Ever had one of those “hot mess” days where you wake up late, do not have time to brush your hair, forget things on your way out the door, and spill coffee on your T-shirt? And have you noticed that on those days, it seems like you are the only hot mess? Doesn’t it always seem like every other mom you encounter that day has their act together?
It seems so easy to compare ourselves to the moms having good days when we are having bad days. Instead of giving ourselves grace, we make ourselves feel worse by belittling our small reserve of self-esteem even more. We end up tearing ourselves down, depreciating our abilities, accomplishments, possibilities, energy, enthusiasm, and confidence.
So how do we break the toxic habit of comparison? Here are a few ideas:
Celebrate instead of compare: When you start the thought pattern of looking down on yourself, stop! Look at things from a different perspective. Instead of thinking less about yourself, try celebrating the capacity of your friend. If she can wake up, work out, shower, and curl her hair all before school drop off – good for her! That doesn’t mean that she is a better mom than you. Her motherhood journey just looks different from yours! You are not a better or worse mom because of what she does.
Limit the scrolling: When you hop on social media to scroll through the highlight reels of others, what do you feel about yourself after? Do you follow a bunch of Pinterest-perfect moms who make you feel guilty about that “Uncrustables” PB&J you packed your kid for the 4th lunch in a row? Maybe “unfollow” her account for a little while and see if it makes a difference in your perspective.
Daily gratitude lists: When you are sitting around the dinner table, waiting in carpool traffic, or tucking your kids in, take a minute to list a few things you are grateful for and have your child do the same. Having an attitude of gratitude can push pause on negative thought patterns and help you focus on what is going well in your life.
Motherhood is hard. Let’s not make it harder on ourselves by comparing our best to other moms’ best. Let’s extend ourselves grace and keep trying. Remember that parenting is most effective when you parent towards a goal, so let’s keep our hearts and minds set on our goal and not be distracted and derailed by our toxic comparison habits.
Let’s make new, healthy habits where the differences in our motherhood journeys are concerned. We all have unique capacities, strengths, weaknesses, priorities, styles, rules, and circumstances. Let’s keep that in mind as we dare to NOT compare our journey to that of our friends.
Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. Galatians 6:4 (NLT)
You are amazing, Mom, and you’ve got this!