I knew when we decided to have kids that it wouldn’t be easy. It would mean depending on others, which I spent my whole life trying not to do. It would be a daily reminder that I was different as I compared myself to other moms. I would have to take a backseat and watch my husband do the things I couldn’t.
I had my whole life to learn how to find a way. Mastering stairs. Fastening buttons. Learning to drive. Walking in snow. Not falling during the winter months on the wet linoleum floors. Carrying books to class in college. Commuting on a city bus.
I mastered things in my time and if it took awhile it was okay. I was only responsible for myself. So having a baby was scary. There was no time. He was little, helpless and needed me.
When my son Oliver was born, we had no choice but to figure things out together. When I was slow changing a diaper and he screamed, I would just cry with him. When I was home alone with him and wanted to go to another room, I’d stick him in the stroller and take him along. I asked those who cared for him while I was at work to not stand and rock him when he needed soothing. I was afraid that he would grow used to that and I would be unable to soothe my baby.
Overall, during his baby months Oliver earned the title “Angel Baby.” I liked to think he knew his mommy was different and wanted to be helpful. As the toddler smarts started to brew in him, I found things to change. On one hand it was easier because he could walk and understand what I was saying. However, he was also starting to develop opinions and preferences.
My husband was the one to carry Oliver, give airplane rides and crazy trips around the house in baskets. He was the one to scoop him up when he got hurt and the strong arms that carried him to the car after a long day at daycare. I quickly knew that in this season of Oliver’s life no one could hold a candle to “dada.”
This was one of the things I never thought about until it happened. There were mornings when I would go to get Oliver out of his crib and he would shake his head, crawl to the far corner and say, “no, no, no..DADA!”
It made me sad at first. I carried you for 9 months and smothered you in prayer. I devoted 365 days to nursing. I tell you every day that you’re perfect. I cried like a baby when I sent you to daycare. I’m your mommy!!!
It wasn’t fair.
Nothing has really changed but it doesn’t bother me as much anymore. Deep down I know that boys need their dad and Oliver scored an awesome one. He is lucky and should adore him. So for now, during my tough mornings at the crib I take a deep breath and remind myself this a phase he will outgrow. Someday I’ll be cool too.
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