“I wish I was more like her.”

“I wish my body didn’t look like it does.”

“I wish my baby was easier, like her baby.”

“If only my marriage was as strong as theirs.”

“I wish I didn’t have to take medication to feel stable.”

We all know these phrases. The all-too-familiar comparison trap.

Comparing ourselves to other people is something we’ve been doing since we were little. It’s a natural thought process and can be helpful if we need some motivation.

But in general, comparing ourselves to other people can get out of control. Especially as a new mom, it’s very difficult to allow our minds to accept what we are, who we are, and what we have without “wishing” it was different.

You know, the “wishing” that we had enough money to buy the top baby gear like our neighbor has, or the “wishing” that our family lived nearby to help with our little ones. We could keep this list going all day long because there is always something we “wish” we had or could change.

Stop Comparing Yourself

Let’s stop for a minute and think, though. Is this helpful? Is this thought process really guiding us to feel mentally well? Is this “wishing” something that makes us feel good about our life?

Nope. Nope. And nope.

So, why not take some time to work on our thoughts and try to stop comparing ourselves to other people. Why not spend energy trying to NOT compare ourselves instead of wasting mental space on “wishing” we were something that we just simply aren’t.

NOTE – Don’t blame yourself and get down on yourself for falling into this comparison trap. It’s natural and normal, and shaming yourself for it will only cause more negative feelings. Give yourself grace when working on this and know that we are here to help support you through this!

Here are 6 tips to help when you get stuck comparing yourself to others. Write them down, put them on your refrigerator, and remind yourself that You Are Enough just as you are.

1. Try to avoid triggers

Triggers can be everywhere – you could be walking through the grocery store and see someone’s beautiful, new stroller and think to yourself, “I wish I had the money to buy something like that.” So no, triggers are not always avoidable. But take, for example, social media. Scrolling through your feed, looking at split seconds of other people’s lives can be so triggering. You may not know you are comparing yourself, but you are doing it subconsciously. Take time to notice these feelings and try to minimize or reduce the time doing those things.

2. Monitor self-talk and practice self-compassion

Self-talk is the words and phrases that we say to ourselves about ourselves. And negative self-talk is when we say mean things to ourselves. “I’m not good enough.” “I will never be happy.” “I’m not a good mom.” This negative self-talk can be crippling to our mental health. So instead, practice self-compassion. This is when you treat yourself like your best friend would treat you – with compassion. When you find yourself in the negative self-talk moment, rephrase what you are saying as if your best friend were talking to you. So, instead of “My baby always cries and other people think I’m a terrible mom,” try self-compassion, like “Babies are supposed to cry, and this is not a reflection of who I am as a mom. I’m doing my best and that’s enough.”

3. Surround yourself with positive friendships

Find other moms that make you feel good about yourself. There are so many groups in Charleston that you can try in order to find strong mom friends, and I encourage you to try them all. Not every group will be right for you, but you are bound to find a few good friends that encourage you, support you and make you feel like you don’t need to compare yourself to them.

4. Find your personal values

Values are things that you find important in your life and that bring you joy, happiness and fulfillment. Knowing your values as a new mom is SO important and sometimes we overlook this step of self-care. Take some time and identify your person values so that next time you are stuck in a comparison trap, you can center yourself with your own personal values and know that you are following what you find important in your life. For example, instead of “I wish I spent more time at home with my children,” you can look at how you value your career and rephrase that by saying, “I value my career and I’m doing what I know is best for me and my family.”

5. Know that it isn’t always what it looks like

We’ve all heard the term, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” But really, don’t. You never ever know what is going on in someone’s life by simply watching them walk through the aisles of target or scrolling through social media to their post. These tiny pieces of someone’s life that we see are just that, tiny pieces. It’s impossible to see the full picture. So try not to compare yourself to that tiny piece. Not that we want to assume that everyone has problems, but ain’t it the truth. Everyone is dealing with something and as we go through our days thinking that she’s perfect and he has it all, we are doing ourselves a disservice. Remind yourself that what we see is only a snippet of someone’s life, and what they see of us is only a snippet of ours.

6. Give yourself grace

Most importantly, give yourself grace. You will compare yourself to others. It will happen. But simply notice when you are doing it and gently bring your mind back to this list. Remind yourself that you are enough, just the way you are. You have values that matter, you can practice self-compassion, and you can know that every person is living their own unique life. Doing what’s best for YOU and your little family is all that matters. You matter, mama.

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