The Power of Comparison

I would love to begin by reminding you that you are loved, you are valued and you have
a unique purpose. Raising the next generation is no small feat and it is no mistake that
you are Mum and Dad to the kids you have.

I am a stay at home mum with a very busy toddler, Caspian. He is always on the go,
barely stopping to eat most days! He is funny, determined and fiercely independent,
which I love so much about him. But it can definitely present its own challenges, let me
tell you!

We didn’t have many toys to begin with and drawing from my own experiences of
having to use what we had around us in creative ways, I did the same for Caspian. As a
result, some of his favorite things to play with were a selection of bottle and jar lids that I
kept in an empty formula tin. When offered the choice between the formula tin of lids or
his birthday toy plane that sings, he selected the most obvious choice of course…the
formula tin of lids! There have been days where he actually played with nothing else
ALL day! I would find them stacked in piles, balanced precariously on top of a jar or
posted into the cushions of the couch. As a result of his obsession with these lids, we
did not have many ‘normal’ baby/toddler toys, which didn’t bother me at the time. And of
course, Caspian didn’t mind in the least!

Several months ago, in between Melbourne lockdowns, I remember feeling nervous
because I had some friends coming to my house for playdates. And for the first time, I
started to second guess Caspians selection of toys, which in addition to the lids and
formula tin mainly included a selection of cardboard tubes, sticks we had collected on
our walks, a few small containers and utensils from the kitchen, along with some
wooden blocks. I started to think about these friends and how they had more toys for
their toddlers and proper toys not just bits and pieces from around the house. These
feelings of comparison started to creep in and attempt to take over.

‘I wonder what they will think of Caspians toy collection…or lack of?’
‘Will their toddlers be bored with the lids, tins and cardboard tubes?’
‘Will they think I’m weird?’

These were just a few of the thoughts going through my mind in the lead up to these
playdates. As the week went by, these thoughts started to eat away at my peace and
confidence to the point that I even considered going to the shops to get a few ‘normal’
toys for the playdates.
It sounds ridiculous now, but in the moment I allowed comparison to have the upper
hand which resulted in the fear of what others would think, to control my thoughts and
actions. As it happened, I didn’t go to the shops, my friends came for the playdates, we
had a great time and the kids loved playing with lids, tins and cardboard tubes!
After these playdates, God really showed me again the importance of not comparing
myself to those around me but instead to be confident in the knowledge of who my
Father says I am. Because the truth is, we were not created to be cookie cutter images
of everyone else. We were not designed to act, think, and do everything exactly the
same as those around us. Instead, we have a Father in heaven who loves us and
created us as unique individuals, with gifts, talents and abilities completely unique to the
purpose for which He created us.

Part of our purpose and role as parents is to raise our kids up knowing that they are
sons and daughters of Jesus Christ, that they were designed to do things differently
from their peers, designed to stand out and confidently walk in the purpose to which
their heavenly Father has called them. So if you are in a similar situation to the one I
described earlier, take a moment to reflect on who God says you are instead of letting
the fear and comparison sway your confidence. And remember that God created you to
stand out and to shine his love to those around you, your kids especially!
I hope you are encouraged by this and know without a doubt that you are loved, you are
valued and you were designed to stand out and to be a beacon of light in this world.