Welcome to the Blog Hop Comparison: Thief of Joy? where bloggers from all over the world are invited to share their ideas about Theodore Roosevelt’s quote: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Do you agree of disagree with Teddy’s POV? Please share your unique perspective.
Is It or Isn’t It?
Once upon a time, before I became a mother, I would have said comparison is never a thief of joy.
We compare apples and oranges, dogs and cats and basically everything that exists. When those comparisons are made one usually isn’t indicating that one fruit or pet is better than the other. They are just indicating their personal preferences.
However, now that I am a mother I’ve experienced a few situations where comparison was a thief of joy. It wasn’t a good feeling, it hurt and I walked away feeling like a failure. However, being a mom for almost two years has given me some time to learn how to deal with these situations.
Some thieves of joy and how I handled them:
Thief #1: Baby Development Books- “Your baby is supposed to be doing this by X age.” I know these are general guidelines but reading these and seeing how far behind my baby was made me feel like I wasn’t doing anything right. After a conversation and some encouragement from my parents I decided to get rid of the books. I have no regrets. Guess what? My baby has done everything she’s supposed to do on her own schedule.
Thief #2: The Shopping Mall Mom- “Oh, our kids look about the same age! Is your baby saying such and such? Because my baby is already saying three word sentences and modeling!” I tell her, Elisabeth isn’t really doing any of the things your kid is awesome at but she has a long attention span for learning, she’s been using her potty chair since 18 months, she signs over 60 words in ASL and she can walk in high heels. I think it’s important to share some things Elisabeth is good at while acknowledging the accomplishments of the S.M.M.’s child too. I feel like that way I’m not walking away feeling bad and the S.M.M. isn’t feeling like I was trying to one up her child.
Thief #3: The Low Talker- I simply won’t repeat some of the mean and insensitive comparisons these people have made after seeing Elisabeth wearing her hearing devices. Guess what, I heard you and after that first guy, I’ve rehearsed some comebacks. Low talkers everywhere, you will walk away wishing you had just kept your comments to yourself.
Life with Elisabeth is amazing and she brings so much joy and energy to my life, even when she’s cranky. When I look at her, nothing else matters. She is her own person and will do things when she’s good and ready.
So, can comparison be a thief of joy? Sure, but I prefer to find a way to quickly deal with those thieves and move on. Focusing on the negative comparisons is also a thief of time and that time is something we can never get back.
Is there any room for comparisons in parenting? Certainly! I am fortunate to have a number of friends and family with kids around Elisabeth’s age. We love comparing what our kids are up to but it’s never a competition. It’s great being able to share in the joys and challenges of being a parent.