A child is not a competition

Since when did everyone have to have a better child than the next person?
 
My son, Bruce, was born on a Tuesday, at 12:55pm.  A healthy 8lbs, 22 inches long, after a total of 41weeks of pregnancy (I was induced, which will be subject of another blog, for another time). He became into the world kicking and screaming, and had made everyone who had had the blessing of knowing him, the happiest they could be.
We were lucky to have such a healthy baby. At the time he was the biggest born that I had personally known of (all my friends having tiny babies) and I had zero complications during pregnancy,  other than scary Braxton Hicks from 25-39 weeks, and a son that just didn’t want to leave the womb come due date.
My first child,  we counted fingers & toes, and were amazed at his ability to start picking his head up at five minutes old.  We were able to achieve a natural birth with delayed cord clamping (which my ob was ecstatic about! ) and did skin to skin, for the first few hours of life uninterrupted, until a nurse needed to do something. Over the next few months, we recorded his growth and development with excitement, as he surpassed milestones months early.
And then I began to notice something peculiar…
I first noticed it in the various mommy groups I’m a member of in social media. Then I noticed it amongst personal friends.  Maybe it was just an update on how a baby was developing-maybe it would be a question on milestones not being reached by a certain age. But with every post there was one common denominator- mixed in with the praises and congratulations, there was almost always one of these:
“My daughter started sitting up last week,  how old is yours again? “
“Is he crawling yet?  My son is the same age and started crawling right away!”
That’s awesomeMy son already cruised at this age! “
 
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with bragging on your kids. It’s natural,  unavoidable, and after nine months of baking baby,  how can you not show off every little movement with pure ecstasy over what you created?
Like most mad scientists,  if I’m meeting you for the first time,  you probably have at least five minutes before I’m shoving pictures of my “monster”  in your face,  demanding that you join me in relishing his beauty.
The internet is the best place to confuse words and intention for lack of two things:
Tone & facial expression.
For new parents and those with worries about their child’s development, it can cause a great amount of anxiety if they mis-read these individual bragging rights & casual comments as ‘criticism’ or even ‘concern’ of/for their baby’s well being.
I noticed a lot of times when I reported Bruce rolling over,  scooting, attempting to crawl, all the basic milestones, I would have one of extremes: either someone doubted me because of his age (because I’m totally going to make up that my kid is waaayyyy beyond yours. Its crawling,  not acheiving a college degree at 6 months old) or became very concerned for their own child because they hadn’t hit that Mark yet.
I do think that mommys groups, and even just talking with friends, is a great way to help detect possible developmental delays. If you notice your baby isn’t doing the same things as other babies his/her age,  identifying issues that much sooner, and working with interventionist/doctors, can be a great help.  But we all have to remember that children do things at their own pace-some skipping certain, once thought important “milestones”, such as crawling,  altogether.  This doesn’t mean your child isn’t growing properly.  Its just by their own design.
“Well my child-“
Which brings me to my point: don’t worry about other people’s babies.  They are going to do them just as yours is gonna do his/hers. If you suspect delays,  talk with your pediatrician,  NOT the Facebook mommy group! Anyone’s opinion or experience is only going to be biased by one thing: their child.  And their child isn’t your child. Yes, you might learn valuable information from friends and social groups,  but their children’s developments should not be taken as the blueprint for yours.
And don’t let’s others comments get to you.  Yes,  my son is only a month older than yours. Maybe he’s faster than the norm?  This isn’t a slight against anyone if my baby is developing faster than your baby. That’s just his pace.
Oh,  your daughter was already walking by this time?  Awesome!  That’s great! My child goes to regularly scheduled doctor appointments, and if I feel a cause for concern because I think something is wrong,  then we will discuss it.  I’m not going to hold my child up to anyone else’s, to judge how they should be growing and behaving.
And I ask this of ALL parents-let your baby grow at their own pace. There is no competition to see who’s baby is walking and talking first. Don’t feel like you are letting your child down in some kind of way if the Jones’s kid is crawling on all fours while yours is still army crawling backwards (mine did this for a while before he figured out to take it out of reverse! ).  And don’t feel like anyone questioning you on your child’s age, and other milestones, is some type of challenge. Maybe they are worried about development (which if you learn that is the case,  encourage them to speak to their pediatrician).  Maybe they are questioning your claims, and just can’t believe your baby is growing so fast. If it’s the latter,  then don’t let it bother you-you know your baby,  and if she/he is just ahead of Suzy Q’s kid,  then be proud of your child’s achievement and don’t let the attitude of others prevent you from your right to brag as a parent.
Just remember there’s no winner or loser when it comes to watching your baby learn and grow. Its not a competition.  Its the journey of life you are taking with your child.

