Parent Cue | 5/11/2016 | Liz Hansen
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“Gracie gets super excited when her big brother comes into the room and calls out ‘bubba!’ Plus she says ‘doggy’ and ‘book’ and ‘ball’ and ‘milk.’ She’s just so bright and never stops chattering!”

My Facebook friend was enthusing about her 9-month-old.

Son - Dada - Everything - Mama - Awhile

My 15-month-old son was currently stuck on “dada” for everything. Even “mama,” which had shown up for awhile, had dropped out of the rotation.

I gritted my teeth and scrolled down past another friend’s professional family photo shoot in a sunset meadow.

Gazillion - Photos - Son—but - IPhone - Snapshots

We may have a gazillion photos of my son—but only a scant few iPhone snapshots of the three of us together. My husband, a filmmaker, hates being in front of the camera.

It didn’t help when yet another post in the feed showed actual modeling shots of an out-of-state friend’s toddler.

Kid - Cry - Face - Claire - Danes

My kid is seriously cute. But his cry face (which rivals Claire Danes’ on Homeland) isn’t going to be selling overpriced fruit and quinoa puree pouches any time soon.

I finally did what I should have done ten minutes before. I closed Facebook, took a deep breath, and tried to assess the unsettled knot tumbling around inside me.






Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Comparison - Thief - Contentment

“Comparison is the thief of contentment,” is equally true.

Before becoming a parent, I was continually tempted to compare myself to others: My writing, my run times, my interior decorating (or lack thereof), my homemade pizza. I could always find a quick shortcut to discontentment.

Parent - Set - Temptations - Comparison

Now, as a parent, I face a whole new set of temptations to engage in comparison.

MILESTONES: those stony, immovable pillars of speech and motor skills and pretend play. Stop eating those wood chips, kid. Don’t you see the other toddlers climbing the slide on their own? I mean, you’re deep-sixing a full-ride scholarship to college right now. And that’s bad news based on...
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