Do you feel like other moms seem to have it all together? Moms who are always happy, never stressed out or tired, and just seem to do everything better than you do? If so, then this one is for you. I’m here today with a few tips on how to stop comparing yourself to other moms. Believe me, you’re not the only one who does it. But I do think maybe it’s time to stop. Here’s how.
1. Remember that you are not the only one in this boat.
You might be tempted to think you are the only mom with problems. That your struggles, challenges and mistakes are unique, unusual; that other moms have it easy because they don’t struggle like you do. When our problems seem like ours and ours alone, we can start feeling isolated or misunderstood by those around us. The fact is that every mom has her own personal struggle. It’s easier to not compare ourselves to “those perfect moms” we see out there when we accept the reality that their struggles — seen or unseen — are just as present in their lives our struggles are in ours.
2. Make a list of your strengths and honor them.
Why is it so hard to admire ourselves for our strengths as mothers? It’s a proven fact that we become more confident and productive when we admit the ways in which we are good at something. Take out a piece of paper and write down the ways you are crushing it as a mom. Bonus points if your kids are old enough for you to ask them to make the list! Every day, be deliberate in reminding yourself why and how you are a good mom. Make it a habit. When you have permission to see the best in yourself, you are able to make room to see the best in others too. You won’t feel the need to compare because you will see all the unique ways that you shine, and will be able to appreciate (instead of envy) the way that other moms shine too.
3. Let yourself admit that being a mom is hard
It often feels like we are not allowed to talk about the ways that motherhood can be hard, or even complain at all. When we mention that we’re tired and touched out, there is always a “well meaning” friend there who reminds us of our privilege in comparison with other mothers who might have it harder, or with women who want to be mothers but aren’t yet, as if this somehow justifies their lack of empathy for what goes on inside our homes.
Motherhood has made me question my worthiness and competence by making everything I do seem like either too little or far below the expectations set by other people. I’m often confused or at the end of my rope, needing desperately for someone to just let me know that I am doing fine and that this is normal. Yet so many fellow moms are quick to tell me that anyone else would be grateful to be in my shoes. Yes, I am grateful, and yes I am blessed. But being a mom is HARD WORK and there is nothing wrong with admitting that. If we are ever going to stop thinking everyone else is momming better than we are, we have to admit that it’s hard for everyone.
4. Stop believing what you see on social media
I am not the first person to say this. In fact, maybe you’ve heard it so much that you’re getting tired of it. But seriously — if you still believe that the families behind those curated Instagram pages are as perfect as they look — maybe it’s time to get off of social media. No dispresect to the Pinterest moms and Instamommies. They are selling an image and their job is to seem perfect. They are good at it, and I enjoy their content! Just remember to take what you see with a grain of salt. As an influencer myself, I’m here to tell you that just outside the shot of every Instagram photo is a mound of laundry and probably one of the children scaling the banister with no one watching. You’re doing fine.
5. Build friendships with moms who share your values.
The easiest way to not compare yourself with other moms is to surround yourself with mothers who are like you. If you can, find a group of moms that have similar values and parenting styles as yours so there’s never any reason for comparison. The internet, with all its communities and mom groups, makes this a tiny bit easier. I’ve found these few questions help me quickly determine if another mother shares my parenting style or if I’ll be spending more time comparing than getting along:
What do/did you do when your kids don’t/didn’t want to eat what you made for dinner?
Do/did you co-sleep?
Do you get the laundry directly into the dryer after it’s washed, or do you end up having to re-wash it a few times before it finally makes it to the dryer?
These questions are meant to be funny, but as I’m sure you’ve realized, they can be pretty useful anyway! All jokes aside, try to spend time with moms who share your style and values. It’ll minimize the instinct to compare and help you feel validated instead of looked down on.