Why do moms struggle so much with our opinions of ourselves?
Our kids love us to pieces, just as we are—why can’t we?
I for one, have wasted a lot of time comparing myself to other moms. Not intentionally or overtly. But over and over again I have felt the self-doubt creep in as I see another mom who seems to be doing it all so much better than me.
The truth is that comparing myself to other moms has nothing to with other moms, and everything to do with me. I am learning to be more comfortable in my own skin, and to even (gasp!) love myself.
So, here is my proclamation—I will no longer be comparing myself to other moms on the following areas:
1. Their parenting style
For the most part, the other moms I feel connected to, and therefore hang out with, have a similar parenting philosophy as me. That said, there are always going to be differences in our approaches—and it’s easy to get wrapped up in those differences.
This one bed shares, this one never says ‘no,’ this one is super strict...
But it’s those differences that actually help me grow as a mom. I love hearing tricks and tips from other moms. But their different styles of parenting don’t mean that I’m not doing it right.
I’m parenting in the way thats best for my kids, my family and me. They’re doing the same. End of discussion!
2. How quickly they lost the baby weight
I want to eat healthier and work out more. But I want to do it for me—not for some idea I have about getting “back” to my pre-baby body.
My pre-baby body had not grown life in its womb, sustained newborns with breastmilk, or cradled sweet babies in its arms. My body was and is perfect for growing and raising my babies. My body is just what they needed, and I am immensely proud of it.
So I’m giving up using other moms as a way of seeing myself. Life is hectic enough without making myself feel bad for not quite being able to button my old jeans yet.
3. How effortlessly they go through life
You know that mom that seems to glide through life like a delicate butterfly, with nay a hair out of place? I’ve yearned to be her.
That is until a friend revealed to me that she thought I was her. I laughed and laughed, and realized quickly that that mom in an illusion.
There are days when I have it relatively together, but I often feel quite frazzled. My calm face hides it well, I suppose, but I am stressed. I don’t need the additional stress of “Why can’t I have it all together like her?” I am doing the best I can in every moment, and that is enough.
4. How perfect their marriages are
This one is pretty simple. I am madly in love with my husband. Sure, things are a little different eight years and three kids into marriage, but I wouldn’t change a thing.
Seeing photos of other couples’ hot dates and romantic vacations makes me happy for them, but happy for myself too—my guy is the only one I can imagine going through this life with, whether we’re on some fabulous cruise, or sitting next to each other on the couch, a toddler on each lap. Our imperfections and quirks fit together perfectly.
5. How many mom friends they have (#squadgoals)
Apparently my middle-school social anxiety is still alive and well, and sometimes when I see other moms laughing and talking in a group, while I’m alone with my kids, I get a little sad.
But the truth is I have amazing friends, who support me, lift me up and make me laugh all the time. I may not get to see them as much as I want to, but they are in my life.
So I am going to spend more time being grateful for just that.
6. Their children
My children are my world. They are loud and messy and goofy, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. They are perfect to me—just as they are.
Yes other moms’ kids eat more variety, yes other moms’ kids somehow stay in the shopping cart at Target. But loving my kids means loving all of their grilled-cheese-every-night-for-dinner, Target-shenanigan selves. I would not change one thing about them.
7. How much money they have
We have made choices about what we want our life to be like, and a lot of those choices have to do with jobs and therefore, money. We made the spreadsheet, prioritized, and then planned accordingly.
So when I find myself feeling envious of a neighbor’s big house or a friend’s recent vacation, I have to remind myself of this—I am so lucky to be in the position to make choices. Choices are a luxury—and many people in this world are not privy to this luxury. And I am incredibly fortunate to have what I do have—our needs are met, we are warm at night, we are loved.
How could I possibly be unhappy with that?
So will you join me? Can we all resolve to just enjoy each other’s company without letting it affect our own ideas of self-worth?