By Sabrina Schlesinger
Have you been there? You are scrolling through your feed and you see posts from THAT mom. You know the one…the one who has every hair on her head in place, is a size 2, wears the cutest clothes, and her kids are always picture perfect. And we stop and gaze. The gaze may start at admiration, but for many of us it turns into assumptions and judgments as to what kind of life she lives.
It’s embarrassing to admit, isn’t it? But if we were honest with ourselves, most of us have fallen prey to the ugly green giant called ENVY.
Here is why it’s so dangerous. Comparison causes us to lose the joy of the season we are in. It literally sucks the life out of us, leaving us feeling less than, not enough, and insecure.
So why do we do it? Why as moms do we struggle?
Here are two reasons why I think we compare and how we can stop the madness:
1. We assume the wrong things.
We all want to show ourselves in the best light. So we snap 100 photos and we pick the top one! And I am not saying we shouldn’t…go for it!!! But the trap we can find ourselves in as we look at another person’s snapshots is we conclude that THAT is the sum total of their life.
We aren’t seeing the actual “I woke up like this” photo when their breath is nasty and hair is crazy. We aren’t seeing their kids’ meltdown photos (and probably shouldn’t as to not embarrass them), or the ugly times in their lives where they are throwing adult tantrums. We aren’t seeing the fights with their spouse or their financial struggles. Why?
Because it is their highlight reel!
And I know you know this, but we can all use this reminder. Even the strongest among us can easily find ourselves stuck in the comparison trap we didn’t even see it coming.
So remember next time you are looking at the woman who appears to have it all put together…they too are a little crazy just like you. J
2. We compare the wrong things.
I see this all of the time. I see young couples struggling financially, wanting to have the nice house or the nice car or the picture perfect décor. And I see them go into unnecessary debt because of it! I see them trying to keep up with the Jones’ without taking into account that the Jones’ once started with small beginnings.
The Jones’ had mismatched, second-hand furniture. They had nights of eating Top Ramen because money was tight. They lived it that tiny apartment with noisy neighbors. They skipped nights out on the town with friends or vacations because it wasn’t in their budget.
We didn’t see when the Jones’ took on extra jobs to make ends meet. We didn’t see the sacrifices they made privately so they could be where they are at today. Sometimes we are comparing ourselves to a season we just are not in yet and it is killing us.
Is comparison killing your marriage because of the financial pressure you are placing on it to remain that social butterfly? Is it stressing out your kids as they feel the pressure to live up to unrealistic expectations that have been placed upon them? Is it killing your confidence as you attempt to measure up to a standard that was never meant for you? Are you missing out on innumerable blessings and life lessons God wants to give to you in your season?
Stop! Get off this train that is headed to destruction. It promises so much but delivers you insecurity.
Embrace the season you are in! Accept that your life will have mountains and valleys. Make peace with your financial limits and live within your means. Work hard, yes, but don’t sacrifice your identity and family on the altar of keeping up with the Kardashians!
When you cultivate a heart of gratefulness for what you have and the season of life you are in, there will be a river of contentment that will produce beauty, peace, tranquility and refreshing to you and all those around you.
Love + Blessings,
Sabrina is a mother to three girls and one boy. She is a also a pastors wife, freelance graphic designer and mom coach! She resides in beautiful San Diego where the sun shines every day. She prefers chai lattes over coffee, mac-&-cheese over vegetables and staying in over going out. Check her out on Instagram and Facebook!