When I became a mother, I never realized all of the things that would occupy my thoughts. My thoughts are 90 to nothing and all around the world. I think about things as mundane as washing their clothes and whether or not they are brushing their teeth.
And then there are the “big” things.
Things like, “Are they meeting their milestones?” and “Are they behind?”
There are so many thoughts and worries in those two little questions. It may seem silly, but I know I’m not the only Momma that thinks like this.
My oldest son is 12, and guess what? He can’t tie his shoes. He didn’t learn to ride a bike and swing on a swing until he was seven years old. My ten-year-old doesn’t fix his own plate of food or know personal hygiene at all. My three-and-a-half-year-old doesn’t know the entire alphabet. Heck, he doesn’t even know a tiny bit of it. He also doesn’t count to 25 like everyone says he should. My two-year-old doesn’t talk that much. He calls both me and his “framily” aunt, “Mommy.”
I get anxious just thinking about all of that. And then I start telling myself things that just aren’t true.
“I’m a horrible mom.”
“I can’t believe I let them get behind.”
“How could I do this to them?”
“They will never forgive me.”
None of that is true. That’s just my fear talking. I have to remind myself (pretty often) that each and every child is different. They all have their own timelines for development and we shouldn’t compare them to one another.
Instead of filling my head with all of those negative thoughts and self-doubt, I try to look at things from a different perspective.
My 12-year-old has physical and occupational issues. Honestly, it’s a massive accomplishment that he is even able to ride a bike and swing on a swing. He has actually has done really well hitting every milestone given his challenges. The ones that he hasn’t? He will get there eventually, or maybe they just won’t happen.
Even though my ten-year-old gets very anxious while fixing his plate for dinner, he has worked very hard to get where he is. And maybe the personal hygiene issue might just be a “boy thing?”
My three-and-a-half-year-old may not know his alphabet or how to count to 25, but he is trying.
My two-year-old has three older brothers to speak for him. And he obviously loves his aunt and me so much that he puts us in the same category of “mommy.”
All of this needs to stop. We, as mommas have got to stop putting ourselves down. Especially when it comes to our children. Just because they haven’t met a milestone does not mean we are horrible moms. We do so much for our families and need to enjoy our time with them.
My boys will meet their milestones in their own time. Not mine or anyone else’s.
In fact, my 12-year-old can tell you about any of the wars in history. My ten-year-old is amazing at math and has had to deal with the challenges that come with having an older brother with special needs. My three-and-a-half-year-old uses big words and talks almost as well as his older brothers. And, my two-year-old has his big brothers to talk for him. He doesn’t need to talk!
My boys have maybe met milestones that other children haven’t. And those children will meet them eventually. I try my hardest to not compare my boys to other children their age. Even more important, I am trying to teach my children to not compare themselves to other people and to have compassion for those that may be struggling.
I hope you will too.