Comparison is the thief of joy

As a society we make comparisons everyday. We all do it. As human beings and especially as parents. Whether we are comparing supermarkets, car seats, the tidiness of our houses and even how saggy our tits are in comparison to Karen next door.  But with comparison comes competition. And more often than not we find our selves in these competitions everyday.

The first competition of the day embarks usually at the ungodly 5am wakeup. This is the famous ‘Who has had the least sleep’ competition. One sadly, I always win. Then we move on to ‘the most organised parent’ competition at the school gates, comparing your own dishevelled looking child (who still has chocolate spread on her mouth from her toast as its the only thing she will eat and is hanging off the wall scuffing her shoes) with the impeccably dressed children who no doubt ate their all bran without complaint whilst practising their spellings. You curse your self for spending the majority of your morning yelling at every living thing in the house. Other competitions throughout the day- tidiest house on IG (always loose), healthiest shopping trolly in Sainsbury’s, length of nap baby had, lunch time phone call to OH when the ‘I only had 2.3 minutes to poo today, you had 3.6’ competition ensues. We live in a competitive world, where we are disillusioned a lot of the time that other people are doing better, living better and being better than us. They most probably aren’t.

Unfortunately all of this comparison filters down into our own children. You cannot help it. I have made and birthed two human beings, whilst both of the female persuasion- they are entirely different. From the second your second child arrives on the planet it starts. They either look like their sibling or not. They’re bigger or smaller. Their hair darker or lighter.

Soon its their sleeping, eating, routine, general mood that gets compared. Moving swiftly on to milestones hit.

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This is Primrose at 15 months {roughly the same age as Olive now}. We went to a local farm with Grandma and had an amazing time. We had to chase her around as she kept wanting to run off. She made all the animal noises. In other aspects of life she had almost all her teeth, was tall for her age, was saying quite a few words, and she was all round basically an average 2 year old.

Fast forward to Olive. Who has recently been diagnosed as having hypermobility and motor delay. She is only just bearing weight on her legs. She has only got 5 teeth. She babbles and chats all the time but her word quota is currently only ‘mamma, dadda, hiya and yeah’. She is little and only just in 9-12 month clothes. She is all round younger. We have parented them both equally. And they are both utterly perfect. Yet so completely different.

Primrose was exhausting, she has always needed to be stimulated and interacted with. She was a nightmare to wean and refused most food. I remember being so worried she was starving. Olive is chilled, laid back and loves her grub. She would sit and munch through a Big Mac if I let her.

My point is this, it is pointless and potentially harmful to compare them. To score points against their achievements. Because eventually they will pick up on this. And it will add to any potential sibling rivalry, which sadly lasts even into adult life for some people. Its toxic.

All children are entirely different.

And from now on- their achievements are their own. No more comparisons. (In an ideal world- we all fuck up occasionally)

 

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