Baby rolling
@mindytingson via Twenty20

I was a pretty inexperienced mom the first time around. Having moved away from home and living in a city where people delay having kids for as long as humanly possible, I have to admit I didn't hold a newborn until I was well into my 30s. In fact, I had never even changed a diaper before my son was born—so you get the picture, I knew nothing.

That was even more true when it came to the milestone world. I figured, sure, the baby will get teeth at some point, I guess they'll crawl at some point and probably eventually walk. But I had no idea of when or how any of these things happened in reality.

My first baby gave me a crash course on motherhood. He was born 3 weeks early via an urgent C-section, had a terrible latch which resulted in weight gain issues and ridiculous amounts of anxiety and guilt on my side. However, he was always ahead of the curve when it came to milestones ahead of the curve when it came to milestones.

Sitting up was mastered before the 6-month mark, shocking our newly hired nanny who told us all that the other nannies in the neighborhood were amazed at our baby's excellent posture. Teeth all came out in multiples of two, filling his mouth (second molars included) waaaaay before the 2-year mark. Crawling happened, walking happened, talking happened—and people could not believe he was the age he was because he was so ahead.

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Then I had twins. All the anxiety I had the first time around was gone; I knew babies very well. It was a hard adjustment because it was two babies at the same time, but I knew what they needed and what to expect from them at first (which is not much, they are really just potatoes at the beginning—very cute potatoes). We had weight gain issues that were fixed with triple feeding without me crying at my boobs for failing me. We had a pandemic that left us without childcare but also allowed us to just be with the babies 24/7.

I thought we were good. Until I started comparing the twins to my son, and then to other babies in my virtual baby group.
When I looked back at photos from 2 years ago (my kids are 24 months apart exactly) it felt like the twins were so behind on everything my son did. And instead of remembering how ahead he was, I started to worry. I would google "when do babies roll" and when the answers told me something different from our reality I would sob.

I would go into our pediatrician appointments with questions about their missed milestones, only for her to tell me that they were just fine and that there were ranges for everything and that my babies seemed to be hitting their milestones at an appropriate time. "What about that baby in my Facebook group who can already walk and mine can't even sit up?" I would fire back. My very patient pediatrician would explain how those babies, just like my first, were ahead of the curve.

Slowly I started to let go of milestones. I wanted to stop worrying, in a year in which I've already worried so much because hello dumpster fire. I wanted to enjoy my babies. And in this process of letting go of expectations and enjoying the moment, I discovered something beautiful. I realized, finally, how my children are all different people. Yes, they are all made 50/50 of my husband and me, but that does not mean that they are clones of each other—far from that. They have preferences and different skills and desires. One twin loves crawling around the house chasing her older brother, the other one much rather stay put and shake a maraca while looking at herself in the mirror.

This, I believe, is the first lesson they are teaching me in letting them be who they truly are. I can worry all day about the twin who is not a fan of crawling, or I can just let go, listen to their doctor who is trained to see things I am not, and enjoy her musical skills (which her crawling sister does not have, by the way).

Here's to enjoying our children every day, in whatever schedule they are on because everything happens so fast, we might miss it in a blink of an eye. Even the potato phase which sometimes seems never-ending.

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