I’ve realized that since I became a mom, I have constantly been playing the comparison game. It’s so easy, especially in the age of social media, when everyone always puts on their best face, shares their best angles, and celebrates the next big milestones. Of course we want to celebrate the good and I do the same thing. But it always leaves me asking questions: Should my baby be doing that by now? My baby doesn’t have that – should she? Wow, that stroller is so awesome, ours is nothing compared to that. Why is she so picky? Do I not feed her the right foods? How is their house always that clean? Why can’t I get it together and make delicious meals every night? And on and on and on. Some days are worse than others and sometimes it leaves me thinking, “am I a good mom?”
Comparing yourself, your children, and your life to other people’s lives can be draining. And no matter how much I tell myself it is a waste of time, those thoughts always creep back in.
Maybe you ask yourself the same question: Are you a good mom?
Are you making decisions for your children the best you can? Are you providing them with everything they need, even if it is not top of the line? Do you love your children with all of your heart?
If you answered yes to those questions, I’d bet you are a pretty good mom. In fact, I bet you are the best mom for your child. You know what they need more than anyone else. You know when they need it and you provide the love and care they need to learn and grow and achieve all their milestones on their own time.
Having the most expensive stroller or the most fashionable diaper bag or the hottest new toys that are overflowing from all corners of your house will not mean your child is loved any more than mine is.
It doesn’t matter when they learn to walk or decide to lose the bottle. It doesn’t matter if your one-year-old can say this many words while mine is still working on her first 5. They will do all of these things in their own time and as long as you are there to support them and guide them to the best of your ability, there is no need to worry.
I try to remind myself of these things all of the time. Motherhood is hard enough and all these thoughts do is make it harder.
And about those picture perfect houses? If you have kids, your house is not always going to be clean, it’s just not. You won’t always have time to do your make-up and that adorable picture of your kid striking the cutest pose? You forgot to mention the struggle it was to even get them to stand up and stop screaming so you could just get “one good picture”. Take what you see on social media with a grain of salt. We all have our good days and of course far more bad days than we like to admit.
Here are 3 easy practices you can do to remind yourself that you are a good mom and to help you focus on the positive things in your life instead of comparing yourself to others:
- Keep a journal and each night write one happy thing from your day.
- Make time to do something with your family each day. Sitting down for dinner at the table, an evening walk, a family game, or even just family play time for example.
- Look at those little people. Really look at them. Watch them for just a couple minutes with no distractions. Take it all in. You are their whole world. Watch them catch your eye and see them smile (but make sure to look away quickly or else your peaceful moment will soon end!!).
You are a good mom. I am a good mom. Our children are loved and that’s all that matters.