So, let’s talk about the elephant in the room when it comes to motherhood…COMPARISON. To me, this is one of the most common things that plague mothers throughout this journey. Especially new mom’s or at least it plagued me. I’m going to be very passionate and open about my experiences because I have learned so much these past 4 years of being a mom. I’m going to tackle 2 areas: Comparison from others. Comparison from within. I would also like to preface this blog by saying that these thoughts are solely my opinion. You have the right to disagree.
Comparison from others
Before I became a mother, I just knew I was ready! I was going to excel when Bailey got here. I had motherhood figured out…in my head. The reality was that when Bailey J got here, I was a mess. The birth, delivery, and postpartum experience were not fun at all. When we finally settled in with Bailey at home, I had not recovered from what I had been through. I had anxiety, lingering blood pressure issues, and postpartum depression. I also didn’t connect with Bailey the way that I had wanted to or the way I felt a normal mother would have connected with a child. *insert my first dose of mom guilt* I do not want to go off on a tangent so I will fast forward to the point. Comparison from others. Because postpartum issues don’t always subside after a few weeks and can linger for a long time I became very sensitive to comments made about my parenting. I would receive or hear comments about the way I mothered my children from everywhere. Not everyone meant to harm me with these comments, but they stung. I had a lot of growth to do as a mother and the reality was that I was figuring it out. Any time I would get “advice” from someone about what I should do or what another mother did it would piss me off inside. I would not say anything, but I would internalize it. Now, don’t get me wrong everyone did not mean me harm when they did this. Can I insert some advice to the advisors out there? Do not give unsolicited advice to mothers who did not ask. Unless they are putting their child in danger, keep your comments to yourself. New mothers especially are under a lot of pressure and what you say can tear them down even further. Also, please do not point out how other mothers do things better to another mother. You may mean no harm but that is planting a seed of inadequacy which makes a mom feel like they’re not doing a good job. As mothers, I feel like we figure out our strengths and weaknesses as we go along. If we need advice, we can ask. I ask all of my moms’ things all the time. If I do not know something, I’m asking. That is how it should be in my opinion. One of my sisters is a new mom and I have to watch what I say to her. If she needs advice she will ask. There is no need for me to bang her door down and tell her what kind of mother she should be.
Comparison from within
Now let’s talk about comparison from within. I am soooo guilty of this. People can say whatever they want about you or to you, but it is up to you to believe what is being said. I let hearsay cloud my mind. In my mind, I was already comparing myself to other mothers because I did not have that instant connection with my baby. So, when I heard confirming things that I was not excelling at this motherhood thing, I ran with that in my mind. I compared myself to every single mother I came across. I would either come out on top, just as good or not good at all. My mind gave into the fact that I was not doing a good job. This is something I struggle with to this day, but I had to learn to catch those thoughts. When my husband would make a suggestion, I would turn to offense. Not thinking that he was being a supportive spouse but that he was being a part of the naysayer crew. Oh yeah, the naysayer crew was a fabricated crew in my mind that constantly picked apart everything I did as a mother. I tortured myself with this. I take complete responsibility for this. This was my fault and it is not the way to go! Hear me! Pleeeeease don’t do that. Know that what you do as a mom is the best you can. Now, I have also learned that there is a positive form of comparison. During a particularly tough time, I was urged by a friend to look at other mom blogs and see how they handled their stressful schedules. That to me is not a bad form of comparison. I was looking to improve in that area.
The only reason I can talk about this freely without feeling some type of way is because I am learning to love me. I am learning to let God mold me. I am not going to be perfect while being molded. I am going to make mistakes and the older I get the more grace I give myself and others. It is a journey, and our mistakes should be documented to help others. As I continue to write about my journey it is my prayer to help others! Thank you for reading!