As a parent, you always worry about whether you are doing enough, are your children happy, how are they viewed by others and if they are well behaved. You look at other parents and compare yourself against their standards.
There will have been a time that this happened, you might not even realize you are doing it.
For example, that time when you saw a Mom walking around the grocery store with their well-behaved children in tow. Only to find yourself feeling bad about yourself when your child is throwing a tantrum in the middle of the aisle or throwing items on the floor. Or when out at lunch and see another Mom whose child is screaming for dessert, and you feel rather chuffed that you are acting so well.
Whether you have felt bad or good, you’ve compared yourself to another parent. For some reason, you feel compelled to compare yourself.
Comparisons Are Not Helpful
Raising a child or multiple children is not easy. That is one thing all parents can agree on. Yet, instead of building yourself or others up, this ‘competitive’ lifestyle that has ingrained itself into daily life, isn’t helpful and leaves you feeling rubbish.
Your value as a parent is not based on whether you bought a new rug for your child’s nursery or paid for a rug repair.
Everyone Has Their Own Preference
Just because you have made a choice to raise your child one way does not mean that is the only way or vice versa. Perhaps you chose to breastfeed, instead of looking at a parent who has made the alternative choice to bottle feed and makes a judgment of their decision. Take the time to consider their reasons, or ask.
Not only will you learn a different perspective but you start to see and support the confidence each parent has and is permitted to have when raising their child.
All Children Are Different
It is easy to compare your child to another. A parenting choice when it comes to their upbringing. However, all children are different and require different tactics. All parents are different too.
You might need to work in order to ensure that the bills are paid and your child is provided for. This doesn’t make you less of a loving or committed parent, say a parent who stays at home or one that regularly attends playgroups.
Some children may suffer from medical conditions that you are not aware of that have inadvertently impacted their parent’s choices. Perhaps they can’t eat the same foods due to dietary requirements or allergies. Another factor is children naturally develop at different times. Some babies start crawling as early as 4 months old whilst others are nearer 12 months. The difference in time meeting these milestones doesn’t carry any bearing on the parent necessarily.
Children learn these skills in their own time. Comparing yourself and your child in these cases brings no good. It just makes you feel inadequate and apply pressures that neither you nor your child needs.