Milestones and Mommy Guilt

This is a new thing for me in the mommy realm, mommy guilt.

I better get used to it right? This time it’s surrounding the whole concept of milestones. Whoever coined this term should be shot and so should the people, articles, and pediatricians out there that wholeheartedly emphasize the importance of said milestones. Of course milestones are important but they’re not black and white, there’s a lot of gray area and for those of us Type A’s out there we need to know that GRAY is OK.

Of all people you would think that I would know this by now and since I missed the memo in my years as a pediatric nurse can I be one to tell the mommies out there that EVERY BABY GOES AT THEIR OWN PACE. I am totally guilty in this, I constantly find myself measuring my dude up to the appropriate milestones for his age and the truth is sometimes he doesn’t hit them as fast as other babies or as soon as I think he should. Like crawling… dude you are 8 1/2 mos old and NOT crawling, not even really getting on all 4’s, or rocking, what is the deal? I have to keep telling myself that there isn’t some profound problem with him, he is just moving at his own pace. It’s like I have to turn myself into “nurse mode” and rattle off the same boring statement that I would tell patients because when it translates to MY life it is somehow different. Why? I don’t know but I can’t seem to get it through my head.

I wish I had never read any parenting books, I wish I was like all of those parents that parent “accidentally” (that’s what I like to call it) who have no concept of “normal” or “advanced” or “behind” because they are blissfully oblivious.

Nowadays you have the whole dynamic of social media where everyone has their children on display and comparison is natural. It’s hard to ignore that friend who diligently posts about their 4 month old who can baby sign the alphabet in three languages. Or the one who has a 9 month old that’s walking and can write their name. How can you not look at this and think oh great my kid is so behind!

My rational brain knows that HL is perfectly fine and that he is doing things HIS way (what’s new here, he IS related to me right?) and that there is no need for concern. But in comes the mommy guilt monster and I somehow feel like he is inferior to what he should be and so I find myself coaxing him to try and get him achieving these milestones. I know, parent of the year award right here, I bait my child with treats and trinkets to try and get him to crawl… gasp! The madness has to stop now.

The most ridiculous part of the whole idea is that I should be counting my blessings that my child is still “immobile” at 8 months old because I will be sorry when he finally can crawl and walk and run all over and get into everything and make me want to pull every last bit of my hair out.

Can I please proclaim to myself, and all of the other mommies out there in the same place, that YOUR BABY IS FINE! They are growing at their own pace so leave them alone! Tune out the social media, ignore your mommy friend posts about their prodigy, put down the parenting books for a minute. I vow from here on out to let him grow at his own pace (yes there is a time at which you should become concerned but we are FAR from that). Embrace the gray everyone. Cut your baby and yourselves some slack and enjoy spectating. Happy mothering!

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