New mom Trish LaForty, 26, was unpleasantly surprised to find an anonymous note left by her neighbor: "You may be able to ignore your baby crying, but we are tired of listening to him crying non-stop all day."
Trish lives in Coolum Beach in Queensland, Australia, with her husband and infant son Will. She discovered this unsigned handwritten note on her doorstep after returning from a family day at the beach. Trish describes her response as "shocked and emotional." I don't blame her one bit.
According to Trish, her son Will is not a nonstop crying freak of nature. He is just a baby. Fired up from the implication of her negligent parenting, Trish took to Facebook and posted an open response to her anonymous neighbors. Trish's candid post received an outpouring of support with more than 500 likes.
"Maybe if you don't like hearing your neighbors you should move to the country," she wrote. "If you like to chat more, feel free to pop in. You obviously know where we live."
Let me be the first to say that these neighbors are dicks. I remember being a new parent with a crying baby well since it was just a few years ago. In fact, both of my toddlers still cry regularly from five minutes to one hour every afternoon for the following reasons: One brother hit the other, one didn't get enough juice, one hates juice, one asked for a waffle but now hates waffles and the list goes on.
There is a small part of me that can understand why a neighbor would be annoyed by the sound of a crying baby — it is not a good sound at all (thanks, biology!). But then the more rational part of me remembers that every person is capable of social niceties and should keep their interfering mouths shut in most cases.
Supposing that this neighbor has never been a parent, let me spell it out for them again: Being a new parent is hard. It is a time when you don't know up from down and aren't sure if you are getting it right.
Your baby is going to cry, and you don't know how to make them stop. On the other hand, you also know that babies are going to cry when they are uncomfortable, and you don't have to jump on them at the first whimper. It's a weird balancing act that no parent feels perfectly equipped for. Jerk neighbors butting in with unsolicited criticism certainly don't help.
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