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.|