Celebration Begins When Comparison Ends

This morning when I was on the phone with my mom she started telling me about some of the stories that showed up in her Facebook newsfeed. She was updating me on some of our friends and family. Then she said, “this will probably make you feel inadequate, and it shouldn’t, but *Jane throws the coolest birthday parties for her kids… she isn’t afraid to try anything when it comes to the theme or the cake and they always turn out so perfect!”

That very easily could make someone feel inferior or bring out the comparison bug, but instead of feeling that way I was happy for *Jane. Happy that she has found something that she must truly enjoy and is clearly very good at! Because you see, when you are really good at something… you make it look easy. I have a friend who can knit in her sleep (I can’t knit to save my life). I have a friend who can whip up nutritious freezer meals and kids lunches with her eyes closed (my idea of a freezer meal is a frozen pizza). I have a friend who’s hair ALWAYS looks like she stepped out of a movie (don’t get me started on my hair struggles…). And I have a friend who can put Martha Stewart to shame. They all make it look easy!

I am secure enough to say that there are things that I know I am good at. Things that make me tick and that fill me with pride and joy. We all have things that we are good at and some things that maybe we aren’t so good at. How boring would life be if it was full of Pinterest parties put on by ‘perfect’ moms with perfect hair in their immaculate houses filled to the brim with DIY projects, right after they prepared a months worth of healthy freezer meals while wearing their skinny jeans and wedges that they put on after working out at the gym. My point is that everyone has something they excel at but most people don’t excel at everything. My motto is that I can do ANYTHING, but I can’t do EVERYTHING.

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I, for one, LOVE to workout and play tennis (and I am pretty good at those things!)… rarely does a day go by that I don’t have some sort of sweat session. I also like to wear makeup most days and you will usually find me with my nails painted. But most of the time I end up throwing on my yoga pants and my hair goes in a loose bun on top of my head. Yes, sometimes it’s nice to wear something other than yoga Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 1.22.48 PMpants and to do my hair – but these days, this is what I’m comfortable in. And I would love to say that I am ‘Pinteresty’ (sometimes I try), but I am not and that’s why I’m thankful that some women are. Because of their creativity and willingness to share ideas (that I never in a million years would have come up with!) I am able to throw my child a pretty party with a store-bought cake and decor purchased on Etsy. I am not about to cut watermelon into flower shapes and you won’t find monogrammed favors at my party but when I go to a friend’s party and she does these things… I am impressed, not envious. And instead of judging her or assuming that she has a lot of time on her hands, I think to myself, wow – that’s so great that she must really enjoy doing these things and she is creative! Because of Pinterest I am able to find fun activities for my kids to do at home and I am able to step outside of my comfort zone to try some new meals for my family. If my dinner doesn’t turn out perfectly, I don’t fret… at least I tried something new.

A few weeks ago I found a fun project on Pinterest for spray chalk… it sounded simple enough so I had
my husband pick up some spray bottles and corn starch at the store. I whipped up the ‘easy’ recipe and Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 1.20.47 PMfunneled it into the bottle. My toddler excitedly waited since I had really talked up her new chalk that Mommy was making her! Well, low and behold, I failed… there was no way on God’s green Earth that this pink gunk that I created was going to spray from the bottle. I’m not sure where I went wrong, but instead of dwelling on it, I quickly filled a bottle with water and handed it to my toddler. And guess what? She has had SO much fun spraying water all over the yard! She’s 2 and she doesn’t need anything fancy to make her happy. I’m glad that I tried to make her the spray chalk because now she has a pretty awesome spray bottle full of water that I never would have known could bring her so much joy!

Being a parent is challenging enough, but adding the comparison bug will just suck the joy right out of you. Steph Flies, the leader of our City Moms Blog Network is constantly reminding us that CELEBRATION is the cure for COMPARISON. So when you prepare the perfect dinner or when your child’s face lights up because you made the perfect spray chalk – pat yourself on the back… and when you finish your first 5k or plan the perfect birthday party – virtual high fives to you, that is so great that you are able to accomplish those things. And when you don’t feel like you are measuring up to *Suzie next door… remind yourself that you are all that your kids need and you ARE enough. Keep doing what you enjoy and what you are good at and if you feel compelled to step out of your comfort zone to try something new – good for you. But don’t feel insufficient if you don’t feel like you can do it all! Because maybe, just maybe, we weren’t all meant to do it all!

Alisa was born and raised in Iowa before attending Arizona State University. She then lived in Chicago, Georgia and Florida before settling in Madison. From her nomadic lifestyle grew a love for the beach, as well as a fondness for spicy food, sushi, white wine, southern charm, Diamondbacks baseball and idyllic ocean sunsets. Alisa and her husband, Joe, are parents to Ava Mae (August 2012) and twins, Nora & Jacob (March 2014). Alisa is a work-from-home mompreneur with a passion for business, fashion, fitness, community and all things mom. When she’s not enjoying time at home with her family, you can find her sweating it out on the tennis court, training for the next big race, pinning her heart out on Pinterest and exploring Madison with her little ones (and sweet Boston Terrier, Peaches) in tow.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I totally enjoyed this read! You had such a great way of putting things and encouraging others to realize that just because they can’t do what they see their friends do, doesn’t mean that they too aren’t special and have special talents. Thank you!

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