Talk Back: Measuring up


One of my biggest weaknesses as a woman is the amount of comparing I do.  -Often without even knowing that I am doing it.  I think it is a very human thing to track where we are in relation to others.  Is there anyone out there that does not understand what the phrase "Keeping up with the Joneses" is all about?  


I find myself comparing elements of my life to others' lives all the time.  I compare my kids behavior, sleeping patterns, eating habits and general growth and development.  I compare my body, my clothes, my skills, my writing style, my husband, my home, and even my craftiness.  It is just something that happens without me even knowing.  It usually goes something like this...  I see someone or something... I notice something about them or it ... I look at my life and find the nearest equivalent and I compare what I have in this area to whatever I am looking at.  If it stopped here, it would not be so bad.  But it doesn't stop there.  Very quickly, the comparison turns into me criticizing myself for not measuring up to what I see around me.  The truth is, probably most of what we are seeing is the best version of itself.  You know, the mom who has the beautiful hair and perfect makeup and kids dressed in clean and matching clothes is probably just as tired inside as me.  She quite possibly may also be questioning whether she is cut out for this whole motherhood thing in her own head, just like me.  You know, like Vince Vaughn's character shares in the movie "Old School" - his wife is always tell him to  "Smile at the baby, smile at the baby..."  so that they appear to be the happy parents with the perfect family.

We recently got to sit with a group of women who were sharing very vulnerably in this area.  It was a pretty amazing thing to see the sense of acceptance settle over the room as we all let got of all facades and just said what we were feeling the most weary about.  You could see it on every face ...

I am not alone.
I am not the only one asking these kinds of questions.
She feels that too?

I am learning to be more aware of my thoughts.  To take them captive.  And, as these little seeds of comparison sprout, I try to pluck them out before they can grow into resentment, self-pity, or ingratitude.

Where do you find yourself comparing?  What pieces of yourself do you most often compare to others and get discouraged by?

4 comments:

  1. Yes, I compare all the time..I don't mean to but I do! Or it's more Measuring up to others sometimes bases on the achievements of my kids! But sometimes I just Yell Out Who cares!
    -sandy toe

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  2. Wow! I feel like I could have written this post. I am constantly trying to take my thoughts captive and think on the higher thoughts. God created me the way I am and thinking poorly of myself is like criticizing him. Thanks for the reminder!

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  3. I compare about faith stuff. I think other women are such GREAT faith warriors, so much more prayerful than I am. They focus more on God than I do. They read more of the Bible than I do.....

    annoying.

    If only we could see ourselves and the way humanity works through God's eyes. We'd probably be much more content and comfortable in our own skin.

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  4. Hmmm. Where to begin! I live in Dallas, where around every corner is lurking "the perfect mom". It is SO hard to live here. I moved here from So.Cal 8 weeks before my first born arrived and let me tell ya, I haven't stopped comparing myself since then, almost 4 years ago! In John and Stasi Eldrege's book " Captivating", they talk about this very topic....how women are always telling themselves, they are too much of one thing and not enough of another....we are never happy with ourselves! For me, it is often feeling like I do not like being a stay at home mom. There are days i'd rather be anywhere else than home....i even resent my husband sometimes for getting to leave the house first thing in the morning. I do love my children, but sometimes i get so down and depressed about being a SAHM. Too much info.?

    ReplyDelete

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