Comparison - itis
Actually when I put my mind to it, I realise that every single time we compare ourselves to another, it is an apples and oranges scenario as we are all truly unique.
You know that old saying "comparison is the thief of joy"- I think it is accurate.
When we compare ourselves to others, and constantly feel lesser as a result, then all we are doing is stealing away our own joy.
When Elijah was a baby I fell into the trap of comparing my parenting to other mums around me, and also probably more damaging I compared what he was doing to other babies. Sleeping through the night? No
Sleeping well during the day? Ummm - no
Likes a variety of foods? Nope
Will go to anyone? Not really
Ready for another baby? NO
The list goes on and on...
If I could have my time over, with the knowledge and tools I have now, I would just focus on what he was doing. I would try to keep the blinkers on a little bit, and also find it in myself to honestly celebrate what others were experiencing with their babies. No baby walks the same path. Every baby has progressions and regressions. Every child is unique, and that should be all that matters.
This has continued througout my parenting journey as my son has got older. My son is not your cookie cutter boy. Not that I believe in a cookie cutter boy, but those sterotypes really are still hanging around out there. He hates sport, has long hair, has plenty of friends who are girls and loves to stay home. There have been times over the years I have found myself justifying or apologising for him, and for that I am regretful. Never a day in my life should have gone by where I feel I have to justify the personality of my child.
*Telling that Dad (with his mouth agape) at athletics day that my son doesn't play sport
*Correcting yet another person who refers to my son as a girl
*Explaining to someone that we do no after school activities because school is enough for him
*Feeling like I am not doing my job as a mum when we spend yet another weekend just around the house
*and the ultimate - answering that awful question "do you JUST have the one child?
Today I find myself as a one woman small business owner who is still on the comparison-itis train. It really is so easy to compare myself to other photographers when you use social media. It is all there for you to see - the work, the likes, the followers and the 'booked out' status.
I think it would be safe to say it is eating away at me. I am working really hard on it, but it is insidious and keeps creeping back onto my shoulders.
Forever thinking my work is not as good as theirs, my following is not as big and my bookings aren't as busy.
It really is a slippery slope when you base your worth on the numbers of bookings and followers you have, compared to others.
A slippery slope that I seem a bit addictied to, to be honest. It keeps luring me in and then kicking me in the guts as soon as I get on.
And so I seem to be still learning all these years later that comparing myself to others is not healthy or any good for my mental health. Nor is it good for my child, my family or my business. So I forge ahead working on making myself 'better'. Better at putting those blinkers on every now and then, better at believing in myself and my work, better at turning the noise of social media off every now and then.
If you are here in this space with me, let's pay ourselves some respect together and step off the comparison train. That platform and beyond is looking really pretty!