The Comparison Trap


You might have played it. Chances are it’s been played on you too. If you’re an adult, you probably have experienced the competition and comparison that happens with our friends, family, social media friends, and even acquaintances from our kids’ schools or sports teams.

Ever heard the saying: “Comparison kills your joy?” Ever wondered what that actually means?

To start, has anyone ever tried to make you feel “less than?” I’m not really talking about the people that seem to have it all together. You know, the people with the perfect marriage, the perfect kids, who take all the vacations, have expensive clothes, expensive cars, and an ideal house? Those people’s lives are so unattainable (and probably fake) that it doesn’t bother you.

I’m talking about the people that seem to be just a little better than you. The people in your inner circle who want to rub your nose in the fact that they have everything you have, but it’s just a little better than yours. Their house is decorated a little bit more stylishly than yours. They have kids who are a bit more talented or a bit funnier than yours. Their car is just a little bit newer. The competition literally never ends.

House envy, marriage envy, kid envy, vacation envy… it’s a real thing. If we aren’t aware of it, we might be doing it to others, and we don’t even realize it.

I’m at a point in my life where the competition game is strong. It starts with your newborn. Your friends are having babies too. What kind of car seat or stroller are they getting? Does it have more bells and whistles than yours? Did they get a bigger baby shower than I did? How can I afford to fill my baby’s closet with all the Kickee pants and Matilda Jane outfits like my friends? Who has the cutest baby room and hired the best newborn photographer?

This just evolves as they get older to whose kid is more talented at soccer and whose kid can read better or whose kid is more artistic. It literally never ends. And honestly, I’m exhausted just writing about it. However, just like anything in life, we can stop the cycle and actually have a decent relationship with other moms.

If you’re lucky, like me, you can find a group of moms where competition doesn’t happen, and you can feel genuine happiness radiating from people when something good is going on in your life. Find that group of friends and hold on to them. Treasure them and make sure you’re the same type of friend to those people.

Be glad for others when they go on a cool trip, or their kid wins at something. Encourage and compliment your friends when someone in the family gets a promotion, and they move into a house you’d love to have. Be in the business building others up, and in the process, you’ll notice that you’re becoming your best self ever and having more joy in life.

Distance yourself from the competition and the games that the insecure and prideful moms play. It’s ok to not hang out with them or to hide their social media posts. You don’t need that toxicity in your life. Being a mom is hard enough as it is.