Pam Halter
Writing Editing Serving

Parents Blog

Comparisons
3/18/2013 8:06:43 AM by: pam

Comparisons are hard. They are the enemy. I hate doing it, but I always do. I often look at families with "normal" children and think they have it sooo easy. Then I look at families with children who are more disabled than Anna and I think I should feel blessed.  But I don't.

I spent the day last week at Anna's program. We baked Irish soda bread in the morning and did crafts in the afternoon. I couldn’t help but compare Anna to her friends. In some ways, she's "better" than the others. In some ways, she's not. I left feeling conflicted, even though we had a good day and the kids seemed to enjoy having me there.

Comparing wreaks havoc on my emotional system. It stirs up emotions that make me feel ugly, inadequate, frustrated, and unchristian. It leaves me discontented. I walk around the house grumbling to myself and grumbling to God.

"Why did You chose this for me?"
"Wasn't autism enough? She has to have seizures, too?"
"Couldn't I serve You better if I didn't have to take care of Anna?"
"Do I really have to do this for the rest of my life?"
"Don't You love me?"
"So and so really seems to love being the parent of a special needs child. Are they for real?"

And the worst: "Why doesn't so and so take the same care with their child as I do with Anna?"

A friend reminded me of John 21:21-22 When Peter saw him, he asked, "Lord, what about him?" Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me."

Talk about being in your face.

So, what the heck do we do when we want to compare ourselves with others? I can only answer for myself. I have to be aware of my thoughts. I have to force myself to stop comparing. I have to focus on myself and keep my eyes on the Lord. We all have our own burdens and problems, right? I always say it doesn't matter the source – the emotions feel the same. Worry is worry. Sorrow is sorrow. Anger is anger. Frustration is frustration. Joy, pain, sadness, guilt. They feel the same to each one of us, no matter what causes them. And we all react to them differently. So, I shouldn't compare myself to anyone else. I just wish it wasn't so hard some days.


Comments

pam From At 3/25/2013 5:26:59 AM

Thanks, MaryAnn!

MaryAnn Diorio From New Jersey At 3/24/2013 6:01:58 PM

Thanks for your authentic post, Pam. One of the qualities I love most about you is your authenticity.

Jenny From PA At 3/19/2013 6:03:52 PM

:)

pam From At 3/18/2013 7:19:39 PM

I totally hear that, Donna! I don't begrudge anyone bragging about their child - I have a daughter and son I'm so proud of - but some days, I can't bear comparing Anna to other kids. Even her brother and sister.

Donna From Oregon At 3/18/2013 3:22:23 PM

I've blocked friends from showing up in my Facebook feed because their constant descriptions of their perfect kids are more than I can bear at times. I remind myself that God gave me this specific child because he needs me, specifically, to be his mom. It helps.

pam From At 3/18/2013 9:14:57 AM

Me, too, Julie. I constantly wonder what Anna would be doing. If she would be friends with Mary. What career she would have chosen. I'm so supportive of all my children (and grandchildren) and so many parents aren't. I compare that, too. I'm a wretch!

Julie Ann Monzi From Gettysburg At 3/18/2013 8:51:50 AM

I find I get irritated when people complain about their ""typical"" kids. Then there are days I fantasize about what life would be like if my kids were typical. Abigail would be in her 2nd year of college right now. Probably dating someone. I allow myself a few moments and then stop.

Jeris Hamm From Tennessee At 3/18/2013 8:23:31 AM

This is a great reminder for all of us??not to fall into the comparison trap.

Previous Posts

The Power of Doritos
5/7/2018 12:00:00 PM  by: pam

Yay For Friends!
1/9/2018 3:15:00 PM  by: pam

Show You!
9/11/2017 12:58:00 PM  by: pam

Happy? 26th Birthday, Anna
5/15/2017 7:37:00 AM  by: pam

Re-grouping
3/14/2017 8:10:00 AM  by: pam

We can relate!
9/1/2016 8:00:00 AM  by: pam

A Little Fall Fun
10/18/2015 8:04:11 AM  by: pam

Going Commando
10/5/2015 6:37:04 PM  by: pam

So Behind
9/22/2015 8:42:33 AM  by: pam

Stares and Storytime
4/12/2015 7:12:46 AM  by: pam

Big Big Changes
3/27/2015 9:12:27 AM  by: pam

Blog Post on Autism
9/22/2014 7:30:14 AM  by: pam

The Power of Pets
9/12/2014 4:21:44 PM  by: pam

Depression's Demands
8/15/2014 2:19:26 PM  by: pam

Do We or Don't We?
8/4/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: pam

