Stopping the comparisons: Just more experienced

The other day my boy, Parker, helped me bake in the kitchen for the first time. I’ve tried to get him involved before, but until yesterday he just didn’t understand. Having him help yesterday was fulfilling; one of those mommy moments I have quietly day dreamed about for quite a while. Son helping make cookies, stirring, tasting the dough

As I watched his small, chubby hands latch onto the spoon and start to slowly mix, my mind was flooded with memories of baking with my own mom. I would frequently step up onto a stool, put on my flowery apron, and be her right hand girl.

However just as frequently as I tried to help, I undoubtedly became discouraged. I remember looking at my finished product, then to hers, and back to mine. The disappointment was poignant. Why was Mom always so much better than me? As soon as I expressed my frustration, she would reply without missing a beat:

“I’m not better than you; I’m just more experienced.”

Me as a little girl learning to bake.

Me as a little girl learning to bake.

It made sense; it made me feel better. She had been baking for years and I was just a girl. It was silly for me to believe I could be perfect at something I’d practiced very little at. Her comment gave me hope.

Now as I’m a bigger girl, how often do I look at others, especially moms, and think–“She has it all together; she is so much better at being a mom.” A LOT. I do that a lot. But, is that accurate? Instead, I should think to myself, “She has three kids, she’s changed hundreds more diapers, she’s balanced housework with utter exhaustion way more than me. She may not be better; just more experienced.

Simple as that. No comparisons, no guilt, no discouragement.

In the end, we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. All those people we may be comparing ourselves to each day may just have more experience.

“Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” – Jon Acuff

How have you learned to stop yourself from comparing yourself to others? What is a saying that has helped you throughout your life?

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30 thoughts on “Stopping the comparisons: Just more experienced

  1. This got me thinking about making cinnamon rolls with my husband’s grandma…she made the BEST cinnamon rolls in the whole world. After many failed attempts, one day I took a pad of paper and wrote down exactly how she did it, down to the number of times she stirred and the length of her wooden spoon. I STILL couldn’t get them right! My husband reminded me that she had 60+ years of experience on me. I’m determined to someday make cinnamon rolls like hers, even if it takes half-century to get there! Beautiful post, as always, and adorable pictures!

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    • Chelsi, I totally understand what you mean! Sometimes it is like Grandma’s or Mom’s just have a little magic in their touch… Is it the way the knead the dough is it more sugar?? πŸ˜‰ But, really thank you for sharing your experience. It is the essence of what I was thinking when I wrote this post. It can be so discouraging when we compare ourselves to others, so we need to cut ourselves some slack. Who knows when you have grandchildren they may call YOU for a recipe and feel confused why it just doesn’t turn out like yours. πŸ™‚

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  2. It’s a real toss up between who’s cuter..you or your son! I really love this lesson from your mom…..what a divine memory to have and that you’re taking it and applying it to other aspects of your life shows your close connection to your mother and how very much she impacted you and your future. Parker is a lucky little guy I would say!

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    • Oh thank you, Torrie! It is amazing how much influence a good mother can have on her children, huh? This was my moms signature response to so much in my life and I’m so grateful for her wisdom. Oh how I hope to be for Parker what my mom has been for me.

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      • Marla…you don’t need to try and be your mother to Parker…..she’s already in you and in him….you be your own best self and you’re going to do just fine….you are your mother’s daughter but you’re also pretty fab at bringing your own outlooks to things! πŸ™‚

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      • You are totally right, Torrie. Thank you for the reminder of that. My little boy was sent to me, so that I could be my own kind of mommy for him… and the other kids that come along at some point πŸ™‚ There is something about me that makes me a great mom for him. Or maybe vice versa! I feel like he is teaching me things all the time. Thank you for enlightening me once again! πŸ™‚

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  3. This is such a wonderful lesson from your mom, and definitely something that put a lot of things in perspective for me, especially with the many challenges and victories of motherhood. Thank you for sharing this. It’s definitely a new mantra for a new mom like me πŸ™‚

