I'm learning as a mom that sometimes Dad knows best, too
We all know the saying "Mother knows best." We also know that, for the most part, truer words have never been spoken. I mean, come on.
No matter how that baby came to be placed in our hands, the belly, adoption, surrogacy, one thing is certain. We have a profound psychological and physical connection to our child that goes beyond even our own understanding. It can make us do crazy things. Like wanting to wrestle another 6-year-old to the ground and put her in a headlock for making fun of your daughter’s outfit. Or, take a baseball bat to someone's car when they don't look both ways at a crosswalk and almost hit you and your baby as you stroll. This magnificent, beautiful, otherworldly connection also leads us to believe that we know what is best for our child... always. It can also get us into trouble sometimes... with our husbands.
I always knew my husband would make a terrific father by the way he took care of our cats and plants. People laugh when I say that but you can tell a lot about a person's nurturing side by how they take care of other living organisms. My theory, by the way, turned out to be right on the mark. He is a wonderful father, and Hudson and I are so blessed to have him. He is also very involved.
His desire to be very much involved has made me want to put him in a headlock at times. I would field his questions, suggestions, promptings, specifications and directives everyday. After a while, they started to make me feel inadequate and insecure. Which in turn made me angry. I became an angry, exhausted (seriously, when will I not feel tired anymore?) woman who no longer felt like a competent mother. Did he not understand that I was the one with the baby everyday? Did he not know that I was researching every little decision? Did he not recognize that I carried this child in my belly for 10 months, labored painfully for hours upon hours, pushed that baby out of my sweet spot, fed him from my boob, and love him more than anything else in the entire world?
Like any rational, normal woman, I buried those negative emotions deep down in the pit of my stomach where I keep all that is unpleasant. Then one beautiful Saturday afternoon, like a dog digging to find that bone he worked so hard to bury, those unpleasant emotions erupted like Mt. Pinatubo. Long story short, he challenged me. We fought. I cried. We fought more. I continued to cry. Then, after the volcanic lava and ashes ceased, we talked.
After our conversation, I realized he wasn't questioning my ability as a mother. It was just his way of... well... being involved. He was at work all day and missing out on so much. So, he would research and read up on all things baby. His suggestions and promptings were his way of helping and showing how much he cared. My husband reminded me of the importance of letting him figure it out on his own like I had the opportunity to do. He also reminded me of the time he moved Hudson from our bedroom to his crib when I didn't have the strength to do it and how the baby has slept through the night since. Okay, I will give him that one. Sometimes, Dad knows best too... sometimes. But even if they don't, be grateful that your husband wants to be involved and loves your child as much as you do. I love you, Ryan. You are the best father in the world. Even if you are not always right.