It’s OK to Compare Yourself to Others

I have read many articles that tell you “not to compare yourself to other moms.” I disagree. You read that right. I think we should compare.

Why should we not?!?  In business, you look for the best of a product. If it is made by a competitor, you certainly better be looking for a way to improve your product or it will become known as less than best. Now, I’m not saying that kids are products, but I am saying that you should always try to improve your parenting skills. No one is perfect and all people can use some tweaking every now and then. Why would we NOT bring this type of thinking into our families?

If I see a family that I admire the way they are living, you better believe I am going to try to figure out how I can tweak my life style to ensure that my family has all the things for it that I desire.

For example, if I love, love, LOVE the way that my friend has incorporated a home-preschool into her family’s daily life, you bet your bottom that I am going to initiate that routine in our house. Rather than sulk about how her kids have the opportunity to learn so much from their mom and do nothing, I’m going to go to the library/Pinterest/mommy blogs and get a pretty good structure set up.  It really can be that easy!  {Believe me, I did it!}  You would be amazed the wonderful resource that are available.  {View my home-preschooling resource list here.}

Now, I find it necessary to say that you must use common sense too.  There are healthy and unhealthy ways to compare yourself to others.  I’m not at all suggesting that you look at your friend’s brand new car and obsess about the fact that you can’t have one.  Or worse, put yourself in debt to get a new car.  No.  I’m talking about the quality of life that you want for you and your family.

To put it in clearer terms:

DO

  • Take a solid look at those in your life who you admire and write down WHAT you admire about them/their family.
    • Talk to them.  You may find out that they wake an hour early each morning in order to workout.  Or, that they have a close relative who watches their children three days a week and that is when they accomplish the DIY projects they always seem to post about.
  • Be realistic.
    • If your list includes several events that take a couple of hours each day and you work full-time, you will need to prioritize.  Don’t forget travel time 😉
  • Talk this list over with your significant other {a family’s quality of life takes more than just you}.
    • My husband is a great sounding board for when I get – let’s say – overambitious.  He helps me prioritize AND supports the things we put in place.  E.g. When we wanted to start saving money, he helped me find great free local events.
  • Actually DO some of the things on your list!
    • More often than not, we believe this step is much harder to take than it actually is.  Once you have your list, I challenge you to do at least one item THIS WEEK.

DON’T

  • Don’t set unrealistic expectations.
    • If you want to lose all that baby weight within the next three weeks and your baby is one week old, please reevaluate this goal.  {Your significant other should be used as a sounding board.}
  • Don’t compare yourself to Pinterest
    • Note that above I said to “Take a solid look at those in your life” – this bold text is key.  These people can actually offer advice and a realistic course of action.  Plus, they will be available for tips 🙂
  • Don’t strive for things, but rather memories.
  • Don’t beat yourself up if it is hard.  Every day is a new day to start something!
    • So you want to get better at meal planning but after a month, you have succeeded in planning twice, then start now! You’ll be ahead for next month 😉
  • Don’t compare just to compare.
    • Look at the people in your life that you admire and specifically WHAT it is that you admire.  Is it their ability to organize?  Their great fashion sense?  Their cooking skills?  Talk to them.  They may give you tips as to how you can implement these things in your life!  Or, you may learn that you don’t necessarily want to go take three years of cooking classes in order to make a fancy French dish 😉
  • Don’t judge.
    • It is very easy to judge others and it becomes a very bad habit.  Not only that, it also teaches children to envy rather than work hard to achieve a goal.  Remember always to be constructive rather than judgmental.
  • Don’t make excuses.
    • You may have different priorities than your friends and that is fine and should be expected.  Don’t use it as a chance to make excuses and therefore judge your friends.  Again, this teaches the same negative behaviors to children.

Now, go compare yourself to the best of them and have fun with it!

Have a great day!
Andrea-sig

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