Hi there! I am (finally) kicking off this series with the real goods. In other words I am finally sitting down to gripe about all the things that make running as a mom so much more challenging.
Today I want to start with the really really big one that I struggle with a lot…and that is comparison. It doesn’t matter how many times I hear the saying that “comparison is the thief of joy,” I just can’t quite kick the habit. It’s such a prevalent thing in this day and age too, because we are always just a couple finger taps away from staring down mom’s that totally have their ish way more together than you do. I’m not alone in this right?
You get on Instagram and start scrolling and there are moms pushing double strollers uphill in the rain and winning the Olympics all at the same time. And they are probably cooking a five star gourmet meal while they are at it. And suddenly the chicken in mushroom soup that you managed to toss in the crockpot this morning on your way out the door to work doesn’t seem so inspiring and the mile you plodded through with a backwards skirt and inside out sports bra (true story) doesn’t feel like such an accomplishment.
Other moms are better runners…
Yup. I guess I already went over this a little bit already. But it can be super discouraging to see the moms that run faster, run further, or just run more often then I am able to. Now before you go telling me to get a grip and appreciate what I have, I don’t want these moms to stop posting. I am not asking them to stop doing what they do. In fact more often than not I find moms that are “better” at running are really dang inspiring. But some days it is just easier to have a pity party ya know? If you are like me I am sure you’ve had this feeling too!
Other moms “bounce back” faster…
Now I know I don’t have a whole lot of room to talk…I am pretty lucky that my body handled pregnancy well and I lost my pregnancy weight quickly. But there will always be someone out there that did it better right? When there is a whole Instagram feed full of gorgeous women that don’t jiggle when they run, it is easy to find the person that did it better too. Again, I am incredibly grateful for all that my body has accomplished. That said, comparison is a jerk and it tends to sneak up on you!
Other babies are more advanced…
I am going to really dig into mom guilt in another post in the future, but it deserves a mention here as well. Oliver is by no means behind developmentally. However, other babies his age are doing “more.” He isn’t walking or crawling with his belly off the ground. He isn’t talking yet. And obviously there is plenty of time for all that. That said, a tiny part of me always feels like I could be doing something different that would set him up better to learn and be successful. By the time I get home from work, I usually only get 2 or 3 hours with Oliver where he is awake. Spending 30 minutes of that time running with him in the stroller can feel like a waste of opportunity.
To make myself feel a little better I have started narrating our run to him (which gives a whole new meaning to conversational pace!) and I know that he enjoys getting out in the fresh air! He is usually kicking and babbling as we go, so I don’t think he minds the arrangement one bit. Also, I know I am teaching healthy habits by example and that makes me feel a lot better.
So what gives?
In the end, there are a million and one ways you can compare yourself to someone else. That comparison can make you feel less proud of the things you accomplish. And even when you know better than to compare yourself to others, it is a very slippery slope that is too easy to start down. I certainly don’t claim to have a fix…this is something I struggle with all the time! But chances are, the mom you are comparing yourself to is doing the same thing. I have yet to meet a mom that honestly believes they have it all figured out. And I probably wouldn’t like that mom at all if I did meet her.
Like I said when I kicked off this series: this is a place to commiserate. I am here trying to give a voice to moms who run. More than that, a voice to women who struggle with running because they are moms.
Do you find yourself comparing your accomplishments to what other moms are doing? What comparison trap do you fall into most often?
I would love to hear from you in the comments below!
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Thanks so much for joining me and I hope you will follow along as the series continues!