Monday, July 9, 2012

Compare Mode


Lucky for me, the one thing I don't have to compare is how cute and fantastic my children are. They trump all. 


It's funny, I have this fear in the back of my mind that someone out there somewhere reads my blog and thinks, "Didn't she just say she was feeling good and doing well? Why is she complaining about this right after saying she's in a good place?" That's my insecurity speaking. And like it matters. I'm just getting stuff out there on paper to digest, discuss, and document.

Well friends, I'm a woman. Do we not feel a million things at once?

So while I readily admit I'm in a better place emotionally than I thought I would/could be after giving birth, I still battle daily with mental crap-o-la.

Enter: Compare Mode.

Worst mode to be in. And I fight it everyday. The internet doesn't help either. (HI! You are on the internet reading about my life. Didn't I just say I'm writing this to help me DDD--digest, discuss, document? So maybe it does help). But you know what I'm saying.

Vic and I are in a few interesting positions in our lives. We both have felt a profound sense of being "different" lately. I first brought it up after being at the park with a few other moms---Women I really like and enjoy talking to and am comfortable with--but nonetheless, I walked away feeling down and different.

For one, our child died. It sets us apart. It just does. Plain and simple. I know I am stamped with that. Also, Vic is 40. Friends his age have teenagers. As will his younger brother when he is 40.

COMPARE MODE

Families in our ward and community have a lot of money. A lot. They go on trips and have nice cars and can afford all sorts of lessons for their kids.

COMPARE MODE

Vic is struggling feeling fulfilled in his career and would love to provide more financial security for our family. A lot of men in Park City own their own businesses or work from home and have flexible schedules. We have a large ward where we aren't necissarily needed. A million different people could fill our callings.

COMPARE MODE

So and so lost their baby weight already, why haven't I? (Seriously? It's been 4 weeks. You are an idiot Molly--but you still love to think that thought and hold onto it!)

COMPARE MODE

So and So has way more blog readers than I do. How does she have 3 children and still manage to keep up such a gorgeous and perfect blog and make money from it? Why can't I do that?

COMPARE MODE

Are you sick of it yet? Ya, so am I. But where do I find the button in my brain to switch to a different mode like JOY MODE or THANKFUL MODE or LOOK BEYOND THE TIP OF  YOUR NOSE MODE?

32 comments:

  1. Molly - I don't read your blog for the fluff - I don't even notice the heading or side adds etc. I read your blog for the reality of your feelings. I am at a different place in life with regards to rearing children etc., but believe me your honesty makes me want to scream and shout, "YES YES YES that's EXACTLY how I feel" I have a blog, but I don't have the courage to use it as a forum to share my private pain and grief. (Honestly it shouldn't matter because I think I have 3 readers) Like you I have amazing days that are happy and fulfilling, but there are days when I want to DDD too, but my insecurities prevent me from making those posts. I think to myself, "who would actually care". My grief comes from another stage in life, but it's not a dramatic event like yours. So please please please know that you are providing a great service, if for no one else, but me. I think so many of us feel exactly like you do, but lack the courage to be honest. It seems the facade of perfection prevents us from actually helping each other. So pat yourself on the back. I imagine many of us compare ourselves to "YOU" saying, "Wow, Molly has courage to be honest, she has a beautiful home in PARK CITY, beautiful children, a cute little shape, is athletic, funny, talented, giving, artistic, loving, honest" and the list goes on. Also you KNOW we aren't required to compare ourselves to anyone - everyone has a cross to bear in this life. You only have to compare yourself you YOU - who you were yesterday to who you are today. From my perspective you are doing amazing. Have a happy day.
    Sending you love from Boise, Idaho

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  2. im from argentina and just love love love love to see your boy with this clothes!!! I want to know how do you get it?

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  3. Molly, I admire how you can 'DDD' as well. I carry a different grief that I would love to discuss and get perspective but am not as brave as you. I imagine that blogging brings peace for you and hope that is true. I think sometimes just hearing something out loud can help us to put things in their proper place. Comparing for example. Nasty stuff! And yet we do it, why?

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  4. Gratitute journal...everyday 10 things to be grateful for. Seriously changed my life.

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  5. Ahhhhh I feel this way probably too often. I am currently pregnant and compare myself to EVERY pregnant woman out there. It is so frustrating. "she is 4 weeks ahead of me and I am bigger than her!" Granted, this is our second baby, but STILL!

