To Walk, or Not to Walk

Does anyone else use Facebook or Timehop and get to see reminders of pictures of your child from years ago? I do. I LOVE this. It reminds me of everything we were so accustomed to in the past, then completely forgot.

Today I saw one that reminded me of the competition out there between moms for their children to be the best, first, cutest, etc. It’s there, and it is quite unfortunate. My video from 3 years ago showed my 13 month old walking. I loved seeing it, then I felt the dread. It was a memory of the feeling I had back then, every time someone asked me if she was walking yet. And telling me she should, or I should work on it with her, or that their child walked far earlier, or even telling my ONE year old to just get up and walk. It was insane, and I felt awful. It was as if I had done something wrong or failed my child somehow.

The average range for a child to walk is between 9 and 18 months. Baby Center: Baby Milestone – Walking. This is a pretty wide range and reflects how different each child progresses. Other milestones from infancy to age 2 include rolling over, sitting up, standing, kicking and/or throwing a ball, speaking several words, scribbling with a crayon, and following 2-step directions. These are wonderful times. They are also anxiety-ridden times for some moms. At almost every social interaction with other moms I felt the questions were always the same. How fast is each child meeting their milestones? I bugged my husband with questions at night about how early his other children met their milestones when they were young, and worried aloud about it to others in person and in emails, FB posts, messages, and texts. And I was not alone.

I do wish I had been able to overcome my anxiety, disregard the mommy focus on those milestones and other things I thought my child “should” be doing by her age, or was doing early, or never did, and just ENJOY having a healthy and happy child. Many moms go through this challenge, especially during those first 2 years.

If I could go back to that time, I would definitely choose to save the questions on growth and milestones for her pediatrician appointments and spend our time focusing on the more fun aspects of raising a baby and toddler. That’s not so say that we shouldn’t focus on learning, but more as a by-product of our experiences together. These times can be stressful enough. Let’s enjoy them and learn to avoid adding to the stress! For examples we’re including fun ideas for activities with your little one below.

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