Parenting and The Comparison Game

More often than not, this parenting comparison game sends us into research, with Google becoming our favourite friend, determined to find the way to do it all “right”.

Raising Kids the easy way, forget the comparison game - Lindsay Fricker for Nesting Story

You’ve stopped attending those Mommy and Me groups. You made fast friends with the other mama’s and loved an excuse to get out of the house, but you couldn’t help noticing the other babies. They were all moving through their milestones quickly, some even skipping milestones altogether. Was your baby behind? They aren’t alike at all. You began to worry and decided it would be easier to avoid these meetings. You don’t want to play the parenting comparison game.

Maybe your baby was the one hitting all the milestones – and it wasn’t until your second child came along that you noticed things were different…why weren’t they progressing like their older brother? The anxiety builds. 

You attend your scheduled doctor’s appointment, only to see your baby’s measurements slide off of the carefully plotted curve. You take it on as if it is your fault – you can’t produce enough milk. Why can’t your body do what it’s supposed to? (Side note – this is NOT your fault).

Then there is the guilt you may find in the safety of your own extended family. Everyone has an opinion on how your child should be raised – “Co sleeping is a bad idea. They will never be able to sleep on their own.” 

You somehow make it through the infant year, but are struggling your way through toddler-dom, you have “that child” in the preschool play. Or, you find yourself into the school-age years before their struggles in math class have you worried they won’t be able to be “whatever they want” when they grow up. 

Looking for Answers

These feelings of worry, guilt and anxiety exist for most parents – in one way or another. When it strikes – we can easily panic. More often than not, this parenting comparison game sends us into research, with Google becoming our favourite friend, determined to find the way to do it all “right”. 

But this is what the “right” way to parent looks like –

Hopefully, this makes it clear. If you’re looking for an easy guide to parenting, there isn’t just one to choose from. Parenting is HARD. There isn’t a one-sized-fits-all answer to any of our questions. There can be answers if we put in the work, holding fast to a series of trials and errors. 

We are the Experts of Our Children.

It is so important that we take action against these feelings of anxiety and worry. They can prevent us from seeing our children clearly. They can rob us of the precious time we have with them, or even keep us from providing our children with what they need, when they need it. 

Our first step in being the expert of our children, is going to be in taking care of ourselves. We’ve all heard the adage, “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. 

As soon as we begin to harness these feelings of worry and guilt, we will be able to see the comparisons for what they are – comparisons. There is no “better”, only different. Being an early walker does not necessarily mean you will be winning gold medals in the Olympics for track and field, and being a late talker does not discount you from winning awards for Public Speaking. 

In tracking milestones and making comparisons, keep your focus clear. What is the purpose? If it’s to feel some sort of satisfaction or sense of hierarchy, you are doing it wrong. Parents, stop playing the comparison game. 

As every child is unique, so is every family. When it comes to raising our children, only we know what will work best for ours. By being able to take the concerns of our doctors, along with those of our extended families, and make healthy comparisons between our kids and others their age, we will ultimately be able to understand what our child’s needs are. 

Even more, as we keep reading these articles handing out advice on child development, we will be able to pick and choose the strategies that will ultimately work for us – ensuring our ability to help our children to grow and learn where their strengths and interests lie, which is ultimately all we could ever ask for.

Lindsay Fricker is a mom of four – two plus twins. Kindergarten teacher by day, Lindsay enjoys helping others find ways to navigate the ugly parts of parenting, while keeping their sanity and positively supporting their children. You can read more from Lindsay here or follow her on Instagram @serendipity.six.

My Twins Aren’t Babies Anymore

Twin toddlers

My itty bitty, teeny tiny little babies aren’t babies anymore. Something happened recently that made me realize, we are truly out of the baby phase. Watch the video below to find out what that was!

The thing with twins is, all of the good stuff, the good memories, are doubled up and fly by. Here’s a look back to Mia and Everly from when they were first born, right up to now, almost two years old.

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Twin Toddlers: Mischief, Milestones And Mayhem

Twin ToddlersWell, we have hit that truly magical age with our twins. Fourteen months. Mia and Everly now want everything and want to do everything, but their main form of communication consists of whines and screams. Let me tell you, there is nothing like toddler screaming than when it is doubled. It’s angelic.

