The Trouble With Comparisons

Sometimes I get mad, and I mean really mad, at my husband because I don't think he thinks I am a good enough wife or mom. But here's the thing (and this is like the biggest truth I could ever spew)...he has never, ever, EVER, not even once, given me any reason to think that he felt that way about me. In fact, he will randomly on a Wednesday decide to text me in the middle of the day, while we are both at work, to tell me that I'm a great mom and the 3 of them are lucky to have me. So why in the name of all that is good in this world, would I get mad at him for making me feel that I wasn't good enough?

The answer is simple.

Me. I am the reason I get mad at him for me not feeling like I am good enough. I let my own insecurities and self doubt get SO loud that I not only believe that they are the truth, I also convince myself that everyone else must think the same. My own lies and clouded judgments brought on by paying more attention to what I DON'T do than to what I actually do take over and it is all downhill from there.

But I don't think I'm alone there. I think to some extent, we all go down the rabbit hole of comparisons even more than we actually realize or care to admit. Now, maybe not everyone that goes down that rabbit hole takes it to the level of crazy that I did and lashes out at their husband for thinking they are so much better than them (seriously...that was a new one), but I am fairly certain we have all devalued our own realities once or twice while comparing ourselves to others.

I can vividly remember being at target one Friday back in the day when I didn't work on Fridays. (Yes, I know, I know. I'm at Target pretty much every day, which is a whole separate issue that I should probably address at some point, but that is not the point here). Anyway, I was at Target in the middle of the afternoon on a Friday with my kids and we were sitting in the cafeteria eating personal pan pizzas from Pizza Hut because at that point in their lives, if you would have given them the opportunity to choose anywhere in the world to eat, they would have chosen the Pizza Hut in Target 11 times out of 10. I remember staring at them and thinking that they were so cute that I could seriously eat their faces as they did whatever they were doing to make each other laugh. I looked around and there was another mom sitting there feeding her newborn while her toddler ate popcorn, and there was another mom walking towards the exit with a cart full of groceries and a kid happily carrying a Nerf gun and I remember feeling incredibly jealous of them for getting to be at Target with their kids in the middle of the day on a Friday afternoon.

Um. Anyone else find the extreme ridiculousness in that?

Honestly. There are about 50 million different flaws in my thought process there. Who cares if they are with their kids all day and I'm not? Maybe they'd rather be working. Maybe they work nights and weekends and would kill for my schedule where I could go to work 4 days a week from 7:30 to 3:30 and in turn was able be home for after school activities and also on Fridays and the weekends. Maybe they just got laid off from their job and the dollar signs attached to that cart full of groceries and that Nerf gun made that momma want to puke. Maybe they have been looking for a job for a year and still couldn't find anything. Maybe they were independently wealthy. Maybe they got to stay home every day because their husband was working around the clock so that they could stay home all day.

There are a million different ways to look at that situation but the take away is the same every time....comparisons will strip you of the ability to enjoy anything.

 

I WAS AT TARGET WITH MY KIDS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY ON A FRIDAY, AND I WAS JEALOUS OF THE OTHER PEOPLE WHO WERE AT TARGET WITH THEIR KIDS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY ON A FRIDAY.

I was letting my own perception of someone else's reality get so loud that I was jealous of them for literally doing the exact same thing that I was doing. Comparisons are like the devil. We all do it, but I think it's worth mentioning that we should probably be proceeding down that road cautiously, making sure to step back and call ourselves out when we start comparing so loudly that we forget about our own bits of awesome. Seeing what someone else has and wanting more is fine, but you better make that a goal and not let it be the reason you don't appreciate where you are, where you've been and what you have.

A comparison that fuels you is one thing. A comparison that robs you of your own happiness is another. Celebrate the accomplishments of the people around you, but don't look at what they accomplished as something that you didn't.

Who cares if the house down the street is bigger, or if the car in front of you in the school drop off line was $30K more than the car you are driving. If the very best thing you did today was remember to brush your teeth and you are sitting on your couch staring at a picture that your friend just posted of herself backpacking through Europe with her husband and picture perfect children, that does NOT make her better than you...and if she is any sort of friend at all, she doesn't think that makes her better than you anyway. PTO Mom is no better than "I don't know the school mascot," Mom. "What's the score," Mom is not less interested than "It's 4 to 2, bottom of the 3rd, 2 outs, and Johnny has a .364 batting average as of his last at bat," Mom.

We've all got our thing, and our thing changes regularly. It's time to stop comparing yourself to others to the point of total and complete self doubt and time to start realizing that it is okay to be completely proud of where you are at while you are working towards your own version of "more."

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