Somewhere along the journey in life we signed up to be moms. Some of us planned it, others had surprise blessings either way we said yes and now we are moms. That one small name “mom” holds more pride, challenges, adaptation, flexibility, courage, knowledge, energy, wisdom and love than most titles hold in our world today. The word that seems to stand out the most when we as moms find ourselves in the company of other moms is the word “pride”. Just give me any excuse possible so that I can tell you how proud I am of my baby for…getting her first tooth at 3 months, sitting up at 4 months, crawling at 5 months, walking at 8 months, talking at 9 months (in complete sentences). As moms of toddlers we are ready with the information about when our little angel started potty training like a big girl at only 18 months! As moms of preschoolers we want to let the world know they can read and color inside the lines. When they hit grade school there is no holding back “He plays first string, she came in 1st in the city championship, he gets straight A’s and doesn’t even study, she is at the top of her class in reading, he made 14 points in one game, and the list goes on and on and on.
There is nothing wrong with being proud of your children or celebrating their accomplishments! We know as moms in the 21st century we are building a foundation, a healthy self esteem for our children. We know how important it is to compliment our children and acknowledge their success. The problem comes because we don’t know how to control that urge we have to tell every mom sitting on the bleachers “That’s my Johnny!” It originates from a place of love for our children. Somehow before it leaves our lips it gets twisted into a competition with all nearby moms. As my mother in law likes to quote her grandmother “Every old black crow thinks her baby bird is the blackest.” We should have this love and pride in our children, it’s healthy. The competition is what is unhealthy.
Let your child be a child. Don’t push them to sit up and speak before they learn to roll. Don’t push them to learn to read before they enter school. My fellow moms we as Americans are competitive, by culture but we don’t have to transfer this idea to our children’s development. Our children will only be children once in their lives. They will not go to college coloring outside the lines. There is a time and place for everything. The healthiest thing we can do as parents is to be with our children, love them, watch them and guide them as they show interest in the different stages. If you choose to push them beyond their comfort zone consequences will occur down the road. One can only push something that is not ready to be pushed so far before it collapses. Our children are perfect to us whether they are keeping up with the Jones’ children or not.
Enjoy each stage as you go. Let that stage be enough in that moment. Stop looking forward to …when they can walk we can go more places…when they learn to potty they can go to school…when they go to school they can play sports…when they go away to college we will have more time for us…when they, wait their gone, their grown and you don’t get to witness every stage anymore. Don’t rush it. Time is fleeting, childhood is short, memories are hard to hold on to…live in the moment now and let them be who they are now.