As my second child continues to grow and develop—the latter term being used loosely, as he is behind in more than one category—I’m forced to conclude that I’ve birthed underachievers. And that’s okay. I love them anyway. 

But when my pediatrician recommended we take my 9-month-old baby to therapy because he wasn’t trying to toddle around yet, I came to another conclusion: I wish I were a 1950s parent. I bet moms in the 50s didn’t follow their children around, wondering if they were hitting every milestone. No, they were busy smoking and hiding their coffee mug full of special “mom juice” as they prepared a six-course meal for their husbands.

Okay, maybe we modern moms have it better, but I really wish we could give ourselves a rest from worrying about every. Little. Milestone. Little Johnny will walk and try to pull objects off every touchable surface when he’s good and ready. Here are 10 milestones parents really care the most about:

1.  When they sleep through the night, and your eyes no longer look like they’re carrying emotional baggage.

2.  When they can hold their own bottles.

3.  When they stop putting everything in their mouths.

4.  When they can entertain themselves for more than five  minutes at a time.

5.  When they can get their own cup of water.

6.  When they can get you a cup of water (or at least hook you up with a refill from the fridge).

7.  When they offer to feed younger siblings (and can do so without inflicting too much harm).

8 . When they can make their own breakfast/lunch/snack/pre-dinner snack/dinner/post-dinner snack.

9.  When they stop having public tantrums and ruining your Target trips.

10. When they are (FINALLY) toilet trained.

11. BONUS: When they learn to aim, and the house doesn’t smell like a gas station bathroom.

Carrie Taylor is a freelance writer, editor and mother of two boys.

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