The Ugly Game of Comparison

The comparison game is a tough one, isn’t it? It seems that every direction we turn there is someone doing better, doing more. Making more money, living in a bigger home, taking a more luxurious vacation (or a vacation at all), driving a newer car. It seems especially relevant in this age of social media where the highlight reels of others’ lives are so easily and constantly accessible for our mindless scrolling pleasure. It doesn’t take much to fall into the trap of doing and going and being enough, measuring ourselves by the standards set by this exhausting culture of more.

Sometimes, if I’m not careful, it’s easier than I wish it was to fall into the child-to-child comparisons. I look at Landry where she’s at right now and fight the urge to compare what we are doing to what I was doing with Chandler at this same age. When Chandler was this age, she went to ballet class; yesterday Landry went to PT to work on standing. Chandler and I used to go for cupcakes after dance; this morning Landry had feeding therapy and sometimes I feed her through a tube. Chandler and I had conversations by this time; Landry had speech this morning too. When Chandler was this age we had so much fun.

But what a dangerous and incredibly unfair place that is to let my mind rest, unfair to both girls and unfair to myself. When Chandler was this age, she didn’t still lay on my lap to take a bottle. She didn’t need to be rocked to sleep anymore. She wasn’t nearly this happy all the time. I certainly couldn’t have snuggled her on my chest for a hike and expected her to be content. Landry and I are having so much fun too. It just looks really different.

Different isn’t bad. It’s not better or worse, greater than or less than. It’s not more or less successful. Different absolutely does not equate to value. People always have and always will have different ways of doing things and living their lives than the next person. Children always have and always will have different ways and paces of developing. How boring would it be if we all did things the same way anyway? If I’m being honest, when I started recognizing this life for exactly what it is – not better or worse, just different – I realized different is a pretty fun place to hang out.

xo – Lindsay

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