STOP COMPARING YOURSELF AND START CONGRATULATING YOURSELF
Are you pregnant or a new mum? Then read this post - it is the best advice I can give:
This year, like many before, I have made a New Year's Resolution! My goal is to lose some weight, to fit back into some clothes lurking in the wardrobe, and to feel fabulous!!
I am sure I am not alone in this resolution! New mums might be feeling the pressure already to 'bounce back', pregnant soon to-be-mums might already be dreaming of clothes they hope to fit come the summer time.
But actually - to lose weight is not my resolution - although it is the goal.
My resolution is to practise what I preach - to change my MINDSET about losing weight!
And to do that I have decided to do one key thing - to STOP COMPARING!
I don't know when it began but I was definitely consciously aware of it the first time I was pregnant. When I was pregnant, suddenly my body shape and size were a permitted topic of discussion. My bump was commented on by colleagues and friends and rather than embracing this, I found myself comparing my precious bump to others. At baby classes I would try to work out if I was about the same size, the size I should be, the 'right' size. Then it was a race to feel the baby kick. And from there for the baby to 'engage'.
And then, before I was mentally ready for it, my baby was born. And now I was beginning to compare my birth. How similar was my birth experience to others. Was there a better way to birth - should I have done it differently?
As my baby grew, I added comparing my baby to the list - were they meeting their milestones? How many teeth did they have compared to their friends? Did I have them on the correct nap schedule? Were they a 'good' baby?
If you add it up, I was now comparing my body shape, my birth, my baby and I decided to add 'how good a mum' I was to the list too. This brings with it the comparison of housework, quality 'family time', as well as my parenting style! I could go on and on - I have almost 4 years experience now of comparing under my belt and some of the things I have compared in that time is ridiculous!
So if you are currently pregnant, about to 'pop', or have recently had a new baby, here is my suggestion for a new years resolution...
Challenge your mindset: STOP comparing and START congratulating!
One of the main features of my birth preparation course, is about how important your mindset is for birth. I realised it was time to start practising what I preach if I really want to lose weight this year - its not about losing weight - its about changing the way I think about it. Stop comparing my weight or weight loss to others, and to instead start congratulating myself for what I do achieve.
Congratulating myself for cleaning just one part of the house not the whole thing! For losing 1lb not 10lb. To start recognising all the small wins in a day, not the one thing that I didn't get done.
Not only that, it is also about defeating the voice in my head that doesn't serve me. The voice that convinces me to skip the workout and eat the leftover cheese. This is where I have realised the tools I use in the course to challenge birth anxiety, I can use to challenge my thinking. Like with birth, to recognise I am stronger and more determined than that voice, and that if I want something, I am more than capable of achieving it.
If you are currently pregnant and have found yourself in a comparison rabbit hole, STOP! Your bump and your baby are the perfect size for you.
When it comes to birth, there is no 'right' way to do it and every woman experiences it differently. A women who has given birth more than once, will have experienced it differently with each baby.
Striving for a 'perfect' birth starts with competition. This is not the way to go into birth - it leaves the door open for winning and therefore losing at birth. For comparing how you did it to perhaps how you 'should have' done it. This isn't healthy or fair and needs to stop.
What is most important about birth, is that your STOP COMPARING your birth experience, and instead START CONGRATULATING yourself. Everyone who comes to visit will say 'Congratulations' but do we really hear it. It is on the cards, but it feels like those cards are for the baby, not for what you and your body have achieved.
So stop, hear it, and breathe it in. Congratulate yourself, your body, and your baby for all you have achieved. For all the decisions you made that were right for you, the preparation you did, the birth experience you had. Be proud of that.
It is an achievement in its own right, not a subject for comparison.
When you do that, you can finally embrace how wonderful, powerful and strong you really are.
New Year = New Mindset!
I challenge you to give it a try!
And have a Happy New Year!
*If you are pregnant and would like to feel better, more prepared or informed for your upcoming birth, then please get in touch. My course combines high quality antenatal education, with lots of mindset work, to ensure you feel confident, powerful and strong for your birth experience. Have a read of my Google Reviews and you will see these words jump out from others who have completed the course with me!