Last week I was not enjoying one of my finest motherhood moments. You see, “Pink”, my baby girl — my sweet, fun-loving, laid-back baby girl — has been struggling. And there are few things more frustrating than not being able to solve my baby’s problems. After all, that’s my job as her mom. A job I felt I was failing.
We were four weeks and three medications in to trying to clear up a post-antibiotic diaper rash turned toxic monster. It seemed like nothing was working and, even worse, it was painful. (And did I mention how scary looking it was? Even the doctor gasped the first time she saw it. Yep, it was that bad.)
Beyond the rash was a much bigger issue. The one that was really weighing on me. I recently learned that Pink has a gross motor delay. While we’re very fortunate that they don’t see it being a sign of any other developmental concerns, you don’t really want to hear the word “delay” in the same sentence as your baby’s name. But the good news about a delay is that there’s hope that you’ll get there, it will just take more time and effort.
Well, on this particular day, we were putting in that time and effort at physical therapy. While the therapist seemed to think things were going well (which made me wonder what not going well would look like), I wanted to grab my baby and run. She was angry, frustrated, and screaming at all of us. (So much for that sweet, fun-loving, laid-back baby I’ve come to know and love!) To make matters worse, I asked the therapist where she was compared to where she should be. About six months behind, she said.
Six months. Six months?! In baby time that’s forever.
When we headed home, I put Pink down for a nap and spent the whole time questioning why this was happening, feeling sorry for us that we weren’t seeing more progress, feeling guilty that I hadn’t done more to encourage her strength early on. You name it. I was throwing myself one heck of a pity party.
A shout from the crib broke me free from my thoughts. Her big brothers had run into her room to greet her. Before I could get in to lift her up, she got into crawling position — for the first time in 13 months! — and proceeded to move a pace or two. Her big brothers and I started cheering and jumping up and down.
Progress. Great, big, huge progress.
And that’s what being a parent of a baby is all about. There are those crazy amazing days where everything goes right and birds are chirping and rainbow are shining. But there are also days you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing (yes, even the third time around!). Like there’s no way you should be responsible for a whole person and her entire well being. But just when you think you’ve hit a wall, your baby will do something that will fill your heart with joy and your chest with pride. She’ll remind you that you are doing something right. (Maybe even a couple somethings.)
You’re loving her with all your heart. And the reward of seeing that love reflected right back, well that will turn any bad day into an amazing one.
Have you ever had one of “these days” as a parent? What helped you snap out of it?