Feeling Inadequate: The Art of Comparing Yourself

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Inadequacy.

That is second nature to a mother.  Really it is to everyone, but as a mother, it takes new meaning.  And today’s society makes it even more prevalent, with the ability to peek into the lives of others, as we surf the internet, read blogs, Twitter, and Facebook.

It’s so easy to read a few blog posts and think, “Here I am, sitting in my pjs at 2 PM, while there is pb&j crusts on the table, crumbs all over the kitchen floor, toys all over the family room…staring at the blog of a woman with a beautiful house, perfect outfit, showing her latest completely amazing craft.”  And then proceed to feel like crap.

Why can’t I be more put together?

Why does it take hours of working out and dieting to even lose one little pound off the muffin top when this girl here looks like she could eat ice cream all day and never have love handles?

Why is my house continually a mess and I never have the energy or desire to clean it?

Why aren’t my kids outside getting exercise or doing some educational craft instead of staring blankly at the TV?

Why can’t I seem to shower before 11 am, ever?

And if I can’t even get these things together, how on earth am I ever going to have time to have the perfect white house with ruffled pillows?

And I find myself reading fewer blogs, because it’s too easy to get caught up in the depressing comparison black hole.  There’s a fine line between wanting to be inspired and wanting to kill yourself because you aren’t as awesome as So-and-So.  So I’m a blogger who rarely reads blogs.  A little hypocritical, I know.  But I can’t overwhelm myself in the blog world for this very reason.

And being pregnant and having -1 desire/energy to be a good mom/homemaker/wife/crafter/blogger makes it even worse. It’s very frustrating that just this morning I finally had the energy to work on my couch slipcover (and yes my house was still a mess which it frequently is because let’s face it, cleaning the house with little kids is like shoveling snow while it’s still snowing) I was suddenly overcome with a horrible dizzy fainting spell.  I threw up twice and now I sit, in my pjs at 3 pm, confined to my bed while tons of stuff remains to be done.  If any comparison is to be done now, I am going to come out completely on the bottom.

I’ve already confessed my complete and utter imperfection to you, you all know the truth.  But you may not know that I also suffer from feelings of inadequacy from time to time.  I feel sad sometimes that I’m not more creative and accomplish more so that you all can benefit from cool tutorials.  I wish I had the time and energy to put forth in my business to really see it flourish as I see it in my mind.  I am completely and utterly tired of living in this dumpy and disgusting apartment where every square foot of the carpet is worn or stained and all of our hud is causing it to burst at the seams.  And I feel trapped here.  This apartment makes me claustraphobic.

But I Have So Much…

So I shut the computer, take a deep breath, and realize that I have so much to be thankful for in my life.  The toys on the floor remind me that I have beautiful and healthy children who enjoy playing at home.  The heat outside reminds me that I am thankful to have a roof over my head and air conditioning protecting me.  The dirty socks on the floor remind me that I have a husband who would pick those socks up if he wasn’t so tired from working so hard each day.  The cabinet bursting with craft supplies remind me that I have been blessed with talents to create something from nothing.  The nausea that I feel reminds me that I am growing a human person inside of me.  And the love handles remind me that I have never wanted for enough to eat.

I have to turn off the computer sometimes to pull myself out of the black hole.  But when I turn it back on, I always try harder to not feel inadequate and be awesome instead.

 

Comments

  1. Oh, I can relate. I try to convince myself that these “perfect” moms only show pics when they have had a chance to clean- that it’s not their reality every day.

  2. Katrina H says:

    I think everyone feels this way at one time or another… It’s 5:30pm on Monday and I just had my first shower since Thursday, maybe I’m just riding that high :)

  3. You ARE enough! It amazes me what you do, how talented you are, and how wonderful of a mom you are. I get the same way sometimes, but we just have to remember we are all given different blessings and challenges. Easier said than done!

  4. Oh Heidi I hear ya!!!! I feel soooo overwhelmed by it sometimes. I need to remind myself of those very things you mentioned at the end. It’s easy to forget those things when you’re feeling like crud. Thank you for posting :)

    Shelley

  5. I find it very hard to believe that all those perfect women on blogger are actually as perfect as they appear. My daughter is going through the same issues you are, and I did that when I was your age. Will your children remember how clean the floors were? Or will they remember how much you enjoyed your craft? They will not remember if you took a bath early in the day, or wore designer clothes. They will remember how loving you were, how fun you were, how much you loved them. And as long as your husband understands, and is happy, what else really matters?? Take a deep breath, enjoy inspiration from other blogs, but not competition. You are uniquely you. God created you to be the way you are. Love your children, love your husband, love your craft. Enjoy your life.

  6. We all feel like that if not always, but at least very often. I feel like that when I compare myself to you. Yes believe it or not. For a little over a week I had to have my house perfect and I have never been more tired or crazy. I felt like I couldn’t even stay home just in case my kids would make a mess. Never again. I love that my house look lived in. My blog has been so neglected because of all the stress with selling my condo, but now I will try to get back at it again. I feel like I read to many blogs myself, but most of them keep it very real so I don’t feel stressed by it at least. I’ve actually got a few friends from it too. Mostly I feel inadequate when it comes to doing things with my kids. Mine tend to watch way to much TV, but my excuse it that they get a lot of language training this way. Oh well, lots of ramling from me. Take care. You are great and perfect as is.

