The Sometimes Elusive Milestone
Baby Lincoln just turned one. A swath of light hair covers his head, making his steel-blue eyes pop. His flirtatious smile charms everyone he meets. He is strong-willed, handsome, intelligent, and funny. He gets everywhere he needs to go, following around his brother and sister. His doctor said his is perfectly healthy and appropriate. He has reached every developmental milestone.
But he is not quite walking.
His mom, 28 weeks pregnant with number four, and his dad, laid back and hard-working, know that he is absolutely fine, thriving in fact. He will walk when he is ready. Their family is strong, and their (almost) 4 kids, loved unconditionally. But it doesn’t mean it doesn’t irritate when the comments flow.
He isn’t walking yet?
But So and so’s baby is two months younger, and he is almost walking!
I just don’t understand- he is one now!
Lincy has a large extended family, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins. Some with kids, some childless. He is loved. But it doesn’t mean those comments about this milestone don’t sting.
My Son, O, is almost 10 months. every day he astounds me. He is social, stubborn, adorable and highly verbal. Almost every day he is working on a new word.
“Kitty. Ball. All done. Poop. Boob. Papaw. Lyla. Bye-Bye.”
His cousin, almost 18 months, is largely non-verbal. She babbles away incoherently, happy. she points and shouts, her intelligent eyes communicating to her mother exactly what she needs. Her doctor says she will reach her verbal milestone when she is ready. Her mother is unconcerned. She is loved and adored by her parents and grandparents.
Every Baby is Different
Moms are notorious for self-doubt. We have a hard job! We question ourselves at every turn. We question our bodies. We question when we should wean. We compare ourselves to other moms. We run tabs on other people’s kids. There’s a running tab in our brains. Who walks first, talks first. Who has the chubbiest baby, whose baby is the cutest. Which child is better behaved, who potty trained easier. We judge ourselves, we judge other parents. And if it’s not our own internal judgment, it’s the comments of other family members.
Sometimes its hard to feel like you can win.
Its time we stop fighting ourselves. Stop doubting each other. We need to rely on our village. We need to rely on our instincts. We need to learn to trust ourselves as parents again. Do your research, talk to your doctor, and then do what is best for your family. Shut out the haters. They don’t know you, your family, your child. Its time for family members to understand that those seemingly innocuous comments about our kids can hurt. It is time to stop comparing our kids. Each child is a miracle.
Their personalities, their milestones, each is unique. They will reach them in their own time. Don’t rush babydom, it is gone altogether too fast.
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