So I got married young and had my kiddos pretty young. My best friend growing up just recently had her first baby. Why do I bring this up? Because we have always stayed in touch, no matter where she has gone. When she went to college in Boston. When she lived in Japan for a year, when she lived in Texas, when she lived in New York City. I would always look at her and think, wow I am not doing anything with my life. I was stuck in that comparison trap.
While she was doing all these exciting things, I was going to college in state. I was getting married and having babies. And I was working hard to get through pharmacy school, and I did that online in my house, I did not even go to the actual college building to get my pharmacy degree. I would look at my friend’s life and think, did I mess up? Did I have kids too young? What if there was something else I was supposed to do with my life that I didn’t do because I had kids instead?
What my Friend Thought
You know what? As we were both living our lives and getting older, my friend started to tell me how my life looked great. And how getting married and having kids looked like a very good life to have. Excuse me?? She was off traveling to places I had never heard of, and she thought my life was where it was at. She would say, I just wish I could find a good guy to marry and have kids, like you have. And I would say, I just wish I could fly off to another country with no baggage (kids and husband) like she did.
This always floored me. I looked at my life and found it pretty boring, especially compared to hers. I mean, I had lived in only two states in my whole like. And she looked at my life as something that she wanted.
Stop the Comparison Trap
We need to stop the comparison trap when it comes to not making us happy. What does that mean? It means that when you look at another mom and think, “she is doing a better job than me.” That is when comparison will not be helpful. When you look at another mom and think “that mom’s life is better than mine, and that is making me unhappy with my own life.” That is a comparison trap you want to get out of.
I would compare my life to my friend’s life and it would cause discontent with me and my life. I used to think I was boring and almost embarrassed that I had just a normal mom life. And not really doing anything special with my life, just feeling overwhelmed with all the mom things. I had to stop this comparison trap because it was not good for my life or my children or my husband. I had to become happy with my life. And be happy for my friend who was leading her best life also, just differently.
Quote that Explains it All
“How many times have you not been able to fully enjoy a special moment because your mind kept thinking about what was missing?” -Yung Pueblo. This is a quote that my friend (the friend from this post) sent me when I was talking about writing this post and she saw the rough draft, and I just had to put it in. Because what special moments with my little boys did I not fully enjoy because I was worried about what I was missing out on? What special moments did I mentally miss with my husband because my mind was thinking I was missing something.
I bring up this quote because I want you to think about this. I want to save you from missing out on all the things with your family because you had kids early in life. Or missing out on getting the most out of your adventures because you have kids later in life. I do not want you to miss enjoying all those special moments because you are comparing yourself to someone else (an old friend, a sister, another mom), and you think you want what they have.
You Need To Be Happy Where You Are At
You are always going to have friends that have more money than you, get to stay home with their kids, get to travel places, or be thinner than you. Don’t get caught in comparing yourself to them if it makes you unhappy with your life. We are all in the exact spot in our lives that we need to be, and we need to try to be happy with that. So no more mom judging, especially to ourselves!
I’m not going to lie, we all have discontent with our lives. I sure do. Especially when I have to work, and can not get to all my kids’ activities. Or when I am not happy with my teenager for being mouthy. But you know what is not going to help? Comparing your life to someone else’s life and wishing for what you think is better. And you need to give yourself some grace.
Back to My Best Friend Growing Up
As I said at the beginning, she just had a baby boy. And I am so happy for her, but I don’t want to go back to that part of my life again. I think I am done comparing our lives now, in the way that made me unhappy. And I think we are both in the exact right spot in our lives.
Something else about this friend, she is a phenomenal writer. So in high school there was comparison in a good way. I worked really hard to become a good writer like her. Which, indirectly lead to this blog. So really good comparing, and my friend, are the reason I have started this blog.
Comparison is only bad if it makes you unhappy with yourself, or the life you have made for yourself.