I should start this post by stating that I am a highly competitive person. I am competitive when it comes to games or group activities. In college, I once started crying when I lost in Monopoly. I am also competitive against my siblings, which is why I needed to make sure my ACT was at least tied for highest in my family. And, I am extremely competitive with myself. So much so, that when I was in labor with my second child, I started crying when I realized I had been pushing longer with him than I had my first (by only 6 minutes, my competitive self must add).
When you are a competitive person, you often do a lot of comparing. It is a natural tendency in competitive people; to evaluate whether or not something was better or worse is a habit of mine. However, sometimes this has taken a serious toll on my confidence. My husband always felt super competitive against his brother, which led to a lot of sibling rivalry as well. Because of this, my husband and I always said that we would work hard to make sure our kids are not competitive with each other! One of the ways we would foster this would be to not compare them against each other. However, this has proved to be more difficult than I expected.
When you have a baby, one of the things you are constantly aware of is whether or not your child is meeting the “milestones.” This milestone mentality causes a lot of the significant moments to have been ingrained in my memory. I knew when my oldest first rolled, first crawled, first ate solids, first walked, first words and more. Each milestone was so exciting! When my little G came around, he was a lot bigger baby – taller and way chubbier! And that is when it started – everyone would compare him against his older brother H. It wasn’t just the milestones – it was his physical attributes, his cuteness, everything! I had wanted to make sure my boys weren’t compared against each other, but how did I stop everyone else from doing it?
And it wasn’t just everyone else. I would make comments like – “he will never roll by 4 months,” and “no way will those pudgy thighs be crawling by 5 months.” I would feel bad about it, but then justify to myself that he wouldn’t remember the comparison anyway. Ultimately, I was still faltering at the “no comparison philosophy.” When Griffin rolled at only 3 months, I was surprised that he did it “before” his brother. But I also realized, I didn’t care. And in the months that followed, doing my best to not compare them played out easier than I thought.
There’s No Comparin’
It quickly played out as my little G grew that he met some milestones earlier than H, and some later. And, I quickly realized that it didn’t matter. I didn’t need to compare them – there is no comparison. The joy I felt when H took his first steps into my arm, I felt that same joy when G did too. At 14 months, H said his first word, “quack,” and I thought it was the cutest word I ever heard. And at 12 months when G said “Doggie,” my heart melted all over again.
The reality is there is no comparing between siblings. The amount of love I have for both these boys in my hearts is boundless, and therefore it doesn’t matter if one “beats” the other in talking or walking or hitting a homerun or whatever. No matter what, my heart will fill with joy, my pride will be unlimited. I am certain that my love will be bursting out of me. There is no comparing how happy my boys make me, each in their own individual, special way.