Friday, 10 May 2013

The comparison trap

Sometimes when you are a mother you compare yourself to others.  Not that I go out of my way to do it, but I do it.  The last few weeks have been very difficult for me, comparing myself to other mothers who are my friends on Facebook and they seem to do everything perfectly and are so crafty and fun they make me feel like crap.

So there I sat, feeling bad about myself because I was looking at so many cool things my friends were doing with their kids on Facebook.  Then I realised I'm not a shit mum because I don't do those things with my kids, if anything I'm a shit mum because I'm on Facebook looking at what other mums do with their kids instead of pulling my finger out and actually doing something with my kids, even if its just reading them a book, or drawing a picture with them.

I'm not a very crafty mum.  I don't have great ideas of what to do.  I'm pretty time poor and stretched between fulfilling the needs of 4 children.  So because of that, does that mean I'm a crap mum or just not a very crafty mum?  I don't remember doing craft with my mum and I don't think she was a crap mum.  She kept us in line, she had rules that we followed, we were allowed freedom to roam around the streets and play with our friends - the 80's were a wonderful time to be a kid.

So anyway, here I was comparing myself, and I told myself to snap out of it.  I'm not the same as every other mother, and that's ok because my kids aren't the same as their kids.  I've been following along blindly for too long now - just going along with what someone else chose for their child, without even doing any research on my own.  And its time I stood on my feet and realised that I can be a good mum without following along behind someone else like a little sheep.

Of course I can never change the decisions that I have previously made, and that I am ashamed of now.  I don't think I've always done what has been in the best interests of my children - because I was more certain of other people's opinions and choices than I was of my own.  And that's pretty crappy really, to have no faith whatsoever in myself.

4 children later and I've done so many different things - I've had elective c-sections, I've had drug free birth centre births.  I've circumcised my first son, I won't with my second.  I've bottle fed, I've breast fed.  I've done mushy solids at 4 months, I've done baby-led solids.  I've done CIO, I've done rocking and feeding to sleep.  I feel like I've done everything wrong all the time because I've never done anything instinctively, its always been because thats what someone else did, or because thats what I should do.

So this time around with our surprise baby (22 weeks along today) I'll be doing things more instinctively.  I'm having a home birth because that feels right to me.  Birthing at my local hospital doesn't feel right to me, that fills me with extreme dread and fear.  My home feels safe so that is why I am doing it - its a safer choice for me.  And in turn, my baby.

I need to stop comparing (because nobody lives my life and the daily struggles I have) and stop blindly following people - and just believe in myself.

If I can have the faith in my body to birth a baby safe and without harm, then why do I have so much trouble having faith in my ability to raise them properly?

The answer?  I shouldn't.  And I won't.