I never considered myself as someone who is prideful. I always pictured those types as the ones who boasted about their achievements, flashed their possessions, and were constantly talking about themselves. However, pride doesn’t always come in the form of an outspoken and boastful individual. I guess the fact that I took pride in not being prideful should have been my first clue.
Since becoming a mother, I have really noticed my pride, and not in a good way. Of course I do think there is a right way to being proud, in the way of your family. The way that shows itself through the love you have for each of its members. The kind of pride that shows up when you listen to other mamas and papas boast about their little ones, smiles beaming from ear to ear. It’s that “look what we’ve made, aren’t they beautiful?” kind of pride. That’s the good kind. The kind I’ve been showing lately, not so much.
When you have a baby, there is that maternal instinct that kicks in, full force. I still have no idea what I’m doing most days, but there’s this little gut feeling that I get when I’m totally lost, and usually, when I follow it, things turn out okay. I think everyone has a little bit of instinct in him or her that tells you how to care for, and nurture something that you love so deeply. When I was pregnant and started freaking out about how I, this messed up, forgetful, sinful, immature person was going to be a mother, I was calmed by the fact that I knew this instinct would kick in. I would know what to do, somehow.
This instinct that I’ve taken comfort in has been the source of my pride for the last four and a half months, and it’s not that good kind of pride either. Being a stay at home mom, I’m around my baby boy every waking moment. I like to think that I know exactly what each little coo, squeak, and cry mean. Sometimes I forget the importance of that additional opinion, that second parental instinct that’s a part of this family, the one that I am partnering with in life- my husband’s.
In my previous post I spoke a bit about my love/hate relationship with nursing Judah. Well, though I stated that I’m counting down the days until he started solids, I didn’t expect it to come this quickly. He started solids Saturday. In my mind, we still had a month and a half to go before we even started to consider it. Yes, I was excited for it, but I still needed that month and a half to fully prepare myself and to accept that my little baby is getting older. However, Judah was ready much, much sooner.
Kyle and I are in the process of moving and have needed to make several trips to our future place of residence for one reason or another. Because of this, I have spent several hours in the car, needing to use more bottles than normal, and having less time to keep up with pumping. As nursing mothers know, if you don’t use it, you lose it. My little babe also hit a growth spurt during these last couple of weeks and while his needs were increasing, my supply was decreasing. We had gotten the okay from our pediatrician at his four month check up to start Judah on solids whenever we were comfortable, but I had always planned on waiting until six months.
Kyle noticed that Judah was not getting as full as he should be, and even though I complained and expressed concern for not producing enough to fully satisfy my boy’s hungry belly, I was convinced that I could make it work. In my mind, he was not ready for solids yet, and of course, I know best, right? After all, aren’t I the only one with that parental instinct? Wrong.
Kyle did something that I love about him. I hate it in the moment, but it’s good for me. He checked my pride and called me out. He said to me, “didn’t you just blog about doing whatever is best and not comparing yourself to other moms? If Judah is ready for this, it doesn’t matter. And if you’re going to be stubborn, you may as well remove that post you just put up.” Ouch.
So, we went to the store, bought some oatmeal, and what do you know, Judah loved it. He was leaning forward in his chair, mouth open, hands out, waiting for each bite. He was ready, and Kyle’s instinct knew it. My pride…not ready.
There have been several occasions that Kyle has known what Judah needs when I just can’t figure it out. Instead of fighting it, I should be rejoicing in the fact that there are two of us working together to parent this little boy the best we can. It’s something that I know I will continue to struggle with, but I’m hoping that by admitting it, not only to myself, but to you, that I will start to check my own pride.
Being a mom comes with a lot of rights and privileges, but it doesn’t mean that you suddenly know everything. It’s okay to not know. It’s okay to admit that. It’s okay to ask questions, and it’s okay to let your partner take the lead. After all, raising a child takes a team of some sort, and everyone on that team has a little instinct in them.
(excuse the blur, he was swinging his arms with complete satisfaction of his first “big boy” meal)