    I sure do appreciate your honest and "real" voice on your blog. It gets ANNOYING reading about bloggers when they aren't totally honest and real. Life isn't perfect, so why write about only perfect things?

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  6. Thanks for this post. I think we all go through periods like that. Whether it is to compare mode, sad mode, angry mode, blah mode, etc.... For me, there have been different tools at different times that have made me refocus and alter course. My latest one was reading the book, The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin. You are a great reader, so you've probably already read that one. I loved it so much that I actually took notes. I wanted to remember what I read and try to apply it. I hate self help books, but this one was different for me. I helped me see way that I can be joyful and it also helped me to realize that it is OKAY that my life is different than someone else's life. Anyway.... you'll have to pick it up when you have time (I know... in between kids, feeding, no sleep, laundray, etc... you have tons of time. :) Can't wait to see what you find that works for you. When you find it, share it. We are all working on improving ourselves each day. We are all in different places. Much love to you.

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  7. Hi Molly,

    I read your blog when ever you post but am not sure I have ever commented. Maybe once before. I truly hate the compare mode. It's an awful beast. What Robin said is very spot on. I've always enjoyed reading your honestly. I can feel your frustration on many items you listed. I am 31 and my husband is 38. No earthly kids yet and he has not even started his doctorate program...I feel...like I don't belong anywhere...esp. in the ward. I've been talking with my husband about this and we have yet to come up with a solution about me feeling like I don't belong...I just keep going :) You are an amazing, strong daughter of God. If anything, use the comparing beast to make you a better person...whatever that path is.

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  8. I posted once on my blog about how we ought not to compare ourselves to others and then a few posts later talked about how I can't get out of the mode of comparing myself to others. My sister-in-law commented that I had just contradicted myself. I don't think I did. Just because I believe something in theory doesn't mean I am perfect at applying it in practice. Besides, I think we all go through ups and downs of emotions and, like you say, are capable of feeling more than one at once. So as I read your words, I don't feel like you are contradicting yourself, I just feel like you a real person.

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  9. I came to make a comment and could have wrote what Robin did.

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  10. I think that many of us feel that way. I know I do. I have to constantly remind myself that I am blessed in so many ways. In fact, the other night I was explaining to my almost 6 year old why were celebrating America's Indpendence Day. And as I told her how lucky we as a family are - to be in relatively good health, to have a roof over our heads, good food to eat, a soft bed to sleep on, toys, clothes, etc - I couldn't help but feel a little hypocritcal because as much as I know we are blessed, I always feel like less. I don't feel like I fit in at church with all of the stay at home moms with perfectly coifed hair, in their size 2 dress, and their kids in matching clothes, with perfectly coifed hair, playing on their iPads. Oh I could go on. I feel you. It is my current struggle as my husband lost his job a year and a half ago and he is working again (thankful) but he is way underemployed (but glad he has something when so many have nothing). I watch my sister go on expensive vacations, buy a huge house, get a second iPad for her birthday, kids with iPods, fancy clothes, expensive furniture, eat out several times a week, say what is the big deal about a dollar at a restaurant. When we sit across the freeway praying we can pay our mortgage, find clothes that don't look to thrifted, appreciate the groceries others have provided. She is a size 5 and average height. I am tall and a size 16/18. I feel left out on so many levels.

    Where am I going with all of this? Oh yes, I think a lot of us do compare mode. I think we try hard to appreciate what we have but it still doesn't feel like enough. I always feel "different" and always have. I can relate to your post. While I am not glad you are doing that, I am glad to know that I am not alone. I will try to remember that the next time I feel that way.

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  11. I love Robin's comment.

    I've played the compare game with YOUR blog a million times: "I wish my house looked like Molly's. I wish I had her style. I wish I had a body like her. I wish I could do a drug-free birth like her." ETC.

    And your blog is so not one of those show-offy "I'm sooo awesome look at me bake a gourmet organic pie while I handcraft 500 party favors at the same time" kind of blogs. Actually I think I compare myself to you more because with those other blogs I can be like "whatever, they frontin'." But you're honest and real, so there is no doubt that you're awesome. So I hate you, basically. But not really.

