You know those books where you record all of baby’s milestones and progresses…. Yes, that one you start off so diligently filling in…
Well, these books, or at least most of them have a page or 2 to write the milestones in – first time baby rolls over, first sit, crawl, stand up, walk etc etc etc. You now even get those card to fill in and take a picture of once baby has “completed this specific race”.
I’ve seen how these milestones have become such a race to reach between moms and their babies, especially in the first few months. So much so that it’s almost a bit of a challenge to get to it first. “Yay! My baby can sit unsupported by herself by 16 weeks” Cause, God forbid you say 4 months…. And you get frowned upon if your baby hasn’t made it; cause then something must be wrong, right?
I used, well, I still do, but I hate it. This whole thing to see who’s baby gets there first. When did we become so competitive? Putting babies in a race to see who does or gets there first. It’s stupid. It’s degrading and demoralizing to moms who’s little one is taking his or her time but as well as to the baby.
Adults are all different, children are all different, pregnancies are all different; so why should babies’ achievements be set in stone as to when to be able to do something or not.
This has made me think quite a bit as to why we do that and I’d like to think that I have reached a good and positive conclusion for it.
Here it is:
No matter if you’re a first time mom or a mom of baby number 4, we all want the best for our kids. We all pray that nothing will be wrong with them, emotionally, physically, damn, even spiritually. We all want them to grow up and be the best. But sometimes we also do forget that they have to grow up and be the best they can be! We forget that we are all different, no 2 people are the same. Just think how very boring life would be if we were all the same…
So we look and hear these achievements from babies of similar ages; and what goes through your head? Things like either “Oh of course my baby can do that” or “Oh no, mine can’t do that at that same age”.
Now I’ve translated those 2 phrases into phrases that I think are more realistically true for us, deep down at least. These are “Great, nothing is wrong, all is well” or “Oh goodness, I need to keep an eye out for this and or practice this a bit more”, respectively.
I don’t think it really is a race or a competition, but rather a confirmation that what you are doing as a parent; a validation of some sorts. We need to stop pushing ourselves down. Stop thinking we’re messing up as parents. Stop thinking we’re doing it all wrong. Wear that mommy-crown and believe that you are doing everything you can for your little one. And if he or she takes a month or so longer than “what the book says”, then SO WHAT!! As long as you know by what age you should go find out if there really is a problem, and then only get concerned about it. But until then, leave your poor child to develop at his or her own pace.
Who cares if they can sit by 3 months or walk by 8 months. They’ve got 70, 80, hell maybe even 90 years where they will be required to sit and walk. So if they feel like taking it slow and just chill out by lying on their backs for an extra few days, weeks or month, then do your duty and leave them be!!
For further info on rough estimates, and read that again, ROUGH ESTIMATES of what most babies can do; follow these links:
1 – 6 months
7 to 12 months