Stop Worrying What Other Moms Do (and Keep Yourself Sane in the Process)

For a long time in my early days of motherhood, I tried on different methods of parenting, usually modeled after women who I generally admired or thought were capable.

Maybe I looked at a friend who always looked put together, seemed calm and whose kids were always well-dressed and wondered, How does she do it, and can I ever achieve that type of togetherness?

Other times I would look at moms who were kicking ass at work, and thought, If I tweak a few things with my schedule and life, can I kill it like she is?

But every time I even moved in the direction of trying to emulate someone else, the results–and my spirit–fell flat.

It took me a couple years to reach the point I now know is the most important realization when it comes to being a mother: It looks different for everyone. And I mean everyone.

It took me a couple years to reach the point I now know is the most important realization when it comes to being a mother: It looks different for everyone. And I mean everyone.

While it’s natural to seek advice or compare notes with other moms, you always have to tell yourself, “That’s great for her, but does it fit into my belief system, my schedule? Would it work for my kids?”

I’m just going to say it plain: Stop worrying so much about what other moms do, and figure out what works for you.

It may sound like the most basic of advice, but it’s something that, surprisingly, doesn’t come all that naturally sometimes. In the world of social media, we all inevitably compare our paths with others’. So when you find yourself doing the comparison game in life or in motherhood, stop, take a deep breath, unplug, and remember… What makes her a good mom or happy woman isn’t exactly what will work for you.

Let’s dive into specifics, shall we?

SUN-LOGO-SMALL

You Don’t Have to Have It All Figured Out Right Away

Surprise! No one hands you a How-To manual when you give birth. (I know, sucks, right?)

Everything you’re going to learn as a mom is going to be by trial and error. Yes, you may take the advice of your own mother or a friend, but she and her child are two totally different people. So–like a nice pair of shoes–try it on for size. If it doesn’t work, onto the next!

You Don’t Have to Look Like the Other Moms

I don’t mean this in the physical way–although, of course this phrase applies in that regard, too.

I mean it in the way that your parenting style doesn’t have to reflect anyone else’s. Maybe your friends believe in sleep training, and you don’t. Maybe you fancy yourself more of a scheduler, while your best friend is a go-with-the-flow mama.

If I had to define my parenting style, I’d say I fall somewhere between Attachment slash Gentle Parenting and Whatever the Hell It Takes to Get By. (That’s a new parenting technique I’m patenting.)

Point is, none of my friends parent exactly the way I do. Old Sonni used to care. Current Sonni DGAF. Be like Current Sonni.

Point is, none of my friends parent exactly the way I do. Old Sonni used to care. Current Sonni DGAF. Be like Current Sonni.

Come closer, baby, so I can eat you

This Gig Ain’t Easy for Anyone… No Matter What You Think

Sin Number One in parenting? Thinking other people have it together and you’re the only lonely loser who doesn’t. (Been there!)

Two things about that: They don’t, and you’re not.

First time motherhood is not easy for anyone. Let me repeat that, because I know you just scrolled through Instagram and saw that mom with perfectly-applied lipstick and her baby girl in a perfectly-coordinated onesie and bow.

First-time motherhood is not easy for anyone.

Just know that you’re not alone. People get through stressful times in different ways, and just because your outside looks different from hers, doesn’t mean it’s a walk in the park for her.

You’ll Have to Re-Learn How to Make Yourself Happy

Get ready for another edition of the Captain Obvious Bulletin: When you have kids, you can’t do what you used to do. At least not exactly how you used to do it.

This goes for jobs, days/nights out with friends, self-care, and oh, just about every other thing in your life that doesn’t directly involve your child.

I’ve talked before about how I learned to appreciate small moments of peace in my day, and how I actively seek them out–my Pockets of Peace, I call them. And I suggest you find new ways to make yourself happy, too. Maybe they don’t take the exact form they used to before kids–or hell, maybe they do! But find a way to appreciate a new way of doing them.

It’s all about managing your time differently after having kids. Knowing that alone is half the battle.

So yes. Make like the title of this blog post and just stop worrying already.

And by God, if you’re feeling alone or like you’re dealing with more than the standard baby blues, talk to someone. Because I promise, you’re not alone.

Using these tips and thoughts as your starting point will make all the difference in figuring out your own parenting philosophy.

SUN-LOGO-SMALL

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