How to Stop the Momparison
Momparison: the constant comparison of yourself as a mother to your friends or family members that are mothers and especially the moms you see on social media.
I've been there. I would see the moms on Instagram with the perfect clean homes with white couches (how is that even a thing with children?), the ones that get their kids involved in every activity and are always on time, the ones that make homemade dinners every night from fresh organic ingredients, and I would feel less than.
When I first became a mom, I was scared, I felt like I didn't know what I was doing, and that I wasn't doing enough for my child. I loved watching moms on YouTube and Instagram and it looked like they had it all together. They had the nicest cars and big homes with bright white furniture. Meanwhile, I was wearing the same spit-up covered shirt I wore the day before and laying on a sectional that has been cleaned from doggy accidents and baby accidents more times than I can count.
It took me some time but finally, I realized - my baby doesn't need that mom that I see on Instagram. My baby needs me.
Below is a list of the things I started doing that helped me end the momparison, learn to love myself as a mom, and know that I am the best and only mom that my children need.
Unfollow anyone on Instagram that doesn't make you feel good
When I would watch someone's story or see someone's picture on Instagram (or any other social media you use!) that made me feel anything but positive - I started unfollowing them. While I know those people mean well and have no intention of making anyone feel less than, I wanted to make sure Instagram was a place that made me feel good. Unfollowing the accounts that didn't bring me joy helped A LOT in my journey as a new mom.
Find some honest moms to connect with
I started seeing more honest motherhood posts on Instagram that I could relate to. An honest post on your feed about the massive blowout your baby had in public? Yes, please. An Instagram story about how your toddler won't eat anything but mac n cheese? Amen, sister. I also got closer to friends that have kids and was able to relate to them and swap stories about struggles and successes.
Know that we are all just doing our best
At the end of the day, I sometimes need to remind myself that we are all just doing our best. The working mama, the stay-at-home mama, the single mama, we are all just giving all that we have for our children. Knowing that these "perfect" moms are just doing the same thing that I am makes them so much more relatable.
No one's house is perfect all the time
Just because the Instagram pictures show a perfect clean countertop with fresh flowers and a perfect bowl of fresh fruit doesn't mean it looks like that all the time. That mom probably shoved some dirty dishes out of the way to get that cute picture anyway. That goes for every other "perfect" picture too. The mama of a newborn with a pretty top on? She probably cropped out her nice jeans because the baby spat up on them. Realizing this took a lot of pressure off feeling like I needed to have a spotless house, manicured nails, and done up hair every day.
The biggest thing to remember is that you're doing a great job, mama. Surround yourself with people that make you feel like you are and encourage you to keep doing your best.
And, if you ever need a pep talk - you know where to find me ;)
Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash