Body shape and the danger of comparison
Take a moment to consider just how many times we compare ourselves with others in any one day? At the gym as we look in the mirror on our Swiss Ball. At the supermarket as we notice how the women around us are dressed. At playgroup or at the park – whose children are behaving the best?
Have you ever noticed how even when you ‘win’ at this game, you still feel bad about playing it? Even when you notice that someone else’s bottom is bigger or their kids are behaving worse than yours, something inside you feels uncomfortable – it’s like even when you win, you lose.
Turning motherhood into a competitive journey is never going to fill our hearts with joy. It robs us of a sense of connection with others and fuels the fire of jealousy and feelings of inadequacy. It’s nothing more than a poor substitute for doing the work required to live an authentic and meaningful life.
Next time you feel less than perfect or less than worthy, consider this…
The International Motherhood Study I co-founded in 2009, asked nearly 5000 women how they felt about their body. What we discovered is this:
- Only 12% of mothers say they feel satisfied with how they look.
So if you ever feel like ‘everybody else has it sorted’ except you, I urge you to think again. I co-founded this study with the aim of finding out what we really think and feel about being a mother today and the results have made me take a long hard look at how critical we are on ourselves. Constantly comparing ourselves with others is a really dangerous, negative trap – especially as we always judge ourselves more critically than anyone else and often we are judging all the wrong things.
So instead of worrying about what clothing size you are compared to the woman sitting next to you at the hairdressers, why not consider the following aspects of your life instead. They might not change the size of your bottom but they will make you feel better – guaranteed!
- Are you giving yourself enough down time or alone time each week?
- Is there someone in your circle of family or friends who would be only too willing to give you some additional support – if only you asked?
- Is there some activity that you used to enjoy doing that you have stopped for no other reason than you became a mum?
- Are you making time to exercise so you can benefit from the ‘happiness’ buzz that comes from working out?
- Are you being kind to yourself?
Decide to do one thing each day to take your life forward in a positive way. The secret lies in taking baby steps. Whatever happens, resist the urge to judge your life according to what clothes size or bra cup you are. Give others permission to shine by showing them how!
- by HOTmilk contributor Jodie Hedley-Ward – author of ‘You Sexy Mother’