Tuesday, January 7

Comparison is the Thief of Joy: So STOP IT, Moms

Listen ladies.

I don't really want this to end up being some long post but we'll see how it goes.

I just want to say (at the top of my lungs), STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS. Sigh.

If only it were as easy as flipping off a switch in yourself. But unfortunately it isn't. I'm sure it takes practice. I am not perfect at this. And maybe it's just in my personality or DNA not to care what others think about me, but I've been getting good at it. Hence all my controversial posts that my good friend Anonymous likes to comment on and scold me for in front of the universe (well, the universe of my readers, which is quite small).

But really, you want to know something that bothers me? (If you don't, exit out of this tab now because here it comes...) Moms that compare themselves. Women in general that compare themselves. And people wonder why I wished for mostly sons...girl drama is insane! And utterly pointless. It seems like the whole world of girls is about competition. And it is, in a word, ANNOYING. I feel like the older lady in She's The Man who finds the girls fighting in the bathroom and says, "LADIES! STOP! Please!" If you don't know what I'm talking about, watch the last 40 seconds of this clip.
But back to what I was saying--why oh why do so many moms waste time comparing themselves to other moms? I don't get it. Recently I've read so many blog posts about moms that feel embarrassed about their ragamuffin children when they see other perfectly groomed children out in public. They are annoyed or even angry at the moms that attempt the fun-looking Pinterest mommy projects. They think those moms always have perfect homes with perfect children. I'll tell you why this bothers me--because I want to be one of those moms. I LIKE cleaning and organization. I LIKE doing arts and crafts and making cute things for my husband and children. I WANT to be the best mom I can be and what's so wrong with that? My house isn't clean right now. If downloading photos on my computer didn't take so long, I'd show you the dishes in my sink, the clutter on our kitchen table and living room floor, the clothes on our bed, and the disaster area that is currently Tenley's room. But who cares about my efforts? What about your own! If you are trying in your own personal way to be the best mom you can be then you are succeeding! I hope I am not the first one to shout those words at you.

Here's what I want. To stop feeling guilt when I read about these "real" moms who have imperfect and chaotic lives. Maybe my life is that way, too. Maybe everyone's is. Maybe I don't brag about every time my daughter has a fit or a bad day. Maybe I focus on the good because to me, that's what matters. If I posted or blogged about all the crappy days I've had, or the times Tenley has freaked out, or the number of mistakes and messes I've made, I'd be angry and depressed all the time. As it is, I already get stressed when I think about the many things I need to do.

I need to pick up. 
I need to wash those dishes. 
But first I need to put away the dry ones. 
I need to make dinner (like RIGHT now)
I need to finish putting Dalin's shirts away. 
I need to work on my English classes. 
I need to finish a painting for a friend. 
I need to read my scriptures.
I need to stop going on Facebook and Pinterest and Yahoo and Gmail and whatever else I do to kill time. 
I need to feed Tenley. 
I need to shower. 
I need to figure out when Tenley's six month appointment is and whether I've scheduled it already or not. 
I need to be positive when my husband gets home and ask him about his day and let him know how much I love and missed him because I am his wife and I want to support him and uplift him. 


I don't think I need to go on.

Do you see what I'm saying though? Is it okay that some women (me included) feel the need/desire/whatever to brag about their accomplishments as a mom? Yes. Does it affect you? No. Does it matter that I tried (and failed miserably) to make homemade rice cereal for Tenley today? No. Does it matter that Tenley is asleep in our bed right now in nothing but a diaper? No. Does it matter that I don't know what I'm doing as a mother? No. It doesn't. I know I am trying my best. I don't care if you give your child fast food every single day. I wouldn't advise it, but it's not my choice. I don't care if you never do your child's hair. I don't have a sister. I never had anyone to practice doing hair on. So when Tenley gets hair long enough to style, I plan on trying it out. Maybe I will be horrible at it (I can't even french braid my own hair) or maybe she will look darling. But it doesn't help when there are other moms or women out there looking at my child and thinking to themselves, "Wow, what a showoff" or "I'm such a bad mom for not doing my own kid's hair." I'll say it again, it DOESN'T help. Do you really TRULY believe that that is a mom's intention? If it is, that is their own issue. But the beauty of it is it's none of your business.

Please. Stop comparing your mothering skills. Everyone is a learning to be a mom. Even on your fifth, sixth, or tenth child, you are still learning. No one is out to get you. Be happy for someone else. Compliment their efforts. Maybe they need the approval or encouragement. If you are one of the "comparerers" then ask yourself who is better off? You, who chooses to feel guilty when you see another woman's good deed or accomplishment? Or her, who is out there actually doing it? If I were guessing, I'd say her.

Be kind. Have compassion. Be understanding. Be positive about your own accomplishments. Most importantly, stop comparing. You'll be happier, I promise.

Now pardon me while I brag about making a delicious dinner at 9:54pm. Because that's what I'm about to do. And after, maybe I'll even put Tenley in pajamas (but probably not).

5 comments:

  1. I loved finding your blog and reading your posts! I agree with everything you said. Just a thought, if you are getting annoyed with all of the comparing going on, it might mean that you are spending too much time on social media. Just a tip, get off facebook, Pinterest, blogs, etc. and you probably won't find as manypessimistic people who bother you

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    1. Thanks for your comment. You are so right. I really do need to spend less time on the computer. It's definitely not a positive thing when it becomes more of a burden than a help. And thank you for reading my blog! It makes it worthwhile when I know people enjoy it.

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  2. I generally like your blog but I sometimes have a hard time relating to you. I don't mean that meanly, I just personally think there is nothing wrong with allowing someone a day in your shoes. It's okay to admit when you mess up or didn't accomplish your goals. You write well and I love your thoughts and ideas but I don't always feel like you allow us an opportunity to know you because I feel that you are hiding the not so great things in your life. If you chose not to talk about those things that is your choice of course but I would like to see a more real side of who you are. Positivity is wonderful but it feels overwhelming if that's all you ever talk about.

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    1. I'm so glad you told me this! I will definitely try to be more relatable. Like I said, I do generally try to focus on the positive, but I'll try to expand on what I share in the future so you can see my struggles as well as my joys. Thank you for your advice!

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  3. I love this post!

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I absolutely love to hear from you & will reply if I can!