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The 5 Stages of Watching Your Baby Achieve Milestones

By Lindsay Pinchuk

By Missy Borman, BCBlogger
In the past two weeks, my 8-month-old has started sitting up on her own, crawling, standing up on her knees, and pulling herself up to standing.  All of this change has brought on a sort of mom-whiplash, a roller coaster of emotions sparked by the new beginnings (and endings) that these milestones represent.  With each milestone I go through so many stages as I try to keep up with all this amazing change!
STAGE 1: Excitement – It’s a thrill – an actual surge of energy – as I witness the baby doing something new for the first time.  She is, after all, the same peanut I brought I home from the hospital, able to do nothing more than the most basic things to survive.  Now she can do so much – reach for toys, sit up, move around.  Seeing her do things she couldn’t do even just yesterday is nothing short of amazing.
STAGE 2: Pride – That little one is doing something amazing on her own.  I’ve watched her build up to these milestones since the minute she was born.  I remember the first time she tried to reach for me.  It was a motion so awkward as she jerked her right arm forward in my direction yet so unmistakable that she did, indeed, want me to pick her up.  Now that same baby can crawl across the room and reach both arms up for me.  Witnessing that growth, step-by-step, makes me realize just how big of an accomplishment it is.
STAGE 3: Relief -She can do it!  I’m endlessly grateful to see my kids grow.  With each new milestone the baby achieves, I breathe a sigh of relief and gratitude.  I learned early on with my first child to avoid following the month-to-month milestone guides I once referred to.  I found these expectations were unnecessary anxiety-creators.  And thanks to a wise mom friend of mine who was raising her fourth child while I was a new mom to my first son, I accepted that all babies grow at their own rate.
STAGE 4: Anxiety/fear – Change is hard and can even be scary, especially with little ones because they change so fast.  Just when I feel like I’ve adjusted to a new stage, the baby has moved on to the next.  Each phase brings along its own brand of challenges, along with triumphs.  Now that the baby is crawling, I look around the house and no longer see furniture or my older kids toys.  I see sharp edges and choking hazards.  With her new mobility comes a lot of new dangers.  Let the baby-proofing begin!
STAGE 5:  Slow down, breathe, enjoy!  She’s only going to have her firsts one time.  As hard as it is to let go of the phase the preceded (the newborn snuggles, the tiny clothes) I’m doing my best to embrace the change (the independence, the personality) as I get to see the baby grow into her own. The twinkle in her eye and the little squeal she makes when she does something new is joy in the purest form and when I witness that I consider myself the luckiest person in the world.
Missy Borman is a Pittsburgh native who lives in suburban Detroit with her husband and three young kids, Oscar, Lucas, and Eve.  She has spent over a decade teaching a variety of grades from preschool to high school.  In her free time (as if!) she enjoys cooking, reading, and watching sports with her kids. 

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