Start reading any mommy blogger out there and I can guarantee you’ll find a post about how we, as mothers, need to stop comparing ourselves. To one another, to our former selves. That we need to be accepting. Less judgey. You know, all those things we learn about in grade school. Do unto others… but mostly – telling us not to compare ourselves to others. You know… we’ve each got our own struggles so why compare? Well…it’s human nature right?
Friends, I’ve been deep into the comparison trap lately.
Comparing myself to moms I knew who were running more than I was (they stay at home with their kiddos so….they have a little more time/flexibility). Some of those moms were faster than I was, why couldn’t I run that fast?
Comparing myself to other bloggers with better graphics. Who wrote regularly. Who have more followers. Who…you name it. And just…Why couldn’t I just make an hour a couple times a week to write?
Comparing myself to moms and friends that I knew who were losing weight faster than I was. What was I doing wrong? Why was my body not cooperating? Why am I still…so unhappy with my body 3 years post-partum?
Comparing myself to my former self when i was running sub 30:00 5k’s before I got pregnant with Ethan when I had time to run 5 days per week and was, arguably, in the best shape of my life since high school.
But I fell into that rut. The one where I was just clawing and digging at goals I thought I wanted because that’s what everyone else was doing and I wanted to be…like them? Better than them? I don’t know exactly but I wasn’t happy and my goals weren’t motivating me.
But here’s the thing I’ve learned about setting new goals for myself. There’s a reason they’re SMART goals – realistic goals are more exciting to work towards right? I mean, yes 50% of your goals should be big and audacious and not necessarily attainable but the other half should be.
The biggest realization? My priorities shifted over the last few months/year.
Blogging wasn’t my priority. Running wasn’t a priority (weather. Time. Life. Job.) Because a three year old, a full time job with a 1.5 hour round trip commute, and running and spending time with the husband who is frantically trying to finish up his MBA… my family has been my priority. But I felt left out. I felt like I was missing out. I felt like all these moms I knew were starting to run and were leaving me in the dust. I felt like all the bloggers I followed were just better at it than I was so why bother when no one is reading my blog anyhow?
But here’s the thing. I was mixing up what i thought I SHOULD be doing with what I want (or don’t want) to be doing.
I don’t want to run long distances right now. I’m perfectly content with 10k races and sprint triathlons. Life isn’t allowing me the time to train for a half marathon or a half ironman as I’d much like to, and I need to be okay with that. That doesn’t make me any less of a runner though. I have time for these goals, but little man will not always be up for going to the park in the evenings – soon enough our evenings will be over run with activities, and school meetings so let’s enjoy those nights of giggles, chasing through the yard and cuddles on the couch before an early bedtime.
I’m not a morning runner. I don’t have time to run 7 days a week and even if I did, I enjoy rest days very much (after running four days in a row, this is so true. My poor legs are tired!) I like to sleep and getting up at 5:00AM to run just…isn’t something that excites me or is realistic given my work schedule.
I’m not losing weight fast enough. I have other things going on with my thyroid and vitamin D levels that are affecting this – so hopefully with the change in doctors and cutting most gluten out of my diet, this will start turning around.
I don’t blog often enough. Here’s the biggest lesson about blogging in my 15 years of writing a blog – write about one thing and one thing only. Write what you love. Write what interests you. Don’t write about what you don’t know or what you don’t enjoy…because you’ll never write. DUH.
I don’t do enough with my child. I work full time. I’ve worked hard to advance my career and to be able to 1. Pay off my education 2. Provide nice things for my child. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of time off from work so hubs and i are very much partners in this which is great but still. So much mom guilt.
Back to the comparison trap.
When we compare ourselves, we’re only holding ourselves back. I’ve been trying to think more positively about the amazing things that are going on for me – I am running (consistently lately…3 – 4 days per week, most weeks) on my own terms. I have a great job where I’m valued and paid my worth. I have a beautiful family and we have a beautiful home that hubs and I worked really hard to purchase. Life is, for the most part, really really good. These are all good things. Why would I let myself forget about or disregard these because I’m too busy worrying if our house is in the wrong neighborhood, or if I should have stayed home with E, or if I’m not running fast enough or training for long enough races. So what?
Life, man. Life. Lately, aside from the comparison trap, I’ve just been trying to live life.
You do you.
I needed a big fat reminder of “you do you” to get out of this rut but I think the comparison trap was really just…holding me back. Now that I’ve acknowledged it though, I think I can remedy this and get back to my big fat blogging goals.
I want to know: Do you get stuck in the comparison trap? What holds you back from your goals?