Avoiding Comparisons

The last Monday of the month is reserved for breakfast at my MOPS (Moms of Preschoolers) meetings and this week’s discussion, on avoiding mother comparisons, fed me better than the french toast and hash brown casserole.

We talked about what made us feel inadequate when we’re faced with other moms- personally, I’m never the mom with the tidy house, and I usually feel like we’re arriving to school or ballet or the playdate late and a bit disheveled. When a mom seems to be able to do it all; drop the kids off at school in nice clothes and perfectly styled hair instead of mom-o-flage, volunteer, exercise, keep a clean house, have dinner on the table at 6 and then spend time with her husband, I seriously wonder what the heck I’m doing wrong. I’m always the one rushing around in a ponytail, with a million things to do, and wishing for more hours in the day!

These comparisons are almost impossible to avoid, in motherhood, and in running too. Even though this is a solitary sport, everything is about the numbers. How many races have you done this year? What’s your average pace? How many miles are you running?

With my first post-pregnancy race looming closer, it’s hard to think about the numbers. I’m running well right now- a lot better than I thought I’d be, if I’m being honest- but it’s not my personal best. Most of the time, I’m okay with that, but then I see someone else’s pace on daily mile or facebook or a blog post and I can’t avoid it. I know I’m a middle of the pack runner, and I’m happy with that. I don’t have the body, or the natural talent, or the time to train to be more right now. If ever. I run for me- it’s one of the only things I get to do that’s solely for me. But sometimes, when I hear what others are doing, those feelings of inferiority creep in.

I suppose there’s no real way to avoid this, short of selling my garmin, deleting facebook and not racing. Which, really? Not going to happen. I’m competitive and I like to best myself. (It’s all very “This is between me…And me!”)

And just like I do with the mommy doubts, I’ll remind myself that I’m doing the best I can, hopefully being the best me that I can be.

Avoiding comparisons…any advice? Favorite Thanksgiving episode of FRIENDS?

11 thoughts on “Avoiding Comparisons

  1. “I don’t have the body, or the natural talent, or the time to train to be more right now.” Right there with you Brooke. I’m doing what I can with what I’ve got! Nothing wrong with that. 🙂

      • Love you! I needed extra attention last week, haha. Thanks for the virtual hugs.

        I struggle with mommy comparisons. Running is a different animal, because even though I write here, I feel like I’m on the outskirts of the community because I’m not very active on other parts of social media. It’s easier not to get caught up in everyone else’s achievements. I’m around other awesome moms all the time though.

  2. Avoiding comparisons is tough! Especially when you’re reading all these blogs by amazing runners whose “slow” pace is your race pace. I just try to remember how far I’ve come and what I want to achieve, and keep the competition just with myself. Easier said than done, obviously, but it’s something I’m always striving for.

    You’re awesome, Brooke. <3

    • Lisa! You are such an inspiration to me; I love seeing what you’re doing, race-wise (and life-wise, obviously, but in this context…) because I hope that next year I’ll be there too.

      I can’t wait to tackle hug you! Thanks.

    • I think I’m pretty good at tricking myself. Mostly because I’m an over thinker and also I try to see all sides of things (like a good little Libra). So I can think, “Man, I wish I were faster or as fast as ________.” and then I’ll concede that I’m not that fast for x reason. If that makes sense? Haha. Thanks, Lily! You’re awesome. 🙂

  3. I’m right there with you, too! I think it is part of being a runner. A natural tendency. I am a middle of the pack runner, and I know that I will never be more than that. I have injuries, past and present. I have a 4 year old. I only run outside, for the most part…and my running schedule is worked around my daughter’s preschool schedule and my husband’s gym schedule. But, you know what? We are RUNNING! And that is AWESOME and should be CELEBRATED! Go, us!

    • I CELEBRATE YOU, MEGAN! We’re mamas making it work, and that is an accomplishment in itself. *high five*

      I’m totally middle of the pack and most of the time, I am fine with that. I have goals but I’m happy competing with my own times, you know? It creeps up on me sometimes though.

  4. It’s so hard to avoid the comparison trap with motherhood and running. I try to remember that everyone has their challenges under the surface. The perfect seeming mom might be fighting depression or feeling alone, the super fast runner might be battling a series of injuries. We never know what battles others are fighting, and the surface appearance is often deceiving. Or so I keep telling myself as I get passed by faster runners and showing up to birthday parties late 🙂

You’ve heard my thoughts! Would love to hear yours here.