Something’s Gotta Give


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how women often compare themselves to other women. I myself have struggled with this and it has caused me to make some changes in my life, some good and some bad.

When I see what other women/moms are doing, I sometimes try to do whatever it is they do. (Hello, Pinterest!) I don’t do it because I am self-conscious, I do it because I see all the cool things everyone else is doing and think that my children/family must be deprived because I don’t always do what others do.

For example, I remember when I used to spend a lot of my free time browsing different blogs. One mom homeschooled her children and everything she used to teach or did with her children she pretty much made herself. Oh and her meals were always healthy and homemade too. Her day-to-day life looked a little like this:

Healthy breakfast from scratch: check.
Amazing lesson on adding using handmade manipulatives: check.
Delicious, healthy snack: check.
Another amazing lesson using handmade tools: check.

Meanwhile I'm over here like…

Sucking at life: check.

Another blog I looked at was a mom who was super amazing at crafting. She could take a dumpy table from Goodwill and turn into something that looked like a million bucks. She could sew clothes and toys for her kids, curtains and pillows for her house, burp cloths and carseat covers for baby... the DIY projects never ended!

I try to sew a simple square and end up crying and breaking needles. Yes, I am awesome. 

Last example: a blog with a mom who is always looking flawless: beautifully curled hair, killer, toned body, amazing outfit and perfect accessories. Most of the time I’m lucky if I wash my hair and get out of my PJs. Meanwhile there are moms out there who look like supermodels every single day, regardless of their schedule. HOW?!?!?!

Anyways, my point is with all of us being so open to share the highlights of our lives (and some getting paid to share their amazingness with others), it’s really hard not to compare and feel a little down every now and then.

Also, how many articles can you find about parenting and how what you are doing is wrong? One minute I’m reading an article that says time out is a good thing, the next I find a different article that says if I use time out my kid will have issues. When can I ever feel good about what I am doing?

Someone will always be a more patient mom. Someone will always have a nicer house. Someone will always be craftier. Someone will always have more fashionable clothes. Someone will always be doing something that I am not or doing it better than I am.

On this note, I have reflected a lot on Elder Uchtdorf’s talk, “Forget Me Not”. I love what he says:

“I want to tell you something that I hope you will take in the right way: God is fully aware that you and I are not perfect.

Let me add: God is also fully aware that the people you think are perfect are not.

And yet we spend so much time and energy comparing ourselves to others—usually comparing our weaknesses to their strengths. This drives us to create expectations for ourselves that are impossible to meet. As a result, we never celebrate our good efforts because they seem to be less than what someone else does.”

I love this quote. It is 100% true. I find myself setting completely unrealistic expectations for myself and I know being involved in social media is definitely a big contributor to that.

We can’t compare our struggles and weaknesses to the things that others excel at. It’s not fair and nothing good will come from it. I think it’s also important to realize that while others do things you don’t do, there are parts of their lives that are probably lacking (some that you may be doing great at!) that they don't post about or share on social media.

Recently, I opened an Etsy shop. I have hardly made any sales but it was a lot of work getting the shop open. Before opening my shop, my apartment was almost always clean. Not spotless, but I don’t like to be surrounded by a mess so it was important to me to keep things tidy.

Now that I have started working on my Etsy store, my apartment often looks like a bomb went off. I never used to be able to go to sleep without a clean kitchen and now I can’t tell you how many times I have woken up in the morning to a sink full of dirty dishes.

I have found that while I have started something I am proud of, there are other parts of my life that I am no longer able to keep up with. My clean apartment is no more. I have a hard time keeping up with laundry too, and like I mentioned, I have just barely started this endeavor!

My point is: something’s gotta give. While others spend a lot of time on things you may not have the time, interest, or talents for, there are other areas of their lives that are probably neglected. We have to stop comparing ourselves to everyone else – no one is perfect, no matter how wonderful their blog, Facebook or Instagram may seem!

The mom who always looks perfect may spend more time getting ready than you do because you spend a little more time reading or doing something else that you enjoy. Maybe while she is curling her hair, you are spending one-on-one time with your kids or keeping up on your housework.

The mom who makes everything from scratch may always have a dirty kitchen. While she enjoys spending a lot of time making delicious, homemade meals, you may rather keep things simple and also keep your house a little cleaner too.

The mom who is the DIY master may have more free time than you because you work out of the home. Maybe you have to work to provide for your family so the time you have at home is spent with your kids rather than on hobbies.

The mom who homeschools her kids may not have time to worry about her appearance, which may be something that is important to you. Maybe she spends more time teaching her kids while you choose to put your kids in preschool. Perhaps you find yourself as a happier, more patient mom when you have that little break from your children whereas the homeschool mom may get anxious thinking of anyone else as her children's teacher.

Please don’t misunderstand: I am not saying we should look at others and judge them for the things they do. I am saying we shouldn’t judge ourselves for the things we don’t do

We should celebrate the talents we have. We should feel confident knowing we are doing what we feel is best for our family, regardless of what online articles say. We should appreciate the talents of others and take the opportunity to learn from them, but also feel good about the things we have to offer others too.

Pres. Uchtdorf said, “God wants to help us to eventually turn all of our weaknesses into strengths, but He knows that this is a long-term goal. He wants us to become perfect... It’s OK that you’re not quite there yet. Keep working on it, but stop punishing yourself.”

I want to be a little more open about my failures in life so others may realize and find comfort that they are not the only ones who have struggles. (Sometimes it's a success if we all end up alive and fed by the end of the day - am I right?!) I also want to celebrate my successes more often than I do so I can build myself up rather than constantly tear myself down.

I may not be as crafty, smart, patient, pretty, etc. as others, but no one is perfect at every single one of those things. We all have struggles. We are all here to learn and grow and the next time I see someone who truly looks like they have it all I just need to remember my own little motto I have personally realized is so very true:

Something’s Gotta Give!

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