"Comparison is the thief of joy"
Theodore Roosevelt said that, and quite frankly I think he was ahead of his time. One of the biggest thieves of joy we encounter nowadays is comparing ourselves to others, whether it be the perfect little snapshots of people's lives on instagram or Dave down the pub telling you all about his son scoring 5 goals and an overhead kick during football practise.
The thing is you can't compare yourself to other parents, it sounds silly and about as deep as a puddle but I found myself getting disheartened the other day because we only had 2000 followers on instagram and a fellow podcaster, who started around the same time as us now had 3000.
It sounds so silly and childish but for a second I caught myself thinking what are we doing wrong, why don't people like what we do, and to get caught up in something so seemingly trivial as a social media app is embarrassing but it is deeper than that, myself and Ben are both passionate about sharing our parenting stories, and hope that we can help people along the way either by injecting a bit of comedy and entertainment into parenting or helping other Dads with their mental health.
I soon put it into perspective and remembered only a few months ago to have 1000 followers that we could reach with our stories would have been a dream and I was now belittling our hard work for having double that amount. the quote "comparison is the thief of joy has never been so true".
I think we do this far too much as parents, and often it leads to us overcompensating, which leads to some of us partaking in what me and Ben like to call "Toddler topping". This is a form of one-upmanship where we show off and often exaggerate our child's achievements, straight after hearing about the achievement of our friends child, without first thinking about how it may make the other parent feel.
Don't get me wrong "Toddler topping" comes in many forms and isn't always meant to top the other persons story, sometimes we're just proud of our child's achievements and so we should be! The problem arises when we become obsessed with our child hitting milestones early and feeling sad when they're not doing what other kids are doing, whilst all the time missing the joy that comes from the unique traits of our own child.
The point is don't let comparison steal your joy! We're so much happier, thankful, and grateful when we focus on our own family, we shouldn't waste these years filling them with discontent.