When my first child was born, I spent a lot of time reading the ‘what to expect’ style books so I could find out what my baby should be doing by when. I often found myself thinking, ‘won’t it be good when they can roll over / sit up / crawl / etc.’. Each milestone was something to work towards and I felt personal pressure to ensure my child reached those targets about the same time as their counterparts. If not, I felt I had failed as a parent.
Only now they are walking, talking, eating on their own do I realise that children develop at their own rates and sort themselves out when they are ready – maybe with a little encouragement ; )
Of course, I still find myself worrying about the next stages of development, such as whether they will ever get excited about potty training!
The second time around, I haven’t seemed to have the time or drive to read the books. And rather than looking ahead to the next phase, I’m permanently shocked that my second child has already got there.
This has been a week of firsts for my five month old – sitting up in the bath (with a protector support), sitting upright in the pushchair and this morning sitting in his own high chair. He has had strong neck and back control very early on which has enabled all of this to happen, but I can’t help thinking he’s growing up too quickly.
Is this a result of him being the second child – copying what his older sibling is doing? Is he just advanced? Or is it that I know this is likely to be my last child and so want time to slow down a little so I can really enjoy his time as a baby.
I am sure there is an element of my being a bit more relaxed as a second time mum – I remember being petrified the first time I gave my first child a bath for example! Now, two bath times each night is just what happens.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and also to hear whether you think time goes by faster the more children you have. In the meantime, I’m off to stop the clocks!