“Making the decision to have a baby is momentous.
It is to decide forever to have your heart go
walking around outside your body.”
Moments and Milestones
There’s something about the end of Summer and the onset of Autumn that evokes nostalgia in me. As the days start to shorten and there’s a slight chill in the air, my thoughts turn to all the children starting or returning to school, with all the excitement and often anxiety that can entail.
There are so many moments and milestones for parents to witness. They bring us mixed emotions of joy, pride, elation, relief and even sometimes sadness. But they are all markers on our children’s journey and therefore cause for celebration!
Can anything compare to the moment you first set eyes on your baby? It really is impossible to describe the emotional intensity of finally seeing the tiny being that you’ve been carrying, loving and nurturing for so long. And the wonderful thing is that despite worries to the contrary you have a never-ending supply of love so that you feel it again when the next baby arrives-and the next!
The First Smile
How many of us are convinced that our babies are smiling at us even when others tell us that it’s only wind!? I think you know when you’re baby first smiles with pleasure-it reaches their eyes and it melts your heart. Pure bliss!
The First Tooth
This is a big milestone because you know it’s amongst the first of many physical changes, and you can’t control when they will happen. Scary, but always reassuring to know that your baby’s developing. And that you provided the nutrients to make sure of it.
The First Hug
Another heart melter! And all the better because you know it will be the first of many. The feeling of those warm little arms tightly wrapped around your neck is a priceless gift.
Oh how eagerly we await those first faltering steps! And then there’s all the discussion about if it actually counts if the baby’s holding onto something – or walks a few steps one day and then decides that crawling is quicker and makes you wait again! One thing’s for sure-you won’t be able to relax for a couple of years! But those little toddling legs are just so cute that you don’t mind having to become an athlete for a while.
The First Achievement
How rewarding it is to see your toddler showing a sense of purpose and then smiling with satisfaction when a tower of building blocks stays up. Or looks to you for approval, often accompanied by enthusiastic exclamations and clapping, when the jigsaw piece fits! Money can’t buy those feelings of happiness.
Leaving your baby or toddler
Whether it’s because you work, have been invited to an adult event or just need some time to yourself, saying Goodbye is traumatic. It’s probably slightly easier if a family member or friend is looking after your baby or toddler, but it’s often upsetting. And to make it worse, you have to be brave and reassuring so as not to upset your little one. As with so many milestones, being temporarily separated is a necessary experience which hopefully becomes increasingly easier through practice!
Interacting with others
It’s a wonderful thing to see your baby starting to play alongside and then with other toddlers. This is when they become a little more separate from you and you family unit. Their world is expanding, both with all the new experiences that toddlerhood presents and also with the new people they will meet, some small, some much bigger. But they will all have an influence on your child’s development-and that can be scary as well as exciting! Listen out for those words “Do you want to play with me?” Whether it’s your child initiating a new friendship, or being the invited one, those words can be very reassuring!
Essentially, this very significant milestone should be a natural progression from leaving your child at nursery or with Granny. But it doesn’t feel like that! Especially if a uniform is involved! Up to now, it’s been your choice whether to leave your child-and for how long. Now it’s compulsory. And it stays that way for several years.
Most parents and children are ready for this. At school age children are usually ready for the opportunities and challenges provided by full time education. And for you, there’s the possibility of drinking a cup of coffee whilst it’s still hot! If you don’t go out to work, there’s finally time to do what you want to do without being interrupted. If you do go out to work, you can feel reassured that now every child the same age as yours will not be at home! But there is inevitably a sadness that those first years, with all the wonderful moments and milestones have passed. And so quickly! How precious those preschool years are. It’s hard to believe that that little person walking through the school gates was so tiny and vulnerable not so long ago!
Give yourself a pat on the back! You’ve not only survived but have been the most influential person in ensuring that your child is ready to face the next series of milestones on his or her journey. Congratulations!
We’d love to hear from you about your favourite moments and milestones. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org