Saturday, December 10, 2011

K is for Keeping Up with the...

I have been searching for tips on how to handle two little monkeys, and one of the sites had a very good piece of advice:  Don't compare yourself to other moms.  This is SOOOO hard to do, but such good advice.  I'm lucky to be surrounded by such amazing moms, many of whom now have two kiddoes.  They all seem to be handling it so well, they keep their cool, they find time to do all these things while I haven't bathed in a week.  All things being equal, it's great to learn from and look up to your peers, but things are not equal.

First of all, not all parents are the same.  Maybe some moms can handle lots of loud noise/big messes/etc with just a sigh, but not all of us can.  Loud noises bother my husband much more than me, so I see it in my own home where I am able to keep my cool much longer with noisy play than he does.  It's not that he's more short-tempered than I am, it's that he's more sensitive to noises.  Each parent has their own stuff that pushes our buttons, and each kid makes their own kind of mischeif.  Sometimes this works out, sometimes it doesn't.

Second, not all kids are the same.  I was in denial for the first two years that Violet is a "spirited" child, but now I realize that she is more energetic, kinesthetic, and needy than many children.  When other moms watch her they return her to me with wide eyes and ask how I do it...  So the fact that I can get through the day is pretty good, right?

Third, unless you are going to actually ask for advice on how to improve your own parenting, making comparisons based on what you see doesn't really help you, it just makes you feel bad about yourself.

Finally, it's important to remember that what you see of other people's parenting is usually them at their best, and  yet we usually compare that to ourselves at our worst.

I've been really struggling this week, feeling like PPD is swallowing me up, and feeling lost and alone.  I just keep reminding myself that this too shall pass, and nothing needs to be perfect, it needs to be the best I can do.

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