Sacrifice

“You have to be willing to give up everything you love when you have children…”

Making sacrifices is a big part of being a parent. It just kind of goes with the territory – you find yourself without the time to do a lot of the things you enjoy;  like going out, bar hopping, the movies, coffee dates, sleep…

But isn’t it rewarding?”

Oh, very much so. BUT this isn’t going to be one of those posts. There’s enough of those kinds of blogs on the internet,  and that’s one of the things that seems to be engraved into the psyche of new parents as soon as the test reads ‘positive’.

Children require a lot of sacrifice.
Looks like you won’t have time for that*anymore…. (*insert any hobby here you would like)

Just because you have children,  the person you were before doesn’t have to die,  and you don’t have to give up EVERYTHING you enjoy doing.  Hobbies and Social Events just may be placed on a back burner-you may find that weekly Girl’s Night Out turns into Once A Month Catch Up (When I Have A Sitter), and binge watching the new season of “Orange Is The New Black”, isn’t possible to accomplish in one night because as soon as baby is asleep,  you are also asleep (you are gonna give up a lot to be able to sleep, tbh).

But its important to find the time to do things for yourself.  You’ll be a well-balanced,  better parent if you do. Everyone needs a break. Post-partum depression is very real and sets in at different intervals for different people. For some moms (and dads,  let’s not exclude you either! ) the first few weeks can be an absolute nightmare. For others, it may not be until you reach the six month mark that you find yourself locked in the bathroom trying to find a few moments sanity somewhere under the sink because it’s 4am and the baby is teething and you simply. Cant. Anymore.

Support is key. And finding the time to just “turn off” and enjoy the little things,  like a trip to the grocery store alone, or meeting with girlfriends for one evening out,  is a great tool to take the edge off things.  Unfortunately,  the fact of sacrifice is so forcefully shoved down new parents throats,  that most forget that it’s ok to escape for a few hours and be yourself for a little while.

I’m not condoning never spending time with your kids. I think everyone knows of those few parents who are always gone and leaving their babies with someone else, be it family or babysitters. I myself was even guilty at one point of passing judgement on an acquaintance who left a newborn with grandma to party two weeks after delivery.

Well I would neverthat time is so important for Bondingand they are only brand new for so long! “

But again-this may have been exactly what that mother needed.  Maybe myself and the husband shouldn’t have waited six months to have our first post-baby date night (which was only three hours long and consisted of constantly checking our phones for missed calls and wondering if baby was ok. Needless to say it ended early). Who is to say which Behavior is better than another.

Having children is time consuming,  expensive,  and forever worth it. But as important as it is to give up certain lifestyle choices,  it’s just as important to keep doing the things you love as much as you can, to keep you happy and give yourself clarity.

Having a baby doesn’t mean you have to give up being a person-it just means your schedule and routine changes. The importance of things change order. But it doesn’t mean you have to give it up.

….. unless it’s drugs. Then by all means,
Give up that.

My plunge into the world of blogging

Wait,  is this another one of those “mommy blogs?

Sort of.

I can’t promise perfect grammar, the answers to life’s questions, recipes only your Grandma remembers, or even a new way to earn money from the comfort of your own home!

 

What I can promise is to share my experiences; as a woman, as a wife, and as a mother. Some truth mixed in with some humor, some opinion, a little inspiration (hopefully) and part of myself. Hey, as a stay at home mom I gotta do something for fun, right?

 

Maybe some of my stories, thoughts, and experiences can give you tools in your own journey through life. A laugh or two,  new idea, solace in the thought that someone shares the same views as yourself…

 

Or you might just decide “This chick is crazy…” and not give these blogs a second glance and find someone worth reading (send links if you do! )… either way,  I hope you get something useful from my ramblings.

 

I have (at this time) a nine month old son, a husband,  an obsession with cloth diapers,  friends going through all walks of different relationships I can live vicariously through and a kitty…. something for everyone I like to think. We will see. Its gonna be exciting to dive into the world of blogging. I’m gonna try to stick around a while-hope you will too ♡