To my fellow mothers of high needs babies. I know it often feels like we have drawn the short straw. You look around and see babies who are sleeping through the night (while yours wakes 5+ times a night at 8 months old), babies who sit placidly while their mothers engage in conversation (as yours never. stops. moving… ever.), and babies who are happy to be left with a babysitter (while yours shrieks anytime you even think about leaving the room).
Yes, being a parent to a high needs baby makes your job more difficult. No, you would never trade your baby for another, but yes it is harder. But what I also need to keep telling myself is that it also makes our job that much more important. These are the babies that are most in need of what a parent can provide and have the potential to truly thrive.
These are the wild horses that need to be tamed. Beautiful creatures whose energies can be harnessed into something extraordinary.
Their intense drive, endless energy, and need for stimulation is what gives them the potential to be highly successful and creative individuals. Their highly sensitive nature and need for intimacy and comfort is what will make them empathic and caring towards others. They are highly attuned to the world around them and to the emotions of others, traits that will serve them well in their relationships with others as they grow up. Their demanding nature ensures they will never settle for less than they deserve.
I write this a reminder, as much to myself as to the other mothers who understand this struggle all too well. For those sleepless nights when you are up more times than you can count, and the clingy days when you can’t put baby down for even a second, and for every envious time you wonder ‘why isn’t my baby like that?’ Just remember that what you are doing is important – bigger personalities draw more from others, and at this point that’s you. The more that mothers put in, the more that babies get out – and these babies just have high standards.