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When you take your baby in for that first wellness check, the doctor will begin to plot their growth, measuring length, weight, and head circumference and plotting the results on a graph that corresponds to your child’s age. And your doctor might remind you that while these markers provide some information about your child’s development in relation to other children, they’re meant to record your baby’s own unique growth curve. Your little one might be off-the-charts large or off-the-charts small, but if growth continues to climb along your child’s unique “curve,” their body is doing what it’s supposed to do.
When you’re tempted to compare yourself to other parents, be sure to show yourself the same wisdom and compassion you extend so effortlessly to your child. One mom might be running a small business from home. One dad works second shift so he can care for his child during the day. Those are the plot points of their unique “curves.”
Your job is to keep your eyes on your own curve. Pay attention to those places where you’re growing and where you feel stuck, charting them according to your yesterday and your tomorrow. Make a point to be gentle and kind to yourself during these early months. You’ve got this, mama.
P.S. If you find yourself on a trajectory where you’re struggling to care for yourself, your other children, or your new baby, talk to your doctor right away. Post-partum depression is a real biological struggle, one you can’t work through alone. Help is available.