Mothers juggle a lot of things — keeping children dressed, fed and healthy and raising them to be respectable members of society while somehow also caring for their own physical and emotional needs. But juggling motherhood would be a whole lot simpler and more enjoyable if mothers would stop doing one thing: comparing.
We went to a local expert on the topic for tips — Julie de Azevedo Hanks, Ph.D, LCSW. Dr. Hanks is a licensed therapist, owner and director at Wasatch Family Therapy with more than 20 years experience counseling Latter-day Saint women and families. She is also the author of “The Burnout Cure” and emotional health contributor for KSL’s Studio 5.
“According to the research of Dr. Riane Eisler’s, the US tends to be organized around a system of hierarchical ranking and domination,” Dr. Hanks said. “In dominator societies, self-worth and value are based on where we fall in the hierarchy. That is, in comparison to others. Another hallmark of dominator societies is the devaluation of characteristics and behaviors associated with femininity. So, from a systemic point of view, we are all taught early on that women’s contributions aren’t as valuable as men’s contributions. The fundamental way we organize sets women up to be endlessly trying to prove their worth through comparison and ranking higher than other women. At the other end of the continuum is a partnership society, based on linking and connecting instead of hierarchical ranking.