    I wish women didn't compare ourselves to each other so much. It really robs us of our power, I think. I wish we could see our own amazingness the way others see it in us. I see your amazingness, Molly, and so do so many others--just know that.

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  12. Simply your amazing... Remeber that many people who read this blog believe this about you...

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  13. HAHAHA I'm loving this. Take a look at one of those Housewives of I Don't Care Where It Is. They seemingly have all the money, clothes, time, help, etc. that we all wish we had more of. But would I trade places with them for one hour? NEVER. They are so unhappy and not really nice people.

    Bloom where you're planted and with whatever fertilizer gets dumped on you.

    (Hope you're not offended. This touched a spot on me.)

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  14. Molly - all of the time I think about the things that I don't have that others do. Not only - why is my child not here and that child is? But also - why did I never lose all of my baby weight after Max's birth, everyone else did? Why do I have to be so different than the other people in my book club? My group of college friends? My family? Why is that person grieving in a more healthy way than me? I could go on and on. It is human (and female). We can't help it.

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  15. You are beautiful and smart and witty and cool.

    So many of us compare to YOU. But that's how it goes, right? An endless & unserving circle/cycle of comparisons. We all do it.

    Most of us can relate to at least one of the comparing modes you shared--it's not just you--but it does feel so personal, real, and debilitating. Getting down in writing is helpful, hope you can switch modes and feel some relief--it does feel heavy, doesn't it?

    I second Cheryl's comment. Taking time to actually document blessings/miracles/wonderfulness/little moments can make a world of difference.

    In the end--you are amazing. Loveya!

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  16. BTDT

    I have Compare Mode issues, too. But mine centers around easy babies/sleep schedules. I work INCREDIBLY hard to get my babies on schedules & routines. INCREDIBLY hard. I give up a lot more than most moms to try to make sure my babies develop decent naps and to encourage them sleeping through the night sooner. But this 3rd baby DOESN'T CARE. And I've had a lot of friends have babies around the same time as me. And these people tote their babies around all day, go where they want to go, do what they want to do. And their baby will happily comply by falling asleep anywhere and never getting fussy... and STILL sleep through the night. And I'm trapped in my home, bound by a failing routine and trying to keep my other 2 entertained in this itty-bitty townhouse with no yard.

    So I feel you. Our issues are different, but they're the same, you know? :/

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  17. I don't think there is a woman alive that does not compare herself to others....I'm too thin, I'm too heavy, I'm too old, I'm too young, I'm too busy, I'm not busy enough, my friends exhaust me, I don't have enough friends...you know the drill. I did not become a mother until 31 when we adopted our son. We surely didn't fit the "mold" in our ward. My friends were grandmothers at 40 or 45. I became a widow at 56 and finally become a grandmother at 58. Most of my life I felt like I was a step behind but now....I have so much to be thankful for and it has taken me all these years to realize I had everything and more than I ever needed - the love of a good man, a wonderful son, now a great daughter-in-law and my most cherished and loved little grandson. Don't be too hard on yourself. Just remember - you are you and there is only one Molly - one perfectly wonderful amazing Molly and only one Molly who just happens to be the mother of 3 of the cutest most wonderful children who have known nothing but love in their lives. We can't be perfect every day but we will have those perfect moments, those moments that will take our breath away. You are such a good example to many of us. Your humor just makes my day. Your frank comments and honesty leaves me wondering why I can't more like you!! But then again, there is only one ME, too. Hang in there my blogger friend. Keep smiling (even if you don't feel like it) and keep moving forward (even if you don't know which path to follow every day) and keep being you (even if you think you don't measure up) because I think you are one amazing lady!!

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  18. yea, when you figure "it" out....
    please, let me know too!!!!!!!!

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  19. when i find that button i will let you know. xo

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  20. I hate feeling like that. When I do, I pray. Sounds simple but sometimes it is HARD!!! Flippin hard. Hard to go to the Lord and humble yourself to say "Lord, this is how I feel" But he KNOWS you and LOVES you! Don't give up. You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it.

