5 tips to stop the mum-comparison trap
Whilst motherhood is amazing, it is also incredibly challenging – yet you’d be forgiven for finding it difficult to believe that when you browse through Instagram and all you see are perfect family pics, immaculately dressed babies, mums with pristine makeup and the super crafty mums that even have time to make a cool reel to showcase their crafting creations.
If you’re sat there internally screaming ‘how on earth has she done that’ at your phone, don’t worry, we’ve all been there. The truth is, they’re often paid to do this by brands, therefore it’s a job, and they’d have taken A-LOT of pics and videos to get the 'right' one.
It's completely normal to compare ourselves to others, especially other mums. Comparison, of course, isn't a new thing, though it is amplified when parenting and even more so with the rise (and obsession) of social media.
If you’re finding yourself constantly comparing your pregnancy, your parenting or your baby to what you see on social media, it’s time to stop scrolling because that’s unhealthy. We all know the saying ‘comparison is the thief of joy’ right? You mustn’t let it blur your vision of parenting and your journey.
And, if you find yourself falling into a comparison trap try these 5 quick tips to get out of it:
Focus on you and your child
It may sound simple, but it’s important to remember that we all have our own unique strengths and will accomplish things at different times. Instead of comparing your situation and achievements to someone else’s, try comparing yourself with how you were yesterday and find the positives. Didn’t have time for a shower yesterday and today you did? Winning. Baby slept 30 minutes longer? Winning. Managed a walk around the block when yesterday you were stuck on the sofa feeling sick as a dog? Winning.
Know your triggers
If its the endless scrolling on Instagram that isn’t making you feel good, is making you doubt yourself and constantly compare yourself to others; Put. The. Phone. Down.
We know its easier said than done (they are designed to be addictive after all) but take note of what actions lead you to comparing and try to remove them from your daily habits. If certain people/accounts don’t make you feel good, simply hit the unfollow button.
Change the subject
Don’t be afraid to change the subject. If you’re at your weekly baby sensory class and a conversation with a fellow new mum is leading you down a comparison path, change the course. Find a conversation that isn’t based on milestones, weight, growth, etc.
Found yourself in a Facebook community where you’re constantly being asked if your baby can do this or that yet? If you’ve tried the latest thing to get baby sleeping through the night? If so, politely change the subject (or leave the group)!
Remember not all is as it seems
Just because somebodies’ life looks perfect on social media, it doesn’t mean it is! Many of the images you see are heavily edited and filtered, not to mention its impossible for social media to show everything that goes on behind the scenes. Remember you’re comparing your reality to someone else’s edited life – all is not always as it seems on someone else’s highlights reel.
Follow the people that make you feel good
There’s nothing wrong with following cool, inspirational people - those creative mums that give you all the half terms hacks for example are definitely worth a follow if they give you some creative inspiration. However, this should not be at the expense of your mental health.
If you’re following them and comparing how they look and all they do to your life and appearance, press that unfollow button. Make it your mission to only follow accounts that you like, that make you feel good, make you laugh, and most importantly, that you can relate to.
These tips may seem obvious, but sometimes when you get dragged down the rabbit hole of comparison it’s good to have a reminder to stop scrolling and stop comparing. Feel confident in the decisions you make, the things that you do and the milestones you and your baby reach – and remember, enjoy your own journey.