Parenting is never a competition... unless your child is winning.
Did I seriously just say that?
Yup, yes, you did read that right.
What is this supposed to mean?
As new moms we know, or we are supposed to know, that all babies and toddlers and children develop at different paces. We know that babies don't usually smile socially until 6 weeks or so. Occasionally we will get that smile at 3 weeks and think our kid is the greatest. But if our baby doesn't smile socially until 7 weeks then we just figure they are taking their time to develop but it is still normal.
Or when our toddler doesn't walk until they are 14 months- but the baby down the street was walking at 10 months. We know we aren't supposed to think of it as a contest so we just smile and shrug and remind the other parents that this isn't a race. But when your baby has all of their teeth and molars before their first birthday- Hallelujah! Your baby is faster than most babies.
We continually put ourselves through this emotional roller coaster. For what? To tell ourselves that we are good parents based on our newborns teething habits? Or if our baby is in the 95% for height- we did something right?? Or to tell ourselves that we haven't taught our child well enough when they can't say their "S" sounds at 18 months? Why do we do this to ourselves?
It sees very that everyone is in this "parenting competition". Healthy? Probably not... but it hard to stop from this "parenting competition." I guess looking at the positives isn't that unhealthy, but what about the negatives? How well do we keep out the negative? I used to think that comparing my only child to someone else's only child was hard to not do... but just wait until you start comparing siblings.
I look at my little girls. The oldest didn't talk until she was 2 1/2. The baby talks in sentences at 20 months. The oldest entertains herself, the youngest needs someone to entertain her. The older one doesn't talk back, the little one does. The oldest had her teeth early, the younger one is potty trained sooner, etc, etc, etc. But guess what? I still love them both.
This comparison, this competition, it is all around us. All we can do is try a little more each day to love your child/ren as individuals. To love them, teach them, and soak up their own little identities.
Have you told your little one that you love them today?
Happy Valentine's Day