Some friends and I were talking recently about how every new mom seems to have one thing she stresses about more than anything else with her baby. For some, it is feeding: Is my baby getting enough milk? Will I have enough milk? Will I need to supplement? When should I start solids? For some, it is sleeping: How often should my baby nap? What time should I put her to bed? Should I wake her? When will he start sleeping through the night? Should I sleep train? Is it OK to rock him to sleep? Maybe for others it is developmental milestones: Why isn’t my baby rolling over yet? Shouldn’t be sitting up by now? Is it bad that my baby isn’t crawling yet? When should she start walking? Clearly there is no shortage of things to worry about when you are suddenly in charge of a tiny human for the first time…
For me, I remember worrying SO much about Sam’s schedule (or lack therof). I really felt defined as a mom by whether or not my three month old was eating, playing, and sleeping in that order at the right times. When he wasn’t (which was… well, always), I felt like such a failure. I literally drove myself crazy.
Later, when he was a little bit older, I was a nervous wreck over the fact that he wasn’t talking when I thought he should be. No joke, from about 14 months on, I called my pediatrician every month on his “birthday” to report that he still wasn’t talking (I know). We had tubes put in his ears (which he did need, but they didn’t magically make him start talking), and even paid for private speech therapy starting at 18 months (because the doctor wasn’t concerned AT ALL and didn’t think he would qualify for any free services). I thought he would NEVER talk and spent many a day crying/worrying myself sick over it.
Not surprisingly, both of those things worked themselves out over time… I’m happy to report that Sam, at age 6, is now on a very consistent schedule that includes sleeping every night (mostly all night), playing/learning from 7:45AM – 2:45PM at school, and eating three solid meals a day (plus 423 snacks). 😉 He also starting talking around two and a half, and hasn’t stopped since. In fact, people often comment about how “advanced” his vocabulary is or how he “sounds like a little adult.”
By the time Nora came around four years later, I had loosened up SO much. When she was two weeks old, I deleted all scheduling apps from my phone and never looked back. I also have no idea what her first word was (oops) and don’t recall worrying about her language a single time. There is something SO nice about the perspective you have parenting the second time around…
So, tell me, what was the ONE THING that really kept you up at night with your first baby (besides a hungry, crying baby, of course)?!?!
Also, for bonus points, tell us how that one thing played out over time, and what was different for you the next time around (if you’ve had other babies since)…
Hopefully this will be a fun convo for veteran moms and an encouragement for the new moms deep in the trenches to know that they are not alone and #thistooshallpass.
Love you guys!