On her tummy she screams. Everything in her is appalled with the position, face against the ground. She is 8 months and still making no effort to crawl. I am on my tummy with her. Showing her its fun! On all fours I move about the room. “See Honey, like this!” More screams. I cave and place her gently into sitting position.
Other babies are crawling. Why isn’t she?
I expect my daughter to be like other babies. To excel at the same rate. To hit the milestones when the books say so.
As I have talked with other moms I have found this is a common theme among us. We place expectations on our children because of what we see and hear around us.These expectations are based off of comparison.
We place our children, our families, and ourselves under the comparison lens. When my daughter isn’t crawling at the “right time” or her teeth haven’t made their appearance “on time” I am viewing her through the comparison lens. I see imperfection because I am looking through the wrong lens.
My husband is a photographer. At a wedding shoot he is switching lenses back and forth to aide in capturing each sweet moment. The lenses play a significant role in producing the images. If all the pictures were taken with a mega zoomed lens the audience viewing the images later would never get a clear understanding of the day and its events. All that would be portrayed would be close ups of the bride and grooms faces. Questions would be unanswered. What did the dress look like? Did it have a train? Were there decorations around them? What was the venue like? And so on.
You see, when I place my daughter under the comparison lens all I see is what she is not doing “on time”. I lose focus of what she is doing. Suddenly I do not see her expressive faces, her laughter, her attention to details(buttons, strings, the crumb on the floor), her love for music and on and on.
I don’t want to miss those sweet moments. I want to see it all. I want to have the right lens ready for all occasions.
Comparison is a thief. It robs us from enjoying the moments. It steals from our relationships; our relationships with our children and fellow moms. One wise mother told me, “comparison is a mom’s greatest weakness.” She hit the target with that!
Comparing my child puts a thorn in my relationships with other moms. When their is a constant struggle to be better than, trust can not be built. Relationships will not grow when trust does not live.
Is comparison worth it? At the end of the day when my child is frustrated with me and I feel alone without another mom to talk to.
How can I turn my comparison into encouragement? How can I become a mom of encouragement rather than a mom of comparison?
1 Thessalonians 5:14-17 Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people. Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. NLT