Baby Milestones Are Magic No Matter Who Sees Them First

It's the biggest fear of every working mom and the mean thing stay-at-home moms say to working moms when they want to hurt them -- what happens if you miss your baby's "firsts"? It makes sense. Because what DOES happen when baby starts crawling (or walking or talking) and only the nanny is there to see it. The answer: Nothing.

Seriously, ladies. This is much less of a big deal than we all fear it will be. And I say this as someone who was a stay-at-home mom through both of my children's baby-hoods. I saw all their "firsts" (and their seconds and their thirds and their fourths) and I promise that what matters way more is the first time YOU see it.

Both of my children were kind enough to save their milestones to times my husband was home, so we both saw their first steps together. But maybe we didn't.


Maybe one time when I went to the bathroom and my sister was over, my son got up and took a step without me. Maybe my sister never told me and when he took a step later that day, I thought it was his first. Or maybe I got up to go get a drink and my son was alone in the playroom for a minute and maybe he took a step or two. GASP!

This begs the question: If a baby walks and nobody sees it, does a baby walk at all?

Obviously, this is an emotional issue for many and I don't want to make light of it, but the truth is, five years removed from many "firsts," I have to say this SEEMS like a much bigger deal than it is. To be sure, there are some firsts that mean more than others. I would have never wanted to miss my son's first haircut or my daughter's first gymnastics show. But I wouldn't miss those things because they are scheduled.

Babies will walk and they will do so whether mom watches them like a hawk or has her eye on the television and misses those first fledgling steps. No babysitter should have to lie to a mom about whether the baby walked that day, and even if mom feels emotional about it -- after all, her baby just took some steps! -- she shouldn't feel guilty.

Inevitably, all moms will miss something. Unless you super glue your hip to your baby's or handcuff your wrists, at some point, you will go to the bathroom or shut your eyes and sleep and your baby will do things -- many of them for the "first" time -- and you will miss them. We need to stop feeling guilty and meet our babies where they are and accept the choices we've made.

You won't miss all the firsts. I promise.

Do you feel guilty about missing "firsts"?


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