When becoming a new mom, it is very easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to other moms, or maybe even you find other moms comparing their children to yours.
Unhealthy mom comparison is far too common and is robbing you of the confidence and happiness you deserve.
So maybe you found yourself among other mothers in a conversation, or better yet a comparison of what their child is doing versus yours. It often comes about seeming good-intentioned, but leaves you feeling sad and ill-equipped.
Or maybe you are scrolling through social media and are watching the highlight reel of their lives, not realizing that oftentimes it is the unfiltered, raw and vulnerable moments that are left out for us to never see or relate to.
Here are 7 ways to deal with unhealthy mom comparison.
Establish a boundary
The first step is becoming self-aware and realizing what triggers you or doesn’t feel good, and establishing a boundary around that action.
If your mom circle of friends leaves you not encouraged or uplifted, time for a new circle.
If scrolling social media always makes you feel bad about your parenting, then maybe it’s time to step away from those accounts or maybe, dare I say, get off social media.
Ultimately, you need to take steps and spend time doing things that make you feel good inside, and confident, and happy, rather than continue the actions that make you feel not good enough.
Let’s be honest, there are going to be some hard days.
Days you want to curl up into a ball and cry. Days you want to hurl every piece of lego in the trash.
Days you just want to run out the door.
Take those days with grace. We all have them.
Anyone that tells you otherwise is lying. There will be bad days, but those bad days could always be worse.
Give yourself some perspective.
You have a family that maybe others wish they could.
You have a home that others not so fortunate maybe could not afford.
You have your health. You woke up breathing.
There is always something to be grateful for at the moment, no matter how bad of a day you are having.
And some days, you just need to cry.
Some days you need to let it out.
Some days you need to take care of you.
And that’s ok.
So many times, especially within unhealthy mom comparison, our ego comes into play and we want to prove our point, prove we are the better or right, but with great self-awareness, comes great confidence from within, and with that great confidence, you will slowly but surely not feel the need to prove your every point.
There will be a stillness within that calms you.
You will know deep inside who you are and what you are, and no outside influence will sway you. You will not feel the need to prove your point or make them understand.
Because you know.
And oftentimes that switch happens through empathy.
Rather than being mad or defensive or getting them back, you can empathize with them for why they may have done or said that.
That does not mean that what they did is right or ok, but to acknowledge that maybe they are struggling too in ways you may never know, and it is manifesting in an unhealthy game of comparison, is what can morph your anger or resentment into empathy.
Having that confidence and stillness within, and that empathy towards others, is what will help you go from reactive to reassured.
Sometimes the very things we are most defensive about are the things we struggle with the most.
For example, if we have difficulty taking criticism, maybe it is because we are our own biggest critic. If you are sensitive about a particular topic, dive deeper and ask yourself why, and keep asking yourself why that upsets you, until you get to the root of the source.
It often has nothing to do with the criticizer and everything to do with past struggles and internal battles from our past experiences.
Maybe we never felt good enough. Maybe our self-worth is struggling.
Maybe we are so overwhelmed by life that every little thing triggers us.
There is often an underlying reason for our triggers, and not to say that criticism is never good, it can very well be, but you have to be open and self-aware enough to hearing it versus being reactive in a situation or conversation.
So many times we don’t communicate what is truly in our hearts.
We hold back, sit in resentment, and hope and wish that the other person understood us.
The truth is they can’t truly understand you unless they actually know how you feel.
The ability to communicate those feelings effectively and confidently is what will take your relationships to deeper and more meaningful levels.
Having those hard conversations, being vulnerable, and not being tied to the outcome is difficult and can be scary, but it reaps the biggest rewards. Regardless of whether your feelings are validated, the bravery it takes and the self-confidence it can give is its own reward.
You know that you spoke your truth. Whether they are able to hear you, whether they are self-aware enough to see their own faults or contributions, or even listen, is not in your control, nor should it make you feel less than, because that is a personal journey they need to want to explore for themselves, and you are not responsible for their understanding or happiness.
The only person’s happiness you are responsible for is your own, so be brave enough to speak your own truth, and be darn proud of yourself for doing so.
Oftentimes we spend 99% of our day caring for others while we shove the 10th cup of coffee down our unwashed faces and hope that it gets us through our day.
That ends today.
From here on out you are going to make a promise to yourself to take care of you.
Now that certainly does not mean stop taking care of others, but finding that balance, especially as a new mom is key.
It is when we fill our own cups, that we revive the energy within us to take care of others best.
It is when we are not depleted, that we shine.
So we are going to make ME a priority.
- Ask for help.
- Schedule time in your day or week just for you.
- Spend time with a friend or make a playdate with a supportive friend.
- Get dressed. Put that make-up on.
- Get that special coffee.
- Go for a massage.
- Ask a friend or family member or babysitter to watch your kids and go for a walk, get your hair done, whatever fills your cup.
Don’t ask for the time, but make the time, prioritize the time.
Because you are worth it and deserve it, my friend.
Know that on your best days and worst days, you are enough.
That body that you keep trash talking in the mirror, is beautiful.
That belly you keep wanting to make smaller, or the stretch marks you keep loathing about, are your battle wounds and gave you your most precious gifts.
There is no perfect.
There is no certificate for being a good mom.
There are just good days and bad days and having the love and grace for yourself through it all to know you have everything it takes and everything you need to be a great mom, and through all the decisions, through all your good days and bad days, will be children that love you to the moon and back because you are YOU and YOU are exactly everything they will ever need.