Category Archive : developmental milestones

I judge other parents – and so do you

Judge Judge Judge

We moms, we judge all the time. We judge others (even when we don’t mean to). We judge ourselves.

All of that judgment equates to a whole lot of guilt.

I will be the first to admit that I question and judge other’s parenting choices. Vaccinations and putting the car seat in the wrong place in a shopping cart at Target top my list of judginess.

Before this conversation strays into a vaccination debate or whether or not to breastfeed, I will say this, WE PARENTS ARE ALL GUILTY. If you have a stance on any of these subjects you are guilty. GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY. Of course, as I stand here on my soapbox, I will say that I keep these judgments mostly internal. So, I shall use my blog in the passive aggressive way that I always do. But this brings me to another point: go ahead and have your opinions. We all have them. We have the right to them. But can you just keep them to yourselves? It’s hard enough being a mom without someone shoving reports, studies and other bullshit in my face.

I read a post this morning on the Scary Mommy blog which is one of my favorite blogs on the entire planet. It was titled, “Why Developmental Milestones are Bullshit.” I was so happy that someone finally told me to stop worrying and start living.

I haven’t been the most verbal in publicly discussing my 15 month old daughter Mackenzie’s slow development. Those close friends, family and colleagues that I have spoken with about my worries all echo the sentiments of the above blog post. Stop worrying. Trust your pediatrician.

But you see, that is hard. I am one of many new mommies out of my 300+ Facebook friends who had babies over the last year or two not to mention the private Facebook Group I am a part of who all had December 2013 babies. I see them posting videos and pictures of their babies already walking and talking. I see them being toddlers. Suddenly, I am afraid to post things about my baby. Afraid to admit that my daughter doesn’t seem to be like the rest of them. Afraid that all of my mom friends will suddenly stand in judgment. Judging whether I did something wrong. It’s as if I can see in their faces with that look of pity or suddenly get a slew of PMs saying “You should really get that checked out.”

While I do agree that developmental milestones are a little bit of BS, I also do believe that they stand as markers for pediatricians to determine if there is a larger problem at play.

Mackenzie hasn’t “technically” missed any milestones. She is still well within the range of when her expected first steps should be (she has up to 18 months before they will considered her truly delayed). We have had a number of red flags with her though. She has a football shaped eye which is causing extreme nearsightedness in her left eye and she will wear glasses for the rest of her life (and yes, getting a 1 year old to wear glasses is as hard as you might imagine it to be). Around 6 months we discovered mass in her belly – it turned out to be a lipoma; however we are slowly learning it could be the result of a bigger problem. She had mild hip displaysia as an infant which thankfully resolved itself. She also has one leg longer than the other. We don’t know if any of these issues are contributing to her slow to develop major motor skills like pulling up and walking. We have now been referred to a neurologist and likely a geneticist. There have been million letter named syndromes that I can barely pronounce thrown at us – most with scary repercussions such as a heightened risk of cancer. All we really want to hear is “She is fine.” If it costs me thousands of dollars to hear those words, then so be it.

My husband thinks our little girl is just a little diva – that she is going to determine when she wants to do these things. Not when the “developmental milestone” markers are telling her to do them. Despite some of the bigger things, such as walking, she is a champion eater and sleeper. Her language is developing just fine and we’ve heard her verbalizing mama, dada and even Jack Jack (which is often confused with dada). She also uses her sign language to tell us “more”, “food” and “milk”. Her “delays” should definitely not be confused with stupidity.

All of this to worry about and I’m worried about what others will think? My daughter is flipping gorgeous and funny. She is an absolute joy to be around. I should be sharing all of her beauty with the world.

Those who stand in judgment can suck it.

Look at how beautiful she is!

She’s ridiculously happy most of the time

She falls asleep sitting up. 

She’s going to be a champion texter someday. Also… those CURLS! 

She adores her brother. 

Works on her computing skills daily. 

She is insanely curious about everything we are doing. 

