I Don’t Know How She Does It: Stop the Comparing

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As I sit here contemplating how I’m going to get all of the things accomplished before I head out of town for the weekend, I can’t help but wonder if other moms are sitting at their computer with the same worries. And while I may just be a part-time working mom, I’ve got a lot on my plate.

Prep for dinner. Prep for work. Preschool drop-off. Clean the house. Do the laundry. Make dinner. Answer emails. Preschool pick-up. Teach class. Tuck in the boys and say goodnight.

…I could go on, but so could you. You’re a working mom, a stay-at-home mom, a mompreneur, a single mom, a stepmom, or maybe you hold a few of those titles.

See, that’s the thing. You and I, we’re not so different after all. While there may be a different adjective in front of the title MOM, at the core we’re all just here, sitting in front of our computer asking our fairy godmother for a little help, or maybe a few extra hours in the day.

It’s not our titles that make us good moms; what is a good mom anyway? Is a good mom one that breastfeeds until her baby is one, or does she formula feed because that’s what’s most convenient for her? Does a good mom clean her house daily, or does she hire a cleaning lady to come once every other week to ensure her toilets are scrubbed and shelves are dusted? While you may never find the definition of a good mom in the dictionary, I think she is one who does what’s best for her and her family in every moment, learns from her mistakes, and gives her babies unconditional love even when her patience is at an all-time low.

We live in a world full of comparison, competition, jealousy, gossip, and judgment. It can also be a world full of excitement, love, happiness, and support if we take a step back and stay in our own lanes.

Before picking up your phone to text your BFF about the mom that chose to wear a bikini to swim lessons or make a snarky comment to your co-worker about the woman that is back at work after just six weeks maternity leave, perhaps show a little support or empathy to another mom’s situation. Maybe that mom at swim lessons lost 40 lbs after she made changes for a healthier lifestyle once giving birth to her third child and now a bikini makes her feel proud and confident? And maybe the fellow mom at work couldn’t afford to take off another six weeks of unpaid leave (let’s not get started on that!), so back to work she went? Grab her a cup of coffee and let her know that you, too, have been in her shoes and reassure her that it’ll get better every day.

Staying in our lanes is not something that comes easily. We are taught at a young age to make comparisons to help our cognitive development. Is that block blue or green; is the slide long or short? But by the time we reach adulthood though, comparison becomes more of a forming of judgment than mastering a new skill. Is my judging Karen’s lack of cooking skills going to make mine any better? Will having a house as big as Rita’s make me a happier wife? Simply put, no. Instead of comparing, judging, or even saying “I don’t know how she does it,” think about replacing it with “I’m glad that works for her.”

I still sit here, staring at my computer screen with an endless to-do list, knowing that someone else is in the same boat. I’m not going to compare my list with hers, and I won’t even allow myself to stress out about how I’m going to get it all done before I leave. Because I’m a mom. And moms always get sh*t done.

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