If You Want To Ruin Your Daughter, Teach Her How To Compare

I came across this quote from Theodore Roosevelt on Pinterest (where else?):

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Those six simple words really got me to start thinking about how often I compare myself to others, especially when it comes to parenting.

Mothers are guilty of doing this all the time. I love my child more than her because… Is her stroller better? Is my kid smarter than hers? Is her kid more awesome than mine? That’s right, mama: We constantly compare, compare, compare – and for what, exactly?

Comparison, in itself, is not necessarily a bad thing. After all, a little bit of comparison can help bring light to areas in your life that could use some improvement. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be the best mother/wife/woman that you could possibly be.

That said, that typically isn’t the way that we use comparison. We use it to judge, to ease our conscience, to justify an expenditure of money on something totally unnecessary and irrelevant to our purpose. We spend so much time cultivating an image of the ideal woman that we forget that what works for one woman might not work for all.

We use comparison to rob ourselves – and our “competitors” – of joy and happiness and contentment and delight…

And we ruin women.

We ruin ourselves.

We ruin our daughters.

What can we do to stop this vicious cycle of comparison and start genuinely being happy for each other? I’m really interested in hearing your thoughts on this topic, because I cannot pretend to have the answer to something that I struggle with daily.

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About Classic Mommy | Atlanta Mom Blogger

Atlanta Mom Blogger | Enjoys sweet tea and a good challenge | Dislikes dirty fingernails and whining | Mom to Danger | Wife to Dre | Family Travel Blogger
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4 Responses to If You Want To Ruin Your Daughter, Teach Her How To Compare

  1. rhechristine says:

    It is really hard…I struggle more with people who have a very strong point of view with something and are constantly ramming it down your throat and then I just sigh and think “they are so passionate. maybe the way they are doing it is right? maybe I’m wrong.” self-doubt in your choice is just as bad as always comparing (or really the same thing basically). That’s why I’ve always loved your blog! I remember one of the first posts I really read was yours about McDonalds…I loved it!!!

  2. I compare but only if I am passionate about something. For instance I have an online magazine and I compare myself to other magazines that are online to see what I can improve on or to see what I can get rid of. At the end of the day you have to do what makes you stand out because many people can do the same thing but you won’t get noticed unless you do something different and unlike all others. Great post

  3. Hubby says:

    I agree that we should not look to others for our goals, and but we all need healthy competition. I think there is a much longer article or book which could be written about the problems of our children face because we do not make them compete.

  4. What an excellent post. I think the best we can do is to simply try not to compare. Notice yourself doing it, stop it and eventually change your habit, because that is what it is: a habit. I do it, too, but when I catch myself doing it to my daughters, I actually correct myself. I’ll say, “You know what? I’m sorry I compared you, because you are each different and that’s a good thing!” At least on good days! 🙂

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