Forgive me for posting about my Hawaii trip again – but it was so amazing to get away with Will, I can’t help but keep thinking back to those sunny beaches!
Speaking of beaches: surprise surprise, I did not manage to find the time to sculpt a perfect body before getting on the plane! But you know what? It is what it is! I’ve got two kids and I’m not twenty-five any more. I am an author and an entrepreneur, and I’m proud of what I have accomplished.
In Hawaii, I knew there would be skinny little stick people at the beach, and I also knew there would be curvy people. And none of them would have traveled all the way there just to judge my body. The only person paying attention to me would be my husband, and he loves me just how I am.
I have been working on getting more comfortable with myself, so instead of beating myself up, I worked on my confidence. I bought a few new clothes and, for the first time since having kids, an actual bikini. And I wore it!
I didn’t quite work up the confidence to post my bikini photo on the Internet, as I’m sure you will understand. But nonetheless, I will tell you that I didn’t even unpack my tankini. I rocked the bikini, because I knew it wasn’t worth my time to compare myself to anybody else at the beach.
It is easy to say that you should never compare yourself to other people, but in reality it can be very difficult. Once you take the plunge, you will find that, by releasing yourself from the need to compare your experience with others’, you will have a lot more fun in your own skin.
4 Ways to Stop Comparing
1. Don’t compare your body.
There will always be somebody younger, prettier, or in better physical shape. But there are also many, many people who are just like you. You are your worst critic – so give yourself a break, look around, and you’ll find that you’re actually doing just fine.
2. Don’t compare your life.
Whether you’re a mom, a dad, younger, older, richer, poorer; whether you work two jobs or none; wherever you are in life, it is your life. The best thing you can do is to focus on making it your best possible life, and that means different things to different people! So don’t worry about what your neighbors and friends are working on; worry about what you want to achieve.
3. Don’t compare your kids.
Parents naturally compare their children’s development, but it’s so important to resist that urge. This goes for other people’s kids, but it also goes for your own! As Brayden grows, I am always tempted to compare his progress to Zackery’s. I have expectations that certain things will go the same way they did last time. But that isn’t fair to either of my boys. Two different people will never have the same talents, interests or learning style. One child might have better behavior, or learn to use the potty earlier, while the other will start reading sooner. You never know, so don’t expect anything, and don’t compare.
4. When you’re healing from postpartum depression, don’t compare your experiences.
PPD shows up differently for everyone, and your healing process will be very different from the next person’s. In my book, Reclaim the Joy of Motherhood: How I Defeated Postpartum Depression, I shared the Golden Rules of Healing: be patient, never compare, and trust. You will reclaim your happiness, but your journey is your own. Don’t worry about what someone else is going through, just keep following your own path.