Someone once told me not to compare. Don’t compare your life to anyone else, your children, your wealth, your struggles, don’t do it. “The grass is always greener on the other side…”Comparing is the first form of jealously.
When I discovered that I was having a daughter, the first thing I thought about was her wardrobe. I always loved dressing up dolls, looking for the latest trends, accessories, and anything that was eye catching. I bought my baby girl her “going home outfit-” so eager and excited to strap her up in her car seat, snap some pictures of our family, and begin our life of four together.
The clothes, the accessories…it all seems so meaningless now.
I wish the first thing I thought about was the possibility that I would have a daughter who would change the trajectory of our lives…a daughter who would literally change the way we viewed the world.
But the moment my daughter entered this world, that is when the comparisons truly started, and man, was that someone, who told me not to compare, so, incredibly wise.
At first, I was comparing every single feature, every single inch of her body to my own. Does she resemble me? My husband? Then, I moved into the dangerous deep dark web. I googled anything and everything that I could. Was this a typical facial feature? Was this a typical delay? Does this exist on the internet? And. I. Compared.
I spent hours on my phone. Diagnosing, cross examining. I browsed social media, trying to figure out if anyone else had a child with a larger head, frontal bossing, or anything else that stuck out as slightly “not normal” ( words now, I despise).
I compared her missed “milestones” to babies her age, to pictures I had of my older son, and would find my chest tighten up so much so that I felt as if my throat was closing in on me. Because those were the moments that I knew, while comparing her, that I was right. Something was not adding up, and something needed to be addressed.
I compared and drove myself completely wild.
I even sat and compared my life- why us? Why were we chosen for this obstacle?
There isn’t a day that goes by when both my husband and I are reminded of the things that we are missing on out. Sometimes, It is being out in public and not finding a spot for our daughter. It can be a moment of going to the zoo, riding the train, and figuring out how we will hold her. Sometimes, it is a picture of a little girl, Hailey’s age, doing things that she may not. We were robbed of some of the joys that we had hoped for. And I would be lying if I said otherwise.
Are we beyond blessed to have two amazing and uniquely wonderful children? Yes. But, when we start playing the dangerous game of comparisons, which is inevitable in this world, that is when we have to literally remind ourselves of the treasures that we are holding.
How many people truly sit and relish in their child’s babble? Like sit there and shush everyone in the room to hear it? The jumbled sounds that are strung together to tell us something from our sweet daughter, we listen, because it is rare to hear, and so beyond special.
Yet, here we are again, comparing.
And comparing can truly be a thief. Because it robs you of your own joy.
Sometimes the grass may be greener on the other side, but as the saying goes, “the grass is greener where you water.”
Make sure you are getting enough water. Make sure you are growing, too.