Thankful Thursday / Letting go of parental envy

A post at AboutABugg made me think today.

Milestones of childhood development. Naplan.. Should a child with Asperger’s participate for the sake of inclusion, fairness or even to have an objective(?) assessment of your child’s academic level through these school tests?

I still haven’t made up my mind about it. We have a year to go before I have to, I guess..
But it made me think about my own competitiveness as a parent.

As a baby, Nemo started sitting at a normal age (is it 6 months?) and went on to crawling. For a quite a while. It always bugged me a little when parents boasted about their kids walking at 8 months and insistently asking me : “does he walk yet ? does he?!” I thought ‘geez, give it time, he certainly will. He’ll be a talker.’

When he was finally walking at 16 months, I still was relieved. Coincidently, he had delayed teeth and was chubby enough to pass as a giant baby (I am only 5’3). Strangers now complimented me on his early steps. Whatever!

Fast forward 6 years and my son is diagnosed Asperger’s, and I know there are certain things he will learn only with difficulty, later than others or never. It does hurt a little. Mostly for him.

But I have to work on myself not to be envious our ungracious with parents that praise their NT kids achievements, or worse, take them for granted. And I thought of my mum..

My mother was a complex creature to say the least, and there were things in her life that she longed for and things she missed out on that she regretted. But these things were always attainable goals or objects that she could have afforded, had she taken the right decisions, or had life not turned another way.
I have never seen or heard my mother envious of a professional position, personal possessions or a relations that were completely out of her reach.
Mum would throw her hands up and – not naively, but sincerely – admire the beautiful villas people had at the waterfront when we were taking a walk through the rich suburbs of my hometown. I would probably mutter something like ‘they got it easy’ or ‘.. should share their wealth!’ as the socially critical and righteous teen I was. And I would not enjoy the view at all.


But the lesson I take from it today, is that I want to be able to enjoy watching other children progress and thrive in ways my son will never do, without comparing him or me to these families, because acceptance is the first step to being able to reach your own goals, your own milestones. At least some of them.

My son deserves this focus. And he will have his very own milestones and his own achievements. And we will praise him for it with all our heart.

I am thankful today to Renee to make me think about that and to my mother for her healthy attitude on other people’s riches.

So I am actually linking this as a Thankful Thursday, even if it’s just after midnight already…


8 thoughts on “Thankful Thursday / Letting go of parental envy

  1. Me

    What a great post ! And one I probably would have benefited from more had I read it 15 years ago !!! You have a great perspective and it will help you so much as you and your journey through life.
    Is the rain in SEQ annoying you as much as it is annoying me – I get that we should be grateful for the rain but I am so over having a water logged garden and not being able to exercise because of the rain !!!
    Have a great weekend – love, hugs and positive energy !
    #TT visitor

    1. nikki Post author

      thanks, my attitude is still a work in progress, I think.. but it’s good to know what you are aiming for ..
      definitively now OVER the rain, we don’t have any major problems (that is since the 2 days of blackout, that wasn’t fun..) but the ‘dog management’ is driving me totally nuts. my garden has now a big mud pit right at the patio and the house gets dirtier way quicker than usual. dry here today tho, let’s hope for the best =) cheers, and a great weekend too. will have to check your blog a bit later, school run etc now on .. x

  2. Leigh

    Im happy for you to be thankful ANYTIME!!! Even if it is after midnight. I hear what you are saying. Acceptance is a huge part of gratitude. We have to be happy with our lot, regardless. If we compare or compete, we will never be satisfied… Awesome that you know this! Thanks so much for linking up, hope to see you here again xxxxx

  3. coloursofsunset

    I love this post. Happiness for other people’s good fortunes, whatever they may be, is something I struggle with but try very hard to honestly and genuinely feel. It’s hard to go through infertility and see others fall pregnant so easily. It’s really difficult to put on a brave face, smile and congratulate them when what I really want to say is “What’s so special about you? Why has that not happened for me?” It’s human nature I think, but I really want to genuinely be happy for others, not just say it because I know it’s what I should do.

    1. nikki Post author

      i can’t even imagine how hard it must be not to be bitter and envious in that situation.. xx as I said, it’s a work in progress for me too, but acceptance is a big factor of finding our way to happiness.
      on a sidenote, it’s true, some people (who ‘have it all’) don’t exactly make it easy, so I can totally understand where you are coming from..

    1. nikki Post author

      it’s your post about milestones that inspired me. we are all in for it for a big journey.. have you read the post (somewhere) of the merry-go-round and the rollercoaster (as in ‘parenthood’). we are on the rollercoaster, that’s for sure. it takes a bit of courage at first… but then you wave to the ones that go jolly on the merry-go-round. then go for another wild ride 😉


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