We compare. Period. There can be no debate on this. Unless we are supremely confident or indifferent or antisocial, chances are that we compare ourselves to others. In career, in choice of mate, in choice of appliances, in diet, in everyday decisions. The list is endless.
Parenting is no exception.
Sometimes comparison is good. It pushes us out of our comfort zone spurring us to decisive action. However, comparison in parenting is particularly debilitating as we feel we are somehow failing a small human who is completely dependent on us and has no means of effective communication.
The realm of influence doesn’t stop with us. It affects the next generation. This thought is sufficient to makes us feel inadequate and eat into our confidence.
How can this train of thought be stopped?
- Extend the comparison to other spheres
- Sounds counterintuitive isn’t it? To kill comparison with more comparison? The fact is, no one has a perfect life in all respects. There is always a balance. When you look hard enough, you will realize that they have it better or are better in one aspect. However, you have it better in other aspects.
- While doing this, mark out the aspects for which you are truly grateful. Do you have helpful parents, a compassionate workplace, an understanding partner?
- Come to see the truth. That everyone has something better than you. You have something better than everyone.
- Cherish your uniqueness
- We understand at some level that we are unique, our situation is unique, our child is unique. So comparison really isn’t applicable.
- Cherish your baby. Cherish what you bring to the baby. Remember you were chosen as the parent. Believe that the match is perfect.
- Social media prudence
- Do you believe everything you see in a movie? Of course not. It is curated for entertainment. Social media is curated for followers. Don’t believe everything you see.
- If a particular account makes you feel bad consistently, unfollow it.
- Soak and seek information
- If you genuinely find yourself lacking in an area, accept it. Parenting is all about learning constantly.
- Make a goal to fill the gap. Find books and articles that are relevant for you. Seek information, upgrade yourself. See my earlier post on how this can be done.
Does this process help? What do you think? How do you stop comparison? Let’s talk about that!