Guest Post: Comparison killed the Mom!

Laura, our friend from down under, is back with us this lovely Monday evening. In this post, she encourages us to not compare our child to other children. This issue is something I know most mommas struggle with at one point or another and a reminder is always helpful!

Please take a few minutes to read this post, and leave a comment!

Check out Laura's other posts:
"Normal" is Abnorma
It Takes A Village
Ground Hog Day, And That's OK!

Comparison is dangerous. My little Mr. T is 18 months old. He is loud, energetic, passionate, physical touch is his love language and he hates toys but loves to dig holes and climb trees (already!). He says a handful of words, pushes the boundaries every day and still doesn't sleep through the night (or STTN as the internet mom groups say). Oh... and he's a complete STUD!

A close friend has a son who is the same age. In fact, they were born on the same day. This little dude is awesome! He dances all the time (with incredible rhythm) he loves to adventure indoors with his toys if that’s what the day calls for, his vocabulary is out of this world, and includes words like "basketball, baseball, chocolate milk, Jesus and pizza pizza" amongst many others. He holds his mom’s hand when they walk, and is extremely forgiving - especially of my son who constantly takes him on.

Since I was pregnant I have prayed for a permanent sense of awe. Praise the Lord, he gave it to me and so for some reason, even through post-natal depression, nights of getting up every 40 minutes, days of a screaming baby, inside my spirit I was constantly in awe of my son. He's mine, really? He's was inside MY womb? I pushed him out and now he’s here! He is half of me and half of his Daddy! I can't believe he is mine and that before he was nothing and now he is a little person! and so on....

Going deeper than a sense of awe, however, was my very purposefully chosen perspective that my baby is his own person and will develop in God's timing. This brings me to the point of this post.... stop it. Don't do it. Don't compare your baby. While the BabyCentre can be helpful (sometimes) and google is of course the ultimate source of wisdom, please.... don't do it. When you get an update on your baby's development and it says they should be crawling and your little one is still struggling to sit up without looking tipsy... don't freak out. When your friend at the park who has a baby who is 2 months younger than yours is telling you, “Sella just put herself to sleep one day all by herself.... I never even had to sleep train her!” protect your heart and mind carefully.

We know this but sometimes we truly don't believe it - EVERY BABY IS DIFFERENT! Sure there is an average age where certain things happen but there is also a huge bell curve and there are a ton of babies hanging on the outer edges of that curve. My sister has four with one on the way. Her youngest got her first two teeth when my son was getting his 8th - he's 6 months younger than my sister’s daughter. Thats just when her teeth decided they were ready to emerge.

Since every baby is genetically different, has different DNA and different personalities, their strengths and weaknesses will also be different. When one baby sleeps another will wake hourly until their 2. When one baby talks another baby is internally processing the deeper meaning of that dirt in his hand more than you realise. When one walks, one peacefully sits knowing she's not in a rush to get anywhere. Where one is obedient another will be defiant. Yes, there are milestones but please allow your baby to reach them and cross them when they're ready. Enjoy the stage they're in. Actively be aware of the strengths they have today, nurture those and love them through their struggles or attempts.

Your baby doesn't need to be like anyone else's baby! He is his own person and could one day change the world in his own way. As adults we always acknowledge that it takes all different kinds to love to change the world - can we please recognise the same in our kids?

Comparing will not only stress you out as a Mom it will also put strains on your relationships with other mothers. These relationships are necessary and life giving! We need these relationships and we need to support the life of community that surrounds us. Embrace the differences of all our kids. Don't grade your kid’s development subconsciously by lining them up to the latest BabyCentre update. Observe, enjoy the variances and maybe even learn from each other.

God loves your baby more than you do. He has a purpose and will for their life. Your job is to love and support them. Yes that means encourage their growth and development, but don't let milestones dictate your parenting. Hold their hand and walk by their side as they discover this world, who they are and who God created them to be.

Laura Hall graduated with a Bachelors in Nursing from an Australian university in 2009. Since then she has served and volunteered in the nursing capacity in Sydney, Germany, Ethiopia, Thailand, Bangladesh and Hawaii.

She met her husband, Derek, when she was 14 and the two married 5 years later. Three years ago, they packed up all they had into two suitcases and have been on the move in missions ever since. Their heart is founded in the root significance of family. They are passionate about marriages that thrive! Laura has a heart for the grassroots movement, for women and children's ministry's and is working toward preaching internationally, facilitating the battle against slavery and networking the global church to be Jesus' hands and feet on this Earth!

They have a 1-year-old son, Theodore, and hope to expand their family in the years to come. The Hall's are all about having honest conversations about real challenges and struggles, but striving for a life where they are thriving in all areas: health, marriage, parenting and serving the Lord.

You can follow her writings at the Live to Thrive blog