The year was 2000, it was the night before 6th grade and I had already laid out my outfit for school, a brand new pair of jeans and an Abercrombie and Fitch t-shirt that said: “I come to school to socialize.” I was so excited to show off my new threads to my friends and talk about our summers.
When I got to school though I saw all eyes were on me. The unofficial dress code of new jeans on the first day of school was swapped for, Juicy Couture Tracksuits (or JCT for short). Everyone was wearing a JCT and soon I was the odd one out. Every day I would hear about them at recess, where they got them, what colours they had at home and I would come home and beg my mom to take me and get one.
For my birthday that November when I saw that pink bag with black trim I was so excited to open it! A JCT of my own- in this gorgeous aqua blue with a white stripe down the side. I stood in front of the mirror, trying to stuff myself into these pants and see myself as beautiful in them. When I went to school the next day though no one said a thing about my new tracksuit, they had all moved on and were discussing the episode of friends that aired that week.
I tell this story because this feeling of comparison, I have to have what she has because it will make me better is how I felt when it came to being pregnant. “what stroller are you getting? What car seat? Did you get this diaper bag? Have you registered with this store?” I was able to push the insecurity of it until my daughter came and then…it all came FLOODING BACK.
Moms that fit into their pre-baby jeans by 4 months, moms that workout more than me, moms that live in nicer houses (omg the house envy is REAL on mat leave), moms that eat healthier than me, moms that can produce more milk than me, that dress nicer (them and their baby), who have already registered their kid for daycare, kindergarten and undergrad while I can barely find my toothbrush. Looking at everyone’s stuff and then comparing it to yours becomes a daily game on maternity leave. And then you start comparing babies, who are gonna crawl first, which one sleeps the longest, and it becomes a never-ending game of I’m a crappy mom because of x,y,z.
But guess what? You are an AMAZING BADASS MOM. You are raising your kid the way you want and with spit-up in your hair and with your socks not matching. Instead of comparing yourself to others, let’s practice gratitude with what is in front of you instead.
For the past 30 something days, I have been writing down 5 things I am grateful for every morning and it can range from a healthy happy baby to cozy slippers. This simple practice has re-centered and reminded me of what’s important, and I hope it does for you too.
Gotta go write in my journal, today I am grateful for MomsTO (and infant Motrin for my kid with a fever).
Bonnie – momsTO Leadership Team Member