In Her Words
Cutting our Teeth
Finding our way as a new family
By: Janya Veranth
My son’s first two teeth emerged this week; two jagged little Chiclets erupted in the center of what used to be his smooth lower gum line. He has been working on these for months, and by working I mean drooling up a storm and nursing tirelessly to ease the pain. By the time I sank my own teeth into the sweetness of his totally toothless smile, he was cutting his, the true mark of a baby turning into a little boy.
As I sat rubbing my boy’s aching gums, I confessed to my husband some insecurities I’d been having about my effectiveness as a good mother. Even though I have always followed my intuition for answers on how to best raise our child, I had been suffering a recent bout of mommy doubt. I did some parenting-style research, which led to a discussion on hot-topic parenting issues over Sunday breakfast and ended with me hurling statistics, quotes and numbers at my unsuspecting spouse.
I could tell he wasn’t impressed about what other people had to say about raising other people’s children. He admitted he hadn’t read up on the topic of child-rearing as much as I had, but it didn’t really matter to him. He said the proof was in the pudding; our parenting style is working because it works for our child and it works for us, not because a pie chart in a book says that this is the way to raise a child. When it stops working, we will reevaluate what we are doing and go from there.
In that moment I realized we are all new at this; first-time mommy, first-time daddy and first-time baby. We are learning how to become a family together and are cutting our teeth on each other as we take life one bite at a time. We can read and analyze, or not, but ultimately we must follow our guts, listen to our hearts and seek the wisdom of our inner voices on how to be the best parents and children we can be. Unfortunately, my husband and I have had our wisdom teeth removed. As for our son, there’s still a mouthful of hope for him.