Comparing ourselves to others is one of the worst things we do as moms. We see that mom at the grocery store who found the time to do her hair AND make-up and think, “Wow, I’m a slob.” We hear the moms at the coffee shop planning a 5K marathon together and think, “Why am I so lazy?” And of course, we all know that one well-rested mom who’s baby sleeps 10 hours straight and think, “What am I doing wrong?”
For me, Instagram is the worst place to go when I’m feeling inadequate as a mother. I follow a lot of moms for inspiration, motivation, and reassurance. Sometimes though, I see those seemingly perfect moms and wonder why the hell I can’t get my shit together. How is it that these women manage to be perfect moms, do well at work, and maintain a social life to be jealous of? Well, my fellow Mama’s, the answer is this: they don’t.
Nobody is perfect. Everybody has their struggles – those perfect Instagram moms included. When I look at my social media presence, I rarely post about the struggles I’m dealing with. I don’t post pictures of my stretch marks, I don’t gripe about how fussy my kid was after her immunizations, and I don’t brag about the days where I didn’t even get changed out of my PJ’s. I only post the good stuff – the heavily filtered selfie that makes it seem like I got a GREAT night’s sleep, the picture of my baby girl smiling like an angel, or the one day a week where I actually got out of the house to be social.
Momming is hard, and no matter how well put together a Mama may seem, she is having her own struggles. The pretty mom at the grocery store? Maybe she was up all night with a fussy baby, and doing her hair and make-up was how she chose to make herself feel better about it. The marathon moms? Maybe they’re struggling with how they feel about their post-baby bodies, and exercise is helping them gain that confidence back. And the well-rested mom? Well, she might have a baby that sleeps well, but maybe her husband works out of town and she’s craving some wholesome family time. The point is we all have our struggles, whether they’re visible or not.
So, to all the Mama’s out there who think there’s someone out there who’s doing a better job than you: stop stressing. We all have strengths and weaknesses. We all have successes and failures. Some people are better at hiding the tough stuff, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. Whether she’s a flawless wonder or a hot mess, hug a mom in your life. We all need it.