Swear Not to Compare
Posted on April 24 2019
Why do we place so much judgment on ourselves as parents? We should give our selves a break! I think we compare because it’s human nature, but I think its ideal if we try not to!
Why is there parents out there that “size” each others kids up? It’s like you mention your child learned how to sit up today and they go “oh well Timmy learned how to sit up and hold his bottle too” – its like they one up your moment! In some weird twisted way I feel like they do that to make their own self feel better and its like giving themselves a pat on the back or something!
Now we as humans compare…I think its human nature. A flaw we all carry. (Boo…I hate those flaws)
We have a few friends who also have little girls really Close to Claire’s age (like within a couple weeks close). With several little girls around the same age, hitting milestones for the most part at normal timing or sooner, that was difficult and still is at times. Those sweet girls are hitting milestones with flying colors while Claire will hit them but in a very slow pace. Yes its hard to see and not be jealous, or sad, or any sort of emotion when you feel life hasn’t been fare to your child.
I remember one of the first times this really became noticeable with Claire and the others girls. It was one of our first big outings to a friend’s house. All of the girls were about 5 months old. The other girls were both rolling, one of them was already pushing up and starting to sit up, and the other almost wanting to take off crawling! Sweet Claire was lying on her back, not even able to move her head side to side, legs flat to the floor. She had no muscle tone to lift her arms, legs, to hold help or anything. It was noticeable, the difference – or at least to this Momma.
I could see something was wrong. We had just gotten her genetic diagnoses probably a week or so before. So with me knowing that information and then seeing all three of their development stages together…it hit hard. I had a panic attack, which is so not like me. I remember having to go outside and catch my breath after crying in the bathroom quietly not wanting anyone to know. I have never had major anxiety and/had panic issues. For those who deal with that on a daily basis…I am sorry. That was a terrible feeling. I think all the emotions just engulfed me and I was seeing it first-hand…my little sweet Claire was going to be on a long road to get where other kids already where.
BOOM- right there. COMPARISON.
Claire started therapy at 5 months, she continues to work with her therapist to overcome difficulties, and delayed milestones. Some of the milestone difficulties we have dealt with have been what I think so many people take for granted. These are just little things to most parents, a baby being able to hold their own bottle, first smile, learning to clap, holding their own bottle.
Claire didn’t learn how to hold her own bottle until she was almost 1 because of muscle tone issues.
She learned to roll and sit up around 18 months old.
She learned how to crawl on all fours at 22 months and she slowly started pulling up and cruising slowly on furniture around that same time. Around this time or a little before is when we got her Mustang! No not a car! But it was bright yellow just like a bright hot rod would be! This was a walker gait trainer that we could put her in that she was able to have support to help her move around the house. She used it for about 6 months off and on. She didn’t really like it – could have been the color!!
At 2 years old (24 months) she got brave enough to start taking steps on her own.
Claire currently will turn 4 in July and is still progressing. She is all over the house and not very stationary which is a good thing! She is learning more and more with being able to get into all sort of stuff…HA! Exploring! She can walk on her own but not very far. She gets tired easily and often trips. She does wear SMOs (ankle supports) to help keep her stable. Her speech is very delayed. She does however have a small signing vocabulary she is learning and says “momma” and “daddy”, “hi” and babbles tones. Words and signing all came much later…closer to 22 months. Oh my heavens when words started to finally come out of her little mouth, it was probably one of the most rewarding sounds.
I remember when she learned how to clap; she was close to a year old. Tears of joy came down so unexpectedly. We had been hand over hand practicing with her. One afternoon while waiting in the lobby at therapy, we were playing together and after I let go, she continued to do it and smile. I think those little things like that, many only cherish for a brief moment because it came so easy to their child.
We have learned, God will bless us with those moments when the time is right for Claire. I think Scott and I as parents are lucky because those little moments aren’t just little for us. They are BIG huge celebratory moments; full of joy that does not get lost after a few weeks and the next milestone comes. We get to be thankful for a much longer period of time. Because although when I see other kids running and playing and speaking sentences to their momma’s I try and find the positive in those situations rather than compare.
I see the other girls around her progressing at a much faster speed and I try to look at it this way- POSITIVELY, not wishing and comparing my child was already there. She will get there. What is great about those other sweet kiddos doing so good is- Claire can learn from them! Claire can watch them doing it and strive and push her self to do it do. She has someone to look up to that is close to her age – Not just someone older.
We appreciate how far God has allowed Claire to come in 3.5 years, which to us means the world. We look to him for the next milestone.
It is moments like that, which we have waited a very long time for, that give us hope – knowing its coming. We want the next step to come in her growth but we also try to have patience for the next step, which can be so hard. We can pray and pray, but she may not be ready.
God hears our prayers. God is watching and waiting. He will help her reach that next milestone when the time is right for her. Our timeline isn’t God’s timeline. I think that is hard for many of us. I am definitely a “want it to happen now” type person. I have a hard time waiting for anything when I have my mind set on something. My mind is set on a big future for our sweet Claire and I know God will do many wonderful things through her…. its just on his time and when he knows she is ready.
With Grace and Gratitude – Renee
Read more of Renne's stories here