The Comparison Game

Cara faith thoughts, Parenting 1 Comment

Late last week I was somewhere – where doesn’t matter – but as I left my heart was grieved.


Because I listened to two younger moms talk for almost an hour about who’s schedule was more chaotic and driven than the others. As I listened my heart broke in so many ways. Maybe you can guess some of them. (If my husband is reading this, he’s probably chuckling.) But I’ve been the mom trapped in the cycle of “I’m doing more” and I’ve still that mom who’s running frazzled most days.

Putman kids 2012-51 groupBut that night my heart hurt for those moms and their kids.

My heart broke for the moms because I know that in that frazzled state of existence, it is so hard to stop and read that book when a child brings it to you. It’s hard to find time to simply play when the weather screams perfect fall day. It’s hard to embrace the quietness that breeds a heart-to-heart connection.

Instead the days pass in a blur of frenzied activity.

My heart broke for the kids, because I wondered how many times they’d heard their mom list the insanely long litany of things she does for them that take the place of time with them.

As the mom with a young woman of 15 who just yesterday was a newborn placed in my arms, I’m becoming keenly aware of just how quickly the days pass that I have my children.

just talk

But one thing that broke my heart is the spirit of comparison this exchange illustrated. So often we get caught in a spiral of comparison. I’m doing more than you. No, actually, I volunteer much more than you do, but I’m too stressed to enjoy a moment of my life. I wasn’t very far into my thirties before I knew I wanted off the comparison merry-go-round. Even then, it’s hard to know how to jump off. The pedestal is uncomfortable. It teeters and totters so much that life feels even more hectic.

We don’t do ourselves any favors when we compare. My reality is so different from yours. What God is asking of me is not what He’s asking of you. What I need is people who will celebrate with me, encourage me, and on occasion tell me I am insane to take on the things I do. That’s what you need, too.

Can we agree to do just that? And leave the comparing to others?

Just a few thoughts form my heart to yours.


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