Quit Comparing and Stop Your Mom Guilt
We know it’s fruitless to compare ourselves to other people. With the onslaught of social media in our face, it’s harder now more than ever, to ignore what others are doing, wearing, eating, etc. Mom guilt takes many forms, and comparing your mom life to another’s, is a sure-fire way to kick your mom guilt into high-gear.
Truthfully, many women find this comparison trap intensifies once they enter Motherhood. Mothering is more on display than it’s ever been, and with the resources out there, thanks to Pinterest, the information overload is quickly overwhelming.
No matter how bad it makes us feel, comparing ourselves to other moms is like a drug we can’t quit.
What really happens when you compare
You Bring Yourself Down
Whether putting yourself or another mom down, you’re in a negative state of mind. Judging yourself as worse than others, damages your sense of self. You view yourself in a negative light, and stop seeing all of your positive qualities.
When you do the opposite – put yourself above others – you’re still in a judgmental state. Taking pleasure in someone’s mistakes or misfortune’s doesn’t make you feel good either.
Sure, you may feel good that you made your kids’ baby food by hand, but being judgmental against a mom who didn’t, does not equal happiness. It’s mentally draining to constantly compare oneself and nothing is accomplished in the end.
You Don’t Have The Facts
We make sure to put the best parts of us on social media. We’re all guilty, it’s how it is. You haven’t gone out in weeks, so the one night you spring for a sitter, finally change out of sweats, and grab a drink with your spouse, you post the hell out it!
But, when scrolling Instagram, you completely forget that you’re seeing a highlight reel. There are few shots of the mundane parts of others’ lives. People don’t click on a post about someone’s typical Thursday night where they yelled at their kids and ordered pizza.
In reality, you don’t know the truth about who you’re comparing yourself to. You don’t know where they started, where they’re headed or what they went through to get there. It’s apples and oranges.
You Won’t Reach Your Goals
Comparison takes energy. By spending time dwelling on who and what we aren’t, we’re spinning our wheels and not getting any closer to what we actually want. Mimicking other’s lives doesn’t get you closer to your ideal life. And, lamenting that you don’t have what someone else has, wastes time and energy that could be dedicated to improving your life.
Set goals. Crush them.
Here’s what to do about it
Question What’s True
Look, you don’t have the facts. The next time you find yourself comparing your life in any way to another mama’s, ask yourself what you actually know. Say, a new mom friend is training for a half marathon, and you’re down on yourself for getting to the gym once in the past week and a half. Ask yourself, was she a marathoner before kids? Is this a crazy new thing for her? What does the rest of her life look like around this training schedule? Does she really enjoy it?
Focus on Your Success
Only picking apart where you fall short, drags down your self-esteem and self-confidence. When you choose to focus on what you have done and are able to do, your confidence will grow and the things you do not have won’t matter as much.
This is where a gratitude journal can really help. There are a few ways to do this. Keep a small notebook by your bed (or near your morning coffee), and in your quiet time, write 1-3 things you are grateful for.
Read This: 21 Journal Prompts for New Moms
They can be super small! Taking a few moments to reflect on what made you smile, what made your life feel full, brings your attention to the abundance in your life.
Tune into Your Priorities
When a mom rolls up to preschool with hair and make-up done, and clothes you wouldn’t put on during your kids waking hours, you suddenly are very aware of your haven’t-looked-in-the-mirror self.
Until you locked eyes, you were high-fiving yourself for finally getting a run in, finishing the laundry that’s been on the dryer for 2 days, and submitting a writing proposal.
So, what happened? You compared your outward appearance. Now, tune into your priorities. Do you actually wish you’d spent your preschool-time doing your hair? Are her clothes something you’d be comfortable in carting your little one to the zoo?
A book that helped me figure out what was truly important to me at this stage of life, is Lisa Druxman’s The Empowered Mama. Lisa, founder of Fit4Mom, takes you through self-discovery prompts in this uplifting workbook, helping you find your ground as a mom and a self.
The Empowered Mama
Show Compassion and Learn From Others
Showing yourself compassion, is the best way to build your self-esteem, and block out the noise. When you respect yourself and focus on the things you love about your life, career, relationships, family and body, it’s easier to stop longing for what others have.
There are times when someone else has achieved the goal we truly want for ourselves. Instead of lamenting that you don’t have that, or being jealous of them, use this as a tool. Take time at the next playdate, or grab a coffee kid-free, and ask about it! Most moms would love to share what is working for them, or what isn’t working. We can learn so much from each other, if we simply ask.
In the end, the things we struggle with are the things everyone is struggling with. They may not show it, and you may feel successes are handed out to those around you, but I guarantee there are people thinking the same about you. Self-comparison is a losing battle that will never end if you don’t actively put a stop to it.
I love helping new moms rediscover their confidence. It’s hard to stop comparing yourself to other mamas, so let’s figure this out together. We will get your plan in place so you can feel awesome with your life now! Email me at Samantha@simplywellcoaching.com to set your free 20 minute discovery call.
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