Becoming a mum is an amazing feeling; it’s terrifying but it is amazing!
Before giving birth we spend time reading books about what’s going on in our pregnancy, trying to understand everything again about the baby you have made, attending birthing classes, buying furniture, clothes and toys to spoil them.
So why when we’re experiencing this crazy adventure do we worry about what others are thinking and buying. We think about how much their spending on different items, we worry why their bellies are smaller/bigger, why they don’t have morning sickness, why they can feel kicks and you can’t.
We haven’t even had our baby yet and we are comparing and competing with one another to have the best of everything, to do the best at everything..
At least what we think is the best. And why instead of being happy for others do we feel the need to compete, to outdo, to impress.
Does it really matter what Jane thinks of your play mat? isn’t it your baby who will be using it?
But if you think that then wait until the baby arrives, then it’s comparing who has the easier baby, who is breastfeeding and who is bottle feeding (that’s a whole other topic I’m not touching right now), what brand is that baby wearing? Who’s baby is rolling, then crawling, walking, talking. We are programmed to compare and to compete with other parents.
I’ve spent many a night googling away after spending time with friends and their children, my search history reads things such as “How many words should my child be able to say”, “How to get my baby to eat vegetables”, “Should my child be able to..”.
Now I must point out this is at no fault of my friends or their children, this is my own self doubt creeping in, and my need to compare everything around me. If you’ve ever done the same thing and googled your queries then you would see at the bottom of every list it says something along the lines of “Many children reach some or most of these milestones at different times and stages”. After seeing this in every forum I looked in I started to get annoyed, I started to think “Okay I get it, but that is just a safety net, give me a real answer”.
In reality it’s not a safety net it’s true, (I know you just want a definitive answer) but your baby/child is different to your friend’s, or your cousin’s or your neighbor’s best friend’s sister. AND THAT IS OKAY!
You can stop comparing, you can stop competing, you can stop feeling like you’re failing your child because someone else’s is doing something they can’t do.
Stop looking at the Facebook posts your friends are sharing of their child toilet training, or their child reciting an entire song as a negative or as an unintentional attack on you and your parenting. Instead start celebrating their achievements, start being happy for those around you and remember that there was a time their child could not do that.
You want others to be happy and proud of all things big and small your child can do, so instead of tearing others down, or judging them or being upset that their gloating, let’s try and remember that they are parents too and they just want you to be happy that their child has achieved something new!
Your time will come, your child’s time will come! But until then, stop comparing and competing and use the time you’re wasting, the sleepless nights worrying, the trips to the doctor to make sure everything is okay, and use it to acknowledge all the things you and your child CAN do!
Let’s lift each other up, instead of tearing each other down!