As a new mama, I feel like I'm still finding that balance. You know the one. The one where you have to decide between what to let go to maintain your role model status & when to go batshitcrazy to let someone know when they need to stand down. That's not just limited to parenthood, though. When that umpteenth car with the exhaust loud enough to shake the Heavens cuts you off, you have to decide to not go all Grand Theft Auto on their hiney & gun them down. We've all been there. We've all contemplated homicide. I know I have. I mean, seriously, what are people thinking sometimes?? You had to beat me to the red light? Score.
OK, that's not really what I'm trying to get at...
As you may have heard, I recently had my first baby. I'm figuring things out as I go, & I, honestly, think Gary & I are doing a fairly outstanding job (if I don't toot our horn, who will??). Case in point: A few weeks ago Jake hit the motherload of teething frenzies. He was feeling a touch warm, had some rosy cheeks, & was sleepier than usual. I told Gary I didn't want to be that first time mama that called every time the thermometer hit 98.7 ---I didn't check his temperature, though. I thought I'd save pushing things up his tush for serious situations. I also told myself I didn't want to google because there's always something scary on the internet. I had to make this decision all by my lonesome. I'm sure by the time Jake's great grandchild is born the afterbirth will contain the new tot's instruction manual, but, until then, I'm all 'color by numbers'.
So, I created my own type of algebraic equation (the 9th graders claiming you'll never use this stuff...you be wrong). I multiplied the fact that his happiness did not change by the amount of time he played each day, add that to the amount of days he felt a touch warmer in a row multiplied 'x' for his unknown temp. The result? relax mama, your baby is fine. I knew he was. I knew it in my maternal gut. Between me, you, & the fence post, I did call the pediatrician, but didn't get a hold of anyone. That was my final straw to trust what conception gave me: mama instinct. My baby boy was just fine.
But, what about when you're in direct interaction with someone who is like a Rubik's Cube to you? Sometimes, I'm so puzzled by people that I feel like a question mark is hanging over my head asking one of two things: What did I do to deserve this? or How can I get away from you? I hope I don't sound like I hate people, I'm a total extrovert, it's just the times where you run into people like that that got me thinking. I try to handle those type of people with a grain of salt, & I ALWAYS try my best to turn the other cheek.
It's surprising how many times I've run into this type of situation with other moms regarding our kids. Around some, it's like you can't be proud of your child without it seeming like you're bashing theirs. Around others, it's like you're "bragging" about your child to someone who is just as proud. I LOVE LOVE LOVE those moments. We should share that pride. Why not? Why act like children are in competition with one another? Your kid rolled over a week before mine?? He must be the second-coming.
One more thing I must mention on this topic that I mega-loathe: the need to defend your kid. Kids do get fussy. There's not one parent on the planet that has not had their child have a fussy moment or two. Not one. But, there are a bazillion parents who act like their kid hasn't. BOGGLES.MY.MIND. When Jake is fussy, it's one of two things: he's hungry or tired. I mean, he's an easygoing baby. Some are not, just facts. But NONE are perfect (Well, we all have perfect babies, but you know what I mean...). So, when Jake fusses to get what he needs & people react like he's this fussy little hell-raiser it makes me crazy. I feel like I need to go into defend mode & say "I'm going to roll the dice here & claim I know this kid better than you, the person in the checkout lane, or you, the acquaintance trying to prove their superiority. He's having a moment. A moment which will be over once I am fully able to tend to his needs. Simmer Donna" But, I don't. It's pointless, right? Those people need what they need. They feel that Jake being an easygoing baby is, somehow, an attack on their parenting skills, probably a slap to the uterus that bore them child that is a little fussier than mine. Sincerest apologies.
Is it too hippie-esque to just want everyone to get along? My friend Sarah, for instance, (& others, dont'worry!)---courtesy of the bump---, has always been a fan of Jake's, & I'm so grateful for that. Her son was born around 3 weeks after Jake, but I feel that we are very interested in one another's kids & I'm thankful for her friendship. I love those kinds of friendships <3
I hope to teach Jake to keep people around you who improve his quality of life, people who make him happy, & to throw-down when all other options are exhausted. I hope to teach him to listen to his instincts. I hope to teach him that 'walking the line' is possible when you have good people to fall back on.