Guest Post – Tips for the Comparing Mom

I’m excited to announce I’m Not Grandpa’s first Guest Post.  Please allow me to introduce my new friend Lisa E Hill, a Child Development Consultant and Blogger.

It’s in our nature as human beings to always be comparing. It’s what we do every day in a myriad of situations and environments, we compare. Technology and the wonderful world of the Internet, has given us the ability to quickly read reviews on products and restaurants, thus comparing.

Is it not assumed that when we become mothers that we will continue to compare? It happens, but it is rarely something we will think about the months leading up to the delivery of our tiny humans. Oh sure, we will compare what breast pump to buy or what stroller to register for. We will compare child care centres and mini vans. But, the unspoken truth is we will compare the development of our babies to our friends babies and the babies we meet along the way. We will enter into the anxiety ridden, Google searching and Doctor calling comparing mom.

How do we get a hold of ourselves and take control over our constant comparing and worrying?

 

TIP #1 – IT’S NATURAL

Always remember that comparing is natural. It’s how we weed out the bad and focus on the good. It’s how you ended up with your sports car edition of the mini van.

Comparing Moms - No 1

However, it’s important to get a grip on the amount of time you spend comparing. Although it’s natural, it’s not natural to be completely overwhelmed and focused on comparing. If it starts to affect your ability to be present and involved with your child, you need to stop, take a breath and focus on why you are so worried.

TIP #2 – YOU WORRY FOR A REASON

Yes, you are now a mom. You have committed to an entire life of worry. You will worry about tiny things and bigs things.
I’m not telling you not to compare, I’m here to educate you on how to compare especially when it comes to your child’s overall development. You will compare, but if you have a worry then it is valid! It’s called your gut.

As my best friend was getting ready to leave my house the other day, she was talking out her worries that came straight from her continuous comparing. She finally said to me, “I need to just stop comparing!” Yes and no my friend! Comparing is natural yes, but if your worried and you continue to be worried, act on it.

TIP #3 – EDUCATE YOURSELF

There are developmental check lists available to you online, at your doctors office and various children’s centres. Take the checklists, use them and either ease your mind or call your doctor if you’re still concerned.

Whatever you do, do NOT take a bunch of “symptoms” and plug into the Google search engine! I mean it, do NOT do it! Yes, it’s easily accessible and there are SO many forums with other moms with the same concerns, but every story is different with different outcomes! Unless your googling developmental stages and expectancies, do not Google symptoms!

Education is the key to understanding and fostering your child’s development. Comparing your child’s development to children around you is natural yes, but educate yourself first. No need to get worried if you don’t need to! You have to remember that children grow and develop at varying rates!

TIP #4 – TALK IT OUT

Do not keep it all bottled up inside of you, this comparing and worrying business. Talk about it! Talk it out with your partner, your friend (yes even the ones whose child your comparing), your mom, community partners. Heck, talk it out with yourself. You have to take control of your anxiety now before it takes control over you. Talk to your anxiety and hash it out.

Comparing Moms - No 2

The more you talk about your concerns or worries, the more information you will receive. If you have talked about it, read about it and your still concerned, call your doctor. Again, go with your gut. Your still unsettled for a reason!

TIP #5 – SOCIALIZE

Do not sit in your house and analyze your child’s development over and over again. Get out and socialize. Go to community drop in’s. Visit a friend. Time and time again I have found many children who are behind in their development will flourish when consistently socialized with other children around the same age.

Getting out and socializing your child also provides them with varying environments to explore and expand on their exploding development. Not to mention it builds relationships for both you and your child!

TIP #6 – GO WITH YOUR GUT

It’s tough being a mom. No one said it would be easy and who even warned you that you were signing up for a life long sentence of worry?!

The one thing we are all equipped with is this little aching feeling that lies at the pit of our stomach and rears it’s ugly head when something feels wrong. It usually goes hand in hand with that voice in our head that also tells us that something could be wrong.

My point is, after you feel like you’ve talked about it a million times, you’ve Googled it (yes, I know you won’t listen to me and NOT Google it), you’ve provided ample opportunities to socialize and you feel like your fairly educated on it AND your STILL questioning and comparing and worrying… LISTEN TO YOUR GUT!

Remember, you compare because it’s natural, you worry for a reason and you act because you know you have to! Welcome to motherhood!

 

Lisa E. Hill is a Child Development Consultant who works with families who are struggling with everyday parenting issues and parents of children with Special Needs. Lisa strives to Simplify Impossible Parenting by offering strategies and suggestions, resources and 1:1 support to families worldwide.  You can follow her blog Loud Parent here.
Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedin

Deja Vu All Over Again

FullSizeRender (76)Moving back into my childhood home has given me a sense of Deja Vu. In August 1965 Mom and Dad moved into a new home with two sons—the younger, a chubby one-year old.  Fifty years later, Esther and I moved into the same house with our own chubby-cheeked (almost) one-year old.

Many things changed in the years between the first and second set of Priegue parents moving into the same Cape Cod house in Queens.  In 1965 Lyndon Johnson was President, the Beatles played Shea Stadium and the Kansas City Royals didn’t exist.

Parenting norms and guidelines changed as well:

396

Guidance and Advice – Fifty years ago parenting books barely existed.  There were no internet, parenting websites, or Google searches. How did they survive? Parents relied on common sense (not a common commodity these days), family traditions, and baby whisperers.  Some methods were inconsistent but many generations of children were raised this way—I’m one of them.  I won’t say I turned out ok—the jury is still out on that one.

Child Proofing – In the 50s and 60s, it was more of a suggestion than a rule.  It wasn’t as bad as—he fell down a flight of stairs or pulled a heavy chair onto himself. He’ll learn, but it wasn’t too far off either.  Parents can now do a quick Internet search for guidelines, checklists and services to childproof their home taking some of the anxiety out of that loud crashing sound coming from the other room.

FullSizeRender (77)Car Seats– They didn’t exist in the ’60s, and seatbelts were ignored.  Back then mom cradled her newborn in the front seat and the older children rode in the back, unbuckled.  Jamming on the brakes potentially shot one of your children through the windshield like a projectile. This was before ambulance chasers and frivolous lawsuits.  Just roll around on the ground and act hurt.

Today’s parents have multiple car seats options —maybe too many. Infant seats, forward-facing, rear-facing, one-year old seats, two-year old car seats, click and go seats attaching to baby strollers etc.  The four-point restraint system in Cristian’s car seat resembles what NASCAR drivers use.  It keeps him safe, but we’ll have to find another way to pay for his college education.

Corporal Punishment-Fifty years ago slapping, smacking and hitting a child was an acceptable form of discipline.  Things change over time and most parents use other methods, maybe with the exception of Adrian Peterson. Have we evolved or has the invention of the cell phone camera changed our thought process?

Baby Thermometers-This may be the greatest advancement in the past fifty years.  Parents now have an efficient non-invasive tool for taking a child’s temperature.  A quick scan, or swab is all it takes, much better than the old way—the rectal thermometer.  Resembling, and feeling like, a small harpoon, it was the gold standard for many years.  Memories of it and the jar of vaseline it was paired with still give me the full-body shiver.   Technology is a good thing.

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedin