Stories of life in the suburbs with Husband and our daughter Squishy and son Button!

Who is Expert Mommy?

"Don't do that to that baby."
"Hold her like this."
"You're doing that all wrong."
"Just let him cry."
"Nothing's wrong, it's just a cough."

Do any of these sound familiar to you? When you're a new, young parent, like Husband and I, sometimes you get a little too much advice from the older generations. I do like advice, but only when I ask for it. When it gets to the point that I want to tear my own hair out, I just think of this quote and take a deep breath...

"You are the expert on your children, and I'm the expert on mine."

That's right. When I was a baby, my mom was there for every second of my life. She knew everything about me. She wouldn't let anything hurt me. It's a special feeling that you only have when you have a baby. It's called That Motherly Instinct. I call it being an Expert Mommy. I try my best to brush off the unwanted as another Expert Mommy relating to my youth and situation as a young new parent.

I encourage you to remember this phrase. Use it if you need to.

I know when Squishy sucks her fingers after a bottle she's tired. I know she doesn't like back snaps or butt ruffles on PJs. She hates sleep sacks. She likes to hold her own bottle. If you put her in the swing she'll poop. If you lotion her face first, you won't make it past her shoulders. I am an Expert Mommy.

Here are two stories to illustrate my point...

The first time I left Squishy with my mom, I was a bit nervous. Not at my mom's babysitting skills, but just because I hadn't left her with anyone outside our apartment. I started talking about everything I could think of from formula measurements, holding positions, and gestures. My mom looked at me with a look on her face. You know, that Mother Look.

My mom: "It's like I've never had a baby before."
Me: "Well, you've never had my baby. I would appreciate it if you would listen to what I'm telling you so I feel better about leaving her with you."

I said it with a nervous/mean tone. Squishy did fine with her, she didn't cry once. But that doesn't mean that my mom did a better job than I could have. I'm the expert on my baby.

My friend's baby has a heart condition, and has had several surgeries. One time, she was nervous about her daughter. The baby hadn't slept and wasn't her happy self, though she wasn't showing any obvious/normal signs of sickness. She decided to take her to the ER and called to tell her parents.

Her dad said: "You don't need to take her in every time she coughs."
The nurse at the ER said it was most likely just an ear infection.

She was then admitted for heart failure, underwent a massive surgery a week later, then was placed on the heart transplant list. It all started with my friend having a feeling. An Expert Mommy feeling.

By the way, I extend the title of Expert Mommy to anyone who is a primary caregiver. If you know the ins and outs and every smile, poop, grunt, laugh, cry, habit, expression of your tiny baby, whether you're an uncle, aunt, grandparent, god parent, mom, or dad I think you can count yourself as one of us. The Expert Mommies.

Welcome to the club, Expert Mommies. It's a great group to be a part of.