We have all heard the age-old phrase that comparison is the thief of joy. I had plenty of experiences to prove the truth of that phrase before I was a mother, but, for some reason, it just seems so much more relevant now! Comparing my mothering successes and struggles to other moms around me is the quickest way to really mess with my confidence, and even my own kindness.
When I first had my daughter, I noticed all the time that I felt so much more self-conscious as a mother when other people were around. Especially mothers that were more "experienced" than I was. It seems that just when I was feeling grand about my adjustment to motherhood, something would happen that would throw me wayyyy off course.
It is so cruel how quickly one little doubtful thought can derail how you feel as a mother for a day. Doesn't it seem like you swear that you won't let anything get under your skin, but then it happens before you realize it, and you're beating yourself up about something again? There are plenty of memes and inspirational quotes out there that are supposed to keep us from getting stuck there time after time, but it continues to be an active battle! Why do we compare ourselves so harshly?!!
The truth is, there are just so many moving parts of motherhood that there are far too many spaces to compare. I don't think there is a single mother out there that would say they feel that they are perfect 100% of the time. When we have our weak or hard moments, it seems that someone else has her rockstar moments that we so quickly judge ourselves by. We also have to remember that some women will have their weak moments while we are feeling super on top of mothering duties. Ughhh...if only it were as easy as telling ourselves to quit the comparing, right?
So, what do we do? We do our best! Bad days are bad enough without dragging myself through the mud, and I am sure you feel the same way. I think it is important to remember our weak moments when we witness another's as well. Lending kindness to others may help us lend more kindness ourselves!
For me, I have found that if I repeat "everybody does it differently, everybody does it differently," until I can shake it off, it helps so much! That might seem dumb to some of you, which probably means you need to try something else for yourself. That works for me so I am clinging to it!