Do you feel pressure to keep up with other moms? No. Ok maybe sometimes.
I’m going to offer a teeny pep talk and challenge us all: DON’T LOOK AT OTHER MOMS AND FEEL PRESSURED.
Let’s be honest: I have enough trouble keeping up with myself, much less worrying about what other moms are doing. The constant little-people-feeding, the house-cleaning, the diaper-changing, the doctor-appointment-making, the recurring how-the-heck-am-I-going-to-find-a-sitter drama, the oh-crap-what-am-I-going-to-make-for-dinner-feeling that comes every day at 4:30pm on the dot. And then there’s the career-building-pursuits that I cram in at my girls’ hour and a half naptime just to create some sort of mini-life for myself outside the home. I know I’m forgetting a lot.
I’m exhausted just thinking about it. I’m guessing you are too. All of us moms have our different daily routines, but they’re all relentlessly smashed and gobbed together in a way that boggles all our minds and makes us go blank if our spouses come home and casually ask “So what did you do all day.” (I can’t tell you how many times I haven’t been able to answer that question, despite that maybe I did a zillion things that day.)
Somewhere between it all, we notice other moms. I hate to be sexist, but it’s a woman thing. We compare ourselves. It’s like we’re conditioned to do it since birth. As if we don’t have enough pressure to get through our regular days, some of us create more pressure based on fleeting observations of others. Make the choice to ignore those “geez I’ve got to keep up” feelings that creep up on all of us from time to time. Comparing yourselves to others is never a good thing… it only fogs your focus and makes you question what you’re doing, even if you’re doing it in a way that’s right for you. (Trust me, I’ve learned this fact the hard way, just by working in the brutal industry I work in.) Forget about the outlandish 4th birthday party you just attended that resembled a freakin’ carnival. Forget about that mom who volunteers every single week at preschool and then interrogates you about only making it once a month. Forget about the boxed macaroni-and-cheese dinner you whipped up because it was just easy to do at that moment (hey, I threw some leftover broccoli in it!). If I wasted precious energy comparing my petting-zoo-free birthday parties, anti-preschool-for-2-year-olds philosophy and mostly un-organic shopping habits with the activities of many amazing women I know (in real life and online), then I’d be worrying so much about keeping up that I’d ultimately get nothing done. Not to mention brainwash myself into feeling guilty about something (those of you who know me know that’s not an option.) As a mom, I constantly try to narrow my focus and concentrate on what I know works for my family (and not try to do what works for someone else.) Stop, breathe, resist the pressure. Ya get me?
Think of this: That mom who seems to have it all lined up and perfectly figured out is most likely comparing herself to someone else… maybe even YOU. Makes your feel better, no?
DO YOU FEEL PRESSURE TO KEEP UP WITH OTHER MOMS? HOW DO YOU HANDLE IT?