All the baby books are full of milestones for little ones — a first tooth, learning to crawl or walk or jump, early talking, and cognitive development.
But after a while, I started to recognize that I was growing into my role as a mother and that there were milestones for me too!
Here are some of the ones that I was most proud of (or happy to reach):
1. When they started reaching for me. They know who I am! And they want me. This never gets old for me.
2. Realizing they finally had enough hair that I could do something with it. Even if that means just silly hair combing.
3. Seeing my girls start to play together. This was huge! Now I’m not the sole entertainment. Hallelujah!
4. Nursing without getting completely undressed. When my first daughter was born, I thought, “Not only will I never be able to do this in public, I’ll never be able to do this without a NURSE to help me.” But that day did come, and faster than I expected.
5. Making ONE meal for the whole family. The first time I made dinner and everyone in the family ate it (no bottles, no rice cereal) — that was a BIG milestone for me.
6. Figuring out a bedtime routine that worked. I was so so happy when we got to the stage where I could snuggle my baby for a few minutes, stick her in bed awake and she just… went to sleep. It was like magic.
7. Dealing with blood for the first time. The first time I dealt with blood (or throw up) by myself, it really made me feel like a genuine adult.
8. Getting two children to nap at the same time. Now that my baby is a year old, this happens on a regular basis. But the first time it happened? It was better than winning the lottery (although, truthfully, I’ve never won the lottery, so actually I can’t compare).
9. Leaving my children with a non-family member babysitter. This was a big step! I’m not fortunate enough to live near family, so this day came pretty early for us.
10. Going somewhere without a diaper bag. It feels like you’re missing a limb, but it also feels so light and free!
11. Sleeping through the night. The first night my baby sleeps through the night, I’m usually waking up wondering, “What’s going on?” So it’s a big milestone when I sleep straight through too.
12. Seeing them start holding the bottle on their own! It’s such a happy moment for me when my girls start holding their bottle on their own – now they can eat and I don’t have to spend the entire time holding it for them!
13. Realizing my baby actually understands what I’m saying. The first time I said, “Can you pick that up?” or gave them a simple task and they actually DID it, I just about fell over. It’s so amazing to realize they really realize what you’re talking about.
14. Noticing them sit up in the tub. Bath time gets so much easier when my baby can sit up on her own, rather than me having to hold her or support her head the entire time.
15. Getting everything to the car in one trip. The first few times I left the house with a baby, it took me AGES to get everything out. But after a while, I streamlined and got better at juggling a car seat, a diaper bag, a baby, and a stroller. Pro mom status!