Being a mother is one of the best things I've ever done. Yes, there are hard days that sometimes outnumber the good days, but I wouldn't change my life for the world.
Saying this, I can see how easy it is to fall into a trap of feeling like an awful mother, feeling unworthy and unloved, finding it hard to find the joy in your child and your new role as a mum. I believe that the one thing that stumps us as mothers is comparison. Comparison steals your joy, it makes you feel unworthy, or it makes your competitor feel unworthy - all in all it's not healthy.
I've struggled with comparison most of my life, and there are so many caterogies in which we can compare ourselves to others and an infinite number of people we can compare ourselves to, but once we begin down that road, I'm afraid it never ends.
Comparison is always unfair, it robs us of joy, it robs us of precious time, you have nothing to gain and so much to lose, it puts the focus on the wrong person and it results in resentment. You are too unique to compare fairly.
So how do we break the habit of comparing ourselves?
Are you aware you're comparing yourself to others? For me, I know I compare myself a million times a day, for example..
'That mum is in her pre-pregnancy clothes, she's much prettier than me'
'Her child sleeps through the night, what am I doing wrong?'
'There child can sit, mine can't - am I not teaching him right?'
'That child is loved so much more by friends, why don't they love mine?'
'They had time to bake a cake, I barely got dressed today, what's wrong with me?!'
And that's probably just the first 30 minutes of the day, why do we do it? Why do we not think we are good enough? All those comparisons to is stop me and make me feel bad.
Once you realise you're doing these comparisons, pause. Think about what you're thinking about and change the direction in which your thoughts are travelling. This is key, otherwise your mind runs away with you and once your in the pit, it's harder to get out of it.
Count your blessings
Choose to focus on something better, on what you already have, a celebration of your journey to where you are now. Focus on your strengths.
Whether that be, you got out of bed today, you got you and your kid dressed today, you ventured outside today - as little as it may be - focus on it, it will make you feel so much better.
Be OK with imperfection
Eugh. No one is perfect - sorry. Not even you. Intellectually we all know this, emotionally however we seem to feel bad when we don't attain perfection. Sure you can improve on yourself, but you will never be perfect - the sooner we realise this the less comparison you will do.
Don't knock others down
When we are in a pit of comparison this is all you want to do, it makes you feel better. Taking someone down for your own benefit is destructive, it forms an enemy when you could of had a friend. Try and support a friends success, when they're babe sleeps through the night, when they sit and walk, you will build solid friendships which all in all is a lot better then putting yourself down.
Focus on your journey.
Life is not a competition. It's a journey, we're all on our own journey and at our own speeds. No ones journey is better than anyone else, it just looks different. This is a challenge with social media platforms like instagram, where people show off there highlights reel. Know that those little squares aren't real life, and focus on your own journey and developing who you are. Be the best version of you that you can be.
Learn to LOVE.
If you always want what others have, you will always want more. It is an endless cycle and will never lead to happiness. No matter how many clothes you buy, how many houses you own, how good your home looks, how fashionable your kid is, you will never have enough. Learn to love what you have. A roof over your head, food on the table and clothes in your back - anything over and above that is more than enough.
I know first hand that comparison is the thief of joy. I have spent a lot of years of my life (and it still challenges me) comparing myself to others, and all it does is make me feel bad, make me feel down, isolate me and belittle me - leading me to loneliness and sadness. I don't want this for you. You may not be a mum, trying to navigate that journey and being confident that you are all your child needs, but I've tried to write this in a way it can be applied to anyone, whatever your situation.
We're all just trying to do our best, so lets support each other, not put each other down, and not compare. What a world we would have if we all just believed in ourselves and each other a little more.
We love you.
Jess & Judah Wild x