As a mum of two, I’ve found it very easy to compare my children to everybody else’s over the years.
The question of “why isn’t my baby doing that?” going round in my head – which then results in me assuming I’m doing everything wrong.
Alfie, for example, was a pretty ‘slow’ developer. He was sitting up at 10 months old, crawling at one year old and walking just before his 2nd birthday.
Many other children his age we’re so much more advanced and I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t able to do all the things they were.
Holly, however, is a pretty advanced baby. Sitting up at 4 months old, crawling at 6 months old, standing unaided at 8 months old. She’s now 10 months old and just recently took her first steps!
So.. you can kind of see what I’m getting at here.
EVERY BABY IS DIFFERENT.
It took me a long time to understand that each child is different and unique in their own way and that includes their development stages. Although it didn’t necessarily stop me wanting to compare, it made me feel less sh*tty watching other babies reach milestones whilst my baby took 9 months to learn how to roll over.
Here are reasons why us mums shouldn’t compare our babies:
1. No baby is born a genius.
You’ll find yourself gritting your teeth and pulling a fake smile while you listen to your mummy friend brag about her baby’s current milestones. Let’s admit it – all of us mums enjoy bragging about our children’s accomplishments. Whether that’s rolling over, saying their first word or even their first poo on the toilet (I’m guilty for that). But since when did it become a competition regarding our babies development? I’ll tell you one thing – I was a very advanced baby and unfortunately for me, didn’t do me much justice growing up. Believe me.
2. Your baby still not sleeping through? You’re not alone.
You overhear a group of mums discussing how their baby is finally sleeping 7-8 hours a night – or better yet, how they’re worried if their babies are sleeping too much. Meanwhile, you’re necking a pint of black coffee whilst wanting to wipe the smug look off of their faces. I’ve been there. There is nothing worse than the constant question of “oh, your baby is still waking in the night?” as if the dark, puffy circles under your eyes weren’t obvious enough. Frantically googling why doesn’t my baby sleep in the search bar hoping for an answer. There isn’t one. Your baby is being a baby.
3. No-one is able to see your children through your eyes
As parents, we believe our children are the most beautiful, lovable, cutest people to live on this earth. Other people however, won’t see them through your eyes. They might think they’re snotty, annoying and not that cute. Us mums have to agree – we’ve been at a local baby group and secretly thought “oh wow, all these babies are so weird looking, but my baby is exceptionally gorgeous!”. There is probably a load of other mums thinking the same about your baby! You won’t ever know if your baby is weird looking, because 1. no-one would ever tell you, and 2. when you look at your baby, all you’ll see is squishy, cute loveliness.
Our babies are completely unaware of the competition they’re against on a daily basis whilst they’re happily interacting with their play date buddies. They are unaware they’re being compared to the baby who spoke it’s first word at 11 months old whilst your baby is happy babbling. There will be other babies who may be more developed than yours – whilst they’re growing their first teeth, your baby is still rocking their sweet gummy smile. There will be another baby who learnt to walk, while your baby is still shuffling around the lounge like a slug. Every baby is different and will develop at their own pace.
Have you ever been in a position of competition between your baby and somebody else’s?