Friday, August 17, 2012

The Bigger Picture

I love my life, I truly do. I have a wonderful husband, who even though he may drive me completely crazy - he has my back and he loves me. The good, the bad and the ugly. And trust me there is ugly. Sometimes I can be a terrible wife, I know this. I'm a work in progress.

I have amazing kids. Healthy kids who are my life. And even though there are times when I wish everyone would just....stop. I wouldn't trade them for anything.

But sometimes I find myself daydreaming. I find myself wondering if the grass is really greener. And then the comparison games starts to play inside my head.

I would never leave my husband, or my children. That's not what this is about. It's about the 'their life looks so much more put together than mine' game that goes on inside my head.

Our house is a disaster. I will be honest. Currently, right now, as I sit in my office aka the left side of the couch. I can see a laundry basket with semi folded clothes sitting across from me. They were folded about 2 days ago, but the basket has remained in the living room and the kids have used it to jump in and crawl on. Sure it should of been taken care of when I first folded it, but like a lot of my day, I became distracted by the next 'emergency' that I forgot about it. I see toy train pieces thrown about the carpet, a pillow sitting on the entertainment center and dirty t-shirt on the coffee table. Floor cheerios all over the floor.

When your house looks dirtier than a Chuck E. Cheese, it's hard not to daydream about a clean house. It's hard not to compare yourself to others.

It's not disgusting, its just messy, and I am so over the messy.

Comparison is so dangerous and when we start to play that game and go there, that's when we can truly  forget what really matters.

When I first found out I was pregnant with Oliver, I couldn't wait to share the news. We had met some friends out and only a half an hour into our night I made the big announcement to a friend. I thought she would be happy for me, we would gush over baby names and who the baby would look like. Instead she said, "Everything always happens to you first, you got married first and now you're having a baby first. At least we got a house first!" Needless to say, we are not friends anymore. That comment hurt and I never knew our friendship as new as it was, was a competition. I never knew that she was comparing her life to mine. It hurt, but I moved on.

I have always been the type of person to be happy for the things that the people around me have. I love them, so of course I would feel happiness when they get what they deserve. But I will admit there are times when I compare what they have to what we have...or don't have. I am human, and it's not something I am proud of - but I'd venture to guess that I'm not the only one.

They have a nice house. Ours is meh.
Their house is bigger. Ours is so small - there isn't space for anything!
Their house is new. Our house is old and needs some help.
Their house is always so clean. Where are all these toys coming from? Are they multiplying at night?
It never looks cluttered. I don't have room for anything. Organize? How am I suppose to organize this crap?
They can afford to go on vacation. I haven't been on vacation in five years.
She's always going out. I wish I could go out more.

Yes. As I hang my head in shame, I will admit I have said every single one of those statements.

This blogging world is nuts, I wonder what it's like when you're on the outside. As in, you just search for something and discover a blog. You aren't a blogger yourself and you don't plan on starting one. Because as an insider I see the comparison game being played, and I try really hard to stay out of it. But I'll admit sometimes it's hard. Everyone wants to be liked, everyone wants to be included. But followers don't mean someone likes your blog or what you have to say. It's true. I am following some blogs that I haven't read in months, some since I started over a year ago. If you are basing your value on a number of followers, you have some serious issues that should be resolved.  I gave up on followers, if someone likes what I have to say follow me - if you don't, leave. I am perfectly okay with that. It's not about numbers to me. At one time, I will admit it was - but that's when I was new and I thought it would be great to be a big blogger.

Another thing is comparing your life to a bloggers life. I share a lot of personal things here. I share pictures of my kids and my family. Stories of our life, but there are behind the scenes things that aren't shared. Just like when you quick clean your house and throw the shoes in the closet along with the random shirt that was sitting on the table and your husband's baseball hat. That's what bloggers do. How do I know this? Because I do it. The crop feature is an amazing little tool for taking out things, that you don't want to be seen. Does it make me any less real? No, I don't think so. Just know that if my house looks clean and pretty in a picture of a baby onesie it's because all the junk in our house is behind me.

Blah. This is like a swear word. Comparing ourselves to other mothers. I have done it and I don't know maybe other mothers have compared their lives with their kids to me and mind. All I know is, it's bad for your health. No one knows everyones story. If I make cloud dough with my kid and blog about it and you feel like a schmuck because you don't have time in your day to make your kid some dough - erase that guilt from your head. It's not about the cloud dough or the birthday parties and handmade decorations. It's about the time spent with the children. Its about doing what makes you both happy. For us, its cloud dough and over the top birthday decorations. For you, it might be bedtime stories and adventure walks.

When we compare our lives to others for whatever reason, we are stealing the joy from ourselves. No ones life is the same, what works for one, might not work for the other. What looks nice and glamorous on the outside may not be as perfect as it really seems.

It's so important to look at the big picture. To see beyond the little things, the material things and realize that we're all doing the best that we can at this point in our lives. Your point may be different than mine.
Water where you are, at this point in your life and you won't have to worry about if the grass is really greener on the other side of the fence.



  1. I love how honest you were with this post. It's nearly 10.30pm and I'm not going to sleep until the housework is done. I take breaks so it's going to be a long night. What your ex friend said was horrible. I'm glad you're not her friend anymore. My neighbour has a spotless house and she'll let her daughter come to our house but none of the kids who live next to us are allowed over there because of one time when the kids took all of the toys out of a bedroom into the lounge. She wasn't happy. The grass might be greener on the other side but I'm happy with my grass :) I hope you have a good weekend, hide the laundry basket :P x

  2. As i am reading this i was looking at my "magic" kitchen...the countertop has disappeared!!.....under a clusterf@&k of nonessentials.

    1. Haha I have a magic countertop too.

  3. I read this knowing that I have clothes that were washed sometime last week sitting in baby #2s room waiting to be put away, my "magic" countertop has disappeared under melted popsicle and toys and stuff I don't want Aaden getting into. LOL. I left the house a complete wreck so I could sit down and finish reading Fifty Shades of Grey last night, and now I'm laying in bed to hide from the laundry I avoided yesterday and the house cleaning that needs to be done :/ The grass will always appear to be more green on the other side, but as long as you have the people in your life to care for you there is no greener lawn to play on :)

  4. I am so bad at this. SO bad. I had a friend all through high school that would make similar comments to me or make me feel like nothing was ever as good as something she had or done. Were not friends anymore and I really don't miss that kind of "friendship". I am constantly reminding myself to stop comparing myself to others. It's such an easy pitfall.

  5. Well said. I'm glad I read this post today because I was so feeling like this. Seriously. I needed to be pulled out of my funk! My house might be falling apart but after the week I've had I'm content my babies are healthy and happy. So true about the blog pictures. That one I took of my chair this week...haha. If only you could see what was behind me!! :) Thanks for taking some time and linking up this week! Hope you have a great weekend!

  6. I am really, REALLY struggling with this right now. I even got upset on date night last night because my boyfriend wasn't paying much attention to me, while the couple next to us looked happily in love. It was so upsetting that I completely disregarded all of the other sweet things he HAD done that night.

    I read somewhere once that "comparison is the thief of joy." oh how true that can be!

  7. "When we compare our lives to others for whatever reason, we are stealing the joy from ourselves." So true. I struggle with this too, so much lately. This is a good reminder to be content with what we do have and not focus too much on the don't haves. :)


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