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When I first discovered we were pregnant with our first child, I couldn't read enough articles, have enough Pinterest boards and ask anyone and everyone about their experience as a mother.
I was literally a sponge, trying to soak up every bit of knowledge and lesson from women who have been there, done that.
But I learned quickly that books, advice and pretty pin boards could only better prepare for the technical aspects of motherhood. Because the moment I was induced for delivery, all those hours of reading and note-taking went out the window.
In the famous words of the Fresh-Prince, "my world just flipped-turned-upside-down."
Nothing prepares you for the endless night feedings, the creams, sprays and special "bottom napkins" worn for weeks post-delivery - not to mention chest soreness and leakage.
Sure, there are endless highlights to giving birth and raising littles but the heat behind the scenes doesn't always relay through a friend's picture perfect delivery on Facebook, does it? There are SO many filters and editing tools nowadays that we soon begin comparing our lives to theirs.
At least I did.
I know how this goes because I fell victim to this lack of transparency far too often. This is what ultimately led up to my biggest mistake as a new mom.
I completely and utterly ADORE my sons, I really do. My husband is a rockstar for the continuous love and support he gives our family. But it was me - just me with a newborn while he worked and our families were hours away. And while being a stay at home mom has many perks, it can be lonely at times.
I started visiting blogs of moms who were in the same boat as me and wondering, "how in the world do they have all their stuff together??"
There I was with a newborn, sitting in three-day old shirt, in envy, wanting what she had...
Hi my name is Amy and I am victim to this little thing called comparison.
One minute, I was googling 'the age a child starts walking' then I'm on WebMD self-diagnosing 3847 different things between my son and I. I had allowed the feeling of guilt and "not enough" linger in my thoughts much longer than I should have.
It robbed me of joyful moments, time from family and left me paralyzed emotionally. I just stopped living FULLY.
I had to STOP this persistent thief of comparison from defining who I was and what I needed to be for my children. I say children now because, at times I still struggle with comparison but I know now, no matter what I read or hear, God is in control.
Do not let your negative thoughts from within or from others dictate your life.
Others cannot make you feel inferior without your permission; because ultimately, the only opinion that matters is Gods.
You are a fantastic mom and human being! Yes there will be tough days ahead. Yes you will want to lock yourself in a room to just breathe, cry, and maybe sneak a treat or two without little hands grabbing at you...but you know what, those moments are temporary.
Find the silver lining in all things.
There is one. I promise.
Continue to take too many pictures, give too many hugs & kisses and love on your family like there's no tomorrow.
If you reasonate with this post, I'd love to hear from you and your experience below, or privately...we do need each other to get through one of the toughest life seasons and yet so rewarding!