There is a lot of wisdom to be gained in simple moments of conversation with other mothers.
One moment came to me recently when we were staying with some friends during a road trip. My friend and I were watching her daughter as she playfully named the toy animals in her bath. So impressed by my friends little girl I said, “Wow! I don’t think my kid can even do that yet.”
My multitasking friend gently said, “He’ll get there in his own time.” I knew she was right—so why was it so easy for me to forget that and fall back into the trap of comparisons?
But on that long drive home I was left wondering why we moms feel the need to worry that our kids aren’t hitting every milestone in a perfect timeline. As a young mom in particular, I worry that I’m missing something others may have learned with age. In those moments, I have to remind myself it’s not like you wake up one day and suddenly know everything you need to know.
Mothering comes to us slowly, day by day. On top of that, it changes everyday.
I had no clue how to handle a 5-year-old child’s drama when my newborn baby came home. But I got there, slowly.
Ask me how to handle a jealous 2-year-old and teach a 5-year-old to read three years ago and I would of laughed so hard there would have been literal tears. But, I got there, slowly with bumps on the road.
Maybe it’s because a lot about motherhood comes from the judgment we pass on ourselves only by looking at our kids as they are today—in comparison to others. But it shouldn’t. Because the last thing any mother needs is judgment about something she can’t control.
I couldn’t control the sex of my baby anymore than I can control when potty training will just click. I can’t control when my son will be more interested in farm animals than cars. I can’t control the color of my daughter’s eyes anymore than I can control when she finally gets those training wheels off.
But, the beauty of it is we get to be there for the ride.
We get to guide and help them. We get to be supportive and reap that awesome joy when we watch them finally get something they’ve been working at. We get to teach them. We get to feel each milestone. So why worry about what’s three steps ahead?
I was so happy my friend nudged me with a simple reminder to not rush my little ones; to remember that the biggest and sometimes hardest job about being a mother is being patient. One day you might find yourself worrying about whether your little one is keeping up. In that moment, turn your impulse to rush it into an impulse to savor it.
Because there is one constant truth all mothers can agree with, it is that it goes by way too fast.