Mothering in this era has its unique sets of challenges.  I’m not saying it’s harder because, come on, Oregon trail style mothering was like watching for snake bites and cholera; likewise, mothering during The Depression was clearly no picnic, thus the name.

What we have that they didn’t should theoretically make our lives easier.  We have experts.  Tiny, digital, fit-in-your-pocket, tied-to-your-hip experts can tell us when we’re doing it right or confirm that we are doing it sooooooo wrong.

These experts are the experts we seek out by googling “Why doesn’t my 11 month old have teeth yet?” (true story), or we search answers to: “Is it normal that my six year old is obsessed with poop?” (the simple answer: yes).

Or these tiny experts are the ones we follow and use to compare our lives to theirs.  They don’t know they’re your experts, and you may not have recognized it yet, but they are.  And their lives are so pretty and put together, their kids are moderately behaved, and no six year old is replacing words in songs with the word ‘poop’ in an instagram story, so maybe it’s not normal (it totally is).

One of the best bits of advice I have been audience to and has stuck with me (though the experts still try to creep in and disturb my thrill of progress) is to compare your child to him/herself.  Don’t spend precious energy on comparing him/her to siblings, cousins, friends, experts.  Just see what progress he/she has made and celebrate it.

Bear is walking with little walkers!!!  JOY and celebration!!!!

Beasty is talking up a storm, so incredibly crafty in a super devious sense, and she is singing with her whole body whenever she can!  Celebrate!!!!

Obie recognized the letter “WX” in airplane contrails in the sky, wants to be an astronaut, put on his own socks and shoes, and used scissors without -hand over hand! Throwing a freaking party!!!!!

Booger is growing in his thoughtfulness for others, reads actual words ALL THE TIME, loves villains, substitutes every third word of a song with the word poop, and still loves to talk about math at bedtime. Celebrate good times!!!!!

Is that what other 11 month olds, 3 year olds, 4.5 year olds, and 6 year olds are accomplishing?  Maybe.  Maybe not, but it’s their progress and progress is beautiful!