Being a mother isn’t an easy job. Moms have to wear many hats at all times. They need to feed their babies, dress their babies, and bathe their babies. They also need to be a doctor at times, a housekeeper, a chef, a laundromat attendant, a chauffeur, and a playmate. A mother’s job begins when she opens her eyes in the morning, and it never stops. She is on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is something that Abigail Riveria Garcia knows all too well.
Abigail is a mother of two from Massachusetts. She had a 14-month-old son named Jeremiah when she gave birth to her baby, Anayah. Both of her children were born prematurely; therefore, they both required extra attention. With two children in the house to worry about, Abigail was running herself ragged.
Anayah’s Medical Issues
As if being a mother to a two-month-old and a 14-month-old weren’t enough, Anayah has medical issues. She has colic and reflux, which makes her very cranky at times. Abigail says that it got to the point where she would put Anayah down to get things done, and 10 minutes later, she would be crying again, needing to be picked up.
Because Jerimiah was only 14-months-old, he didn’t understand that his little sister wasn’t feeling well and needed Abigail’s attention. She says that this often led to him crying, which made things even more difficult for her. When she had a few minutes to rest between Anayah’s cries, Jerimiah would cry. She says that it was a cycle that went on all day long and left her exhausted by the end of the day. She barely had the energy to clean up when the kids finally went to bed.
Because of Anayah’s colic, she was often uneasy and in pain. Abigail discovered that the only way to soothe the little girl was to put her hand on her back and leave it there. This was great because it got her daughter to stop crying, but it wasn’t so great because she didn’t have the time to sit by her daughter’s bed with her hand on her back. She had another child to take care of, a house to keep up with, and she needed to sleep herself. Each time she took her hand off her daughter’s back, she would start crying again. This was when Abigail decided that she needed to do something, and she had a perfect idea.
The Surrogate Hand
Abigail decided that since she couldn’t have her hand on her daughter’s back at all time, she would find a way to make her think that there was a hand there. She took a rubber glove and filled it up with sand. She used an elastic band to tie the ends nice and tight so that the sand wouldn’t come out of the glove. First, she put her hand on Anayah’s back. When her daughter started to relax, took her hand off, and Anayah started to cry. She put the fake hand on her back, and she immediately stopped crying. Abigail couldn’t believe it. Her idea worked.
Posting Her Idea
Tired mom makes clever ‘fake hand’ to soothe her crying baby to sleep – the internet loves it. When she posted the photos on Facebook, it quickly went viral. In just a few days, the post received over 10,000 likes, over 16,000 comments, and over 75,000 shares. Many of the comments were from tired mothers just like Abigail, who thought that her idea was great. Unfortunately, there is always that person who feels the need to be negative and put their two cents in. This happened with a few people in the post. When Abigail saw these comments, she posted an update letting these naysayers know that she knew what she was doing. She didn’t let this get her down, and at the end of the day, Abigail was going to do what she was going to do because she was Anayah’s mother, and her idea was working.
Back, Stomach, Side
While many of the comments were from people who were thanking Abigail for her idea, the comment thread quickly went to people debating whether a child should be placed on their back or their stomach to sleep. This was a bit frustrating for Abigail. She wasn’t trying to start a debate regarding how a baby should sleep. What she wanted to do was give tired, exhausted mothers like herself an idea to keep their babies quiet for just a minute or two. She never expected to spark a debate about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Still A Good Idea
For mothers who are worried about putting their babies down on their stomach, this can be used if you are watching your child, and you just need a minute or two to change your other child’s diaper, make something to eat, or just to have five minutes to yourself.
Abigail didn’t expect the backlash she received. She just wanted to help mothers like her who needed a few minutes to themselves. When a baby is old enough where they are out of danger of SIDS, this trick can work all night long. You should be proud of your idea, Abigail.