Our twins are now at the point where they are walking. But their form of walking resembles a drunk college student stumbling out of of a party at 3am. I think I have raised an eyebrow or two when I have nonchalantly dismissed epic falls. But I am their mother, and I know the difference between an “ouch that hurts” cry and a “mom, I may have done some damage” cry.

Initially, I bragged about my girls and their level of obedience. How if they started to open a cupboard, I would calmly say “ah ah” and they’d close it and walk away. But over the past few weeks, they have teamed up and now when they open a cupboard and I say “ah ah” they give me a look as if they are thinking “oh mom, don’t you get it yet? You are out numbered.”

Needless to say, my husband and I have a romantic weekend of baby proofing ahead of us.

Whenever I put them to bed in their cribs, I do a quick scan of the room. Because I have learned the hard way, that items that I thought were WAY out of their reach, were not. I have walked in to find shredded books and diapers enough times to finally learn my lesson. My twins are stealth ninjas.

There is one bright side of this age: the constant entertainment. As a child of four kids and now a mother of four, I am a strong believer in letting kids fight-it-out. Between the giggles, there are some scrappy moments. After careful observation, I have concluded the winner of a twin brawl is always whoever desired the coveted item they are fighting over the most.

Despite everything, the first words, the silly moments where they are discovering that they can make us laugh and the kisses and snuggles make it all worth it. Luckily, these precious moments wipe the memories of toddler horror away from the day before.

  Mommy!!! ❤️ #love #Everly #firststeps #twin #myworld #myheart #toddler #milestones   A video posted by Joanna (@nestingstory) on

Milestones Shouldn’t Be A Child’s Everest!

Is your child walking, crawling, drooling and pooping when he or she should be?  You know what? WHO CARES.  Sure – we want to know if eventually little Johnny will walk or talk, but enough of pressuring parents into thinking something is seriously wrong with their child if they don’t fall into someone else’s schedule! You know what?  Kids are humans, and we KNOW humans are all different, so is it really so shocking that babies hit their milestones when THEY are ready?  I don’t think so.


Of course it makes sense to ensure your child is generally growing and developing as he or she should – but try not to stress too much if the timing isn’t exact.   A good example of this would be when I took my daughter at 10 months to the pediatrician for a check up and the doctor asked me if she was waving yet.  No, I replied she wasn’t.  The doctors look was one of genuine concern and she wanted to “give it another 30 days to see if she hits this important milestone”.  I was astounded that this could cause a doctor alarm, I mean this baby was crawling at 6 months, climbing all over everything and could communicate with pretty much everyone what it was she wanted or needed.  she she wasn’t “speaking” but trust me, if she wanted what you were eating, or a toy, you knew EXACTLY what she wanted. But she wasn’t waving.  Contrary to the good ole doc – I wasn’t concerned. In fact within 2 days we stopped saying “bye bye” and said “hellllllooooooooo!!!!” just to change things up and guess what, SHE WAVED.  We packed her up, rushed her to the doctor and cancelled the MRI.  I am kidding. We didn’t pack her up, we high fived and knew that our child was brilliant and wonderful and totally on her own schedule, she also prefers waving hello than good bye, go figure.


Children get there in their own time.  Will some children need more encouragement than others for certain things? OF COURSE.  I mean, I’d like to think that I know everything and can do anything, but chances are if you asked me to rollerblade and brush my teeth I couldn’t (even though I can do these things separately and I’m 30, so I should be able to do them together right? WRONG not to mention how dangerous would that be! )


Enjoy your kids – keep those “milestone deadlines” on a back burner instead of in the forefront and enjoy every single second.  It really does go by too quickly.  And the next time a mom, or grandma or anyone else ask if you baby is doing something that he or she isn’t doing yet try responding with something your darling DOES.  “Does Little Jonny walk yet?”  response: “Not yet, he’s too busy speed crawling to figure it out, or nope – but he can play Bach’s Minuet like it’s nobody’s business”.


Happy Parenting!


The Cheeky Doula.