Monday, April 12, 2010


Pre-babies, I almost never compared myself with others.

I just don't care about the house you live in, car you drive, clothes you wear, etc, etc.

I'm also confident and happy enough with my looks, weight, intelligence, etc, etc. to not be concerned about others.

Until now.

At Saturday's Fertility Babies meeting I confessed to the group that I find myself comparing my babies with other kids A LOT. And my parenting skills with that of other parents.

It's more the second than the first actually.

A friend, K, said she was exactly the same until she had her daughter and then the comparison thing also started for her.

Isn't that strange?

I must tell you I don't like it one bit as it feels really strange, almost like I'm not me.

Is this what people who battle with self-confidence feel like?

I know I'm a good mother about 92% of the time (the % is just for Mandibula) and then the rest of the time I think things like:

  1. why am I such a slacker mother with this baby dedication thing?
  2. are my kids going to feel deprived because I don't buy toys?
  3. and so on

Gee, it's exhausting.

I know I should relax and let go, but HOW?

Seriously, how do you stop comparing?

The only thing that's worked for me is to tell myself, "my children are actually 2 months younger than their chronological age".

My friend, C, said to stop reading all those baby books :)

What are your suggestions?

These pics were taken on 18 March, nearly a month ago.

He started flinging himself around soon after this so it's no longer safe to leave him on any bed.

P.S. I actually wanted to write about last week's 9-month check-up at the paed but The Notebook is in the babies' bedroom and they're asleep.

P.P.S. C woke up 5 times before 12 last night but then thankfully slept until 5:30.


  1. Yep, C's very wise. Burn the books. Kidding about the burning - but really. Your kids are cute, eating, and moving around. The pedi told me that at our kid's age that's what they're looking for. As for sleep - argh - but apparently that's pretty normal too.

    I've stopped comparing because the kids in our antenatal group were all due well before D - she just happened to arrive 2nd in the bunch. So although she's as big as them and can do much of what they can, I remind myself that she is actually younger. I tell them that occasionally too which stopped the "oh isn't D doing xyz yet?". Besides - the pedi also said that those groups breed anxiety. I think she's right.

    Too many toys = clutter = grumpy mummy.

    You aren't a slacker mummy about the dedication thing - it'll happen.

    And as for the 92%... what's std dev on that? :p

  2. You'll break down on the toys soon - just try to buy them used to save money. It will give you a break when they are at their play kitchen and you need to pick items up around the house. I try not to compare my kids (that's tough), I only read books for advice (on discipline, food, etc.) and when I compare myself to other moms it isn't to feel where I fall short but to get tips how to do things differently. If you take that approach it keeps it all in perspective. I did go through what you are when my kids were 9-12 months so hang in there and it will pass.

  3. I totally agree with getting rid of the books...I had to stop reading them when I was pregnant b/c I was making myself nuts! All kids (and parents) are different and you just have to think of it like this...for every thing that you're comparing yourself to (and being jealous of...blah, blah, blah), someone else is comparing themselves to you (and being jealous of you...yeah, yeah, yeah)! We all do it!

  4. Don't cheat yourself! I know you give way more than 92% ;) I wish I knew how to stop myself with the comparisons. I've brought out the devil in me and really started to pick out the girls strong points and harp on them! They might not eat but they can sleep better than any other baby I know!

  5. Oh oh oh!
    Do you compare the kids to each other? That is a bigger problem for me, we always worry that Emma is falling behind.

    I'm glad to know I'm not the only one avoiding toys. We just opened a christmas toy last week!

  6. Yup, I'm with your friend C! I started reading all the baby books but all they did was make me feel bad so I stopped reading them and just follow my instincts!

  7. I agree you should get rid of the baby books. The only one I ever bought was Dr. Spock's new edition and that is helpful even with older children. I don't read it faithfully, I just look up any concerns I have once in a blue moon.

    Sometimes I do get jealous of other babies that are moving more at the same age, but I try to remind myself too that they are more than 2 months premie, and are going at the best pace they can. It's funny because I can even see how some things slow down so they can catch up in other areas. Liam stopped babbling for awhile as he's been working on rolling and starting to move. Over the past few days, the babbling is starting to come back.

  8. Yeah, stick the books on the shelf and stop worrying.

    Things to check for that DO matter.
    1. Happy?
    2. Recognize primary caregivers and respond to them?
    3. Growing?
    4. Usually not sick?
    5. Consistently learning new things (and every child will pick up on something different - just are they doing/learning ANYTHING new - a new noise, grabbing new things, moving a different way ... anything that means that they are learning and observing things around them).

    And no - you aren't depriving them by having very few toys or even no TV - you are giving them the freedom to learn, create, invent, and observe. LaRue can have more fun with a plastic apple sauce cup (recycled) and a fat rubberized highligher as she can with a fancy teether. At this age, let them explore - just make sure the items are "safe" - can't swallow or choke, won't break off pieces, etc.

    Choose toys that can be played with through several growth stages (I like Little People - no batteries, they chew on them as teethers at LaRue's age, while the middle kids are busy lining them up and letting a character feed all the animals, and the bigger kids are rearranging and making up stories.) Duplo/ Lego sets, Tinker Toys, one or two good quality dolls with a limited supply of easy to change clothes and bottle (in about 6 months), Wooden blocks, silk scarves, a purse with some home made coins, .... keep items age appropriate and to a minimum. As they age, you will notice they like certain toys, maybe Conner will like Lego's and you can get him several sets of those to create with - or Kendra may enjoy painting.

    Even go easy on the books - use the public library. Ours even has board books. If you notice one book is picked out every time you return it, buy that book, but most will be enjoyed a week or two and forgotten.

    And look for second hand toys.

    And don't fall into the trap I did - just because your child ALWAYS plays with that toy at the Dr. office, don't buy one for home - then there is nothing to entertain them at the Dr. office and often they are board with the toy far before you feel you got the price out of it.

    One other thing - most toys can easily be copied with recycled things. Coins can be made from card board or cut up plastic jug, maybe covered with foil. Filth Wizardry and Crafty Crow are excellent for home made toys. They would have fun making the toy, and then have fun playing with it.


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