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  21. Molly, You explained it all when you said " I'm a woman". Trust me you are so NOT the only one out there that does all this :) I can change from a great mood to a not so great mood in a snap of a finger. I don't like it, but then again that is how I am. I have neighbors all around me where both parents work full time jobs and therefore, they have lots more money than we do. But then I have to remind myself that I choose to be a stay at home mom and I want to be the one that raises my kids, not some day care service. So I try to balance out my DDD. Thanks for always being so open and honest with things, it really does help people like me :)

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  22. I always thought if I had one super-power, it would be that I just absolutely wouldn't have the ABILITY to compare with anyone else. Can you imagine the freedom?
    I think being real and open gives such freedom to everyone else. Knowing you are not perfect makes it okay for me to not be, too. Thank you.
    Love ya!

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  23. I kind of laughed about this - you have just documented the thought process of 30 million women. Hang in there - maybe just laugh at yourself for being so silly and so human - there's no crime in what you are thinking and no real resolution for this comparing thing we all do. It's there, you feel it, you are just like the rest of us, don't dwell on it, you're normal.

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  24. I can so feel for you! As I struggled through 18 months of trying (and not succeeding) at getting pregnant, finally getting pregnant, and then losing the baby at 7 weeks, it was SO HARD not to compare myself to my sisters-in-law -- three of whom were or are pregnant now. WHY do they get all the fertility luck, and I don't? What am I doing wrong? The anwer? Nothing! My story is just different from their story. Maybe I will struggle to have children, but being a mother will not be hard for me. Maybe they will struggle elsewhere, struggles I will never have. I'm finally pregnant again!!!!!

    Also, some people have plenty of money and are miserable people, while others don't have as much and are happy. I saw a little saying on Pinterest that helped me recently -- "Someone is happier with less than you have." I love that! So I guess what I'm trying to say is, EVERYONE has struggles. Some are obvious and can be seen from the outside, and others quietly suffer and you would just never imagine that anything is wrong in their life. No one has an absolutely perfect life, no one. So hang in there! I don't even know you, but I totally adore you!

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  25. I've never commented on your blog before, but I just wanted to say, along with all the others, that I get it.
    Lately when I've gotten stuck in that depressed mode of feeling less beautiful or less fit or less awesome than someone else, I've started telling myself that I'm Katie. Simple as that. I have an identity. I'm not "Thick Legs" or "Spacey" or "Not as Cute as Melissa" or "Non-Creative". I'm "Katie", and I'm unique and have a lot to offer.
    It's hard to remember our divine nature, but that's probably because there's someone wanting to keep us focusing on ourselves and not on others. If I can remember that, it helps me. :) We just need to remember that you and I and all these women are daughters of God.

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  26. I get it I really do I compare myself to others in most of those same ways and I always feel just a little bit like an outsider with other moms who have never lost a child. We really need to get together at least then someone gets one of our issues if not more.
    Love Ya!

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  27. Well that's just strange, I compare myself all the time to others and always come out feeling like a winner. I love doing it! I can always find someone I'm taller than (you), skinnier than (obese people), smarter than (children), richer than (most Chinese people), healthier than (old people), funner than (depressed people), better mother than (child abusers & crack hos). I think you're looking at the wrong people. Start comparing yourself to total losers and you'll be feeling fantastic in no time!

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  28. I love your honesty. When I go out with other moms, I feel the same way. Somehow, I never have all that they do. So, I avoid hanging out with other moms. Well, at least the ones that make me feel worse once the play date is over. You are an inspirational mom to many of us, even us strangers you don't know!

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  29. Molly! You look amazing. You are so tiny...talk about losing baby weight. I am not just saying it either, I saw you and your sweet little Zoe at Park City Outlets and I wanted to gush over the two of you. I walked away telling my kids. I totally know her!! It was my running into a celebrity moment:) You are amazing in so so many way. We just moved from St.George and feeling homesick. You make others smile,just by seeing you and your sweet new bundle of joy. You are you and that is why everyone adores you!

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  30. I can relate to Vic. If I'd followed the "return from your mission, get married within a couple of years and have a baby" pattern, I'd have a child approaching age 20 by now. The fact that my oldest is 9 has really hit me lately.

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  31. Thanks for your honesty. I enjoy posts like this because it makes me feel like I am not alone in my thinking but it is also good to know that you will find the JOY mode... promise :) from one Blogher blogger to another, thanks for your thoughts.

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  32. You should think about relocating to Arkansas.. The natural state. The wards here are growing, house market is starting to pick up remarkably well, and the opportunities for growth are endless. Not to mention, it'd be pretty cool to meet you and your amazing family!! ALSO- hablamos mucho Espanol!!

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