I can’t tell you how many times I used to google “how to stop comparing yourself…”
It’s like when I became a mom, I lost my confidence.
Because before I was a mom I was fun…
I made people laugh. I played. I joked. I sang on stages.
I was cool, appreciated, happy.
Back then, I was the center of my social circle and it was the best.
Then I had kids and something weird happened.
My circle got smaller…
No one clapped for me anymore…
When I became a mom, I entered into a foreign world where my coolness factor plummeted to a hard zero, and where many things I did not only lacked applause but were completely overlooked.
I’d make a dinner (my least favorite chore). No one wanted it.
I’d begrudgingly fold laundry after everyone else went to bed (my second least favorite). No one cared…until they ran out of socks or underwear.
I’d fix lunches and scrub toilets and mop floors and vacuum and grocery shop and mend clothing and make lists and run errands…
On top of that, I didn’t feel like the person I was before. I wasn’t the cool gal everyone wanted to be around…I was just Mom.
Suddenly everything in my life had that prefix.
It was a little overwhelming.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my “mom” title.
Being a mom is the greatest joy I’ve ever known. I don’t regret my choice to be a mom, and I’m not trying to discount the miraculous and abundant blessings that I’ve been given.
I also haven’t forgotten about the women who desperately want to be a mom and who haven’t yet held a baby in their arms…
But can I be 100% real with you for a minute?
When I imagined being a mom, I didn’t imagine all of the hard stuff.
I fantasized about a Gilmore-
Somewhere along the line, I turned into a boundary-making, fun-taking, rule-enforcing mom, who sometimes struggles to find the full-of-joy motherhood I once dreamt about.
Does all of that sound incredibly terrible?
But if you’re like me, I bet that it also sounds incredibly familiar.
And there are some moments in the middle of real life when we long for easier days. (For me, it’s usually when I’m gathering up dirty laundry that should’ve been put down the chute…or picking up a fruit snack wrapper off the floor for the 437th time…or cleaning pee off the toilet that I’m positive other eyeballs have also observed.)
But recently I had an AHA! moment…
I remembered that comparison is the thief of joy.
I talk about this concept a lot, and as a comparison junkie, I have to remind myself of those words often…I’m talking daily.
Typically I pull these words out in reference to comparing against outside sources.
For example, my kryptonite tends to be YouTube Moms.
Though I’m sure they have the same struggles as the rest of us, they always seem to be rocking life fabulously. My kids watch those hip vlogger families, and I watch in
amazement comparison as my mouth hangs open at all they seem to do.
They’re always camera ready, talking sweetly to their kids, and spending all their time playing games like “the floor is hot lava” and “let’s turn our whole house into a box fort.”
It’s really hard to feel like I’m nailing my mom job when I’m looking to the right and left finding other moms who seem to be way more awesome…
So…back to my lightbulb moment.
But guess what?
They are different flavors, textures, and colors. They give us different things and are both important.
If we spend these years (even just some moments of these years) comparing ourselves to our earlier versions, one day we will look up and realize that comparison has stolen big joy that we could’ve been holding all along.
When you find yourself in these moments of comparison and wonder how to stop comparing yourself, the best thing you can do is create a space for gratitude.
Be grateful for the older versions of yourself who have gotten you to where you are today and savor the small, ordinary moments that you’re in now. Those ordinary moments are the fabric of your life. And those moments are paving the way for future versions of yourself.
Drop the comparisons, momma, and hold onto joy.