6 things we as moms compare about our children and reasons why we shouldn’t
As parents we compare; we compare our children, we compare ourselves with other moms and we compare our family with other families. It’s natural and as hard as we try to NEVER compare it is inevitable. I will say comparing causes a lot of unnecessary stress in our lives and sometimes make us as moms question our parenting ability which in turn affects our relationship with our children.
While raising our children, there is always going to be a kid that got a tooth at three months, crawled at 5 months or walked before they turned 1. There will be kids who started talking super early, potty trained early or even started sleeping through the night at 3 months. If your child did none of these or only 1 of these, does that make your child behind in life? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
It’s not just us comparing our children, it’s also us comparing ourselves to other moms. At daycare drop off you see a mom who looks like a supermodel after having a baby 2 months ago and you feel crappy about yourself. You see a stay at home mom getting a nap in while you are at work or you as a stay at home mom gets to see the working mom get a minute away from the kids and feeling jealous. It’s very normal to do this but as moms we are who we are and comparing will only make our self esteem drop.
Here are a list of common topics we find ourselves comparing about but I wanted to remind all moms out there each child is different and special in their own way.
Developmental Milestones: Milestones are guidelines that have been developed through the years and are not set in stone. No one kid will EVER develop the exact same. If your child’s best friend is walking at 12 months, so what? Your kid will walk 2 months later. Remind yourself a few months makes no difference 10 years from now. Will you look back while your child is finishing up their college applications and say, man he walked at 13 months, he was so behind?
Parenting Techniques: Each child will respond to parenting techniques in a different way. Just because the kid down the street was not allowed to watch TV till he was 3 and you put your child in front of a TV at age 6 months makes no difference. You do what you think works best for your child because no one knows your child better than you do. Some parents may believe in time out, some many not. As long as you can control your child’s behavior in some way or another then roll with it, don’t think what you are doing is wrong.
Sleeping: Some moms get a baby that sleeps through the night at 3 months, some don’t sleep through the night till 2 years! Again when they get to high school is that going to affect them at all? It does take a toll on you as a parent but remember, some kids are sleepers, some are not. Both my kids were not good nappers when they were small and I always found myself saying, “man that kid sleeps so good, what is wrong with my kid?” I came to realize NOTHING…they are their own person.I had to do sleep training on my kids, but that doesn’t make me a cruel mom to let my kids cry it out…it makes me a mom looking for some sanity in both her and her kids life.
Stay at home vs Working moms: Moms are moms and all moms are busy regardless of what you have to do. Some moms have more time to make fancy healthy pureed meals for their babies while others have about 10 minutes to get a jar of baby food down their throat. As long as you focus on healthy and nutritious meals…baby 1 is not better than baby 2…they are still eating healthy food. You figure out what works for your lifestyle and go with it because if you keep comparing you are going to keep questioning yourself.
Breastfeeding vs Formula: Don’t judge anyone when it comes to providing milk for their babies. You don’t know anyone’s story. Some moms are not able to produce milk even though they tried everything in their power to do it. Some moms just can’t handle nursing because there is a lot going on in their life. You don’t know anyone’s story so breastfeeding moms don’t look down upon moms who are formula feeding or formula moms don’t think breastfeeding moms are crazy to take on this extra load of work..at the end of the day your baby is getting milk.
Childcare: Just because your child goes to school or your child is home with the nanny for the first three years of their life does not make any child better than the other. Again you don’t know anyone’s story so you can’t compare. Kids respond to their environment very differently. Some are super social and some like to do independent play. Some may be ready for school but they may not be able to afford it. Again whatever decision you make for your child will be the best one because you know your child the best.
So a reminder to all my mommas out there, you are a great mom and no other moms is “better at mommyhood” than you because your child is unique! Stop comparing and stay present because the more time you spend comparing you are giving up that precious time you could be focusing on positives with your children 🙂