Last updated on Jan 31st, 2021 at 12:42 am
My potty trained 3-year-old daughter doesn’t have the urge to wake up in the evening to go to the toilet alone. I didn’t realise how much this concerned me until I saw a stauts on a Facebook mom’s group page.
A mom was congratulating her 18-month-old for being fully potty trained and not needing nappies anymore. So many moms were as excited to share their own potty victories.
I was not one of these moms.
At that age, we were still crossing fingers for a moment where she could hold it in long enough until we can get to an actual potty. I was still adjusting to my new reality of cleaning up pee a couple of times a day.
Comparison is not always bad. It’s a good way to learn if your kids are hitting their milestones or not.
I, however, caught that feeling of questioning whether or not I did something wrong.
I realised how much of that I was actually doing, and needed to get that checked before it consumes me with mom guilt and resentment towards myself.
We do this a lot. One mom shares a milestone, and we experience the urge to tell them about our amazing experience. How quickly they started teething, crawling, walking, running. We feel like our parental assurance lies in how quickly they hit these milestones. Like, we are doing a good or a better job than the next mom.
I always hope that I am doing a good job. This is why milestones matter to us. We want to know that we are doing what we are meant to be doing for this human to develop.
But measuring our kids’ growing up progress against other children’s journeys breeds feelings that moms shouldn’t be experiencing in the first place; considering how hard we work towards raising these humans.
Just because another mom’s child was counting to 50 by the age of two does not mean yours has a doomed future. Chances are, unless they have some sort of learning disability, sooner or later, they will go past 10.
“Your child won’t be in diapers their whole lives.”
Something someone told me once and it still holds such a powerful effect for me, especially in retrospect.
I love the community in how supportive it can be in our parenting journeys, and answer some of our most concerning questions. I, however, dislike the community’s subliminal culture of sizing up children, measuring one against the other.
This is the same culture that sees us having arguments about subjects that should not bother people who are no a part of our parenting journeys:
- Natural birth vs C-section
- Breastfeeding vs formula
- Working vs stay-at-home mom
- Co-sleeping vs independent sleeping
Like one over the other means that you are ticking the “perfect mom” box.
Whereas, at the end of the day, they will all grow up into adults that are still having the very same parenting arguments if we don’t end the cycle.
Motherhood is already inherently difficult. It shouldn’t be exacerbated by the anxiety of competing with other people.