Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Reef is teaching me some really valuable lessons about being a better person and a better parent but there is one thing that stands out above all the rest. The lesson. Don’t rush it.

Don’t be in a hurry for your baby to sleep through the night or to start solids or to sit up or crawl or walk. If I can offer you one bit of advice, it’s to just enjoy the stage your baby is in right. this. moment.

It’s human nature to look towards the future -- to imagine all the fun that comes with the next milestone in your child’s life -- but looking back, I am shocked at how fast my first two tiny babies are now pre-teens. I sometimes go and study pictures of Keegan and Bailey when they were infants. I look at Keegan’s deep thigh rolls that are all gone now. Bailey’s look of awe and wonder out into the world. And I can’t believe how quickly infancy passes.

Of course it’s important to stimulate and encourage your child, but I feel like I was far too focused on trying to ensure that they were advanced. I found myself (despite knowing better!) comparing them to their peers and worrying unnecessarily when a friend’s baby crawled before Bailey did or reveling in the fact that she was one of the first among her peers to walk. I’d rattle off a list of accomplishments at every pediatrician appointment so that our doctor would tell me how impressive their development was. In so many ways I felt as if their advanced development was a reflection of my success as their mother.

I look at Reef now and I realize that one day soon he will no longer sleep with his knees curled beneath his on my chest, sit content & happy in a bouncy seat, or gnaw on a chew toy for entertainment. I’m sure that you’ll agree that they all roll over, they all sit up, they all learn to hold their own bottle, they all crawl, and cruise, and walk, and run eventually. All of them. Each will do it on their own schedule. But they all get there.

Armed with this revelation, I am taking my sweet time this go round. Instead of focusing on whether Reef is advancing at the same rate (or faster or slower) than his peers, I am letting him lead the way. Even as I watch more and push less, he is still moving forward and growing at what feels like the speed of light. I am savoring each stage more as I know that it will be gone and replaced with a new one far too soon.

So that’s it. My two cents. Slow down. Let go a little. Delight in this moment, dear mothers. The tiny newborn. The squishy infant. The crawling, the cruising, the walking, the talking… it will all come and go faster than your heart can possibly imagine.

1 comment:

  1. This is sooooo true! And very well said.

    I remember being a bit proud once my daughter started sleeping thru the night, but now I'm sad that I don't get those extra couple of hours at night totally alone with her. Just me and her with no other distractions.

    Times like that are few and far between...


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