It’s post bedtime. You just spent the last hour getting 1, 2 maybe 3 kids fed, bathed and tucked into bed. There were battles, laughter, wrestling of pajamas and a whole lot of wonderful chaos. But now it’s quiet in the house and all you know now is that it’s your time. It’s time for you to do something to help your mental state be ready for the next day of parenting. Nobody asking for a snack, nobody tearing apart the toy bin you just cleaned up, nobody needing anything from you for a few hours. For some people it’s reading a book, it’s cleaning up the house, or taking a hot shower. For some it’s scrolling on social media. The kind of scrolling that takes zero brain power or decision making skills.
So you lay on the couch in silence and do just that.
First thing that pops up is your neighbor down the street post about the pool day she had with her kids. Your mind says “Why didn’t I take my kids to the pool today?”
Next is your cousin's Instagram story of the walk she was on with her dog and 2 week old infant. Your mind says “Why can’t I get myself to go on a walk, I don’t even have an infant?”
Next is your college friend who doesn’t have kids yet posting about her dinner date with her husband. Your mind says “When was the last time I’ve been out with my husband, why haven’t I prioritized our relationship more like them?”
Then it’s some random account of someone you don’t even know. You’ve never even met this person or spoke to them but they posted themselves in matching outfits with their kids and it stung you to know how much it looks like she has her life together.
No matter who it is or what season of life we are in, we find ourselves comparing so many aspects of our lives to people we know or don’t know on social media. We have instant access to everything motherhood which in so many ways can be amazing. We can get advice, ideas and encouragement from other moms. We can look up every possible worry and anxiety about motherhood and find tips and ways to navigate it. We can easily find an activity to help keep our toddlers occupied.
But with that comes constant comparison. Constant comparison to why other moms are doing more than we are. Constant wondering why we aren’t good enough for our kids because someone on the internet appears to be killing it every single day.
You aren’t alone in this feeling. And chances are the moms you are comparing yourself to also feel this way! So how do we get out of the comparison game? How do we mindlessly scroll on our phones without it triggering our insecurities as moms?
- Don’t be afraid to unfollow anyone that isn’t making you feel good when you see their page. The person isn’t trying to trigger you but for whatever reason, they are so UNFOLLOW.
- Think about all your seasons of motherhood and how they have impacted you. When you are pregnant, breastfeeding, up all night compared to toddlerhood. Or when you have 2 kids in diapers compared to potty trained big kids. In those seasons you are capable of different things. So just because that mom is posting all the things she is doing doesn’t mean you can compare your season to hers. Everyone has different circumstances going on and are capable of more or less at that moment.
- Know when to take a break. Is it impacting your mental health and making you question how great of a mom you are for your kids? Time to take a little pause from scrolling. For the day, for the week or maybe even longer. If it’s not serving you well then don’t absorb that negative energy, especially after your kids are asleep and you are supposed to be refilling your battery for the next day.
- Find those photos and videos of your kids that aren’t posted. Their smiling faces, the random adventures you’ve taken them on, the acting silly in your living room. There’s far more of those moments that don’t live on your social media page that can remind you that you are doing enough for your kids.
- Seek the validation from your partner! It’s okay to express those insecurities when you have them. Sometimes we can’t see from an outside perspective how much we do and hearing it from our partner can make us feel all warm and fuzzy again about our journey in motherhood.
I get caught in the comparison game from time to time and it can definitely bring you to a dark place. It can make you feel low and insecure and worried about everything you are doing. I’ve unfollowed accounts, I’ve taken breaks from scrolling, I’ve cried to my husband. But when I think back at my entire journey of motherhood that started 4 years ago, I know I’m a good mom. I show up for my kids every day. Some days we leave the house on big fun adventures and some days we watch movies longer than we should. Some days I have them dressed and fed by 8 am and some days we wear our pajamas until dinner time.
But the best part about that is? Your kids don’t care what other moms are doing. Your kids definitely don’t care that someone down the street looks put together with their kids on the internet. Your kids care that you are there for them when they are sad. They care that you laugh with them in their silly moods. They care that you let them watch one extra episode of Paw Patrol in the morning. They care that you said yes when all they wanted was to play outside.
Your kids love the mom that you are! You are doing enough. So remember when you are scrolling aimlessly just trying to unwind, you are the best mom for your kids. Not your neighbor, not your cousin or your college friend. And definitely not some random mom on the internet. You!
A picture nobody has seen of me surviving being 9 months pregnant with two happy kids. Even though we have done nothing outside the house today.