A Life Stirred

The Flipside of Comparison

on March 2, 2014

Friday was a good day.  I was an awesome mom on Friday.

No, seriously.  An awesome mom.  Both girls got baths (with bubbles) after breakfast.  Claire took a three hour nap, while I engaged and played with Joanna.  We baked brownies, built a cardboard house, and then ate the warm brownies in the cardboard house.  I totally nailed motherhood on Friday.

Claire even had her own window.  Labeled and everything.

Claire even had her own window. Labeled and everything.

And I wanted to brag about it on every form of social media that I use.  Ok, fine.  I did brag about it.  I was so stinkin’ proud of myself.

Then I felt bad about all my bragging.  Because it presents just a fraction of my full reality.  Generally, my days aren’t that stand-out awesome.  Generally, there’s a lot more…mess.  Literally and figuratively.

Generally, it’s a struggle to get Claire to nap.

Baby toes...attached to a sleeping baby.    I take so many pictures of her sleeping because it’s such a big deal every time.

Baby toes…attached to a sleeping baby. I take so many pictures of her sleeping because it’s such a big deal every time.

Generally, it’s a battle to engage with Joanna when Claire does sleep.  It’s just too easy to let her play by herself.  all. the. time. because she’s good at it.  (“No, I don’t want to play “People”.  You don’t ever share the pieces I want.  Yes, I know I sound like the toddler in our relationship.”)

She makes the same person every time.  I wonder what she likes about it...

She makes the same person every time. I wonder what she likes about it…

Generally, I waste too much time on my computer.  (Sidenote: I think this is the next area of obedience that God is calling me out on.  There’s a way to use technology in moderation…and I’m a ways off from that.)

Generally, the house is a disaster zone, and the dishes are piled up.  And the bathroom is super gross.  Oh, wait, my house was a disaster zone with dishes and a gross bathroom on Friday.  Ha!  (See?  I’m not perfect.  Just in case you thought I was.)

Recently, I’ve been hearing a lot about how comparison can steal our joy.  I’m pretty sure that concept has been around for a while.  (A quick google search gives credit to Theodore Roosevelt.  So there.)  But it’s new to me.

As we all know, social media makes it oh-so-easy to compare.  So often as I scroll through my newfeeds, reading about your stand-out awesome days, I compare.  And my joy is stolen.

Yet, when I had a good day, I wanted to share, knowing full well that I was making it easy for you to compare.  And perhaps I even wanted you to compare (so long as I come out looking amazing).  So…uh…I wanted to steal your joy?!  Yikes.  Talk about an ugly heart.

It got me wondering….do I share things based purely on the image that it creates?  Do I share things to puff myself up?  I think if I really analyzed my facebook posts, I would find that more often than not, I post to present a polished image of myself.  I want you to see me, compare yourself, and fall short.  (I would never say that.  Ever!  But I think it’s at the heart of some of my desires when I share things on facebook.)  It’s the flipside of comparison.  And it can be kind of ugly.

Am I the only one who struggles with this?  Do you ever share things for ugly-heart reasons?  Have you ever looked at why you share what you share?

(It’s worth noting that I know I’m not in charge of your response to my posts, but I am in charge of my heart and motive in sharing.)

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5 responses to “The Flipside of Comparison

  1. Such a good reminder Carley. It is all to easy to compare ourselves to others . . . BUT . . . with God’s help it is possible to stop it too. Just remember probably everyone else, that you are comparing yourself too, is only posting their “good” days and not their bad. I know I don’t often post my bad days.

  2. sarahannrogers08 says:

    I think about this stuff so often! I actually have a post I’m doing this week on set hong similar. It’s a tough thing for me- knowing how to toe the line between celebrating and bragging. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!

    • carleymorse says:

      Yes! “Celebrating and bragging.” I couldn’t quite find those words, but that’s what I’m talking about. Because we should be able to celebrate with one another. But I have to make sure my heart is not sharing to one-up you (or someone else).

  3. Amy Cote says:

    Okay, I’ll go. Most of my posts are of Ada and Ben when I’m home alone with them which is most of the time. They are doing something or looking a certain way in which causes me to have some sort of narrative in my head about it. If an adult were here, I’d point and say it, but I’m alone and so I take a picture in efforts to share with a human. Kind of pathetic ? I don’t know, maybe… But I also know there are dozens of my mom friends who can relate. There have been times I have wanted to share pictures of us at Disney, or pictures of when Matt and I were in New Orleans, but I didn’t because it felt like”look at us” . So is that “not keeping it real” ? For me, I like seeing my friends kids and I love feeling like we are in this together even if we are 1/2 mile from each other ( Carley) or hundreds (Lindsay).

    • carleymorse says:

      Yes, Amy!! Well said. Most of my posts are generally because I want some grown-up conversation or pseudo-interactions. It helps with loneliness. Maybe it’s pathetic, but I think maybe it’s not. It’s just using the tools we have for connecting with others. 🙂

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