I wonder if pioneer women ever experienced mom envy or the mommy comparison trap? What about the pilgrims or viking women? Do women in 3rd world countries ever compare themselves to each other? I wonder if it is a "woman" thing or just something that plagues our society? What ever it is and what ever the reason for it, I find myself doing it way too often and in the process I always feel like I fall at the bottom of the "good mommy" ladder. Now I am not writing this to solicit comments telling me that I am a good mom. I am writing this because it happens to me and I wonder if it happens to you and what do you do about it.
I love going out with my kids and visiting with other moms and letting my kids play but so often when I do I come home and think of all the things that I do or don't do that must make me not as good as the other moms. I love reading blogs and checking Facebook but so often when I do I find myself comparing my kids to someone else's kids or my lack of social activities to someones obviously more exciting social life and I compare the way that I do things with how others do them and short change myself too much. I mean being a parent is a tough job and since there is no correct manual and just a ton of "ideas" on how to do it, my best and someone else's best can be worlds apart and while neither may be correct it is hard not to compare. Am I a bad mom because I want to send my kid to public school and I let them watch tv and they often times choose something with sugar in it for a snack-multiple times a day? Am I bad mom because we eat processed food or something that comes from a can? Am I a bad mom because my kids cry and don't always share and often times forget their manners? I am not an organic buff, or an exercise buff or a gluten free buff....heck, I am not even buff. Does that put me in the bad mom or good mom category? My kids hate hair bows and flowers, they wear the craziest outfits sometimes and they don't match. Am I bad for letting them pick out their own clothes or am I a bad mom for making them wear something "nice" for the day? I mean the list goes on and on. Who is doing it right and who is doing it wrong? Does it matter how we each do it? With some things yes but with most things there is no right or wrong. The internet makes it seem so black and white, "How to end the meltdowns" or "How to stop whining" or "How to get your kids to listen to what you say" like as if all you had to do were these 25 easy steps and your life would be perfect. I read those lists and I try and do some of the things and then I get on Pinterest or something and find out there is a whole new list of steps to try and I think, "Good grief, now what am I not doing?" I have to say that before I had really good friends and it was just me and my two little girls and we did things mainly on our own life was good and now life is still really good but man it is much harder now that we have so many others to compare to. I know I am just doing the best that I can. And I know that every other mom is too. I continually tell myself, "No ones life is all roses, everyone has their thorns, you may not visibly see them but every mom has her set of battles," and the truth be told, if I had to choose between someone else's and my own battles I would probably always decide to just stick with my own. So really there is no reason to compare at all. I guess it is just human weakness-one that seems to affect me all too often. Does it ever happen to you and what do you do to keep from falling in the comparison trap?