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The Comparison Trap in Motherhood

Working moms. Stay at home moms. Working stay at home moms. Single moms. All moms are literally AMAZING HUMANS. We are of the mindset that no matter what your situation is, you are doing the best you can in that season of your life and we are cheering you on.

But we wouldn’t be being honest if we said that we ourselves have never gotten trapped in the ugly comparison game between ourselves and others mamas out there. It’s a tricky place to be when you think you are doing fine as a mom (of any kind!) and then you see another mom out there who appears to be doing so much better (at life, at raising kids, at working, you name it). Feelings of inadequacy, guilt, shame, embarrassment, and even anger sometimes surface. Has that happened to you?

While we wish we could say, “Just don’t worry about anyone but yourself!”, we know that is easier said than done. However, having been working mamas for years, we have put into practice a few specific tricks to help us avoid negative feelings around comparison. We want to share those with you to help you too!

Whether you are feeling down about yourself, struggling with confidence in motherhood, or simply frustrated that you are in a place that requires you to juggle working, motherhood, or both, take a minute to read these 3 tips.

How to Combat Comparison as a Working Mom

1. Practice gratitude

Don’t skip over this one, please! There is something so powerful in expressing gratitude for what you have and have been given, even if it’s internally or to yourself in the mirror! Better yet, consider saying 3 things you are grateful for each day to your spouse, your kids, or even on social media.

Harvard University states that, “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” Yes! We couldn’t agree more! Not only will sharing what you are grateful for help you feel more positive about your life / situation, it will help you deal with adversity, which could look like negative emotions or low self-esteem.

Gratitude practice is something that becomes a habit when exercised over time. So just start now! Some examples include:

  • I’m grateful I have X number of amazing children.

  • I’m grateful I have a supportive spouse and family.

  • I’m grateful for a job that allows me flexibility and a chance to support my family.

  • I’m grateful for my health - that I can move and play with my children.

  • I’m grateful for a calm, happy heart that notices the gifts around me.

2. Reduce your time on social media

Social media is such a unique thing we have these days, huh? Our own parents didn’t have to deal with a constant reminder of what other people are up to! We recognize the value in social media and don’t want to belittle what a positive impact it can be in your life. However, it can also make us feel sad, left out, or even inadequate at times.

Don’t let social media be the thing that robs you of joy as a mother or as a person. We believe you can view social media in a healthy way, from carefully choosing accounts to follow that spark positivity in your life, to consuming it when you are in a good mental head space.

Our best advice about social media is to remember that it is not everything. It doesn’t show the struggles, the messes, the arguments, or the setbacks. While you occasionally might see some “real behind the scenes” for someone you follow, one or two images or videos of them thriving is not everything.

Take a moment to put yourself in check BEFORE you open your social media apps. Remember what you are grateful for and focus on those things before consuming.

3. Fill your own cup

We’ve been the working moms, both in and out of the house, who have run ourselves ragged with projects, deadlines, kid’s needs, and more. We’ve been the moms that are go-go-go for weeks on end with no breaks in site. We’ve been exhausted, at our wits end, and easier-to-anger because we haven’t taken the time to fill our own cups.

Listen to us when we tell you that it is absolutely CRUCIAL to fill your own cup, because you cannot pour from an empty one! In order to be the best mama, employee, business owner, creator, partner, and / or caregiver, you HAVE to take care of yourself too!

We recommend setting a standing appointment each week for yourself. You can call it “me time,” a “date” with yourself, or even “Filling My Cup” Hour. This should be a non-negotiable, non-breakable, regular appointment you keep to maintain your stamina.

Some things you could do in this time:

  • Write in a journal

  • Get your nails done

  • Read a book

  • Eat your favorite treat

  • Call someone you love (if talking to them fills your cup!)

  • Watch a television show

  • Take a walk

  • Take a nap

  • Make something

There are so many things you can do to fill your cup, but one thing is certain: you must do this regularly or you WILL BURN OUT. Additionally, we do recommend that you try to do something for just YOU, even though being with others can fill your cup too! That being said, some solo-cup-filling is very important for mamas especially who are around their kids a lot of the time!

These tips have been proven to help in avoiding the comparison trap of motherhood and that is why we wanted to share them. We want all mamas to THRIVE, and comparison robs us of thriving. So put in to practice these 3 tips and we think you will feel SO much better!


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