“Don’t compare your insides to someone else’s outsides.”
How often do you find these three words in one sentence: self-care, parents, and importance?
The number one advice that I used to get when I was pregnant, was to rest as much as I could. The second one was that we are not born parents, we become them.
I did not fully comprehend those well-meant words until I became a parent. I realized that as parents, we are programmed to think of our child first. it is natural to forget to take care of yourself. And I don’t know about you but I feel selfish everytime I go for a massage, facial or to a hairdresser. I feel that I should be at home with my daughter which is not rational as she is having a great time with my husband.
One of the mistakes, that I made, was looking for inspiration on Instagram. Not only what I wanted to know what to wear postpartum, I kept comparing myself to other moms as well. Which, as I know now, is completely unproductive. They all looked happy and perfect. Some of them slimmed down to their pre-pregnancy weight within the first two months. They all made it seem like a piece of cake. Being a new mom should be fun, simple and easy. And they did it all with full makeup and perfectly synchronized selfies.
My version of “life as a new mom” was sore and messy. I felt helpless, lost and confused. Something had to be wrong with me because everyone else seemed to be passing with flying colors. I wish someone had told me that it was OK and completely normal. That no one has their s*** together after giving birth (unless you have an army of nannies, personal trainer, cook and house help on your hand).
Then one day, which seemed really hard and dark, I stumbled upon a quote:
DON’T COMPARE YOUR INSIDES TO OTHER PEOPLE’S OUTSIDES.
Soon after, a friend who listened to my ranting, said that there is a reason why they instruct you on a plane to put on your oxygen mask before you assist your child.
It was a parable to the importance of self-care. Because if you don’t take care of yourself, one fine day, you will end up feeling tired and empty. And if you have nothing to give, you can’t cater to your child’s needs.
On the other hand, if you flourish and thrive, your children and your family will as well.
So don’t listen to your inner doubts and judgments. Don’t compare yourself to others. Once you become a parent, not only that you have to justify your choices to yourself, you’ll get into disagreements with your partner, parents, and in-laws as well.
Everyone has something to say. And the hardest thing is to listen without taking it personally. Keep your mind and heart open. And be aware that they all mean well.