Falling Down
6/22/2014 1:36:52 PM  by: pam

Research Study
5/23/2014 12:48:08 PM  by: pam

Who goes? Who stays?
5/19/2014 12:11:51 PM  by: pam

Being Thankful
4/25/2014 7:37:26 AM  by: pam

Excellent Article
4/7/2014 7:03:09 AM  by: pam

Jury Duty and Holland
3/27/2014 7:36:35 AM  by: pam

I Confess
3/17/2014 8:11:55 AM  by: pam

The Dreaded Medication Change
3/4/2014 12:49:56 PM  by: pam

Keeping It Together - part seven
2/24/2014 1:03:18 PM  by: pam

Keeping it Together - part six
2/10/2014 8:20:16 AM  by: pam

A Milestone Day
2/3/2014 8:13:17 AM  by: pam

Keeping it together - part five
1/21/2014 6:43:18 AM  by: pam

Keeping It Together - part four
1/3/2014 7:56:02 AM  by: pam

Keeping it Together - part three
12/16/2013 7:34:46 AM  by: pam

Keeping it Together - part two
12/9/2013 6:30:25 AM  by: pam

Keeping it Together - part one
12/5/2013 8:00:03 AM  by: pam

Catching Up
11/13/2013 8:22:00 AM  by: pam

The Perfect House
10/25/2013 8:06:56 AM  by: pam

Another Mom in the Mix
10/7/2013 3:11:58 PM  by: pam

Grieving the Loss
9/24/2013 8:39:13 AM  by: pam

Great article
9/11/2013 1:06:06 PM  by: pam

This and That
9/9/2013 4:09:18 PM  by: pam

Fun in the ER
8/30/2013 9:17:32 AM  by: pam

Bless me, Anna!
8/14/2013 1:51:41 PM  by: pam

Talk to me, Anna!
8/8/2013 5:04:30 PM  by: pam

God's Will
7/30/2013 3:13:08 PM  by: pam

Update on Anna's bloodwork
7/24/2013 6:31:05 AM  by: pam

Stirring the Cesspool
7/11/2013 6:27:11 AM  by: pam

Vacation and Other Fun Stuff
7/3/2013 5:46:28 AM  by: pam

A Day at the Beach
6/17/2013 8:05:05 AM  by: pam

Anna's Surgery Experience
6/5/2013 12:03:49 PM  by: pam

No Place For Anna
5/26/2013 8:27:52 AM  by: pam

Painful Gifts
5/21/2013 8:56:57 AM  by: pam

Happy 22nd Birthday, Anna!
5/15/2013 6:48:55 AM  by: pam

A Rough Day
5/6/2013 6:18:44 AM  by: pam

Things I've Learned - part five
4/30/2013 8:02:08 AM  by: pam

Things I've Learned - part four
4/22/2013 6:51:41 AM  by: pam

Things I've Learned - part three
4/15/2013 6:14:06 AM  by: pam

Things I've Learned - part two
4/9/2013 7:40:11 AM  by: pam

Interview with Terri Groh
4/5/2013 5:44:08 AM  by: pam

Things I've Learned - part one
4/3/2013 7:55:42 AM  by: pam

The Things People Say - part eight
3/27/2013 6:06:08 AM  by: pam

Comparisons
3/18/2013 8:06:43 AM  by: pam

Why Is It A Blessing?
3/11/2013 6:24:04 AM  by: pam

Tim's Place
3/8/2013 11:57:02 AM  by: pam

New Medication Worries
3/5/2013 6:38:36 AM  by: pam

A Night Out for Anna
2/25/2013 11:29:44 AM  by: pam

Play it again, Sam
2/20/2013 5:47:32 AM  by: pam

Happy Birthday
2/15/2013 5:32:13 AM  by: pam

The Anna Bowl
2/4/2013 8:01:33 AM  by: pam

The Queen of Babble-on
1/30/2013 12:45:36 PM  by: pam

Really, people?
1/25/2013 7:36:11 AM  by: pam

Cold Feet
1/23/2013 7:55:46 AM  by: pam

Hearing God
1/15/2013 6:58:57 AM  by: pam

Running Away
1/10/2013 11:19:00 AM  by: pam

Post-Christmas-Reentry-Syndrome
1/4/2013 6:49:36 AM  by: pam

Emmanuel, God With Us
12/17/2012 6:51:08 AM  by: pam

Take Heart
12/7/2012 4:42:07 AM  by: pam

Jumping in the Leaves
11/27/2012 5:56:16 AM  by: pam

Being Thankful
11/19/2012 7:02:07 AM  by: pam

Patience and Love and Wretchedness
11/13/2012 7:38:47 AM  by: pam

A Typical Halter Vacation
11/8/2012 8:35:45 AM  by: pam

Is This Really My Life?
11/1/2012 5:21:04 AM  by: pam

Frankenstorm
10/27/2012 4:22:45 PM  by: pam

A Small Victory at Anna's Program
10/24/2012 7:21:36 AM  by: pam

Update on the problem at Anna's program
10/22/2012 8:23:51 AM  by: pam

The Fight Goes On
10/19/2012 4:55:06 AM  by: pam

Fighting the Good Fight
10/18/2012 7:01:44 AM  by: pam

Sit down, Anna
10/16/2012 6:44:47 AM  by: pam

The Things People Say - conclusion
10/15/2012 8:32:45 AM  by: pam

The Cloaking Device
10/12/2012 6:22:27 AM  by: pam

The Things People Say - part seven
10/11/2012 5:56:56 AM  by: pam

The Things People Say - part six
10/10/2012 5:35:53 AM  by: pam

The Things People Say - part five
10/9/2012 6:59:06 AM  by: pam

The Things People Say - part four
10/4/2012 6:00:52 AM  by: pam

The Things People Say - part three
10/3/2012 6:09:22 AM  by: pam

The Things People Say - part two
10/2/2012 5:29:13 AM  by: pam

The Things People Say - part one
10/1/2012 7:52:27 AM  by: pam

Godzilla Lives at my House
9/27/2012 6:58:41 AM  by: pam

The Early Bird Gets Eaten
9/26/2012 5:22:30 AM  by: pam

Over and Over Again
9/25/2012 5:15:50 AM  by: pam

What Good Are Seizures?
9/21/2012 11:48:29 AM  by: pam

Why Me?
9/20/2012 8:37:32 AM  by: pam

The Rest of my Life?
9/19/2012 5:47:36 AM  by: pam

Feelings
9/18/2012 1:23:56 PM  by: Pam