8 ways to beat mum envy

Comparing yourself to other mothers and feeing upset because you fall short? We tell you how to be more positive.

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“Why can’t I be like her?” If you find yourself often thinking this way, you may be feeling mum envy. It’s all too easy to start questioning yourself, especially when you see other mothers who seem to be leading perfect lives.

Dr Lim Boon Leng, a psychiatrist at  Dr B L Lim Centre for Psychological Wellness, notes that all mothers all want to be perfect, so as to provide the best environment for their children to grow up in. Adding that the expectations they set are usually impossible, he points out that these mothers may end up feeling envious because they observe other mums doing well in an area they aren’t.

Psychologist Daniel Koh from Insights Mind Centre adds that parents “promote their best rather than telling what is really happening, so others feel that they are good at what they are doing”.  This is how unrealistic expectations are set.

Mum envy has negative impacts on the family ― Koh notes that depression, stress, anxiety and anger can eventually result from negative thoughts. Dr Lim highlights that parents will be unable to enjoy their relationship with their little ones, which will affect their ability to bond.

Koh notes that depression, stress, anxiety and anger can eventually result from negative thoughts.

Here are ways to overcome mum envy:

1. Remind yourself that you are doing your best

Although you may feel that you are lacking at some aspects of parenthood, it is important to know that it’s okay because you are trying your best. Koh notes that mums should “remember that every mother is doing their best and learning from their daily experiences”. Dr Lim tells us that mothers must realise that it’s impossible to be perfect.

2. Know that every child is different

Just because you see another mum parenting in a different way from you doesn’t mean that it’s the most effective way for your child. Noting that every child is different, so one set of rules may not work for all, Koh adds that you, as the parent, are the one who knows best what works for your child. So, you should so much about how other mums deal with their kids as you know your own child best.