If I could have given my new-parent self one piece of advice, it would be this:
Don’t worry about it.
Seriously. I started worrying pretty much the second I found out I was pregnant (am I gaining enough weight? What does that pain mean? Am I gaining too much weight? Is he going to be born with both legs fused together? Did all that kicking dislocate one of my ribs?) and it only ramped up from there.
First there was the milk situation, and the fact that mine took like 4 days to come in and the lactation people were making me feel really, really bad about it, like I was deliberately starving my baby or something (note to lactation consultants: I would tell you to suck it but you’d probably take it the wrong way).
Then there were the milestones that did not correspond with established charts: clapping (oh, how I worried about the clapping), jumping, talking.
We got walking out of the way relatively early, what with the taking his first steps at 8.5 months, but he didn’t really talk until well after he was 2 and still has some trouble with pronouns. And I think I may have mentioned how worried I was about potty training (but we all know how that turned out).
But for all my fretting and teeth-gnashing and late-night scouring of the internet, the kid did just fine. He reached all his milestones when he was ready to reach them, with relatively little input from me. It’s like – gasp! – I don’t have total and complete control over my child’s development! It’s like things happen when they happen no matter how much I worry about them!
He might not be reading super early like some of his friends, or drawing recognizable pictures like other friends, but I’m not going to worry about it. My kid is who he is, and I can’t imagine him any other way.
Except maybe he could eat more. That would be okay.