When I was pregnant, counting down the weeks with other expectant mamas was a great comfort. We were experiencing many of the same joys, reading the same labor books, barfing up the same prenatal vitamins. I imagined that having children around the same age would be even better, that we’d all be sleep deprived and crabby about pediatricians together.
But what I’ve found instead is the awful urge to compare, constantly, what their babies are doing and mine isn’t.
I know that all babies develop at their own pace, and that it’s not a competition. It’s still incredibly difficult not to worry when even the way we talk about our babies is often centered around what milestone they have or haven’t met yet. I might ask a friend how her day was, or where she went for lunch or what she’s reading. But with Miss E, it’s usually, “Is she rolling over yet?” or “Have you started solids?”
I’m not worried that she’s not perfect, because she is. When I worry, I’m wondering if there isn’t something I’ve done wrong that’s holding her back, or something I could have done more of. And I know I’ve got to get used to feeling this way for the rest of her life, or better still, let it go. Follow her cues. Know that I’m doing the best that I can.
Because today was lovely. Because she’s nursing well. Because together we read Goodnight Moon and she touched the pages and reached for my face, made the little, curious sounds my husband and I love so much. Because whatever she does tomorrow, it will be in her own time, in her own way.