It’s natural to compare yourself to others when you become a mum. You end up being given endless (usually contradicting) advice, which makes you constantly question yourself and wonder if you’re doing it right.
The problem with comparing your situation with others is that you don’t really know what their true situation is. Nowadays we have social media which gives us a glimpse into other peoples lives, but these only show you what they want you to see. I am guilty of this. During my PND battle I posted photos showing a happy, idyllic family, when my reality was far from it.
I was constantly comparing myself to other mums around me, they always seem so happy & coping with their new life as a mum, so I felt I must paint the same picture about my life. It caused me such stress to try and keep up the facade. Comparing babies was even more of a worry. My daughter was an early talker, late walker. She didn’t crawl until she was 11 months or walk until she was 16 months. I was so frustrated that she wasn’t keeping up with others, and every time I got a comment about her not walking but their babies were, it made me feel even more of a failure. Now with my 3rd baby I know they do it when they’re good and ready so I don’t worry or compare but that comes with the experience of being a mum.
I recently found this quote ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’ and it couldn’t be more true. I spent so much time worrying about how my life compared to others and it’s reflection on me as a mum, that it caused added stress and frustration to an already difficult time dealing with PND.
It’s taken time but I don’t compare myself anymore. I focus on my family and what is good for them. With experience of being a mum my confidence has grown. A weight has been lifted now & I don’t feel the pressure to appear perfect, or keep up with the other parents I know. I feel much happier being me, I’m not perfect, no one is, so let’s all be a bit more open about that and we can all feel better knowing we don’t need to put on an act.
Don’t compare yourself to others, you are the best parent for your child and the best at being you.