Have you, too noticed how we all got used to the fact that babies cry? I remember how years ago the obstetricians or midwives used to put all newborn babies in a separate room next to maternity ward and let them all alone screaming and crying their lungs out (they only stopped crying once in every four hours when they all at the same time have been brought to their mothers for (breast) feeding… And doctors were trying to „scientifically“ reassure concerned mothers that this is all just fine and that babies need to exercise their lung capacity, making it stronger…
One famous female journalist once wrote in an article about children being (un)grateful to their parents, quite appropriately for the time and culture: „They bring your baby to you and it is already crying. And it will be crying with little breaks for long months, even years. Not that the baby wouldn’t have much joy in between but it’s not exactly the happiest.“
We got used to it. We let them brain-wash our minds that babies must cry, because that’s what babies do, crying simply belongs to them.
But let’s think, why and when does a person cry? When he/she doesn’t like something. Would you like to arrive onto this world, then being positioned head down and get your bottom smacked as a cheeky little extra?
Ethnographers of pretty much any period could tell you about aboriginal women who gave birth painlessly (and then wrapped their newborn babies in a large scarf and tied that around their bodies and continued in their work or journey) of which we thought were just exaggerated folk stories. Giving birth must be painful, or not?… This is what we learned to believe (perhaps being brain-washed by Hollywood movies). And that newborn babies just cry. And as you can see from words of above–mentioned journalist, the baby’s cry is just something natural, right?
But what if it’s not like that at all?!
What if this is all just a cultural indoctrination and giving birth could and should be smooth and flowing, short (although sometimes exhausting) but painless? What if all babies could and should be born with a smile on their faces and with their eyes open?
I am trying to say that many people have nowadays understood that this is not only possible but natural and perfectly normal. More and more women are deciding to give birth in the safety and comfort of their own homes with the help of a midwife and dula experiencing an orgasmic birth giving filled with euphoria and a blast of energy. More and more babies are now being born not crying but smiling because they are immediately put on their mother’s tummy and breast, and they won‘t cry even later.
This is also because the whole period of pregnancy was relaxed and without much stress (for instance such pregnant woman did not submit to family’s request to manage moving house or complete her dissertation work)
And because such mother-to-be was singing to her yet unborn child.
Not long ago, I was talking to a woman who has spent together with her family two months among buddhists in monastery in Ladak. She didn’t feel like coming back home because she so much enjoyed the fact that everybody there was smiling and laughing non-stop. On buses they always sang together with all the passengers their positive/good-mood songs and although most of the children were typically untidy and messy she never saw during those two months any single one of them crying.
Those children (as well as all the people there) were happy.
How simple is that: if I’m happy, I laugh. And I don’t cry.
If I don’t like anything or have a feeling no-one understands me, that no-one is looking after my needs or if they‘re actually punishing me for something I have nothing to do with or I don’t understand, then I cry.
It seems like this culture cries. And far too often. Newborn babies and older children cry. Way too often. I wish we’d learn how to have a loving and tolerant relationship with our children, not only from the Ladak aborigines but also from Tibet, Burma, Thailand and rural areas of India, Japan and Bali. Children there don’t cry, on the contrary they‘re bursting with joy and happiness. Because they are happy.
Our society is a result and a consequence of many mistaken assumptions and theories of experts of past ages and all the mistakes concerning pregnancy and upbringing are automatically inherited by following generations.
We sometimes criticize, punish and confine our children rather pointlessly because we ourselves were once (as they used to say „for our own good“) criticized, punished and confined.
Our society is a sort of tragical victim of negative brain-washing. One example of this is the largly accepted fact that a newborn baby has to cry.
What if we just cut through this vicious circle? What if we start getting used to the fact that giving birth does not mean a lot of pain (requiring a lot of painkillers) and as such being an „inevitable surgery“ but we get used to that it could be a ritual of a girl being transformed into a woman, and full of orgasmic burst of energy and joy? Because a problematic and painful birth giving means almost automatically a problematic and traumatized child.
What if we all start getting used to the fact that it is normal not to cry, instead of the fact that babies and older children quite often cry? Because a smiling and happy child almost automatically means that he’ll be smiling and happy in his future life.
It is not all right that a child cries, unless, for instance, he just fell and scratched his knee. It is normal for him to be smiling and laughing. Ah, well. There is still a huge gap of plenty of misunderstandings and useless propaganda (even from movies). This is about a different perspective. What matters to us the most? It appears that we want to have a lot of time for ourselves. We want our own relaxed time in pregnancy, want to be relaxed and free from pain at giving birth and have our quiet time from children. And the more we don’t have such time for ourselves because our children cry.
One mother, who gave birth in the comfort of her home in her forties and with no complications, once went for a walk with her lovely and smiling baby daughter who was quite literally „purring“ from happiness, carrying the baby on her body wrapped in a large scarf which was tied around her body.
From the distance she could hear some baby crying and screaming, being sat in a pushchair taken for a walk with its mommy. When they were passing each other by the other mommy looked at the first one’s baby in the scarf in contempt: „poor baby!“
Well, I don’t take children’s cry as something completely normal and I see it in different way: „poor family (and society) in which the children often cry.“