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How to Stop Comparison from Stealing Your Joy

Scottsdale Moms Blog, Comparison Steals Joy, Inspiration, Encouragement

Do you ever find yourself looking around and wondering how everyone is so happy, so put together, and making this mom thing look so easy? Do you find yourself wondering what their tricks are, reading Facebook posts of everyone’s happy moments and feel like you’re sinking a little bit? It never fails for me every January after the first of the year, I find myself slipping into bad habits of comparing my abilities to others, and also feeling a little overwhelmed with everything that needs to happen today, tomorrow, this week, this YEAR. How am I going to do this? How can I get to the laundry LET ALONE MY NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS?

How is everyone else doing this??

I saw a tweet a couple years ago that nailed it on the head for me. YES, a TWEET on twitter. I can’t even remember who originally quoted it, but I’ve remembered it ever since. It was a comment that simply said, “Comparison steals joy.”. A comment that I completely agree with and at first read, I thought that only applied to the artistic world. Meaning, I shouldn’t be comparing my photography to other photographers work- which is still true. But the more I thought on it, the more I realized that this actually definitely applies to my entire life.

Especially my ‘mom life’.

Isn’t it so easy to compare yourself to other mom’s? To other’s lives? To other’s kids? Houses? Cars? Money? Jobs? The list goes on. I have been in and out of seasons in my life where I’ve struggled with finding joy and delight in all the things I have to do. I have days that I still find myself looking around and wondering how everyone else is doing this. Comparing myself to other moms. Comparing myself to others’ lives. And it’s absolutely stealing my joy. What a true statement, don’t you agree? It’s a dangerous place to slip into. Comparing can turn to envy. Envy to jealousy. And jealousy can destroy everything around it.

All comparing myself to others was doing, was taking my focus off of every reason I have in MY life to BE joyful. I have so many reasons. And so do you.

I am not super mom. I am finished comparing myself to others moms who I know are in the same boat that I am. We are all GREAT MOMS who just want the best for our kids. And what I desperately want for myself and mom’s everywhere is this:

For us to know and realize that it is totally OK that we can’t do it all.

It has to be ok that laundry sits on the floor ALL THE TIME. It has to be ok that I can’t get my makeup on every single day. It’s ok if dinner isn’t perfect. What is truly important here? Does it drive me crazy that my house isn’t spotless all the time? Yes. It drives me nuts. But I keep trying to remind myself to find the joy amidst the exhaustion of the season that I am in. And I am trying to prioritize my daily list and remember what ACTUALLY is important and forget the rest. Of course I want to keep the house up, raise amazing children AND work my business full time. But I’ve come to realize that those three things are each a full time job within themselves. THREE full time jobs. There is no possible way I’m going to get it all done all the time. And it kills the perfectionist side in me.

STILL, I’d rather have it kill the perfectionist side in me than have comparison steal my joy.

And at the root of it all, that is exactly what is happening. Why am I letting comparison steal MY joy? I have so much to be joyful over this season in my life. And I am trying to take a stand and not let something as lame as comparison to others steal that away from me. How simple it is to forget though. I fall victim to this all the time. And it really can start to destroy you if you don’t stop it.

You and I are not alone, friend.

Comparison does nothing to help, but simply equips us with a sense of inadequacy. And isn’t this the last thing that our husbands and kids need? Every mom and woman feels like this. It’s taking a hold of these thoughts and the anxiety that will stomp these feelings in their tracks.

When you find yourself feeling worthless and full of comparison, take a minute to remember that HER LIFE ISN’T PERFECT EITHER. And while it might look amazing on the outside, she is fighting her own battles today too.

Today I’m remembering, that although my to do list is tremendously long, it will not all get done and it’s not going to look remotely close to perfect. But my kids and husband will know that I love them.

Even if we are only eating grilled cheese tonight.

*Photo taken by Jessica Williams with Session Nine Photographers.

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2 Responses to How to Stop Comparison from Stealing Your Joy

  1. Jennifer J. January 16, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    Thanks for this post! In today’s social network driven world, it is so easy to fall in to the comparison trap. My friend, who was struggling with a colicky newborn, was wondering why everyone else seemed to have such easy babies, I told her that in the midst of trying to calm down their fussy child, nobody feels compelled to pull out their phones and snap a picture of it and post it on FB. Haha. There is so much that we don’t get to see and we’ll never know what another person is struggling with. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Charlie Hendricks February 19, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

    I have two toddlers and I can already see the comparison problem beginning. It started with sleeping patterns but now it’s turning into a competition between the two. Two very competitive little boys. I want them to be good brothers nice, sweet, gentle like they used to be.

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