I was going to call this post, The Day I Didn’t Miss My Daughter’s First Steps. But then I decided to be completely upfront and go with the title above instead.

Because, after hurtling through a whole array of emotions, from elation and joy to despair, guilt and wretchedness, back to elation, I am now at the point of denial.

Being a working mum has it’s benefits, a healthy bank balance and a stimulated mind not least among the working virtues. But, sometimes, it can be utterly rubbish.

Today was one of those days.

At nearly 21 months, my child is still not walking. Or wasn’t, anyway. She has been trying to put one foot in front of the other for the past 6 months, but failed to actually make any progress on her own. Recently I got hugely excited at the fact she was walking holding just one of my hands instead of two (finally, I can stand up straight!), but that is as far as we have come.

Until this morning. When I received this text from the childminder while I was at work:

“Hi. We are so excited. Freya took four steps on her own just now!”

“Oh. I missed it,” I thought. And then a single, solitary tear escaped and rolled down my cheek. I felt sad and guilty and utterly resentful of the job I usually love doing.

Then I felt cross with myself for feeling that way. It was good news afterall.

But then, “You are joking,” I thought. “I’ve been waiting six bloody months and she chooses NOW to take her first steps!” So. Anger and a bit of frustration thrown in for good measure.

After pinging backwards and forwards from one unhealthy emotion to the other I plumped for good old fashioned denial. So now I’ve decided those first steps didn’t actually happen at all. They’re not real until I’ve witnessed them with my own eyes. And iPhone.

Which means we are still yet to take those elusive first steps, despite my best efforts to catch them on camera this evening. That child has me right where she wants me…





Filed under Toddlers, Walking

50 responses to “Denial

  1. Perfectly natural frustration. But the job isn’t necessarily to blame. I missed my daughter’s first steps because she chose to perform them for Grandma while I was having a rare lie-in!

  2. Aw. She’ll do it for you soon. And you know…if it’s any consolation, I can’t actually remember EITHER of my daughters’ first steps. At all. I think it’s a massive deal at the time but, a few years down the line, not so much. X

  3. YAY!!!! But also booooo for you that you felt that shit kick in the heart. You feel what you want to feel but know that she doesn’t care, she just loves you whether you work or not.

    You do know that when you shut the bedroom door every night she runs around the room with her pyjama top over her head, right?

  4. You’ve got a cheeky one there!

    I worked with Z and S and it is really hard, but you know you are doing what is best for your family.

    Hugs xx

  5. Sam Ranieri

    I missed my daughter’s too, she also choose to show her nanny and auntie how clever she could be. Like you, I also choose to ignore them and wait my turn! So pleased for you and Frog though, now the fun really starts ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. She is toying with you in that video, cheeky!

    Sorry to hear it made you feel like that, and I don’t have the experience of “firsts” yet to know how I might feel, but it’s still great news that she took those steps.

  7. I have come to the conclusion that as mums we always feel guilty. I am a SAHM and it is great that I am there to witness these special moments and more besides but the offset is that we don’t have a lot of money. I feel guilty as we constantly worry about money and the children have to miss out on things. So I think you can’t win! Hopefully, in a couple of months your little one will be running around and you will have forgotten all about feeling like this.

  8. Don’t beat yourself up about it – there’ll be PLENTY more for you to see and experience. Like Hollie, I can’t remember R’s or M’s first steps but I do remember J’s but that’s only because he was only 9 months old and chose to walk towards his father who was asleep on the settee at the time.

  9. Tried commenting on my phone earlier and it didn’t work! I said something like: If you weren’t there, it didn’t happen. If it’s any consolation I was around when all three of mine started walking and I actually can’t remember any of their first steps, didn’t video or photograph them at all. Which I feel quite guilty about! I think we always beat ourselves up about these things, especially when you’re trying to juggle work with bringing up children. Pretty much anything which happens we blame ourselves. I hope F takes her first steps soon and that you actually remember them! : )

  10. I was a SAHM and only saw the first steps out of 2/4 of my children. The other two walked for their Daddy first. Traitors.

  11. I totally get your emotions, especially as, like me, you have been waiting for this – but nothing will dampen it when she toddles to you. Have your arms ready!

  12. What Nikki says. But hey, fab news!! I know that gutted feeling though – I missed our younger daughter’s first certificate in assembly, but it actually would have been fairly easy for me to be there (long story) so doubly annoying. I probably won’t ever forget that, but then again I already realise it doesn’t matter as much as I initially thought it did. Life’s not perfect, but one thing’s for sure… there’s never a dull moment when there’s a toddler around ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. She is so so SO cute!!!

  14. I remember being so sad as Li’l D approached walking time by the prospect by someone not his mom would be likely to capture most of his firsts. I’m sorry that’s come to pass here, but also . . . hurrah for the imminent first step! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. of course she didn’t take her first steps without you, by definition a baby’s first steps are when Mommy is watching and Daddy is filming, so just keep the camera handy! Also, first steps, like first teeth, and first smiles are things we’ll start forgetting down the line. The really, really, really awesome thing is that she took them before the specialist appointment (it’s in april, right, or am I massively confused?) So YAY frog!

  16. kim

    I know you are going to capture her footsteps soon and post it here
    very very cute kid
    God Bless!

  17. I remember waiting completely poised for a whole hour whilst Z looked like he was about to do his first back to front roll. He just looked at me and smiled for ages. I then nipped to the kitchen for about 5 seconds…come back and he’s on his front!!!! I kind of missed his first steps too but I choose to not remember it and his first “Proper” steps were with me ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. aww she is just tooo cute, it is so obvious that the nursey is telling you fibd because she most deffinately is saving them first steps for her mummy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. ours are born 4 weeks apart, mine in July 10, they even resemble each other, very spooky ๐Ÿ™‚ E did not walk till about 4 weeks ago, did the same as F & held our fingers, it all comes in good time & she’s not going to know what is & isn’t her first of anything. She is gorgeous btw!

    • Lovely to hear of others who weren’t walking early on. And thank you for the “gorgeous” compliment – I’ll be sure to pass it on! (Although I’m not sure she needs any more encouragement at the moment!)

  20. My daughter didn’t walk until she was 17 months! I would be the same, she hasn’t walked until I saw it ๐Ÿ˜‰ I missed my daughter sitting up for the first time…but my mum saw it so it was OK.

    Oh my daughter laughs at me when I tell her not to do something and does it anyway!

  21. Kids are cheeky like that and I’m sure they do it on purpose!! But don’t beat yourself up over it….those steps could have happened at any time even if you hadn’tbeen working and you may have still missed it. Like you say the 1st time will be when you see her doing it and enjoy it totally then ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Pingback: Best of the UK Parent Blogs: Ten at Ten (50) | Tots 100

  23. My children remind me time and time again, that they are not performing monkeys and never do anything when I ask!

  24. lou

    Mum and Dad were never allowed to tell me about the firsts so i always got to see them, i’m guessing thats another form of denial ? Totally sucks to be a full time working mum at times ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  25. In years to come, all she will remember is that she had an amazing childhood, with a Mum who was busy, and happy…. I can’t not work, its part of what I love, and although at times its tough, I know from experience, I’m a better Mum, wife and friend for it.

    Everyday I laugh with my boys, and delight in their achievements (mostly school ones which I’m not there for anyway)… I love the bits I see, don’t worry about the bits I don’t.

    A happy mum is the heart of a lovely family…

    Beautiful blog – you brought tears to my eyes, reading about your neighbour gifting you some sleep. Thank you!

  26. Another one that can hardly remember any of the kids first steps, whoops. #mummyfail

    Frog will have you running after her soon enough. Mich x

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