More Sleep Discussion

I know sleep seems to be the only topic I have to talk about lately, but when it is EVERYTHING about your life, is there anything else to discuss?

DH and I have delved deep into the mystery that is baby sleep. I feel like I have combed the internet for hours researching and trying to find an answer to why we can’t get our 6 month old to sleep through the night. Have I found the answer yet? Not necessarily. However, I have found that what Jack is doing is actually more normal than we thought. Jack typically goes to sleep around 8-9pm depending on his level of playful, maniac-ness. He goes right to sleep without any struggle and we usually get a solid 2 hours before the night goes awry. We have found though that there is always a reason for his waking up and being upset: his Nuk fell out, his Nuk is in backwards, he rolled over and is uncomfortably wedged into the corner of the crib, he rolled onto his back (he hates his back) and the list goes on. These are all fairly easy fixes- we re-position him and give him his Nuk back. This takes all of 10 seconds with little interruption to my own REM sleep. Lately though, Jack has been starting to stir around 4am. This is seriously a no-go in our book. Too damn early. No way in hell is either of us starting our day at 4am. The more I read though, I’m finding that 8-9 hours of sleep, including these minor interruptions is normal. So. He goes down at 8- 4am is 8 hours. Not brain surgery to figure out what is going on here. He’s hungry. We’re not ready to get up. We struggle with getting him back to sleep. Now, if we were alert, awake and intelligent, we would simply give him the darn bottle and chances are, he would go back down until 6 and be ready to start the day at that time (normal for us as we are up getting ready to go to work anyway). Why do we fight this? I’m not sure. Probably because we are afraid that it will become habit and we will have to get up at 4am every morning for the next 18 years to feed him. Truth of the matter is, we probably just need to go with it. Until he is old enough and not in need of a bottle or baby foods, then this really is the reality and there is no use in fighting it. This is what we signed up for!

In other news… The discussion of baby #2 has definitely begun. Initially we’re thinking, dear God. Are we crazy? That would be hell to have 2 babies under 2. The other part of us is: let’s just get this shiz over with. I can’t imagine waiting a few years, having Jack sleeping peacefully through the night and then start all over with screaming baby every single night. We might as well just make a few years of sleep deprivation and the blissfully be done with it. I can’t even believe I’m going to say this, but, I’m excited to be pregnant again. As many times as I barfed and could barely walk when I was preggo with Jack, deep down I loved it. There is just something about having that life inside you. So miraculous. So wonderful. This is all a lot of talk right now though. I’m hoping to wait until this summer before we actually starty to really try.

One other thing that has really been on my mind is my loyalty (and addiction) to my mommy web forums. They are both wonderful and awful all at the same time. I go there to get advice, but then, I constantly sit there and compare Jack to all these other babies and think “Why isn’t Jack rolling?” or “Why doesn’t Jack have his teeth yet?”. I know a lot of mommies are just excited about reaching these little milestones, and normally I love that they share these things, but secretly? It annoys me a little. Not that a mama shouldn’t brag about her little ones, but sometimes I just have to roll my eyes. I feel like I’m constantly reminding myself that there is no manual for parenting and that my baby is an individual. He will meet these milestones at his pace. As long as the pedi says he is doing great then I am not going to sit and compare. I find it a little funny that suddenly there are a rash of posts about babies who previously STTN (slept through the night) who are now waking up in the middle of the night every hour (secretly I think to myself… HAHA). Now. Don’t you think this is a sign? All these babies. All around the same age. All of them are waking at night. IT IS DEVELOPMENTAL FOLKS!!! There is nothing you can do about it but let them figure out how to sleep on their own and that is the best thing you’ll be able to teach them. I love that DH praises me for keeping Jack on a rigid schedule both with feeding and sleeping and is convinced that is the reason we have such a mild mannered, less whiny baby. Whether or not that is true, I don’t know, but I’ll take the praise nonetheless!

P.S. Just want to say that I am jumping for joy that Tatiana didn’t make it through to the top 13 on American Idol!!!