Comparison Steals Joy

find joy in journeyWe all want to be that mom. You know, the one who seems to have it ALL together. Her children look like they just stepped out of a Baby Gap ad with matching outfits and color-coordinated backpacks and lunch boxes. She shows up at every event with her homemade cookies beautifully decorated with the monogram of each child. She serves on nearly every committee imaginable yet still finds time to always look like she just walked off the cover of Vanity Fair. She spends her mornings at the gym and her afternoons baking, sewing, decorating and preparing a months worth of ‘healthy’ meals while making the rest of us moms feel inferior.  In this modern day world of Pinterest and social media it’s impossible to not see other mothers and wonder how they seem so perfectly put together, so happy and how they make it look SO easy.

As women, we are constantly comparing ourselves to other women. We compare our appearance, our homes, our jobs, our talents, our education and possessions. The comparison game is something that all moms know way too well.  The minute you become a mother it seems to escalate to a whole new level. “Does your baby do this yet?” “Is your baby sleeping through the night yet?” “He’s not walking yet?” It seems that even when we try to sidestep those dreaded questions, they are nearly impossible to avoid. Fortunately research shows that as long as your little one is reaching milestones within the normal range, there is absolutely nothing to be concerned about. And how quickly he reaches them has no reflection on his later skills in life. So if your 14-month-old is still crawling around and your 8-month-old niece is ‘running’ through the house, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be chasing your child around soon enough.  Take the time to thoroughly enjoy and appreciate each stage of your child’s development, he or she will never be this little again. And tomorrow he may wake up and conquer a new skill and you may wish you could turn back time!

Being a mom is hard enough. But being a mom in the company of other moms can be brutal. We all want to fit in and be accepted. We want everyone to love our children and love us. Through this all, I’ve learned that it is all about priorities. It has to be ok that laundry sits in the dryer for a day (or two) before it’s folded. And it is ok that there are days I wear my yoga pants all day and don’t do anything to my hair. It’s ok if dinner isn’t perfect, at least we are nourished, healthy and blessed with food on the table. It’s okay if my house isn’t pristine, I want my daughter to feel comfortable in her home and to know that she can explore and play. It all comes down to deciding what’s truly important for us (my family) to find happiness. We find happiness in the quality time that we spend together and in knowing that our home is filled with love. When you find yourself feeling inadequate take a moment to remember that ‘HER’ life isn’t perfect either, we all have our own battles and what’s important is the ability to find gratitude in what we have. It’s hard not to fall into the trap of comparing yourself, but don’t fall! Don’t let comparison steal your joy.

comparison{Today I’m remembering, that while I may not be the perfect mother or the perfect wife, I’m doing my best. And my daughter and husband will always know that I love them and to me that is most important.}

3 Responses to Comparison Steals Joy

  1. Krista October 22, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    Needed this today! So very true. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  2. Jen October 22, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    Loved this!!

  3. Joan M October 22, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

    Well put…and I have to tell you—as a mom from the 70’s…this feeling has not changed. Do the best you can at the time and then let it go. Not easy to do though.

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