25 January 2016

Mommy Insecurities and Some Patience

In my eyes, K is perfect. Like any mother with her child, I could write paragraph upon paragraph outlining the ways I think she is special, wonderful, and amazing. Despite my obvious bias, I am also (sorta) honest with myself. K does things on her own time; and not a minute before. This started early on with tummy time, continued on to crawling, standing, walking, first spoken syllables, first spoken words, and the list goes on. She has never been the first kid in the pack to hit her developmental milestones.

When K wasn't walking at the requisite 12 months, my mom told me, "Every child operates on their own timeline. Some are early, others aren't. But we all figure out how to walk at some point, right?" This brought me some comfort, as I have great faith in my mom's wise words. She has raised three children who are all walkers. So, I let the worry wash over me, and...lo and behold...K eventually walked. I feel like being a first time mom can make you a little nutty. You often feel like you're sinking a lot more than you're swimming. It's good to seek advice from veteran moms and moms with multiple children. They will talk you off the ledge.

But still, my competitive spirit can get the best of me. It is difficult not to jump on what I'll call the "Mommy Comparison Train." I have been living my life rather quietly lately. Humming along and trying not to Google too much. Because if you Google "Should my child talk at 22 months?" You may just be met with "My child wrote poetry at 22 months" and then end up wanting to kill yourself. I feel like "Try not to Google Too Much" should be the name of my memoir. Anyway. I was back on the train over the weekend after an adorable little girl not quite one month older than K came up to me talking in full sentences with the vocabulary of a fifth grader.

You see K still doesn't talk much compared to her peers. She understands a ton. But, she's not chattering like the little girl I saw over the weekend. I know children develop at their own rates, and it wouldn't make much sense to push K too hard. Her doctor believes that K is perfectly healthy and normal. No reason to be too nervous over her speech or language development. She isn't at the point of needing speech therapy. (She will be evaluated again at her two year appointment.) Yet, still, I have these thoughts. Am I not talking to her enough? Am I talking to her too much? Is it because I know what she wants before she says it? OK, so I'm not telling her to 'use her words' enough. So much internal dialogue. The insecurities start to creep up and take over.

So, here I sit, practicing patience, hoping for the day the light switch goes off in K's brain, and it all comes together as it should. Worrying that the switch is broken. Worrying if I am doing all I can do. Terrified that I could mess it all up, and above all, trying not to compare K to every potential 22 month old I meet, see on TV, see on Instagram, and notice on the street.


8 comments:

  1. This is my struggle as well! R just started "walking" at 14 months. And it's not very well or consistently. I am always so stressed about these big milestones. But trust our children are exactly as they should be. It's especially hard to see children younger than her doing more physically than her though. There are some rare moments however that I can just really appreciate R for who she is. I wish those moments could kill these google searching ones though.

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    1. Agreed. OMG, it's awful when younger kids seem to be more advanced!! Cue the anxiety.

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  2. It can be so hard not to compare! I think the important thing to remember is that kids all develop different skills at different times, so K probably has a skill that's way more advanced than kids who are talking more than she is. As moms we worry so much but as a teacher I always remind myself that typically speaking, no matter how quickly they develop as toddlers everyone is more or less on the same page come kindergarten.

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    1. Thanks, Amanda! I think your advice is spot on. I am going to keep reminding myself that it all pretty much evens out once school starts.

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  3. For what it's worth Adaline has been behind on speech for awhile however she has been using ASL since around 13 months. I brought it up at her 15 month and 18 month but her Dr kept assuring me she'd come around. She finally in the last month has been talking a lot. He told me it would only be an issue of her language between 18 months and 2 year stalled or went backwards. He also said it was more important that she was clearly understanding and communicating either with signs or gestures than how big her vocabulary was. His wife is an ei therapist and he had both of his kids in speech therapy before and wasn't convinced it was needed. Not sure if that helps to hear some other feedback.

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    1. Thanks, Heather! Our doctor told us some of the same things! At the 18 month appointment, she wasn't convinced that K was necessarily "behind" nor that she would require speech therapy. I felt reassured for awhile, and then continued to worry behind the scenes. I don't think I would worry so much if I hadn't seen/heard kids K's age and younger talking up a storm!

      I'm so happy to hear that Adaline seems to be catching up and talking a lot! K seems to have had a language explosion just in the past WEEK. It's crazy. I'm hoping it keeps up. We have her two year appointment in the next six weeks, so we'll see what her doctor says. Thank you for sharing your experience! It really helps to hear from other moms going through similar situations.

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  4. One of Adaline's classmates in her daycare was saying Adaline's name perfectly at 12 months. That really kicked off my anxiety! She still can't say her own name correctly and didn't even attempt to try until this month!

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    1. 12 months?! Oy. K is the same when it comes to her name! It took her a looong time to say it, and it was a shortened version of her already short name. She's still learning how to tackle most two syllable words while her one buddy talks in sentences with words like "parachute". WTF?!

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