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Letting go of taking Gold at the Mommy Olympics

By: Meghan Simington, CoquitlamMommy.ca Connect with her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.
Sometimes you just have to take off the ‘Coach Mom’ jacket and let your little one loose a race or two.  As new moms we dive into parenting as if we are trying out for the next Olympics with our infant. We ‘train’ and ‘practice’ and hope that we can take home each and every gold! Then we suddenly meet the uber-mom that is leading the pack and wonder how can we catch up?
Don’t laugh we all have done it through our pregnancy and after baby arrived! We all picked up 2 or 3 pregnancy books, toddler development guides and began our coach’s training for the training of the next Einstein or Phelps. We sign up for a prenatal yoga class, give our diets an overhaul rich in fiber, prenatal vitamins and probiotic yogurt to start building the next super baby. We download the “What to Expect” App on our iPhones or use websites to track the growth of our future Olympian. Then when baby arrives we register for every Mommy & Me classes that will put our little one at the head of the pack. These classes are great but it is the sizing up of the competition that really makes me laugh.
Little did I know when I was pregnant with my son, that he would arrive and be lined up for game time in the Baby Olympics. But there we were at the playdate, in what felt like the preliminaries, before I knew it. These playdates were like an open competition for crawlers and walkers. The starting gun was blasted at the beginning of the playdate and we were crowded at the sidelines. Us moms (aka coaches) were all offering commentary and tips to each other. We all waited to see who would blaze across the finish line to capture gold for crawling. Which little mover would suddenly take the bronze for the couch pull-up or silver for a rollover at that  crowded finish line for the cheering moms. We waited to see what mom would be crowned gold and we would all want to study her techniques.
Just like all the other moms, I studied other babies’ consumption of solids to see if we were on par. And I watched my son try to figure out the wood puzzle ahead of his buddies. He trucked on through 20 months of life and stayed with the pack. I can now look back at all of this and laugh. I giggle at how funny some of these competitions really were. And I think of all the times that I checked his infant milestones and growth charts to see if he was right on track.
At 13 months I was suddenly sitting at a Mommy & Babe class discussing the word count of our infants with another mom. Was I really trying to defend his vocabulary count? I had justified his 6 words with the fact that he is a boy, we speak 2 languages at home and he is more ‘active based’. Why was I doing this? I have no idea. Do I really care if my child knows 32 words at 13 months? No.  At our next checkup my doctor told me all was ok with our little man and he was right on track. I drove home from this realizing that my gold medal aspirations for vocabulary were lost but we should celebrate our runner-up ribbon. Because he was saying ‘Mama’ and called our family dog ‘Are-EEE’ instead of Harley. And that was pretty remarkable!
So as we hit 15 months, I secretly wanted to hide those merit badges of my ski competition days in my diaper bag for all the super moms that I met along the way. Now don’t get me wrong I love talking about my baby but I hate listening to that mom go on for 2 hours on how their baby has hit all of their milestones light years before mine. I mean really, if my son walks 3 weeks later than yours will he not run track? Or if he only speaks 9 clear words at 2 years old will he never make it into university? I don’t think so!
Some kids just have a sense of humor and would rather use their potty as a hat at 2. Some kids prefer to cuddle up with mommy during a playdate instead of jumping in with the others. These little guys should not to be disqualified in the Baby Olympics because you never know what other skills they may have mastered.
So, I have decided to take off my ‘Coach’s Jacket’ and turn in my referee whistle. I am going to sit back and be the chatty mom on the sidelines and let your superchild win all the medals. If my little guy uses the potty later than yours and only knows a few words in sign language I will be completely ok with that! All in all I know my tyke has a few secret weapons up his sleeve. I also know that I have met a great group of gals in the last 2 years that I can laugh with when my son pronounces ‘sock’ with a ‘C’ or when he was the first to paint his crib with his diaper. These may not be the gold medals that everyone is vying for but they are the ones that you look back on and remember! 
Bio: Meghan Simington is the Founder & Editor of CoquitlamMommy.ca. This local network is for Tri-City moms wanting to get out and get active with their little ones. They share everything from to tips, reviews & activities. We also host Weekly Speakers for the Wednesday Mom & Babe Drop-in Program in Port Moody, Parenting Workshops and Monthly Yummy Mommy Nights supporting local charities. Meghan is also the Co-Founder of Mom Inc Movement which focuses on ‘Reinventing the Mom Next Door.”

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