Today’s post follows naturally after yesterday’s encouraging words about letting go of perfectionism. One of my biggest snares as a parent is when I compare myself to other moms. This leads to extreme frustration, disappointment and unrealistic expectations.
I will be the first to admit that I compare myself to others way too often. When I visit a friend’s house and it is gorgeously clean and tastefully decorated, I feel like a failure as a mother with my dirty floors and empty photo frames. After such a visit I end up going home and stressing myself out cleaning. All of a sudden I am an unsatisfied, unhappy mama.
What we often don’t realize is that those “perfect” friends that we compare ourselves to, really don’t have it all together either. Everyone struggles with something – it might not be the same struggles but they are just as overwhelming and exhausting.
A few rules to keep in mind:
Do not compare your messy home to her clean one – you don’t know how stressed out cleaning makes her.
Do not compare her social life to your lack of one – you don’t know how lonely she feels at night.
Do not compare your kids to her kids – this can be especially damaging to your children! You will be essentially passing on the “you don’t measure up” sickness to them.
Do not compare your marriage to her marriage – every relationship has horribly awful moments, even if you do not see hers.
Do not compare her perfect appearance to your barely put together one – you don’t know her private insecurities about her body.
Not only does comparing yourself to someone else leave you extremely unhappy, it is misleading and false. We all have struggles, we all have nights where we cry and scream. So instead of comparing, find ways to reach out. If you struggle with something, someone else probably does too – be honest about it and help them out!
Have you ever fallen prey to the beast of false comparisons?
Photo credit: fizkes