Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Comparisons


Does anyone else do this? Really do this?

I'm tired. I mean downright exhausted. The time is just escaping me. This is happening for many reasons but let me use today as an example. Please read at the end of this post if you would like to see this example. I just typed it all out and as therapeutic it was for me to do that, I will not make you read it to get to the point of my thinkings. When I get this worn out, I tend to get sensitive to things. I tend to start comparing myself to others.

For instance, I just read one of my friends blogs. Pure genius. And I wonder: She has more kids than I do, is in about the same parental position I am in, and yet she still can express herself brilliantly. Why can't I?

And what about my good friend a block away? Same thing, more kids, parental position, yet her house is so clean and inviting. Clean in a way that her children can still play, clean in a way that I don't freak when C and Gus climb on the couch's back. But clean. Dustless, smearless, clutterless. How?

Or my good friend that is now pregnant with her 5th child. In her second trimester and even knowing she is pregnant, I forget because her body isn't giving her away and neither is her go go go attitude. Damn her on so many levels!
Another friend, that is more new than not, her son and mine hit it off and haven't stopped. She always seems so level-headed, like nothing will phase her and no mess will freak her out. Her child has a small tantrum, nice, calm, soothing mothering. Something to strive for. At least I have her as an example.

One of my dearest friends, who always knows the right parenting skill and answer in all situations. Thank goodness for her, just wish she sat on my shoulder, wearing some stylish toga, telling me what to do or say right when I need it. I question myself all too often in these circumstances, yet really follow my gut, good or bad.

Friends who I may or may not know in person, who are busy, but have time to blog, or create, or help at school, or make a very nutritious meal each day, and still do all that I have detailed below and do it well. They aren't complaining. They aren't comparing. They aren't wondering "What is my thing?" Right?

Aren't there those who are so genuinely upbeat and happy all the time, nothing phasing them (we all know them, you are probably one of them) that you love to be around them. I so want to be this person. And those who just never cease to amaze. Those who do the acceptable and gracious thing at appropriate times. Those who never say the wrong thing. My "problem" is that I have so many talented people that I know or know of, that I could compare talents, personalities and so on for weeks and weeks and find myself lacking for weeks and weeks. I have SO many friends that are gifted, smart, and kind and lucky for me loyal and patient.

I was speaking to my friend's mom this week. She was saying "Lisa loves you. She loves how you always say what you are thinking." I corrected her. "I actually have learned to bite my tongue. Imagine all the things I don't say and how much trouble those words would get me into!" This is what I have been known for my whole life. Good or bad. And I tend to lean on sarcasm a little too much. So badly I want to be the person who says what she means but never says that wrong thing. Who's words come out of her mouth as clever and funny as they sound in her head. Who doesn't offend. Who can speak freely knowing that whatever I say is pure genius, brilliant and inspiring.

Let me clarify. This is not me feeling sorry for myself. I am being honest with how I feel day to day. I realize there are some things that I do well. There are things that I can't do. I am fine with this. But it doesn't mean that once in a while, I wonder what it would be like to have those other skills. I think this is only natural. Maybe I am wrong. Am I the only one that feels this way? I hope not. Or do I hope so?
But for now, I have to remind myself that I do some things well, even if I don't recognize them. Maybe someone lives vicariously through my awkward out loud musings, who knows. My pregnant friend's body and energy? Part genetics, part hard work. My genius blogger/friend? She's gifted with expressing herself and smart, really smart. Do I wish I was? Yes. Am I grateful she shares her words? So often. My clean friend, who also is kind and warm and smiling all the time? I don't know how she does it, and sometimes I want to kick her, but thank goodness for her friendship. My Parenting Wiz friend? She is just that good, and she shares the wisdom with me. I will have to reread this paragraph when I am not being logical, too hard on myself or others. And I will also reread the paragraph below and be grateful that not everyday is as busy as this one.


My mom went into surgery at 7am. J got up for the day around this time. I, along with the help of D, got E and the other two kids ready for the day and E and I left for school at 8:50a. I helped in his class from this time until 10:30, at which point I ran home, nursed J, did C's hair, got J dressed and packed us into the car to run to the store. I have been trying to find the right color of blue in any form of shirt and pant combo in order to put together E's Halloween costume, so off to another store to look for options. It is now 11a, find a couple of options, do a little grocery shopping and race to pick up E at noon. All the while, checking in with Dad about Mom's condition. Get home, feed the kids (yay for me, no McDonalds). Realize that what I thought I had bought for the costume wasn't it, get all three kids back into car and return to store. Find some other options. Can't find the right color of dye. Go to another store. Call a friend for E, pick him up (cute kid!). It is now 1:30p. The doc called down an hour ago saying they where closing her up, would be down shortly to talk to Dad. Still no word. Trying not to think the worst. Get home, nurse J, put down for a nap. Go out and clean up fallen tomatoes before they decay into the garden and become volunteers for next year. Deliver pictures to people in the neighborhood. Get a phone call that D's sister's water just broke. Can we meet them at the hospital and pick up their girls until her mother in law can come and get them? (turned out to be 9pm when she was able to get them, still no baby born!) Girls come, we go to E's soccer practice, come home to pizza, which some wouldn't eat, make mac and cheese (would McDonalds be healthier?) which some ate both that and pizza. Do homework with E. Nurse J. Finally go to the hospital at 7:30p to be with Mom, so Dad can rest. 10:30p home, opening the door to sounds of J screaming because he is awake and hungry. Nurse him, put fabric part of E's carseat in wash (shaken sprite drink from earlier). Realize I haven't had enough water today, decide to drink while the seat is washing and write this post. Now, we are at midnight.

3 comments:

Through the Looking Glass said...

I have a friend who I've known over 20 years. When she moved to our school, everyone was aflutter about the new girl from Ogden who was so beautiful and in head to toe Esprit. All the years I've known this girl, she has been funny, smart, talented and interesting to be around - and beautiful still. We reconeected as adults and I discovered that on top of all that, she is artistic in a way I never knew (and myself am not). She makes things from hand and they are beautiful and detailed. She's also the kind of mom who will drive to a bazillion different stores to find just the right shirt for her son's Halloween costume and the corresponsing dyes, while the rest of us buy costumes from Walmart and our little boys are "Zombie Doctors" for Halloween. She has really softened as an adult, and though she is bitingly funny and sarcastic, that's what people love about talking to her. I admire her in so many ways and am grateful she's a friend.

Jenny said...

Whitney, I think you just wrote what we all think at points in our lives. I think that apart from the insecurities at adolescence, motherhood is the worst possible time for our self-esteem. I recently took 2 old school friends to our beach house for a night and during the course of the evening over wine and chocolate we told each other how we viewed the other at school. It was absolutely amazing to find out how they saw themselves and how that differed from my view of them. We must all go through it but maybe we don't talk about it often enough. Well done for being brave enough to say you're not perfect all the time.
I think you're amazing and I've never even met you!
(By the way when is it appropriate to start decorating your house for Halloween? We don't really celebrate it in Australia but I'd love to start. Some tips would be much appreciated)

Okie Okasan said...

You really are voicing what we are all thinking. At least what I am thinking almost all the time. I even have a friendship that is currently suffering because I just can't quite let myself quit the comparisons (she has one of those immaculate houses and has taught her son a zillion baby signs and she's about a size zero, and on and on).

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It's like you tapped right into my head. I am glad you feel the strength to share, because I often wonder about this momblog world and just how honest everyone's being about what's REALLY going on in their lives! But you are the real deal. Thank you, and I'm keeping you and your mom in my thoughts today.

Marta