When you get pregnant you sign up for email lists that let you know how big your baby is on a weekly basis. This leads to walking through the produce section at Kroger’s whispering to the blueberries, “This is how big my baby is! So tiny! So precious! I love you, Blueberry!”
Each week it’s the same conversation with a different piece of vegetation (a grape, 57 kernels of corn, a (gulp) watermelon). Of course, they don’t really know how big your baby is but you’ll buy into it since you can’t see your baby right now and you’re grasping at any info you can to help all of this feel real.
Then you have the baby. And you’d think the emails would quit, right? Because now you can see the baby and which food product it most closely resembles. But, no.
Now you get weekly emails about what your baby is doing outside of the womb, too!
“Your baby is 40 weeks old! As baby’s creeping skills continue to improve, it’s time to double-check your baby-proofing (watch those sharp edges) and invest in some baby shoes. It’s best to let baby go barefoot whenever it’s safe, but shoes protect baby’s feet from splinters, sharp objects, and rough surfaces.”
So I went and
my mom bought shoes. Because the email told me to.
But seriously, thing I’ve learned #3: Your baby is not a widget and will develop at his/her own pace.
This is a duh for most people. Especially people who have babies that are developing at the email newsletter’s pace…Week 28 they should be crawling you say? By golly she started 8 minutes ahead of schedule!
But when your baby doesn’t get over colic on time or roll over on time or become clingy on time, you kinda start to freak…
Baby, the email said you should be (insert milestone you didn’t even know existed until you checked your email). Why? Why are you trying to sabotage my parenting experience, Baby? !?
It can be hard having a slower-than-email-newsletter-pace baby. It can be even harder reading Facebook statuses about babies 5 months younger than yours rolling over and crawling and graduating from MIT. And I have wanted to freak a time or two, especially in the beginning when I’d beg for Mark to help me analyze just how much progress Otis was making with tummy time (suggestion: register for a protractor).
But babies aren’t widgets and you aren’t a quality control engineer. Your job isn’t to make sure he’s developing “on time” or at the same rate as your friend’s baby (Hi, Elma and Baby C!). Honestly, those milestones are just as much guesses as how big your baby was when he was on the inside.
And don’t freak. Just celebrate that you got a month longer of stationary-baby-status than everyone else! #thatscalledlookingatthebrightside.