‘Is he walking yet?’ I got defensive. I gave a long-winded response, explaining everything else he was doing as if it were an issue.’: Mom urges ‘don’t rush milestones’

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“’Is he walking yet?’

I immediately gave a long-winded response, probably 5 sentences longer than was expected.

I didn’t realize until about a minute after the conversation was over where I thought to myself, ‘Why did you even go there?’

I could have simply smiled and answered, ‘No, not yet,’ but instead, I had to share everything else he is doing as if it were an issue. He’s not yet walking at 12 months.

My older son was walking, practically sprinting, four months earlier. My older 3 daughters, everything is blurry to be quite honest, but I’m pretty sure they were all walking by 12 months.

Maybe it’s because I baby him too much. If I’m not holding him his Daddy or older four siblings have him scooped up.

Are we holding him too much? Are we inadvertently setting him back?

‘He will walk when he’s ready,’ I have to remind myself.

Then like the true panicky mother in me, I automatically go to, ‘Maybe something is wrong with his legs or his muscles aren’t strong enough?’

No, he holds onto the furniture and cruises so well. He likewise zooms around the house in his walker. Not to mention he will stand alone, unassisted, with such sturdy legs unwavering.

He will walk when he’s ready.

So, when a friend of mine who hadn’t seen us for quite some time, asked me the simple, ever so common question, ‘Is he walking yet?’ I felt the need to almost get defensive.

Not towards her at all, but rather on behalf of my son.

Let it go, let him go on his timeline. He will walk when he’s ready.

There are times I’ve taken note of babies who are his age or appear to be younger walking around like they’ve been doing it for years.

As a seasoned mom of 5, I still have first-time mom thoughts. I worry too much. I overthink the things that should never be thought of more than once. I forget all babies have their own timelines.

He will walk when he’s ready.

It doesn’t matter what his older brother or older sisters did or didn’t do at ‘___ months old.’

He will walk when he’s ready.

It doesn’t matter what the baby who is younger than him is already doing.

He will walk when he’s ready.

He took steps between us several months ago and just stopped, almost as if he was scared from a bad fall yet, never he did.

He will walk when he’s ready.

Why is it we want to rush the milestones and instead embracing them being babies for just a little bit longer?

This morning I found myself holding him more, dancing around the kitchen with him longer, bouncing from room to room in my arms, and I took comfort in the fact that he still needs me to hold him. He still wants me to hold him.

Because, after all, he will walk when he’s ready.”

Courtesy of Regan Long

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Regan Long of the Real Deal of Parenting, and originally appeared here. You can follow her journey on her website. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

Read more from Regan here:

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