Why Comparison is the Thief Of Joy

Photography:Diana Brandt Photography

By Mandy Rees

Parenthood is a wild ride filled with highs and lows, laughter and tears, and countless moments that make your heart swell. 

It’s very easy to find yourself caught in the midst of this ride only to discover that you are comparing your parenting journey to that of others. In a world where social media showcases curated snippets of perfection, it’s important to remember that each family is on a unique path, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to raising happy, healthy children.

Just as each snowflake is one-of-a-kind, so is every child. From their personalities to their preferences, children are distinct individuals with their own quirks and qualities. It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing your child’s milestones or behaviours to those of others, but remember, every child follows their own developmental timeline. Celebrate the small victories your child achieves and cherish the unique journey they’re on.

With social media, it’s hard to ignore the seemingly perfect lives and parenting moments that flood your screens. Remember, what you see online is often a carefully curated highlight reel. Behind those picture-perfect posts, every family faces challenges, messes, and moments of frustration. Perfection is an illusion, and the energy spent chasing it is better directed towards embracing the beautiful imperfections that make your family special.

Parenting should never be a competition. It should be a community. Instead of comparing yourself to other parents, lean on them for support and friendship. Find the right friends for you. Trusting your instinct is important. You don’t have to be best friends with the parent of your child’s best friend if the fit doesn’t feel right. Find other parents to share stories and experiences with. Seek out those you can ask for advice and create your own supportive network. The playground can feel quite scary as an adult and you need allies. 

Remember to respect the parenting choices of others. Just as no two children are the same, no two parents are identical either. What works for one family might not work for another, and that’s perfectly okay. Embrace your instincts, learn from your mistakes, and adapt your approach based on your child’s needs. Allow others to do the same for their family. Your parenting style is an ever-evolving journey that is shaped by your values and experiences.

When you catch yourself comparing, take a step back and refocus on the big picture. Are your children loved, safe, and cared for? Are you providing them with the tools they need to grow into confident, kind individuals? These are the questions that matter most. Instead of sweating the small stuff, invest your energy in creating a loving and nurturing environment that supports your child’s growth. Remind yourself that it’s your role to do what you feel is best for your child and to allow other parents to do this for their children.

In a world full of comparisons, let yourself off this particular hook and embrace your unique parenting journey. Celebrate the victories, learn from the challenges, and remember that you are the best parent for your child. Show them that you believe in yourself and your way of parenting, without the need for any comparisons.

Mandy is an expert in holding space and creates Mother Circles where women can share their motherhood experiences honestly and without fear of judgement. She is the founder of Mother for Life and the unique Mother Circle Guide Programme; an empowered feminine leadership programme through which beautiful Mother Circles businesses are created all over the world. Mandy is also a lawyer, yoga teacher, baby massage instructor and emotional wellbeing coach. She works one to one with women who want to achieve balance and authentic fulfilment in their life. She can really help you if you’re feeling stuck. You can follow Mandy on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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