By: Natasha Archary
Nothing breaks a working mom’s heart more than missing those all important firsts with their baby. As a working mom, I can relate to this and the mom-guilt that follows me throughout my day away from my little one, is the hardest part of motherhood.
If, like me, you’ve missed your fair share of milestones, this one’s for you. One thing I’ve learned as a first time mom is that you shouldn’t sweat the small stuff. Like missing his firsts. Yes we want to be there every step of the way as they discover the inner workings of the world but we all know that’s not practical and once we accept that, we forgive the milestones we miss. Instead, we celebrate them when they do happen and we’re present.
First solid food
If your baby is in daycare or with a nanny, chances are they’ve been introduced to solid food already. We may request that this doesn’t happen until you give the go-ahead but as most care facilities work with a routine schedule it’s a tough one to control. Nothing stops you from introducing your baby to his first solids at home, but if it just so happens that you miss this, re-create the memory at home. Be there with camera in hand as your baby splashes the pureed veggie and fruit you so loving made and enjoy the moment together. Worry about clean-up after this special “first” is captured.
Daycares offer a solid environment for socialising your child. You may be missing the interaction between your child and the other kids in his class whilst at work and that’s part of the working mom territory. Plan a playdate with your mommy friends and their little ones so you can watch your little one engage with his peers. It will be one for the record books and you could eternalise this with a video or framed photo which can then sit proudly on your bedside table.
I was fortunate enough to be there when my son took his first steps. It’s almost like he waited for me to be on leave before he finally let go and took those first wobbly, stumbly steps. I remember the moment fondly. No I didn’t have my camera ready but I was so awestruck that it didn’t matter to me. And when he finally made it all the way into my outstretched arms, I held him close for a long time. That was enough of a celebration for us both. I did record him the next time he walked, it made a proud mommy post on my social media.
Yes, you were the first to kiss your precious babe. But the first time your baby understands the action and the emotion associated and plants a sloppy, open mouthed kiss on your lips is an indescribable feeling. This will be something special you share, strengthening your bond as mom and child. If you’re lucky a loved one will be there to take a quick picture, if not re-create the moment the next time you ask your baby to “give mommy a kissy please.”
Much like the kiss, once your baby is walking the cuddles and hugs he showers you with are endless and you should enjoy those moments for as long as he’ll let you cuddle him. There comes a point (the terrible twos) when your baby will refuse any contact with you as they figure out their emotions. Celebrate the first time he hugs you by picking him up and kissing his belly until he squeals with laughter. That feeling may just be enough to get you a few more baby cuddles.
Babies mouth gurgling sounds from about six months or so. Encourage this behaviour and before he’s a year he will most likely utter his first word. It may be incoherent at first but a mom will be able to distinguish between a cooing sound and an audible “baba”. Try to get your baby to repeat this on camera or voicenote which you can then send to the grandparents to share in this milestone. It’s okay if it’s not the first time he says it, the important thing is that you recognise when he does it with you for the first time.
There will be so many firsts you will miss as a working mom, don’t let this discourage you. We know moms are sentimental and want to cherish every moment, watching your little one grow is priceless. It doesn’t take anything away from you as a parent if you miss a few along the way. Find inventive ways to celebrate them when you can and when you are present for the milestones along the way.
This is the second part in a series of milestone posts we will be bringing you over the next few months. Be sure to read Part One and let us know how you share your child’s milestones with us on @KayaFM95dot9 using #KayaOnline