Monday, July 26, 2010

Mama Knows Best?

I am a stay at home mom. I am with my daughter 24/7, and have been since she was born save about 48 hours of her life. I can understand her cries for the most part, and know when she is hungry, tired or bored. I know when to stop her while she is drinking her bottle so that she can burp. I know how to get her to burp. I know which toys she loves, and which toys she is done with. I know that at almost 8 months old she does not want to sit on your lap or sit still at all for that matter, or ride backwards in her stroller. I know that she loves to stand up and bend over to pick things up, that she will only last in her bouncy play thing for about 7 minutes max and that if she is upset and inconsolable she will immediately break out in giggles when she sees Ellie, our dog. I like to think I know her better than she knows herself, and that I know what she wants and needs at all times.

Enter my husband. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am married to a fabulous man. He is kind, generous, hard-working, full of love for his girls and we still (after 10 years of knowing each other and 5 years of marriage) have a great time when we are together - and not to mention very easy on the eyes.

Since baby M was born, he has been nothing but a hands-on dad...that is when he isn't working 70-80 hour work weeks. It is because of this demanding job that we are able to live in the house we live in, and live the wonderful life we do, but it is also because of this job that he doesn't get to see baby M nearly as often as he would like to. But when he does get to spend time with her, he is the most loving father in the world and I want him to have her all to himself during these times, but I can't seem to keep my big mouth shut.

If he is holding her a different say than I would, I say something. If she is fussing, I say what I think he should do with her. I comment on the way he makes the bottle, on the way her changes diapers, on the way he bathes her. Without thinking before I speak, I say something about every little aspect of his dealings with baby M.

Until he called me out on it the other day. He actually looked at me and said "will you tell me when I do something right with our daughter?" And my heart broke. It wasn't until then that I realized that I am constantly commenting on everything he does with her. And it isn't because I think he is doing a bad job at all, it is just that because I am with her, and know her so well, I feel like I know what she wants, and want her to have it immediately. Not wait for him to realize that he can't carry her laying down like a newborn anymore, but that she wants to be upright. And I want him to understand her as well as I do so that he can answer her promptly too.

I just need to learn to keep my big mouth shut (in all aspects of my life) and let my husband get to know our daughter at his own pace. This parenting thing is a learning experience for both of us, but I am already with my doctorate degree and he is taking night classes.


  1. Thanks for posting this! I know exactly what you mean!

    I too am blessed to be a stay at home mom and feel like an expert with my son and all his needs. My husband works long hours as well so every moment he spends with baby V is extra special.

    I recently got called out by my husband after I made a comment about how he was holding our son while giving a bottle. It made me realize that I need to take a step back and just let them be. Besides, I know that if my husband needs help, he will never hesitate to ask me what to do.

  2. This is so true (why do they always want to carry them laying down???). But do let him know that all kids will go through a "daddy only" phase, at the end of which he will have a double Phd.

  3. I'm guilty as well! Reading it in print made me realize how annoying it must be to him. I'm vowing to stop TODAY and if/when he needs help or wants to know how to respond to our second baby, I'll answer!

  4. Mama J - love this post. Just read something on the same topic: