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I am a huge fan of books on “tape”. I recently downloaded the Audible app (Get Two Free Audiobooks) and downloaded Rachel Cruze’s Love Your Life Not Theirs. In it she talks about comparisons and how it can steal our joy. It made me realize how true that is in motherhood. We see the perfect moments on instagram or Facebook and think “Why isn’t my house that perfect?” “Why don’t my children play nicely like that?” It can be hard to sit back and remember this is just a moment in time. Their life is probably not always this put together and perfect. I know for myself people would come up to me when the girls were babies and Ace was a toddler and say things like “Wow, you make it look so easy, how do you do it?” But in reality Everly was constantly crying from colic and I was trying to make sure my other two children were getting enough attention. It was overwhelming most of the time. My life just appeared calm and collected because I only posted pictures where everyone was happy. Well, almost always, you can see a not so happy picture of the girls here. It’s pretty classic of what our life was like majority of the time. Those closest to me knew that it wasn’t as easy as it may have looked.
Comparison will play tricks on you as a new mom. I think the older our children get and even the more children we have the less we compare and become more confident in ourselves. We know it’s not always peaches and cream. We realize there are amazing moments and tough ones. New moms are just trying to get through those first few weeks of learning to breastfeed, never sleeping and getting to know your baby. It can be a total mind f*ck. It really felt like that when I first had Ace. Thankfully I had seasoned mothers who helped me through it but when you are in it it can be rough.
So how do we stop the comparison game when it comes to motherhood?
Remind yourself that more often than not others are going to emphasize the good and not show the bad. No one wants to post pictures of their house in disarray or their children being complete disasters even if that is your typical day. So when you see that perfectly put together family know that that is just a blip in time. It probably took 10 shots to get that one perfect one. Heck, I still can’t get a perfect shot of my 3 kids after a bunch of pictures so don’t feel bad if you can’t either. Look at our 4th of July picture, I probably took 15 pictures and this was the best I could get. Thanks for closing your eyes, Everly!
Don’t judge a book by it’s cover no matter how beautiful it is. It may look like a million bucks but inside it’s a Mom that is going full force to get her house and children looking perfect for that one shot on instagram. I know bloggers who will even pull pieces from other rooms to stage a picture for an instagram picture. When your job is displaying products (kids clothing, room decor, food, etc.) on social media it is going to look better than just your random shot of your kids in their play clothes. Trust me!
Stop comparing yourself to seasoned moms, blogging moms, or other new moms. We are all a hot mess in at least one area in our lives, some are just better at hiding it than others. Instead be honest about the hard times. This may create a safe place for another Mom to open up about her trials as a mother. I know that is how I learned about other Moms struggling. I was honest about my children being colicky or having trouble nursing. Maybe my baby wasn’t sleeping and I was just plain exhausted. If I told a friend there was always someone there to say “Girl, I’ve been there!”
Motherhood isn’t always easy. It can be one of the hardest things because we love these little people so much, with such passion that our fear of screwing them up causes us to stress ourselves out. Remember they will more than likely remember things in a much more positive light so try not to stress it too much. Try to slow down, appreciate what you have and not what others are portraying on the internet or out in public.