Comparison is a very sneaky trap. It shows up in unexpected ways and can go unnoticed for some time. Sometimes we accidentally judge the mom who seems to have it all figured out, she finds time to brush her hair and wears real jeans and suddenly here we are feeling like less than. We never meant to judge, we never meant to compare, we never meant to let ourselves feel like trash, but here we are.
What you need to know is, you don’t know her full story, you can’t possibly know her full story. Parts of her life may be falling apart and she’d trade her time to herself in the morning to get ready for a husband who gave her the time of day if she could. You just don’t know.
Comparison is a kind of judgment that just sneaks in. But there’s one great way to recognize it and overcome it.
I realized the other day that I actually have a lot of friends right now. Okay, not a ton, but it’s a decent respectable amount of friends. For a long time I had isolated myself. Any other mamas relate? I was the first in my group of friends to become a mom, I felt extremely behind the other moms I met, I felt like my kids were little tornados and that we were all a burden on anyone else’s time – so we kept to ourselves. Of course things are different now. I actually have a good handful of friends.
What I’ve found though, is there’s a lot of room for comparison in these relationships. It’s a sneaky kind of comparison too, to accidentally judge another mom, and I’m not talking with negativity either. I’m talking about the kind of comparison that’s you looking at another woman and putting yourself down because you think she has it all together. She makes it look so easy.
But the truth is, you don’t know her story. We can only judge based on what we see and we don’t see everything. Our scope of knowledge about another person is so tiny. You might see that mom who always looks well put together, she brings the healthy homemade snacks to soccer practice, her car is always clean and you question how she does it and make yourself feel bad for not “keeping up.” But what you don’t know is all her secrets. Maybe her marriage is falling apart and she’s clinging to these small simple acts of a perfect parent so her kids feel secure while she’s trying not to have an emotional breakdown every minute.
It seems many blessings have a story of burden behind them. Would you really trade your burdens for hers? Would you really trade your blessings for hers? I’m guessing not, not if you really looked at all your blessings.
I have this friend who can’t work in a noisy environment – which is difficult as a work from home mom with 4 little kiddos. To me, that sounded weird. I CAN work in chaos. I work fine being distracted every few minutes – in fact my podcasts are often interrupted by my kids. I find it difficult to focus in a room that’s too quiet. For a long time I didn’t understand why we had this difference.
I realized very recently that I “thrive in chaos” because it’s all I’ve ever known. We never had silence in our house. The TV was always on, dogs always barking, people always yelling across the house to each other. I always did my homework as a kid in a noisy house and now I’m always writing blog posts, creating courses and recording episodes in a noisy house.
So would you trade the ability to work in chaos for a chaotic childhood? There’s always a trade off for that shiny thing you think you’d be better off with. You’re you for a reason.
The key to overcoming the trap of comparison is gratitude. When we compare, we are searching for flaws in others and ourselves, competing with one another. When we practice intentional gratitude and look for strengths in one another that’s when we start to build a community.
Encourage one another. Build each other up. (1 Thess 5:13)
We’ve always been told we needed a village to raise our kids, this is how we get one. We choose to love others and reach out to them, instead of isolating and tearing ourselves down. We lift each other up and in return are lifted up. This makes us better moms, more available for our children in the ways they need us.
You were never meant to do this alone.
The Happy Mom Method course is opening for enrollment this week! (Sept 30-Oct 11)
- You wanna know all the shifts needed to get me from a hot mess to the Happy Mom?
- You want to follow this path and build your dream life?
- You want to know the anxiety practices I use, you want to know what journal prompts will help you, you want to know the step by step details of this journey?
This is it, doors open Sept 30 and will close October 11. Be here in the first round and get into the Facebook group, get all your questions answered in a private group of like minded women all wanting the same things from life – happiness – and let’s work together to build this thing that’s going to change the lives of thousands of women to come after us.