When Cayden was born I had a friend that had a baby exactly one week before I did. It was fun to have another mom around church that was doing everything I was doing. We were on the same track for the most part. Then her son started doing stuff that Cayden wasn't doing. It seemed as though he did everything before Cayden did. I was such a typical first time mom and pretty much paranoid that her little boy was smarter and more advanced than Cayden. Now looking back I say to myself, well maybe he was! What's the big deal!
Anyhow, I was a comparing mom. The worst was when about 18 months Cayden was still not saying any words. That was so stressful to me to hear hist little buddy talking up a storm and my little baby not saying a word anyone could understand but himself. I was always comparing Cayden to his buddy. Thank goodness Cayden was so little and didn't know what I was doing to him or to myself for that matter.
Comparing my baby to another baby got me nowhere. I was always frustrated. I was always wanting my child to be like another child. I was neglecting to see my kid for my kid and was only seeing him for what he wasn't doing. It was bad and I don't recommend it.
Funny thing is that my friend and I both had a boy for baby #2 and her son was born just a few weeks before we brought our Deacon home. I was a much better mom this time and didn't compare these two, or maybe I was just too tired to care!
If you have more than one kid you know that there are many struggles that come from parenting more than one child. The first child seems to be hard at the time, but then you throw in one more or two more or in our case three more and you are on a whole different playing field. Parenting multiple children with multiple personalities is challenging.
One thing that has been hard for me the past few months has been comparing my children to one another in ways that aren't fair to anyone. Thank goodness I've tried really hard to not verbalize these comparisons to them, but in my head and heart they have been there. Aaron and I talk about this a lot and try to be a good reminder to each other about how to keep our minds and hearts pure when comparing our kids.
I'll omit names to protect the innocent, but here are ways I compare. We have one child that is a pretty smart kid. I'm always expecting the others to follow that lead. We have one kid that will never ever get in trouble at school. Then I have some that will be in their fair of trouble, I just know it. I have one that teachers rave about his behavior. I have some that I'm afraid we're going to have longer parent teacher conferences about. I have one that makes friends easily and one that is guarded. I have one that is a lover and a snuggler. I have one that doesn't want to sit in my lap long enough to hug. I have one that is super smart and one that can't seem to remember anything we go over for the day. I have one that listens great and one that everything goes in one ear and out the next.
You see how this plays out. It is a lose lose situation for all the above players listed and for us as parents. No one will ever live up to another persons expectations.
I'm trying very hard lately to lay down my expectations as a whole and have individual expectations for each kid. Then we can rejoice when they meet THEIR own expectations and not when they meet a brother or sisters expectations. It is hard, but I think I'll be a better mom if I quit with the comparing and just love my kids for who they are who God created each one to be individually!
great post! you are so right…my kids are also as different as night & day and i often do the same thing- compare them to each other and expect them to both excel in the same areas. i need to focus more on individual expectations as well…thanks for the reminder girl.
It is funny that I read this post today. We were just talking about birthdays and who was born close to the boys birthday. I asked E if he remembered Cayden and Deacon, and he said he did! I remember him wanting to come to Texas to visit him just after you moved. I’m glad we shared a short time of raising our boys together. And i think most moms, especially the first go around, compare their kid to others. Then more kids come along and we compare our own kids–I remember thinking J was going to be so “not smart” because he didn’t talk anywhere near as early as E! But they are all different and all special! Thanks for the memories!
Love those memories Becca! I remember being so very pregnant and visiting you in the hospital and thinking “oh dear Lord I’m about to have one of those!!”
I heard this one time: “compare and despair.” So true!