stop the comparison, mother's

It all started with a message that popped up on my social media feed, igniting a flurry of likes, comments, and shares:

“Some of the most amazing mothers I know are content with very little, especially time to themselves. They get so much joy out of serving their families. I think this can be an important realization for mothers to make, that they can be good mothers, living a very fulfilling life even if they had to leave much of their old selves behind. To be clear, the empty cup I’m referring to doesn’t mean empty of basic necessities and support from your partner.”

As I sipped my morning coffee, I couldn’t help but think: this message sounds like a comparison trap and putting women in a box. It was clear –  this caption was triggering to many women and  I understand why.

This idea of the “amazing mother” being someone who finds fulfillment and contentment with minimal time for herself and serving only her children could make anyone question their worth. It also implies a narrow definition of what makes a mother “amazing.” And we all have our own definition of “contentment.”

But what if the real key to being amazing is as unique as each of us?

The truth is, some mothers need more time for themselves. Others find their contentment in balancing career and family. And guess what? They are all amazing. There’s no one-size-fits-all in motherhood. Each mother’s needs and sources of fulfillment are as varied and valid as the unread books on my shelf. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, a career-focused mum, or somewhere in between, your journey is just as legitimate and valuable. (Yes, I purposely wrote mum and mom) 😉

Honouring your needs

I’m that mother who needs extra time because I’m sensitive to noise (thanks to my thalamus that is not working optimally). Therefore, I need quiet time to come back into a state of calm and clarity. For me, having this quiet time isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity to function well both as a mother and an individual.

Recognizing and honoring my needs has been crucial for my mental health and how I show up as a mother, a wife, and a person.

I’m also that mum who finds contentment in not only my son but my career as well.

Each uniquely made 

And so other women find fulfillment not just in their kids but in their careers too. They love juggling playdates with zoom meetings, finding joy and contentment in both family life and professional life.

Then, there are those who find pure happiness and contentment in raising their children, dedicating their lives to being amazing moms. That’s amazing and good for them. Both paths are totally valid and fulfilling, it doesn’t mean one way is better than the other. We are all designed differently and thrive in our own unique ways.

So why not support every woman with the diverse paths we take? Let’s stop the judgment and comparison. Instead of tearing each other down, let’s lift each other up, recognizing that there are countless ways to be an amazing mother. 

Your worth isn’t defined by how closely you fit to someone else’s standard but by the love, care, and dedication you bring to your family in YOUR way.

Whether you’re dedicating every moment to your kids, taking regular time to recharge, or finding profound satisfaction in your work, your experiences and choices are what make you amazing. Embrace your journey, find fulfillment in your own way, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

And please, let’s debunk the idea that finding contentment in your career or prioritizing your own well-being is selfish. Doing things that bring you joy isn’t selfish; it’s essential. How can we give our best to others if we’re not happy?

I have met women who have been caregivers for most of their lives and have done nothing for themselves. Eventually they emerge (not into a butterfly, more like a grumpy bear) filled with resentment, anger, and bitterness.

Be a leader in your life, and just do you without judgement of anyone else. Quiet simple really. 🙂

Love,
Irene