Keeping up with the Joneses sometimes gets to be a little too much. After becoming a mom, I find myself constantly comparing everything H and I are doing to what other moms are doing and more often than not I feel like I’m coming up short. A wise mama once told me “Stop should-ing yourself!”, which is great in theory but has been difficult for me to put into action.
Everytime I log into Facebook or Instangram, I’m seeing happy mamas post about their babies rolling over, scooting and crawling and starting to pull themselves up. I’m inundated with exciting milestones that should be celebrated, but instead all I can see is green.
The worst part is, my mommy friends are awesome but I was starting to feel a little angry towards them, even though I know I’m going to be shouting it from the rooftops when H does start crawling, etc. These moments that they’re sharing are not done so in a “na-na-na boo boo” way, but for some reason I still can’t shake the competitive highschooler out of my head.
When I should be happy for them, all I’m doing is questioning my mothering. Am I not doing enough to inspire him? Should I be doing something else? Am I not “monkey see, monkey do”ing enough? Is that why he’s not rolling or scooting? Am I holding too much and preventing him from hitting milestones because of that? Should I put him down on his own more often so he can figure it out? Is there something wrong with him that he can’t find the mechanical skills necessary to be able to physically do it?
It always boils down to the fact that I’m doing something wrong, why is that? My husband only ever tells me how awesome of a job he thinks I’m doing, I’m home with him everyday and do my best to make sure all of his developmental needs (artistic, cognitive, emotional, motor, sensory, language) are met through activities all day, but why do I still feel like I’m falling short?
I was so caught up in comparing what milestones H was crossing off that I realized I was missing so many little moments. Saturday the 26th I was re-watching a video of a mama friends 6 month old crawling for the third time when I noticed it was quiet. I looked up and saw H staring directly at me, and when I returned his gaze he gave me such a big smile. I honestly have no idea how long he had been looking at me and I was crushed. I locked my screen and put the phone to the side, picked him up and gave him a huge hug.
Facebook was draining me of living in the moment with H, so I did something about it. Now I no longer get the million notifications every day that I can’t help but check on, and end up feeling guilty over. I’m still working on the jealousy issue, but I know soon enough H will be zooming across the floors faster than I can keep up so right now I’m reveling in the fact that he enjoys cuddling and is non-mobile. In fact, the day after I deleted Facebook and started playing with him more, he rolled over back to front and front to back, very intentionally. It was like he was giving me some validation, a sign that he knew I was worried and he could do big things if he wanted to, but that he’s just stubborn (I wonder where he gets that from…) and wanted to do things on his own schedule. Also? I discovered H could turn the pages of his books by himself, he has started clapping, and that he loves when a dog licks his toes, not to mention I’m sleeping so much better.
The first two days were really hard, like really really embarrassingly hard, but it’s gotten easier.
Yes, I still have my phone with me 75% of the time, but that’s because I can’t help but take pictures of H constantly. He is so fascinated by everything right now that I want to capture as much of his wonder and joy as possible so that I can relive it later.
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