for comfort, wake with the baby, babywear, and ignore the comments about how you need to ‘cut the cord.’
Spoiled my a**. I think these people confused the word spoiled with love.
My kids aren’t spoiled, they’re loved.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Katie Bowman of Living My Family Life, and originally appeared here. Purchase Katie’s book here. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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