Your baby vs mine

I know every mother sees her baby as being the most incredible child in the universe, but lately I have been feeling like we’re (first time mothers like me) all in some kind of an unspoken baby competition arena positioning our babies as geniuses.

For instance, my son at 6-months has just about started crawling (albeit backwards) and I have had several young mums telling me how their babies zipped all around at just 5-month!  Other parents-who-are-my-age would happily trill about how their baby was sleeping through the night whereas my son still gives me several fussy nights a week. All this made me feel as if I was doing something wrong. But looking at my baby crawling, turning over and even sitting up briefly, I know in my heart that he’s just fine and if I stop comparing his development milestones with the neighbor’s daughter, everything will be just fine. It’s all in the head as they say. As long as your pediatrician is confident with your child’s development then relax and enjoy the stage he or she is currently in.

In my present role of a new mom and having other mom friends, it feels like I am back in high school. I say this because it seems we all are longing to be the most popular parent in school and be praised for our methods. The comparisons begin pretty early — natural birth vs. caesarean; formula vs. breastfeeding; organic fabrics vs. regular; making your own baby food vs. buying jarred; massaging your baby once a day or multiple times for healthy bones etc etc. It quickly moved on to milestones this, milestones that.

I stumbled across this line — What doesn’t matter is how long it takes or in what order. What matters is that we arrive — on the internet forums that I frequent. Suddenly things seemed more clearer to me. The ultimate goal is to raise a healthy, happy, confident child so despite what your friends may be doing, you need to do stick to what feels right in your mind and in your heart (and your partner’s, of course). I truly feel that no parent should judge another parent’s way of raising his or her own child. 
Remember, Einstein didn’t speak until he was four years old, so if your friend’s son/daughter is speaking at 10 months and your child is still babbling, then don’t get all paranoid. They will get on the speech wagon soon enough.

I have to admit that I love to talk and share details of what’s going on in our lives with my mommy friends, that’s what friends are for, right? Yet at the same time I have begun to remind myself that there’s no need to brag about our kids or our parenting style. And because parenthood creates a sense of vulnerability in all of us, we thus need some sort of affirmation from our friends, relatives, family members and sometimes even strangers to tell us that we are doing just fine. 


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