I am pouring my heart out with Shell today regarding the ugliest of emotions: jealousy. I am insanely jealous of those moms who seem to make motherhood look so easy and graceful. I always feel like I can never live up to the expectations of all the images I see in the media, on Pinterest, on Facebook and on blogs.
I was talking to a sweet friend, Rach about how much we compare ourselves to other moms and get defeated. We see the mom who is homeschooling her 19 month old toddler who is fit and stylish. She said to me, “Whatever I don’t do makes me feel inadequate because I was so used to succeeding”. This made me want to drive right down to see her and give her a huge hug. This is exactly how I felt. My response “Yes! there’s no performance reviews or gold stars or trophies in parenting. It is disconcerting because we are so achievement driven”.
I was so judgemental of other moms after I had my oldest daughter Munch. I did not feel confident with any of my parenting choices. Postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety shook me to my core, and it forced me to reexamine my life. I limit my media consumption of certain blogs, Facebook pages or magazines so I am not bombarded by the image of the super mom who does it all. That persona does not exist.
I gained confidence as a mom. It has taken me nearly five years to come into my own as a mom. I try to play to my own strengths and let the girls guide me with their individual interests. I admire my friends who have skills that I do not possess, but I no longer am jealous. I realized that all I can do is be my flawed self. My girls love me because I am mom.
Can we all agree to just stop playing the comparison game and just be ourselves? Our children love us unconditionally. Parenting is not a competition. We do not receive any medals. We will not see the results of our parenting until our children are grown. Let’s come together as a community of perfectly imperfect parents and support each other as we muddle through this parenting gig.