We can’t help ourselves. It’s a deeply embedded urge to assess how we are doing compared to others. Don’t do it! There are so many multifaceted problems with comparisons and it’s just not healthy for your psyche. This especially rings true when we are talking about motherhood.
What’s the big deal? The end result of comparing yourself to your benchmark mom(s) can leave you feeling stressed, ashamed, envious, and depressed. Definitely not a great headspace to be in. Especially when you’re in charge of nurturing your little ones. The only person qualified to compare yourself to is yourself. Sounds strange I know, but you should be evaluating your success and failures based on how you are handling and learning from them, rather than basing it on someone else’s experiences. What’s the drawback of comparing your mothering to someone else’s? Well first off, you probably don’t have the full picture or all the relevant information. No one is being completely upfront when it comes to their lives. With social media it is so easy to present an idyllic manufactured reality with no cracks and no flaws. I guarantee that no one’s existence is 100% perfect. But people rarely admit it. No one wants to be seen as struggling or failing. So what you’re basing your “comparison” on is undoubtedly inaccurate. This is why I personally love blogging. I get to share with the world that although I love being a mama, it’s not all chocolates and unicorns. It gets darn tough and I’m not afraid to share that with people, because I want my fellow mothers out there to know that they’re not alone. Life isn’t always a cake walk. Those perfectly polished, themed Instagram feeds you follow are just a small slice of someone’s life. The reality usually doesn’t live up to the edited photos.
So how can we stop this unhelpful fixation of comparison? Turn your focus inward. What are some of the things that had you feeling “less than” when you would compare to other mothers? Work on how you can improve your own situation without aspiring to have or do what your “goal” mommy does. Use it as your motivation to get to where you want to be instead of wallowing in despair about what you can’t do. It also helps to reflect on your life as a mother. Be grateful for your kids and the life that you have. Give yourself some kudos. When you think about it, you’ve come a long way since you had your kiddos, right?
Remember that the woman you are comparing yourself to right now comes with her own set of issues and insecurities. If you knew everything about everyone you would definitely have a different view and might not necessarily think that you are doing so bad. Comparing is human nature but it’s not a beneficial practice. The sooner we can break the habit, the better we will be.