I guess it’s normal for every parent of more than one child to compare. Similarities vs. differences. Which child smiled sooner, sat up earlier, sleeps longer, etc. What else do you have to compare your child to besides your other child?
Lately I’ve been sort of down about the fact that it seems Faith did so many things earlier than what Zoe has done them. She was practically born with amazing head control. At the early age of 18 months, she could count to 10 and pick out objects & numbers in her picture books. Now, at 21 months, she knows the entire alphabet, can count to twenty, speaks in full sentences.
Since we brought Zoe home from the hospital, we’ve worked diligently with her. We brought in physical & developmental therapists by 6 weeks of age. I’ve kept a mental list of everything we need to work on-head control, trunk strength, visual tracking, feet stretching, etc. I’ve been gauging how successful my day was based on whether or not we accomplished everything on “the list,” including spending quality time with both girls, have dinner as a family, and getting some time with John before we crash into bed exhausted. On top of that, I’m back to work full-time in the midst of flu season (which also hit our household!), attempting to arrange child-care (we’re trying to avoid daycare right now), AND finalize everything for a waiver program the state offers that Zoe is eligible for based on her spina bifida diagnosis.
I’ve realized I am not superwoman.I can’t do everything myself and then some. I’m also realizing that every child is different, and Zoe will hit all her milestones when SHE is ready, not when I’M ready. I also sometimes forget the fact that she did have two major surgeries right after birth. Surgeries that would probably put an adult out of commission for days or weeks, but that she breezed through. She’s doing & learning more every day, and watching her little personality develop is amazing. And to see the love Faith has for her sister already is priceless 🙂
I have been reminded by my community of spina bifida moms that raising a special needs child is a marathon, not a sprint. I think that’s pretty much the way life goes. And when Zoe applies for colleges, no one will ever ask her how old she was when she first rolled over, or sat up. Because that doesn’t matter in this race.
Today, one of those mom friends (whom I consider some of the smartest, greatest women I’ve ever known!) posted this blog post…it hit home since this is what we’ve been sort of dealing with lately….here’s the link if you have time to check it out!