Being a stay at home mum too, it has enabled me to look after my nieces and friends children from time to time.
I have loved every minute, being home with Zachariah and also getting lots of quality time with the other children I treasure.
However some days, I found myself not so welcoming.
There are days I just cannot face seeing other children, but instead I would lock Zachariah and I at home and spend the day hibernating.
I was confused with my own actions but knew that I couldn’t handle it.
One of my closest friends has a little girl who is just 2 days older than Zachariah, they have both been the bestest of friends since they were 3 months old.
Despite my awesome friendship with her parents and despite how much I love this little girl and enjoy her achievements, there were days I couldn’t face them.
I remember when she started walking, my two sided heart was overjoyed but also saddened, trying to imagine Zachariah also walking.
I recall one day her Mummy texting me, asking if I fancied a brew or for me to look after her daughter, and I quite blankly replied “No”.
The factors usually behind me not wanting to see other children are usually during long periods of illness or after big appointments, it was whenever I was feeling low I guess.
Just some days it can be too painful to make your child's lunch whilst my son has his pumped into him.
It can be too upsetting to see your child play with my sons toys whilst he sleeps off a restless night.
It can be too hard to hear your child tell you they love you or explain to you what they would like whilst my son cries hysterically as I desperately try to find what is causing the discomfort.
Some days I just cannot see your child.
Most of the time however, I love seeing your child, I love how they greet Zachariah by coming up close, touch his hand and say hello.
I love how they bring toys to his tray, and I love how much they care for and love him.
Rather than comparing our children, I need to see how beautiful they’re friendship is and how much my son has taught your child.
Another time I struggled was seeing children significantly younger than Zachariah start reaching milestones.
Out of everything, it was the holding of a sippy cup that hit me the hardest.
I’m not sure if I was feeling extra delicate that day or if witnessing my friends little boy hold a cup was a real big deal for me, but it brought up so many emotions.
Milestones are something we’ve had to adjust, we no longer follow the typical milestones, but instead set small reachable goals within 6 weekly periods for Zachariah.
Since doing this, it has made it slightly better to handle, as I’ve put Zachariah on his own development path rather than sitting him on the graph with all the other children.
I think that is the key right there, I’ve written about comparing before and realised that the minute you put every child on their own development journey the minute you start comparing less and getting upset less too over what your child can and cannot do.
I have also realised that it is best to be honest.
By telling my friends why, it helps them understand me more, helps them see where I struggle, this then makes our friendship even more special and intimate.
I love and celebrate all children, but some days I just cannot see your child.