  7. AMEN to this! I agree 100% :)

  8. Wow…thanks for being so honest and sharing this. I am glad to feel like I am not alone in thinking the same way!

    Hugs,
    Julie

  9. I also feel this way sometimes. Although I’m a really good excuse maker :) So I find myself saying, well so and so’s blog looks like that because she must have more time, money, help, access to resources… Then I console myself with thinking that my blog could be more like that too if I had those things. Who knows if they really have more time, money, etc.? It just makes me feel better! I also remind myself that I’m only seeing what a blogger wants me to see and not their kitchen sink full of dirty dishes, piles of laundry, or crumbs on the floor.

    Hope you are feeling better!

  10. I so know what you mean! I have to turn off the computer sometimes too..to be inspiring, rather than just inspired. Let’s live today!

  11. I feel like that quite a bit. I’m a full time working mom, and am exhausted when I get home. I often compared my house to others. However, I came to the realization that we live here. We don’t just sit and do nothing: toys are played with, dishes are constantly used, laundry is forever dirty. There is no single person that doesn’t do these things. Needless to say, it has ceased my obsession with wanting the perfectly cleaned house! I’m sure your house is fine, focus on taking care of yourself and that little blessing you are carrying ;)

  12. Jana Floyd says:

    Thank you… just thank you.

  13. Thank you so much! This is exactly what I needed to read tonight. I feel the same and get overwhelmed thinking that I will never get it together. But, I am so blessed with the beautiful gifts God has given me! And I may never have it all together, but I have more than enough:)

  14. Oh I think you just expressed exactly how I feel! I think you do need to give yourself a break… being pregnant and nauseous is horrible and makes getting things done is near impossible. I’ve been trying really hard to keep my house clean lately…. knowing I will be getting preggers soon (fingers crossed) and super sick my house is going to fall apart! But if I can get things de-cluttered and clean now…. maybe when I come out of the sickness coma things wont be so horribly messy and dirty?! lol At least I can hope!

  15. A. MEN. That’s a major reason why I quit blogging, and that makes me sad, because I love to write. But I can’t handle all the perfection that people put out there. It makes me feel depressed, and I don’t want to feel like that. I love your honesty – the Mommy blog world needs more of it!

  16. You definitely aren’t the only one who feels this way. I read a lot of blogs and feel like this a lot. I just take a break and don’t read any blogs for a few days when I start feeling that way. Thank you for sharing how you feel with us. And for what it’s worth, I think you’re amazing! :)

    • Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Thanks so much to all of your for your wonderful comments! It’s nice to know that we are not alone in our insecurities and to feel like we can be honest about our real lives! (Too cheesy to say ‘girl power’ here?) :)

  17. Mandy L. says:

    One of the things that I have to constantly remind myself about the internet is that no one is exactly who they seem to be. There is an anonymity factor here unlike anywhere else in the world. You are who you create yourself to be in the wide open web spaces. That’s not to say that everyone is lying, or that no one is honest. It simply means we are free to be as much or as little of our “real selves” as possible here. You can put your best, most perfect foot forward, and show the world the face you want them to see. We can become who we want to be (or as much as is within our power), and we can hide our imperfections if we so desire.

    It can have good or bad results… And a lot of what we take away from everyone else’s presentation of self is actually assumption. As you can see from all of our posts here, you are most certainly not alone! We all do this! We all read these blogs and wish we could be like the people we read about! What we generally don’t see are the less perfect pieces of life. Really, in a lot of cases, I don’t think this comes as a result of wanting to appear perfect. I think that, ultimately, everyone who posts (whether via blogging, facebook, or whatever), feels that they have something to share with the world. They want to make a difference – a positive difference. But they still have floors to vacuum, dishes to wash, laundry to fold, and showers to take at times other than their ideal. :-) Even the “non-moms.”

    Your honesty is refreshing. :-) Thank you for sharing!

  18. beautiful, beautiful post. Every word of it stands true for me, too, (except that my baby is now 10 weeks old.) I’m glad that you put into words what I’ve been feeling!

  19. Ha! I was contemplating blogging about this very thing today and never got around to it. Don’t feel bad. We really are all in the same boat. I read a quote recently that made a big difference to me from a prominent female member of my faith, she said in essence that she loved turning 50 because once she did, she realized she didn’t need to compare herself to anyone else anymore.

    If it took this amazing woman until she was 50, I can feel better being not quite 30 and recognizing that I don’t like the comparison.

    That being said, keep at it!! Take it one day, one hour, on minute at a time. And know that when you choose to walk away from it all for a while in order to better care for yourself and your little ones, you are doing a good thing.

    Keep smiling. You can do it!

  20. I so know what you are talking about. I am working full time. We have 5 kids-ages 3-13. My husband works from early in the morning (4:30) until sometimes very late (past 7 pm). I cannot do it all. I feel helpless sometimes. Inadequate, worthless, drained etc. I do know that even though my husband would like it to be our house isn’t picture perfect! I am not going to break my back to make it like that. We clean and we clean so our house isn’t dirty it just gets messy. Make sense? It happens…before we had children our house was SO clean! Now, 15 1/2 years and 5 kids later it gets messy. So what! LOL He still gets all moody about it but I just let him vent and move on. I’m not going to get all bent out of shape for something that is only here for a season.

    I do however get to take a shower every day just because that is my ONE priority for myself. Our oldest son is old enough to help watch the others to keep them from burning down the house….for the most part. So, I try and do my shower early when I wake up (which helps me get moving) or at least by nap time for the little one. :)

    I really thought you were always like one of the perfect blogging mommies. ;) You are still perfect in our eyes. Keep up your great creative work. Don’t stress over it……I always say-it’ll be there tomorrow, ya know! If not then that’s ok too. :)

    Huge Hugs!! We Moms have to stick together.
    Angie

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