When my youngest child was a freshly turned toddler, she wasn’t talking, walking, or acting much like a toddler. She was very much still a baby in regards to most physical and cognitive development. When I checked off the age-appropriate developmental list at the pediatrician at well-child appointments, my stomach churned at every “no” or “not yet” box I checked.
My oldest child hit every developmental milestone literally months early. He was talking in sentences by 18 months and running laps around the house at one year. I only have two kids (and we all know we aren’t supposed to compare our children to each other, but we all do it anyway), and my oldest paved my way through motherhood. His normal was all I knew when baby number two came along.
When little sister was different, I worried.
I would always try to push the worry out of my mind, but it would creep and find its way back into the forefront of my mind, especially when I saw other people’s kids who were the same age and younger than mine hitting milestones.
When I found out that someone close to me had said it was my fault my youngest wasn’t progressing developmentally like my oldest did, I was utterly crushed.
Was I able to play and work with my youngest as much as I did when my oldest was my only child? Of course not. It wasn’t pressure I put on myself necessarily, it was just that I obviously had a heck of a lot more time to focus on one child at a time when I only had one child. Having kids 25 months apart had me spinning for months and still does over two years later, to be honest. If you are struggling to come to terms with the fact your child isn’t necessarily like the other children their age, then I want to tell you something.
Mama, it’s not your fault.
If your child isn’t hitting developmental milestones, it’s not your fault.
If your child is struggling, it’s not your fault.
If your child presents differently than other children you know, it’s not your fault.
Years from now, no one is going to care if your child walked at eight months or 18 months.
Years from now no one is going to care what age they were potty trained.
Years from now, no one will care if they learned their letters at two or in kindergarten.
If you have a child who is struggling in any aspect of their development then I want to reassure you: Mama, it’s not your fault. Every baby will forge their own path in their own way.
You are their mama for a reason.
Yes, there are times when interventional therapy or outside assistance is necessary, but there are plenty of examples when a child just learns to do something at their own pace, on their own time.
Every child develops on their own path. Every child was handcrafted by God in their own unique way, especially for you. He made that child for you. He knew you would be a good mama for them. He knew it because he knows all.