It was Monday morning and my thoughts traveled to my awesome neighbor Lauren. She’s a mom of three and, frankly, just an all-around awesome person. She really rocks the mom stuff and has this fantastic humble way of bringing her struggles out in the open. “I’m always late!”, “I’m so disorganized, you don’t even know!”. Being around her puts me at ease. Yet somehow, that Monday morning, Mommy Comparison Syndrome (or, as I’m dubbing it in the moment, MCS) kicked in.
The MCS part of my brain went into overdrive “Lauren’s family goes on so many trips, they are always on an adventure, you should initiate more adventures with your kids.”, “Lauren’s kids are involved in so much, what if you are depriving your kids!?”. It droned on and on.
Yet, my ego was in kinda good shape that morning, despite it being Monday. And, internally, I chimed right back in with the ways that I AM a rad mother too. I noticed the ME way of doing things, in some ways different than Lauren, and in some ways very similar. I thought about my sarcastic humor, my goofiness, my own flavor of anxiety, and my idiosyncratic housekeeping methods. All the things that are uniquely me.
You see, your way of being Mom is distinctly you and mine is my own. We probably have some stuff in common, and that stuff if our own unique flavor. And the dreaded Mommy Comparison Syndrome will never take that into account. It has limited vision, and can see other Moms as winners as its simplistic logic, checks our box for failure. What a shame, right?
Sometimes our brains may jump into the opposite comparison, or “what do I do better than other moms?”. This isn’t particularly helpful as we can easily poke holes in these comparisons or just inflate our own egos to be better than others. Comparing will either put you on top or on the bottom. Both positions leave someone at the bottom, or losing. And it doesn’t feel good to make someone you care about, or yourself, into a loser, does it? There’s got to be a better way!
Instead of going down the road of comparisons, consider settling into the ways that you are rad. Tune into what makes YOU special as a mom, and as an all-around human being. You are quirky, you are admirable, you are unique, and you do things a certain YOU way. That is why your kiddos and the people that love you look at you with that glimmer in their eye.
I’d bet that the people you love are not comparing you to other moms. They aren’t shuffling you around on some magic list where you end up at slot #52 of The Moms They Know. They just see you for your specialness and your beauty. Your you-ness that is just the kind of person they want to be around.
All those comparisons, the Mommy Comparison Syndrome, it’s in YOUR head. And the best cure for MCS is to refocus on yourself. It’s so easy, it actually can be pretty hard. But the more you do it, the better you will feel. At least you can probably do it better than me… wink.