Stop Comparing Your Child To Others. Now. Stop driving yourself crazy and adding unnecessary stress into the already stressful world of parenting.
I say this to myself at least once a day. Maybe it’s because I know more than I probably need to or should for the sake of my sanity about child development, but I imagine it’s because I’m a mom. If you’re like me, endlessly questioning your child’s development and how you’re measuring up as a mom, don’t fret. All parents, especially us moms, have done it at one time or another. We compare our little ones to other children, and subsequently our parenting techniques to our friends, acquaintances, or the “experts”.
There will always be the super baby who crawls at 4 months, walks at 10 and is talking in full sentences by their first birthday. And there will always be the mom who appears to have it all together and who never seems to question their previous or next move. I’m sure that even these moms question and compare how they and their offspring are measuring up. Maybe not as many times a day as I do, but every now and then. Sadly this is of little reassurance on the days when Baby E screams, both in delight and distress, at everything. Nor is it reassuring on the days when she refuses to go forwards even though she can, and instead happily pushes herself backwards all over the house.
So for myself and the other stressed out moms out there, here are
Me and Baby E’s 10 Reasons you Should Never Compare your Child or Parenting to Someone Else’s (including the fictitious ones from parenting websites):
- Each child develops differently. Milestone ages are guidelines, not universal truths.
- There is no link between early development of gross or fine motor skills and future success in life. Crawling at four months doesn’t guarantee a genius level IQ.
- Every child has their own unique strengths and their own little personality. If your child is inquisitive and likes to sit and explore every detail of a toy they may be less inclined to tear across the house searching for the next thing to get into, and vice versa.
- What someone else does may not work for you and your little one, no matter how awesome it seems. For me that was babywearing. Super trendy and supposedly wonderful for baby’s sense of calm and security. Baby E hates all forms of it…every last one.
- Life as a mom is busy, both for stay at home and working moms. Don’t compare yourself the Pinterest Perfect moms. If you can’t seem to find a way to make your own organic super baby food, or hand embroider their onesies, it’s OK. The jarred varieties are just fine, and they’ll only spit up, pee on and get food all over the onesie.
- Childcare is a personal decision. If you’re happy with where your child is, either at home, in daycare or with a nanny, ignore the chatter of how much better socialized babies are or how far better every other daycare than the one you send your child to is.
- For some babies, sleep comes easy, and for others not so much. Barring being a masochist you are doing all you can to get your little one to sleep well. If you’re really struggling with the sleep I suggest visiting Troublesome Tots for some great, kid friendly methods to increase your and your little ones sleep.
- You don’t know their whole story and they don’t know yours. Take for example breastmilk vs. formula. Many moms have tried six ways to Sunday, with the help of lactation consultants and Drs only to find they need to supplement with formula or give up breastfeeding all together. The formula feeding mom isn’t hurting her child and the breastfeeding mom isn’t trying to rub it in your face. I promise.
- Babies and kids go through phases. If yours is in a particularly frustrating one, avoid talking to the moms with the seemingly perfect babies and kids, and remember this will pass.
- As sure as the sun will rise, life will provide all the stress you need. No need to make your own through comparing every little thing you and your kids are doing to the rest of the known Universe. Enjoy your time with your little ones while they’re little!
To be clear, if you’re truly concerned about your child’s development, by all means go to your Pediatrician with your concerns.