Wednesday 22 February 2017

My Toddler "Should Be" Doing What...?

Everyone who knows me will know that I'm a Mum - a job I've had now for eleven years - ten of which with just my son before my little lady joined us in 2015.

And I bloody love it.

Everyday is fabulous, everyday is different, everyday is filled with laughter and smiles

(there are also moods, grumps, tears and tantrums too don't get me wrong, this is no fairytale).

But of course there are also struggles, worries, bad days, confusion...'s an amazingly fabulous thing being a parent but it isn't always easy.

Am I being nutritional enough?

Am I giving in too easily?

Am I stretching their minds enough?

It really is an endless list of worries, wanting to always do the right thing by them to help these little people become the best that they can

And do you know what I've found that doesn't help me anymore in the slightest?

The emails upon emails telling me what my toddler "should be doing by now".

These emails were once a source of comfort don't get me wrong, especially in the early days when I had no clue what I was doing.

But these days, well, not so much.

Willow has always been, I don't want to say "behind" other children because that's not the right word at all, she is simply learning to do things at her own pace.

She really is a clever, humorous little lady but there are things that she isn't doing at the same time her peers are doing them.

When other babies her age were enjoying tummy time and lifting their heads up Willow just face planted the floor with no attempt to look around her at all, she sat up on her own at six months, she didn't crawl until ten months and now, at sixteen months of age she still doesn't walk.

She cruises around our furniture and will walk with her push along toy, but on her own?

Not a chance.

In fact at the moment she doesn't even stand on her own for longer than a couple of seconds and until she gets that skill mastered (we are practising A LOT trust me!) walking by herself obviously won't happen.

And this has really worried me, so much so that I've spoken to friends in the child care profession, I've spoken to my health visitor and I've searched the hell out of google (NEVER do this).

But still, no words of reassurance from these really help, especially when a whole lot of other factors show me that I should be worrying...

~ Playgroup - as much as I love keeping Willow busy, active and interacting with other children at playgroups I have found that some of them (not all) can be a real "Oooh check out what my child can do" competition between the parents.

I suppose it is only natural - we all want our kiddies to be the best at everything right from the word go - yet for the Mum getting those "looks" it's not always a nice feeling.

~ People - people, people, people.


Even with the best intentions people may never know just how unhelpful their "Oooh come on, you should be walking by now" or "Isn't it time you were running about?" comments really can be.

And then we have those bloody emails.

The ones sent by the "professionals", the people with the knowledge, the experience, the facts.

Well according to these emails - in particular the one I received this morning - Willow should be walking by now and should be showing signs of being able to run - oh and she should be saying around fifteen words too.

~ Fabulous ~

Now not only am I worried about her motor development I'm also on edge about her intellect.

But why?

Why am I allowing these things to get to me?

My little girl is perfect - she is beautiful and funny and can throw a paddy and switch her mood, depending on getting her own way or not, at the drop of a hat.

She finds things funny - both in "real life" and on TV (the Wise Old Elf in his undies after dressing as a bee is a particular giggle inducer), she does say a few recognisable words - Dada, Mama, Everybody - and the others she either grabs or gestures at what she wants as she speaks anyway.

She shakes that little head of hers and knows exactly what "No" means, she builds towers out of blocks and she can dance beautifully.

She is amazing.

And aren't there enough worries to be getting our heads around in this world of parenting without the constant stress of fitting development into boxes.

I do know that things said and advice given are simply just guidelines, suggestions, hints and tips put there in an attempt to be helpful, yet being "just a guideline" or not, information from people "in the know" has always been something I've jumped on from day one.

I'm not ashamed to admit I do need a little bit of help sometimes but for the parent with the child not ticking all the correct boxes at the "correct" time these emails really aren't helpful at all and I'm unsubscribing to every single one that comes my way from here on in.

My baby will do what she wants, when she wants to...a point she makes quite clear daily

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