A Facebook friend recently announced that she had volunteered to be a “baby cuddler” at a daycare center. For a few hours a week, she holds, rocks and talks to babies. What a great idea. It helps the busy staff people who don’t have time to just cuddle, and it gives my friend a chance to enjoy babies long after hers are grown.
So many of us never get a chance to hold babies, especially if we’ve never had any of our own. And they are such fascinating creatures, tiny people just discovering the world. For me, I’m always nervous around babies because I’ve never been around them much and also because I have always held back when there’s a baby in the room. But what if I honestly said I wasn’t sure how to do this but I wanted to learn? What if I got my friends and family involved in helping me bond with the babies in their lives? What if I asked them to coach me until I got good at it? What if I became the best “aunt” in the world?
Obviously we can’t just grab any old baby. We’d get arrested for kidnapping. But there are ways to help mothers who never seem to have enough hands or enough time to deal with everything.
You might respond that you can’t stand to be around babies because it reminds you that you don’t have any babies of your own and might never have them. I understand. But you know what? It’s okay to cry while you’re holding a baby. Let those tears out until you start to see the wonder of what you have in your arms right now at this minute. And then when they get older, talk to them, play with them, teach them. With their parents’ permission, of course.
We have can contribute to the world’s children, even if we never have any of our own. If you’re not ready, I understand. It has taken me a long time to get to this place. But don’t give up on having a connection with kids, even if you never give birth.