The Comparison Trap

If there's one thing I've learned in the last four years of motherhood and three years of blogging, it's this: comparison is toxic.

Toxic, unproductive, and misleading.

Stop comparing yourself to the seemingly perfect mom at preschool orientation. You don't know her story.

Stop comparing yourself to the 30-something moms in TV commercials and movies — the ones with hefty 401Ks and nannies and high-powered careers. They're fiction.

Stop comparing yourself to the party-going 20-somethings on your Facebook feed. They might be lonely.

Stop comparing yourself to the "successful" women in your field — the ones getting promotions and opportunities that YOU WANT SO BAD. You don't know how hard they've worked, how long they've worked, or their ultimate goals. "Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle."

Stop comparing your kids, your husband, your style, your success, your anything. Because — trust me on this — it will do nothing but make you miserable.

Don't chase someone else's dream because it looks pretty, and don't assume that someone else's life is enviable when you have no idea what life is like behind closed doors. I know comparison is seductive — it is for everyone — but life is so much simpler when you eliminate that nagging pressure and sadness. Not only is comparison unproductive, but it's a big ugly liar.

When you catch yourself Facebook stalking, stop. When you spend 10 minutes Googling someone's accomplishments, snap out. When you spend any amount of time beating yourself up for not measuring up to someone else, realize how circular and destructive that is — not to mention absurd.

These are all just noisy distractions, not worth your tears and frustrations.

It's just not worth it.

Photos: Etsy.com//Etsy.com//Lara Casey