When my little boy was one year old, I remember thinking that the whole world was mocking me. That there was a big fat joke that everyone was in on. Everyone except me.
Everywhere I looked there were children doing all the things that little children do. Sitting, walking, babbling, jumping, and eating.
All the things that my boy couldn’t do.
My friends had children of a similar age and it was tricky in those early days spending time with them.
It was like a punch in the gut every time their child did something new.
I’d pretend to be pleased (and I am sure I really was deep down), but part of me was crushed each time.
Now my boy is five, it seems ridiculous now that I thought like that. I am not even sure I was that good at pretending.
It was definitely a good day when envy left the building.
But it didn’t go quietly.
It made me read people’s Facebook updates about lack of sleep and made me want to shout: “lack of sleep, let me tell you about lack of sleep".
It made me not want to be with my friends, avoid playgroups and anywhere where small children went.
I even went to the supermarket late at night so as to avoid the day-time pram posse.
It made me scoff at soap storylines when people were having hard times – “hard times! You are joking! You still have washed hair and clean clothes. How hard can your life be? And you’ve gone to the pub without children to moan about it.”
It made me bitter and a bit horrible to be around.
It got so much easier when all his peers became toddlers and that crazy fast-paced baby development stage was behind us.
I never realised with my oldest two children that they could stand, cruise and then walk within a matter of weeks.
I may have even blinked and missed all these stages with my second child.
Not with my youngest though, I was vividly aware of each and every development stage for his age group because with each and every single one – the gap got bigger and bigger.
I think you get to the point when the gap becomes so big that you start to accept that your child is not catching up.
At this point you start to relax more about milestones.
And with that jealously and resentment tends to ease up too.
Now I compare him to no one.
Envy has thankfully long left.
She comes back for surprise visits now and again but we rarely open the door.
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