Friday, October 15, 2010

some thoughts on comparison

There have been some great, challenging, encouraging, and inspiring blog-posts out there lately.  A lot of them that have spoken to me have been about the comparison trap - either obviously on that topic or undertones of that theme.
Comparison is something I struggle with.  I think some of it stems from my "oldest child" personality, some from being in a self-contained gifted program much of my schooling, and some from being female/human.  (Do men struggle with this as much?  I do not know.)  I am the want-to-be-the-best-at-it-or-else-what-is-the-use-of-trying type.  By the grace of God, I am attempting to have that changed.  Notice I did not type what originally came to my mind (I am trying to change that - because I cannot change it on my own - that in itself becomes a trap for me of the same sort).
Some bloggers have written that their comparison struggle comes a lot in the blogosphere.  That isn't a huge area of struggle for me at this time (though it could be next for me) because I write on here primarily to just jot down my random thoughts and secondarily to document the journey on which my family is.
My comparison struggles tend to be I wish I could ______ like _______.  Cook, bake, sew, write, paint, take pictures, speak, run, organize, make friends as easily, be as outgoing as, have as nice of a house as, have as much money as, ... and the list could continue.  And frustration sets in as I either attempt to do things but don't do them perfectly (or even as good as the person I am comparing myself to) or don't have the means at this time to have/purchase/accomplish my wish list.
At MOPS last week we discussed comparison in mothering - how we all mother differently and that's OKAY.  Can I tell you how freeing it was to listen to hear other people mother and think to myself, "Well, that's good for them, but that would never work with my personality/my child" instead of thinking, "I wish I could _________ like _________."  And on the converse side be able to have the freedom and not think myself better than someone else? (Because I struggle with that, too!)
What a journey!  I am noticing myself more when I am apt to compare, and not that I always successful at stopping myself, but I think being aware of what I am doing is one of the first steps to overcoming this lifelong battle.
I have a feeling I will be writing on this topic again...


  1. i'm also a need to be perfect or else not do it person and i definitely struggle w/ the mommy comparison trap. maybe a little in blogging by i know how ot check those urges. i know my failings as a mom so well, tho, and so it's easy to think that so and so really does it better. but w/ 3 kids it's also come to me that i really have done this 3 times (and about to do it again) and that my way is my way b/cs it works for me and my family! i still dont always speak up for myself when i recieve criticism but i'm a lot better at not criticizing others which i used to be bad about!

  2. I think it is a birth order thing - first borns tend to be perfectionists (including myself) For me it gets better the older I get - at times -... BTW, I like your blog description, "figuring out mommyhood without a map." Does anyone have a map? If they do, I bet it would sell on ebay for millions! ;)


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with me.