Resist That Urge to Compare

posted by Andrea | 01/14/2014

resist that urge to compare

We’ve all done it — myself included — many, many, many, MANY times.

I’ve watched a lady with 5 well-behaved little children seemingly effortlessly make her way through the grocery store with no shouting or yelling… while I struggle with our ONE toddler who is screaming that she wants another cookie.

So, what am I doing wrong?

I’ve witnessed women at church who seem to volunteer for EVERYTHING, plan every event, chair every committee, participate in every fundraiser… while I continue to say ‘no’ to additional requests for my time as I just don’t have the hours or the energy for more commitments right now.

So, what am I doing wrong?

I’ve seen fellow blogging friends roll out huge new blog designs, publish best-selling books, create designer printables, and write posts that go viral across the web… while I sometimes seem to be “standing still” (by my own accord) and simply doing the same things each week and each month.

So, what am I doing wrong?

so what am I doing wrong

But ironically, when the tables turn, I’m often the one getting emails from discouraged readers wondering what they are doing wrong since they clearly can’t manage to do everything I supposedly do on a daily basis — with a toddler who rarely sleeps and a baby on the way.

How do you manage to keep your house relatively clean while working full time?

How do you manage to keep your freezer and pantry stocked with soups, casseroles, baked goods, and discount produce?

How do you make the time for canning 60 quarts of applesauce or multiple batches of jam in one day?

How do you make the time for home and yard renovations while still doing all your other daily and weekly chores?

How do you stay on top of all your paper clutter, clothes clutter, kitchen clutter, and toy clutter?

How do you keep all your photos so organized and stay on top of your digital photo albums every year?

How are you able to live such frugal lives, save so much of your income, and afford to do all those home renovations?

I get these questions (and other similar questions) on a weekly basis. Clearly, there is something wrong with anyone who can’t keep up with my supposed productivity… or at least that’s what some of you seem to think :)

what am i doing wrong

It always makes me smile when I get these emails asking “how do you do it all” — not because I’m proud or because I want others to feel inferior, but because I too have these same sort of thoughts (as I mentioned above) when I see other women who are apparently doing SO much more than I am.

Plus, I know first-hand that I DON’T do it all!  

In fact, there are lots and lots of things I don’t do (and I’m continually doing less “extra stuff” as the months go by).

It’s just that the things I DO do are also things I showcase on my blog — because that’s my job.

It’s my job to keep our house relatively clean, and then share the tips and tricks I use to keep it that way (plus, I really enjoy cleaning)

It’s my job to keep our pantry and freezer stocked, and then share my simple freezer-friendly recipes (plus, I really enjoy cooking and baking when I have the time)

It’s my job to can and preserve produce, and then share my recipes and time-saving tips (plus, I really enjoy the process and we LOVE the taste)

It’s my job to do fun home renovations, and then share the before and after transformations (plus, we purchased our house knowing we would do lots of renovations)

It’s my job to corral all our clutter, and then share how I do it (plus, I REALLY love a good organizing project)

It’s my job to take photos, edit photos, make photo books, and then share the process I go through and the resources I use (plus, digital photo albums are the one crafty thing I love doing)

It’s my job to live frugally, save more, spend less, and then share my simple money-saving tips (plus, I’ve always been frugal and really enjoy finding a great deal)

I think you get the idea…

I have the HUGE luxury of doing what I love every day (cooking, cleaning, organizing, renovating, decluttering, saving money, etc.) and getting paid to do it by sharing it here on my blog.

So obviously, it’s exponentially easier for me to keep up with all those household chores, organizing projects, photo albums, freezer cooking sessions, etc. because they are things I already enjoy doing, they are things I want to do, and they are things I am eventually paid to do by sharing the process on my blog.

There is no way I could ever do all the things listed above if I had a different job that required me to work outside the home.


How’s that for letting my little secret out of the bag?

happy Nora

So when you read my blog posts (and I do hope you keep reading!) about all the domestic accomplishments I tackle every day; keep in mind that although I DO enjoy what I do, it’s also my job. You can’t compare your situation and accomplishments to mine because we don’t have the same proprieties, talents, interests, time constraints, or other obligations.

Similarly, when I see the mom of 5 in the grocery store with ‘perfect’ children, the women at church who volunteer so many hours, and the fellow bloggers who are doing such big things — I must remember that we don’t have the same proprieties, talents, interests, time constraints, or other obligations.

I’m not saying any of us are more or less busy, I’m just saying we’re all busy in different ways — and that’s healthy.


Resist that urge to compare yourself to me, to other bloggers, to your mother, to your sister, to your friend, to your neighbor, to the women at church, to the mothers at the grocery store, and to any other person who is doing something you feel you’re not doing — but maybe should be doing.

Just don’t do it!

It’s not easy, but it will save you so much stress, anxiety, worry, and feelings of inadequacy — so I’d say it’s worth trying.

Plus, wouldn’t this be a great way to start a New Year!

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Filed under: FamilyLifeParenting



  1. Candis


    Thank you!!!! :-)


  2. Molly


    Andrea-loved this post. I’ve been embracing the phrase “dwell in the possibility” and this post reminds me that we have different possibilities!


  3. Marisa


    Thanks for this. Really needed to hear it!


  4. Amy


    I just heard a quote on the Dr. Oz show that Cameron Diaz shared while she was a guest on his show. It was “Comparison is a brutal assault against oneself”
    So true.


  5. Lynn


    I became a single parent when my daughter was 4 years old. I have read and observed many blogs posted by married women with more than one child. I have wondered how any of these bloggers get it all done. One particular activity i have noticed is the huge organizational notebooks that are maintained, the efficient shopping, incredible organization and labeling of all organizational baskets, etc. and how smoothly all the varied tasks get done within the home. As a believer in going green, used mason jars before the ‘big discovery’, worked full-time and experienced the discrimination of women as head of the household. This list could go on forever. It is a myth that women can do it all, bring home the bacon, preserve all the food from the organic garden, organize to perfection and spend quality time with my children.

    Love this post and I do believe that many bloggers have a support machine that allows them to all the tasks as reported. I came along during the equality of women rights and the right we have earned is to work for less money, take care of the home and children and whatever else falls into the homemake, taker care of all needs of the family and the ability for a woman to do this without support is a myth. I have lived and breathed this.

    I have researched many bloggers and truly believe that there is much support and coaching to maintain a blogging site. No one lives in the beautiful expensive home and does it all by themselves.

    In terms of going green, I like your suggestions. Going grreen does not include putting a label on the jar lid, wrapping another label with rafia, written instructions for the goodies in the jar and a label on the mason jar. So do the math, all the printing and purchasing of labels is not a frugal act.

    Know this is a long post. Probably will not be on the site. I have written this our of respect for your approach to organization. Middle class families cannot afford this upper end of organization due to the expense. We can organize with recycled boxes, etc. A tip of the hat to you.

    Women cannot feel good about themselves comparing their life to this magical life portrayed on most of the blogging sites. Get some good ideas and be true to the integrity of going green, quality family time and enjoy each day. Some of the sites I have reviewed regularly are not realistic for a woman working, caring for the home, children and husband. No way a single mother can accomplish what I have seen on the blogs. I have lived it and now take care of an elderly parent.

    I know this reply is long. I hope you read this and continue to reflect what makes sense. Too bad most bloggers are not in touch with the heart beat of middle America struggling with low wages, poor work conditions, etc.


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