We all do it. Even stepmoms. We look at another mother and think, “Wow, if only I had it together as much as she does.” The feeling of inadequacy can be overwhelming at times. Comparing yourself to other moms is damaging.
For some reason, the blow stings more if you’re a stepmom. I find myself wondering if Nikolai’s teachers take me seriously…especially other moms. I’m a twenty-something and I’m a stepmom. Sometimes it feels like all of that works against me.
Recently, I’ve had to really step back and think about why I’m comparing myself to other moms. During this mini soul search, I found out a lot about myself.
One of my biggest challenges was that I worried what other moms thought. Now, I look back and wonder why the heck I ever did that! As soon as I realized this thinking pattern, I quickly took those thoughts and realized that they will never know what it’s like to mother another woman’s child, and I do not need their approval.
I’m not a biological mother. And if I’m honest, that makes me a little unsure of myself when talking with other classroom moms, parents or teachers. I can’t possibly have the intuition or knowledge about mothering of the biological sort. But I also firmly believe DNA is the least of what makes someone a parent. It’s love, concern and the extra mile.
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Why comparing Yourself to Others is Harmful
What do we gain from comparing ourselves to anyone else? Lots of bad self-talk and doubt.
Comparing yourself to others can often cause you to lose focus on what really matters. Your job (our job) as parents is to train up these children that we have either brought into this world or inherited. We are to teach them and mold them into productive members of society. If you take a moment to think about that, it’s profound.
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How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Other Moms
Realize There’s a Backstory You Don’t Know.
Here’s the thing. We all have our flaws. We all have our backstory. While you may see a mom who has it all together while you have fruit loops in your hair, she has her struggles, too.
The bottom line is: We don’t know what Perfect Patty deals with everyday. Her children may be little demon spawns, her husband may be a lazy loser or her dog barks incessantly. Regardless of what everyone else deals with, we have to focus on our own challenges.
We all have our backstory with a side dish of struggles!
Practice Contentment as a Mom
In this age, social media can make their life look easy and your life look like a hot mess! The truth is, we are all hot messes at some point. We either yell, punish too quickly, fly off the handle, or whatever! Keep in mind, what we see on social media is only the highlight reel.
When you are so focused on what everyone else has, it’s easy to ignore all of the wonderful blessings you already have. The more you focus on how much you do have, instead of what you lack, the more at peace you will be.
The grass will always appear greener on the other side. No matter what you do, you will always find someone you can compare yourself to. Have faith in yourself a mom. Be confident in how you’re raising your children.
Strive to Improve
If there are constant feelings for improvement, then take the steps to improve in those areas. This doesn’t mean to purchase every self-help book in Barnes & Noble, but recognize when/where/how your feelings of inadequacy are triggered.
When you dive into the “why” behind those feelings, you can work to eliminate some of those feelings. As a stepmom, feelings of inadequacy generally stem from an emotional reaction I had to something insensitive that someone said.
Wanna know what I did?
- I stopped hanging around those repeat offenders. They obviously are dealing with something, too.
- I stopped with the “need to” defend myself.
Thought precedes behavior. Meaning that when you change your thoughts, you prevent those emotional reactions to what is said to you. Most of what comes from others has nothing to do with you.
If you find yourself constantly feeling inadequate, step back and ask yourself, “Am I doing what I feel is best for my family? Am I doing my very best?”
If you can answer yes to both of those questions, you ARE a good mother.