10 Less Celebrated but Important “Milestones”


When you become a mom, you start to mark your life in a different way. All of the sudden, you’re measuring time by feeds or hours left until naptime. As your kids get older, the years might be split up into sports seasons and school breaks. It’s a constantly changing way to divide the seasons of your days, months, and years.

In addition to the big ones we all wait for — the first time they sleep through the night, say their first words, go to school, drive, etc. — there is also a long list of moments that are lesser known, but no less important. These may not make the baby book, but in my opinion, they’re just as important! 

      1. When he can grab his own pacifier. Sleeping through the night or rolling over is all well and good, but the minute your baby can grab his paci and put it back in his mouth, you sigh with relief and relish the extra sleep. 
      2. When they can buckle their own carseats/seatbelts. I don’t have to explain what a joy this is to any mother who has buckled multiple children in the car during a Texas summer. I used to do it in my tanktop or bra and not put my shirt on until afterward because I would get so sweaty. Leaving the house became much more enjoyable once this milestone was met.
      3. When you hear his first sarcastic comment. It may be the harbinger of attitude and conflict to come, but my heart smiled a little bit when I first heard my kid use sarcasm correctly. You know he’s reached the ability to understand inflection, and that’s a big one.
      4. When they can reach the ice/water dispenser. The ability for children to get their own drinks instead of having to ask you is HUGE. And once your oldest can reach, you can send him to get a cup for your younger ones. Bliss.
      5. When they can pour themselves cereal and turn on the TV. Whether your media of choice is a tablet, phone, or television, every parent understands the significant impact of your kids feeding themselves breakfast and watching a show quietly while you sleep for just a few more minutes. It’s everything.
      6. When you have no idea what time he last pooped. After spending years knowing your child’s every bathroom moment, it’s a freeing, although unsettling, feeling when you realize you have no idea how often or when he poops. I had to ask my son at the doctor the other day, and it was pretty awesome. Not to mention, this item is accompanied by NO MORE WIPING TINY BUMS.
      7. learn this summerWhen they can do their own laundry. I’m still waiting for this day, but I hear tales of kids washing, drying, and putting away THEIR OWN CLOTHES. I hope it’s not a myth, because I’m counting on it.
      8. When they can make their own lunches. Y’all. I hope I’m not alone when I say that making lunches is the bane of my existence. I taught my kids how to do this last summer, and it’s a game changer. 
      9. When they are old enough to help each other. The minute my boys got old enough for me to respond to requests with, “ask a brother,” I immediately relaxed. While independence is, of course, my ultimate goal, this shows that as a group they’re getting closer to being independent. I’ll take it.
      10. When they’re actually helpful. I have spent a lot of time cooking, cleaning, fixing things, etc. with my kids. And only recently has it turned from adding MORE time when they “help” to making the task more efficient. Unfortunately, this often coincides with the loss of interest in helping, but I’ll enjoy the sweet spot while it lasts!

What was a big milestone moment for your kids (and for you)?


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