Why is it that when a group of new moms meetup conversations start with, “this week Sam started walking” or “I’m so happy that Anne sleeps for 12 hours every night,” or “Lilly loves to talk and learns a new word every day.”
Noble only has a handful of words. He usually does not sleep through the night. He does not know his animal sounds.
I know who’s not going to be winning the parent of the year award.
Maybe I’m overly competitive, but I find many moms are guilty of doing this and when they meet up in a group, it’s even worse. My baby did this. What do you mean your baby can’t do that? Could there be something wrong? Is your baby advanced or is my baby behind?
Comparison is killer.
I also find it can be easy to suddenly become an “expert.” Sorry to all my new mom friends, BUT reading 100 books, or spending 100 days researching sleep training on Google does not make you an expert.
The good part about participating in the mom meetups (if you can get past the comparisons), is that they can be a good way to share struggles and talk to others that are in the same situation as you. However, you have to be careful about the free advice that you receive, as not all free advice is good advice.
Just because someone sounds like an expert, seems to have endless amounts of advice and all the answers, does not mean they actually do. They know what worked for them. They know what works for their child. They know what works for their schedule. It’s not the same for you.
It seems most of my mommy friends had their baby on some type of sleep schedule from a very young age. This just does not work for me. I have tired, but our schedule is always changing. Life is always changing. Most days it’s hard enough to make sure I have lunch before dinner, so making sure Noble is in bed every afternoon at 2:00 just seems impossible for me. Is that wrong? Am I a bad parent? No, I just do what works for me.
The mommy meetup can easily suck you in. It can make you question everything you are doing. It can make you feel like the second hand stroller you have is not good enough or the fact that your child has never owned a pair of shoes at ten months is a problem. Don’t worry about it.
Make the most of your mommy meetup but don’t get dragged into the negativity that can come with them at times. Use the mommies in your group to laugh about the funny parts of being a mom. Don’t compare or feel as though you have to defend.
We all have our own parenting style and as new moms we are always questioning what we are doing. This is a great way to sabotage a system that is working well. If it works well for you don’t feel the need to justify it. Don’t feel the need to change it just because it does not work for someone else.
Especially as a new mom, confidence can often be hard to find.
The reality is, motherhood is just like University; you can go to class, read all the books and spend all your time studying, but it’s not until you get a real job and apply the skills you have learnt, that it really all comes together.
There are no right answers. There is only trial and error and figuring out what works for you. Be confident in what you are doing. Know that you will figure out what is best for you and your baby. You are a great mom and you don’t need anyone telling you otherwise or making you question yourself.
You are giving your baby everything you can and doing the best with what you have. No one is perfect. No one has all the answers. Hold your head high and remember there’s a reason why it’s “free” advice.
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