You know those really cute dialogue things people post?
“This is me the parent saying something.”
“Then my kid says something cute back.”
“I ask said kid some clarifying question?”
“She or he responds with some off-the-wall-hilarious response that you couldn’t make up if you tried.”
I love this kind of facebook post. It excites me for the darndest things my kids will someday say. I will write them down in a notebook of “Coleton-isms” and “Annabelle-isms” and cherish them forever!
I’ve actually been waiting for them to start….but it might be a little while cuz Coleton doesn’t talk too much. He has made significant speaking strides, but he’s still on the “I talk very little” end of the spectrum for his age group. This is what I find myself saying to people who (probably) don’t even notice or care how much he is talking:
“It’s a few things I think:
1) He’s the first kid and I’ve probably anticipated his needs a little too much.
2) He’s a boy. Boys usually talk less than their female peers.
3) He’s an introvert and loves spending time alone in his crib or reading.”
Why do I feel the need to explain his language development to my peers? I would love Coleton the same amount if he hadn’t spoken ONE word in his little life, yet I find myself comparing his milestones to other kids his age and getting self conscious about it.
Sometimes it’s in my head, but sometimes it’s aloud on my playdates. I give disclaimers. I express my frustration or stress or fears about him not speaking conceptual thoughts or more than one, two or sometimes three word sentences. I make comments about how chunky Annabelle is. And frankly I’m embarrassed by myself. Why am I comparing my kids to my friend’s kids when I could just be celebrating my kids for who they are?!
You see, I am 100% in love with Annabelle’s kissable, squishable rolls. I love that Coleton isn’t growing up too fast or talking up a storm yet. He’s my sweet snugly boy who is emerging out of his cocoon on his own timing. I’m straight up enamored with my kids.
When I’m alone, I cherish them well. We have fun in the sprinkler, reading, playing, tickling, eating, etc…and I’m constantly amazed at how they’re growing and changing. These little peeps are magnificent.
But the ugly thing about comparison is that it robs me of delighting in who they are today.
I’m calling BS on myself. I’m calling BS on our culture that obsesses over our kids wanting to be doctors at like age 12. I’m challenging myself and anyone else who is convicted of comparing your kids to their peers to STOP. Whether your kid is the next Einstein or 9 years behind developmentally….STOP COMPARING and START CELEBRATING.
Our kids are these wonderful little beings, and there is no human who has ever been or will be exactly like them. God healed my broken mentality of constant comparison to other women, and He has given me so much joy in parenting these kiddos. Therefore, I will not let comparison sneak into my mom life and rob me of any of that joy. Coleton and Annabelle and any future children God wants to give us will be celebrated by their mommy no matter what they do or who they are. They will be free to grow and learn at whatever rate they grow and learn. They will be free to play and be kids as long as they will stay young.
For those of you who do a wonderful job of not comparing your kids, thank you. You inspire me. For the rest of us, let’s celebrate exactly where our kids are. Today.
Someday, I will post a cute and funny convo. But for today, it’s time to go get C and AB out of their cribs and enjoy their jibberish and new words and sweet smiles. And that’s plenty for me.ps. riding the bus at church from the far parking lot to the building is pretty much Coleton’s favorite weekly activity. Therefore, it’s one of mine too. 😉
Do you ever struggle with comparison? Share in the comments how you fight back.