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    • I’m so glad it touched you, Maria. And I agree, it has been helpful for me to think on this phrase. Especially cause I am a fairly new mother, too! Mommy comparisons can be so rough. I’m glad you could identify with it and I’m so glad you stopped by my blog! I look forward to reading more on your blog. I checked it out and will be following! πŸ™‚

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  4. You know what’s strange, having a daughter with disabilities put me, and my whole family, in such a different world that it was all about the nuts and bolts of staying balanced. I have often realized that this has been a blessing. Our family chemistry and circumstances were just always a little different than other families. Its very difficult, but in some way it’s protected me from many comparisons. You can’t compare with something you’re nothing like. Truly, everyone is like that. We’re just all different, with different ways of coping with and learning from our mortal experience. Love your posts so much!

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    • Kristi, thank you so much for sharing your perspective. I had never thought about it like this, but you are completely right! Most often we compare to ourselves to other people who we think we are enough “alike.” But really, we cannot compare ourselves to anyone, because we are all so different–different circumstances, family, and opportunities. And what a blessing it is that we are different! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences often, it always brings a smile to my face when I see that you have commented! πŸ™‚

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  5. This is a hard lesson and I think as women we may have to learn it over and over. I do this a lot too, but have gotten much better. We all do our best, and that’s good enough. Some days are better Than others. Inevitably, there will be people better, or more experienced, and there will be people less experienced than us and we can learn from both sides. You’re exactly where to need to be and I think you’ve got it much more together than you likely,
    give yourself credit for my friend. 😍

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    • Thank you so much, Rachael! I agree, I feel like this is a lesson that I am perpetually learning. But, I too feel like each time I learn it, it seeps deeper into my heart. I find that I am comparing less than I have in other stages of my life. I love what you said–that we can learn from both people more and less experienced than us. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this, Rachael, and for making me feel comfortable with who I am as a mother right now. πŸ™‚

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    • Thank you so much, Krystal! It is funny, because I thought about adding more, but then realized–nope! Sometimes less really is more. Thank you much for your feedback, I really appreciate it πŸ™‚

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  6. Fantastic post. I was just talking to my mother last night about this – how does so and so have time to work, be a mother, and exercise?! I love the quote you shared – “β€œDon’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” – Jon Acuff”. Experience goes a long way and often times you don’t know what to do or how to do it until you’re in the middle. Thanks for sharing!

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    • Oh how I can identify with your thoughts! Isn’t it the truth? I feel like the beginning of any new endeavor is so hard, and it isn’t until we have been at it for quite a while that we get to a place where we can balance our roles and add some beauty into the equation. At least that is how it is for me! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and stopping by my blog! πŸ™‚

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  7. That’s great advice! Experience makes most things look a lot easier than they really are. We need to be patient with ourselves and our kids. Easier said than done for me sometimes though! πŸ™‚ #mommymoments

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    • You definitely speak the truth! Experience really does make things look easier than they are. And I totally agree, patience and love for ourselves is essential. Just admitting that we are doing something hard and cutting ourselves some slack can be so important. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and visiting my blog πŸ™‚

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    • I love what you said, Caitlin, and u think you are right. At each point we are stretching and growing and it’s hard, which is probably why we often fall into comparing our vulnerable self to others. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for stopping by my blog. I really appreciate the added perspective. πŸ™‚

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  8. What an awesome comparison! I remember baking with my mom when I was little and thinking the same thing–why wasn’t I as good as her? More experience…what a wonderful realization in life!

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    • It is fun to have similar life experiences. And isn’t it amazing how many of the lessons we learn when we are little can stay with us? Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for stopping by my blog! πŸ™‚

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    • Aren’t our mother’s amazing?! And I am so glad you found my blog, as well. I just found yours and will be following! I try to be open with my feelings, because I don’t want others to feel alone or ashamed of their feelings. We all have feelings so I might as well get them out and let people know they aren’t crazy πŸ™‚ I look forward to getting to know you better!

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