It’s time for Mama’s to stop comparing.

I’ve had quite a few emails recently asking me how I do so much.  Women and mothers exclaiming that their efforts pale in comparison to mine.

After reading I felt uncomfortable in a way I couldn’t quite put my finger on.  I know the emails sent weren’t intended to make me feel bad, they were genuinely interested in my ‘secret’, but nevertheless I was left with an ‘icky’ feeling about it. 

So I sat with it for a while.

And by that, I mean I let myself feel uncomfortable without trying to make myself feel better with food, or buying something new, or any other distraction. {I know I’m not the only one who at times turns to these things when my emotions are making me feel off.}

It was in this space that I realised why I was so uncomfortable. I hate to think that I am giving the impression that what I do is somehow better, or that I am somehow more accomplished because I do lots of ‘stuff’.  Or worse, that everything I do is somehow effortless for me.

My hope for this space is that it inspires you to balance your creative side, the things that make you feel great, with your role as Mama. 

Not to make anyone feel inadequate or ‘not enough’, just because their life doesn’t look like mine.

Yes I do a lot of things.  I’ve always had lots of interests and in many ways I am a jack of many trades, but not necessarily an expert in all of them.  Just because I do a lot of things, doesn’t mean I am successful.  Just because you don’t do as many, or any of these things, doesn’t make you unsuccessful.

Success should be measured by how we feel, not by what we do.  

Mat c/o Kamuka yoga.

Yoga. Sewing. Blogging. Baking. Running Online Communities. Study, Conferences. And now Hypnobirthing and Yoga retreats.  All of these things make me happy.  I choose to make a little time for them each day, or each week, because I like how they make me feel.  Yes sometimes I get carried away and sign up for too much, but that will probably be an ongoing self-checking process for me.  I think I will always be trying to find that balance.

As Mama’s we seem to always get stuck in that comparison game.  ‘She makes all her kids food’ ‘So and so works from home and doesn’t use day care’. ‘She finished her degree with two kids at home’. It’s time we stopped beating ourselves up over what someone else seems to be doing because we never really know what it going on behind the scenes. Are they happy doing all that? Or is she only doing it because she feels she has to?

If you are genuinely doing everything you want to be doing, don’t waste your time comparing.  Sit back and enjoy it.  Cheer on the Mama next door who is doing everything with no help, but feel great in your choice to give yourself a break with the cleaner who visits you once a week, or with using daycare so you can do something that you love.

But if you’re not doing everything you want, if you’re sitting on your hands because you think there is not enough time for your passions in this motherhood game.

I want to tell you my secret.

I do a little bit each day.  That’s it.  I know, it sounds too bloody simple to be true.  But you can either doubt it for another 5 years and do nothing. Or you can start finding spare minutes.

Some days my five minutes is multi-tasked with toddler wrangling and dinner making.

Some days 5 minutes is all I find.  The biggest challenge is not giving up because sometimes for weeks on end, it can seem like you are getting nowhere.  But I can guarantee you, if you are working on something that really makes you happy, 5 minutes over the course of a month, or year, will eventually add up.

So are you ready to stop comparing and find your 5 minutes?

5 Responses to “It’s time for Mama’s to stop comparing.

  • MotherDownUnder
    10 years ago

    Such a great post Bettina.
    And I agree…setting a goal and then taking baby steps towards it is the only way I have achieved anything since becoming a mother! It is hard not to get discouraged but then I think there will be plenty of time when my little one is older to spend more time on me…but for now, balance is key.

  • Wouldn’t it be nice if women/mothers stopped comparing and instead just encouraged, as you did in this post.

  • Trudie Bristow
    10 years ago

    Great post Hun and certainly a question I have been getting a LOT lately too. Like you I do many things all of which bring me great happiness. I don’t do the things I don’t love and like you I make sure I’m do something each day even if it’s a few minutes…’s true it adds up.

  • I fully agree! I believe if we were all trying to truly desire our own lives , there would be more mother love & less mother guilt! Thanks for the post

  • I recently read somewhere that we need to stop worrying so much about “achieving the balance” and coupled with this post, I’ve let a big breath out and feel so much better! I’m new to motherhood and the biggest surprise to me is that I had to rediscover my old self in a new way. Practicing mindfulness has helped me and just generally being grateful helps me adjust when I’m feeling frazzled and overwhelmed.

    I’m glad I’ve found your blog, thanks for creating a space where we can all support each other and remind ourselves that we may just have it all already 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *