Comparing kids… Today I was thinking about how often I hear the phrase “compared to other kids his age…” I have used these words countless times and I have heard them from the lips of friends, and strangers alike. I never questioned it until now. But lately I have found myself comparing my son to other children a lot. Far too much to be honest. So I have questioned myself, why do I feel compelled to compare my child to “other kids his age”? Why is it that I feel the need for him to be just slightly more advanced, or just a little bit smarter than average.
I know that it is necessary for us to know what the “norm” is to be sure our kids are developing at the right speed, and to be able to help them if they are not, but that is not why I compare my kid to others. Deep down, I think my reasoning is simply pride. I want him to be smart and happy and well behaved, for his sake yes, but also because it makes me look good. I feel like it validates me as a mother when my children succeed, and even more so when they exceed expectations. I want them to do well for themselves, I want them to live long happy lives, but deep down, I want some credit for it all. I want a pat on the back. In comparing my child to others, I am really attempting to compare myself. Wondering if I’m good enough, if I am “the best”…
It’s shameful really, and I’m tempted not to post this, but it’s true and it’s real. And I post it to hold myself accountable. I post it to remind myself of this trap and to remember to ask for God’s help in this area.
I love my kids so much. I doubt it’s possible for anyone (apart from Christ) to love them more than I do. And that’s just it. I love them, because they are my kids. I love them for who they are. I love them when they are above average, and I love them when they are below average. I will love them when they succeed and when they fail. That doesn’t change. And that is a huge part of what makes a great mother. the love and care she shows for her child.
A mother that has a chid prodigy to raise, a mother that has a little one with special needs, and the mothers who have “average” kids. They are all incredible mothers in their own way, there is no comparison. Each one shows love for her children differently, and each one cares for her own children in the unique way that they need care.
I’m personally going to endeavor to stop comparing my son to other kids. Because for me, it’s a pride issue. I want to compare, I want to be the “best”, and in doing that I forget that in order for me to be the “best” my son doesn’t have to be excelling above his peers. He doesn’t need to be well behaved every minute of every day.
The truth is, I don’t need to be the best mom in the entire world. I just need to be the best mom in my kids’ world. The best mom to them. That means I can fail (and often will) and that is okay. I won’t be perfect, but I am the one God chose to be their mama, and that is all the recognition I should need.
I am the best. You are the best. and all our kids are too ;) So we can stop trying to compare, and focus more on building each other up :) Because you are way better than I am at being a mom to your kids. And I’m better at mothering mine. I’m realizing that every mama is “the best”. She is the best for her child, and that is what matters.
Not the number of words a kid can say…
Not the number of foods he enjoys…
Not the clothes he wears or how noisy/quiet he is…
None of the things we tend to compare matter.
the love we share is what counts.
There’s no comparison. And there never should be.
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