Sunday, March 27, 2011


Before we had our own little one, I heard and read many pieces of advice that said, "never compare your child to another."
Easier said than done!
Usually, I just notice what Acorn has not done: slept through the night more than 1x a month; crawled later than Z, walked later than C, etc. I didn't complain about these(except the sleep thing, which I still would love to be different.)

Why do we want to be perfect? Especially knowing perfection(perceived/presented) can be so alienating?

Our little Acorn is a talker, she talks, at 16.5 months, more than many 2 year olds we know. As a highly verbal person, myself, I relish the way she talks, and love it, usually, in a 'how cool is this?' kind of way, not a 'look what my daughter does that yours doesn't' way.
But, recently, a Mom-friend mentioned how little her son talks, and I(I confess, I'd had a beer) told her a story about how impressed the Dr. was when she heard Acorn talking. I then said, "But she still wakes 1-2 times a night, even after we've done sleep training, and she is ambiguous about eating much." I concluded by saying. "I think kids excel at some things and lag in others." I meant to be encouraging, but I doubt she heard that.

Afterwards, I felt awful. I know that when friends tell me how great their kids sleep I don't feel happy for them(I should) I just feel jealous. So, why would I say how well my child is doing in an area her child is not?

I talked with another friend about it, and she said, "I try not to say how well my kids do in things, in general, except to really close friends."
I am going to try and get a little more quiet about these things, when out at our frequent playgroups, etc.
Because, we all say we understand kids do things at different times, but we can't help but notice the goods and the bads, and blame ourselves, sometimes.

What have you said that you wished you didn't, or heard that you wish you hadn't? How do you stay positive?


  1. Yes. I have such a hard time keeping quiet about my "wonderful, lovely, happy, fantastic baby!" and it's something I want to really pay more attention to. Not on my blog - shoot, that's what my blog is FOR is to give the proud mama in me a place to come out & brag, but in day to day life. It's so hard not to try to connect over the things your kid does well (or poorly) but you're absolutely right - I almost never enjoy hearing about something her child excels at that the other mom KNOWS Henry doesn't do well yet.

    I'm sure I'm guilty of the other end of this, as well. Something to be aware of & something to work on - thank you for the gentle reminder!

  2. I agree- our blogs are totally for some major bragging!
    One thing I'd love, if someone shares something great, is any advice they may have. I am always ready for new techniques!

  3. Pinecone is like Acorn -- a big talker, and she took her time on other things. She hung out this week with kids 8 months younger who could walk just as well, and 2 months older how could climb ladders, while PC just discovered climbing chairs. But she talks non-stop. For the past 8 months, I've found myself emphasizing her verbal skills as a defence against all the Q's and comments about her taking her time walking (still within normal time frames, but months later than everyone else around her.)

    Now I am in a different position. I have a friend whose 2 year old has just finally started a few words, only really started vocalizing much a few months ago. They'd been really laid back about it, now it seems like *everyone* is commenting on it and focused on it, including the parents and other friends (frequent comments like "now PC can teach B how to talk" - to be fair, he really did teach her how to crawl). They haven't done a speech evaulation, and I almost want them to do an evaluation, so that he doesn't have to hear these comments from others all the time. At 2+2 months, he is probably starting to understand this, and I worry about his self-esteem, and it all making him more shy with his language. If nothing else, I'm sure he can feel the intensity directed toward him when asked something, or when he does say something.

    And I do really agree with you -- kids excel in some areas and lag in others. I think PC took her time with her big movements (and still does) because so much of her being is focused on communicating. Her brain is pre-occupied with what it wants to learn right now, which appparently doesn't include climbing ladders (oh, darn, I have a cautious toddler!).

    I *hate* our natural tendency to compare, and then our need to downplay their strengths to make someone else feel better because of fears of comparisons.... it ends up being an awful cycle. We gotta figure it out now as mamas, especially for our girls, I think. It's a big job we have.

    Sorry for such a long comment, but I think about this a lot.

  4. It is something to think about now, and I am happy to hear I am not the only person pondering these things!