Comparing ourselves particularly to other mums is one of the biggest issues that affects new mums whether they are aware of it or not. I have experienced this in my office and first-hand when I became a mum less than a year ago.
The reasons that we compare are vast but for the most part, we do this because it is an innate reaction that helped keep us alive for a very long time ago. If we compared ourselves to others we could make an assessment of how well we were doing or if we would survive in the grand scheme of things. Therefore comparison is inevitable, it's how we choose to react that makes all the difference.
I wanted to offer my antidotes because new mums deserve to be free from the comparison trap. The comparisons we make for the most part have negative consequences. It can lead to women feeling like they are “bad” mums.
Good enough is what we’re striving for, mama. Here are my antidotes to the comparison trap:
1. Notice when you may compare to others
When do you compare? When you're having a rough day, or you feel you have done something that “good mothers” don’t do? Notice what your triggers are and then you can show yourself compassion and tell yourself you're doing a good enough job.
I ask people to think about what they are grateful for in their lives. This can help you realise that you have a hell of a lot in your life.
3. Focus on your strengths
What are your strengths as a mum? I often get mums to write them down and place them somewhere they can see them when they may need a reminder.
4. Accept your imperfections as a mum
We’re all imperfect. There is no one way to do this job. You need to understand that they can’t do everything and that your way is good enough.
We look at social media and see amazing photos of moments of mums’ lives whom we compare ourselves to. Recognising that these are just snapshots is crucial. Unfollow, unplug and assess how much time you are on social media and if this needs to change. Comparing our entire life to a snapshot of someone else’s is not fair.