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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7 thoughts on “no…no…no..DADA!

  1. I think all mothers have those moments where they feel inadequate, but you've done an amazing job at one of the hardest, albeit rewarding, jobs ever. Oliver is so lucky to have both a wonderful mother and father. With the example he has, Oliver is going to grow up to be such a thoughtful, helpful and loving husband to some lucky lady. And you can be confident that he'll learn patience, perseverance, tolerance, strength, love and great style from you ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. You guys are doing a fantastic job as a team! I really admire your courage to share your story and even though I have 2 "normal" legs and 2 "normal" arms I still feel the same inadequacies you feel as a mom, just for different reasons. Keep up the great work and thank you for sharing!


  3. Read this as a break from what I had thought was such a rough day. Thanks for the kick in the butt of good perspective. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oliver is SO lucky to have you as his mama, because you are all the IMPORTANT mama things: fun, loving, faithful, optimistic. He's also very lucky to have a dada he loves and who loves him and his mama…Two such loving and NICE parents? it's a blessing. The superficial stuff isn't nearly as important. Oh, and PS: you know I can chase my kid, but he still has his, "NO! Dada do it" moments…he still comes to me for cuddles if he gets hurt. that's a mama specialty. ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. I run and chase, give airplane rides in laundry baskets, all the stuff that da da does. But it doesn't stop him from finding me invisible, if not "intrusive" when dad is around. I often wonder if I'm just not as fun, and it makes me really sad sometimes too, as all of my boys seem to prefer their fathers to me. However, I'm trying really hard to tell myself that its just a boy thing too. Please believe from everyone's comments, that the same reaction would probably be happening regardless of your abilities. I'm sure that Oliver couldn't possibly ask for anything more from his undoubtedly amazing mother.


  5. This post made me think of my first year with my daughter with AMC. I have a ton of experience with babies and was never scared of having one of my own, but I was never prepared for all of my daughter's needs. I had many nights where I burst into tears while trying to put on my daughter's splints in the middle of the night. Sometimes, I just couldn't get them right, and she would wake from her sleep to scream at me. Every time her casts came off her legs, I felt like a huge failure, especially when I saw the blisters the sliding casts had caused. I've thrown those stupid boots with the bar across the room multiple times. Just like my daughter has taught me so much about the world that I never knew existed, I'm sure your son is getting an experience that will open up his world so much. Also, on a side note, aren't good husbands awesome?


  6. It's nice to know I'm not alone. It's always hard though when he gets hurt and pushes me away for his dad. Kids are supposed to want mom to kiss away their ouchies! Not my Oliver. *sigh Angie – You made me think of my mom. She had me at 19 so I can't even imagine what it was like being handed a baby that needed all kinds of special care. My aunt babysat me one time and when my mom picked me up, my braces with the bar were on the wrong feet. We still like to tease her about that one. Those things are tricky!


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