First time Parents - Dont compare your baby

3/20/20213 min read

Advice I wish I took sooner as I first time mum.

Becoming a first time parent is a wonderful and exciting journey . However, it is easy to fall into certain traps like comparing your baby to others.

As a new mum I felt somewhat pressured to join mum groups or playgroups. I had mixed feelings. I think I was looking for solidarity and support but for some reason I was also anxious about parenting in public. Friends and family had given me mixed feelings about their experiences which didn't make me feel any better BUT I sucked it up and stepped out of comfort zone because I thought it would be beneficial for my baby, and I wanted to be the best mum I could be for her.

I met some lovely parents and beautiful babies. My bubba seemed to enjoy looking at the kids and all the new sounds and sensations. But I found myself comparing my beautiful girl to the other babies and comparing myself to the other mums.

That baby is younger than mine but is already crawling, that mum is upkeeping her housework and fitting in gym sessions, the comparisons went on and on. I walked out of my first session feeling completely deflated and like I was failing.

The next few days I spent time talking to my husband and mum, telling them how I was feeling. Explaining that i didn't think mum groups were a good thing for my mental health. And they helped me put things into perspective. Nicole, is baby fed? yes, Is baby clothed and warm? yes. Is baby loved? a thousand percent yes! they were right, baby was getting all the essentials, and she was actually thriving, sleeping well, eating well, happy and content.

My next session I made sure I kept a few things in mind so I wouldn't fall into the same trap and walk out feeling the way I did last time. Some of these things may help you too:

  1. Be present: Remember, the purpose of these gatherings is to create a sense of community and enjoy the time together. Enjoy and celebrate the diverse range of development accomplishments and offer support or encouragement if needed.

  2. Find support through the playgroup: Connecting with the others parents you may find you are having similar experiences. Someone else could be feeling the exact same way. Together you could alleviate those negative feelings.

  3. Avoid the comparison: Remember the journey of parenthood is deeply personal and your baby's progress should not be measured against others. Each child has their own abilities and strengths, and comparing them wont change that.

  4. Embrace and celebrate your baby: Celebrate your baby's individuality and unique journey of growth.

  5. It is all relative: Soon it won't matter who rolled first or who walked first. Enjoy the time with your baby. Don't wish the time away waiting for baby to hit the next milestone.

  6. Reflect: Afterwards reflect on the session and work on self growth. If there are things you want to achieve then work on what you can put in place to help you. For example if you want to get on top of housework, work on a plan with your family or support to do so. this could be something like implementing a schedule or downloading planner etc.

So, the advice... don't compare your baby, you or your journey to others. Every baby is different and going to do things in their own time. Focus on meeting your baby's basic needs and allow them to grow at their pace. The joy of parenthood lies in cherishing the precious moments with you little and embracing their individuality.

I hope this helps any parents that can relate.