Here are 4 dangerous areas where comparison can steal our contentment.
1) Comparing ourselves to our friends. The problem with comparison is that we are rarely comparing apples to apples. At Christmas time we visited some friends and I was inside their home for the first time since they bought and renovated it. I found myself, not coveting the home, but the stuff. Actually, the LACK of stuff. I loved how clean and fresh and spacious the whole place felt. I wanted to go home and throw out all my stuff so that my home could feel like hers. And then I realized: She has a bigger house than me, and less children. She doesn’t home school. She has different hobbies, different priorities, a very different life. Her home is lovely….and my home doesn’t have to look like it in order to be just as lovely! Our friends have different strengths, different weaknesses, different hopes and dreams and experiences.
2) Comparing ourselves to our mothers. My mother (who will probably read this: hi mom!) has an immaculate house. Growing up I remember having to clean up because guests were coming over and being confused because the house was already clean! But here’s why comparing myself to her is so dangerous: I don’t remember what the house looked like when I was a two year old. I don’t know if the dishes were done and the laundry was folded back when I was in the habit of removing my diaper during nap time and playing with the contents. Sure, the floors were clean when I was twenty-one, but when I was one? I’m willing to bet they weren’t. Not all the time anyways. If your mom or mother-in-law manages to keep a spotless house, be happy for her. Maybe that will be you when your kids are grown. And when your grown kids call home and want to bring the grandkids over to mess up that recently mopped floor, I’m sure you will say yes in a heartbeat!
3) Comparing what we do to what our husbands do. I’m not a marriage expert, but I can tell you that it is in your best interest just not to keep track. It doesn’t matter who got more sleep last night, who got up with the baby how many times, who’s worked harder. Except in the most extreme cases, it’s likely that you are both working your butts off to create the incredible life you’re living.
4) Comparing yourself to bloggers. You know how you tidy up when you know company is coming? Well, bloggers not only know when you’re coming, they know which parts of their house your going to see. Infact, if a dirty sock or headless G.I Joe figurine manages to find it’s way into the photo, we can just crop it out!
The bloggers you love most live in their homes just like you do. They have kids, and dirty laundry, and husbands who somehow manage to use every dish in the house making a sandwich. Even the infamous Nester has dirty laundry. And Melissa of The Inspired Room has clutter. You know why? Because they are actual people like you and I who only have 24 hours in the stinkin’ day and probably want to spend some of those hours sleeping/showering/eating/cuddling children/volunteering/talking to their husbands/and maybe even doing absolutely nothing at all.
Just because we don’t show you pictures of us neglecting the dishes or getting frustrated with our children or pretending not to see that dust bunny that just drifted past like a wild west tumbleweed doesn’t mean those things aren’t happening.
Friends, please don’t let comparison steal your contentment. Life is too short and our blessings are too many to waste our lives wishing for something else. Contentment is a choice.