the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Maternal milestones

Last night we were at a neighborhood Christmas party when one of the neighbors I have never met walked up to Leta and me and asked how old she was. When I told him she was ten-months-old he asked if she was “walking all over the house” yet. I answered, simply, “No.”

He looked quite surprised and then continued, “Well, I guess she must be in that crazy crawling stage, huh?”

And when he said that it felt like a dagger went through my heart. I explained, “Actually, she isn’t crawling either. She has some sensory problems and refuses to put any weight on her legs.” And then I wanted to run out of that house, Leta pressed to my chest, and go hide with her under the covers in the bed.

It’s not that I am ashamed of the fact that she isn’t crawling. It’s just, people ask me all the time if she’s crawling yet, and I feel like I’m doing something wrong. I feel like it’s my fault, and while I know that’s not true, I keep wondering if there’s something I should be doing that I’m not doing. We see a physical therapist every week, and I work with her every day on her exercises. Still, it hurts me to hear her scream when I force her to move in ways she doesn’t like to move.

This is part of being a mother, I suppose: the constant nagging feeling of guilt and sorrow and joy and worry and unfettered elation, feelings that should not exist simultaneously but CONSTANTLY EXIST SIMULTANEOUSLY.

I have never been so alive, and yet, so on the verge of collapse.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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