Mamas on Bedrest: Comparison is the Cruelest form of Self Sabotage

January 2nd, 2012

Over the past couple of days, various people that I follow on twitter and facebook and whose blogs I read were reporting their blog stats and business successes. They all seemed to have had “banner” 2011’s. I didn’t have a bad year, but it was nothing to brag about (so I thought). I was feeling down and beginning to slump into that negative speak, i.e. “I’m not doing anything special, so why bother.”

For me, 2011 was a year of ups and downs. I blogged a lot and for my efforts my blog was named one of The top 50 Pregnancy Blogs (#38) by Color me surprised! How many days did I write a blog only to wonder, “Is anyone even reading this thing?” Someone was!

I attended BlogHer (sponsored by Hologic, Inc) and had the opportunity to meet many of the women bloggers I so admired. I also found myself a sought after blogger for the issues of mamas, pregnancy and maternity/paid leave advocacy.

I had the opportunity to talk with and interview a number of phenomenal people all working on behalf of mamas and babies. Kim Updegrove is the executive director of Mother’s Milk Bank Austin and she shared with us the lifesaving qualities of donor breastmilk. Beth Jackson Gagne is a mama who developed the BabyStayAsleep infant sleep system out of her own frustration dealing with her son’s reflux. Founder and Executive Director Elan McAllister shared with us her non-profit passion, Choices in Childbirth, that advocates for women having the ability to birth the way that they choose. Psychologist Dr. Diane Sanford shared with mamas the importance of self care. Kim Hollins, a college senior, shared with us her passion for early childhood education and the development of African American children. And we capped off the year with an interview with the extraordianary midwife and childbirth educator, Jennie Joseph.

But for me, my greatest moments were speaking with mamas themselves! Brenda Torigiani shared her personal story on developing life threatening Peripartum Cardiomyopathy and gave us all a wonderful education on the condition. Charisse Mora-Medina, a mama to a preemie and now someone I’m proud to call friend, shared her rollercoaster experience of having a very premature infant and the subsequent care of a fragile child and now rambunctious toddler. And then there are the tens of hundreds of mamas with whom I’ve had the great pleasure and honor to share and speak into their lives during their pregnancies. It is a heady experience to speak with a mama in Australia or Ireland or to receive an e-mail from a mama in the UK and the many mamas here in the US. (Thank God for Social Media!!)

It’s so easy to compare myself to people who’s blogs are pulling in thousands of people per day or month or year and to feel inadequate. It’s easy to feel meager in the face of companies who are boasting thousands of dollars in sales. I created Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond to serve mamas and to provide support for a high risk pregnant mama’s life. Obstetricians and Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialists work to ensure that mamas deliver healthy babies and stay healthy in the process. They don’t address how she’ll maintain her job, how she’ll pay her bills, who will clean her house or buy her groceries or how she will care for children she already has. They don’t readily address her fears or anxieties. Obstetricians and Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialists take care of patients. That’s a good thing. I like to think that I take care of “Mamas”- and all that being a mama encompasses. I’ll continue to tweek Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond to better serve mamas who need my services. But mostly I will continue to work with and for mamas because I like doing it.

So if you find yourself comparing your pregnancy to your friend’s (who isn’t on bed rest) and feeling inadequate. Stop! Don’t compare your cervical length to that of another mama’s on a forum. Don’t beat yourself up because medications stopped one mamas contractions and you delivered early. Comparison is the cruelest form of self sabotage. It makes you feel badly and hides you from your greatness. So stop it, Mama! (And that’s a word as much to me as to you!!)

One response to “Mamas on Bedrest: Comparison is the Cruelest form of Self Sabotage”

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