"COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF JOY"
I honestly believe this is true when it comes to pretty much every aspect of our lives but especially when it comes to motherhood.
Being a Mum for the first time is hard work, overwhelming and anxiety provoking . Yes, our babies are beautiful and we love them to death but it doesn't change the fact that they are hard work to deal with and to know what to do with at times.
Over the last few months I have had so many mummies come to me to ask for help, confide in me or simply just break down because they are upset, at their wits end , anxious or overwhelmed by being a mama for the first time. In pretty much every instance the main issue has been that they feel like they are not as "good" at being a mama because their baby doesn't sleep through the night or their baby has colic and cries and cries all day long, they haven't got their pre baby body back or they are feeling anxious or upset because their baby hasn't crawled, walked , sat up or is a fussy eater when compared to other babies. All of this comes back to comparing themselves to other women.
I too was one of these mums who would compare myself to others when it came to Millie's sleeping ,eating or development and also when it came to my body and fitness compared to other "fit mums". This comparing caused me HUGE issues with postnatal anxiety.
It took me a while but in the past few months I have come to let it go, I am now a relaxed parent who goes with the flow and enjoys my daughter for who she is not who I want her to be or who I thought she "should" be. I now realise and understand that just like us adults our babies are all different people with different personalities, habits and patterns. Just because my baby doesn't sleep 12 hours straight, hates being spoon fed , is a super clinger and goes to bed at a different time every night doesn't mean that I am any less of a mother or that my baby is a "bad" baby. The reality is that I don't sleep 12 hours straight either, I have shit days where I'm emotional and I sometimes don't want to eat - that's life so why do we always expect our babies to be perfect day in, day out.
In saying this I also don't think that the mum who has the perfect routine, scheduled, great sleeping baby is any less of a mum either, she's doing an amazing job too. We are all just different and so are our children.
I have also come to see and realise that my body is different to the next body - I have had a different journey to others and I choose to train safely and practically to suit my body. Our mum bods may not be the same as our pre baby body ever and that's ok too because we are different now , we have grown a human and we have different priorities.
So, I ask you next time you see a new mum or even any mum with a baby or young child instead of asking "is he/she a good baby?" Or "is he/she a good sleeper" let's just ask "how are you?" Or "are you ok?" because you never know how that mama is feeling, who she is comparing herself to or what's going on at home.
If you're feeling down, anxious or upset with how you feel your parenting is going try to remember that no one is perfect, no mum is better than another as long as you love, care and nurture your child you're doing the best job and remember these little babies are not robots, they are tiny humans who are just trying to figure out the big world around them and they need our help to do so.
If it helps try putting down your phone , going for a walk and forgetting about social media and the sometimes "too perfect" lives people portray or forget about the clicky mothers group or your family or friends and all their advice and focus on you and your baby - what you want out of being a mother and try doing this your way.
You got this Mama. ❤️