Friday, October 3, 2014

The Burden of Comparison...A Momma's Struggle

Regardless of how my life is going, I've always been one to compare with others. I think we all naturally do this to a degree, but for me, it realllllly interferes with contentment. It's always been a big struggle. Even as a child, my mom used to tell me I complained too much, which I now realize is parent codespeak for Why can't you just be happy, kid?!?!

I'll admit that when Junior was born, my comparisons slipped into high gear.  

I'm a better mother than her. Why does my child have a disability and hers are normal? 

How come that family can afford a maid and a nanny and have perfectly healthy children? I work way harder that she ever will. 

This just isn't fair.

Unfortunately, there are no good answers to why others seem to "have it all", or why life can be so stinking hard sometimes. But, through the journey with Junior, I have learned one major truth that helps keep me honest.

If I'm going to compare my life to someone else, I have to look at everything in their lives. I can't pick and choose what I'm going to be discontent about. 

This reminder usually halts my comparisons fairly quickly, as I realize I wouldn't really want to walk in someone else's shoes for the long haul. I'm quite comfortable in mine, thank you. Would I really want to switch lives with someone (knowing I'm just going to pick up a whole new batch of problems) simply because I'm jealous about one thing they have and I don't? My life is full of blessings. Sure, they may not be the same blessings someone else has, but they're still gifts especially tailored to me.

Of course, I do still compare more than I care to admit. I look at a "typical" 2 year old and wish that my 2 year old were at the same level. I look at other moms in their spandexy yoga pants coming from Starbucks on their way to the mall and wish I had time to work out and shop, and that my life wasn't one big therapy appointment.

But then I take a deep breath, look at my beautiful kids, and remind myself that I wouldn't trade them for anything. I'm honored to be a part of their journey, the one God has already seen to the end, bumpy ride and all.

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