It’s like my ol’ pal Teddy once said “Comparison is the thief of joy”
Ok, it was Theodore Roosevelt, and we weren’t exactly pals, but I like to think had we met we would have been fast friends.
I have no doubt you have seen that quote all over your Pinterest feed and being shared on Facebook by people that need to dig just a little deeper into the inspirational quotes they like to spam us with on the reg. We get it Sally- you want us to think you’re deep- let’s just live out 30% of what you post and call it good, huh?
At first read I think we all have a similar picture in mind: don’t compare our blessings with others’. You have a perfectly beautiful home, don’t compare it to a celebrity’s mansion- it will only breed negativity. You are so excited about the “new to you” car you just bought, until your friend rolls up in a shiny brand new luxury ride stealing your thunder. You catch my drift?
But what about struggles?
As a mom I struggle- daily. Don’t get me wrong, I feel incredibly blessed to be exactly where I am. I have two healthy girls and I get to stay home with them every day. All. Day. Every. Day. I get to be a witness to all of their milestones and I don’t take that for granted even for a second, but I also get to witness all of their fits. I’m alone with two children 2 and under for the vast majority of my waking hours. How many times a day do you think they ask how my day is going? Or what I want for lunch? That’s ok, and it’s the season I’m in, but sometimes I can’t help but want to vent about it.
Here’s the problem: It’s easy to look at other moms with kids at different ages and envy that situation and feel like what I’m dealing with is SO much harder. “Look at that mom- her kids are 8 and 10. That must be so easy! She’s sleeping through the night, they can feed themselves and wipe their own butts! What a breeze it will be when we finally get there! She is so lucky!”
What if we saw her challenges instead? “Her kids are 8 and 10- they must be involved in lots of activities, I bet she feels like a chauffeur more than anything. It’s probably so hard to spend dinnertime together as a family. I can’t even imagine the push back she gets on bedtime or outfit choices. It must be difficult to keep homework assignments straight and worry about school schedules. I bet they don’t really want to snuggle much anymore, and are starting to think she isn’t that cool. She probably would give anything to go back to the ages of my girls just for a day.” Doesn’t that make a difference? Doesn’t your heart shift and your attitude change?
When you’re tempted to think someone else has it better or easier than you, take a minute. Really think about all the details: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Is their situation really that much better, or just different?
We have 2 options mamas: 1.) Lift each other up 2.) Tear each other down
I choose option #1- there’s enough of #2 going on don’t you think?