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?