The sting of comparison (& why I should stop reading other blogs)

Every day, her email comes in, some time between 12:03 and 12:20pm.

And every day, my heart sinks.

Uggg, it’s her. 

She’s not someone I know. She’s not someone I’ve ever met. She’s not someone I don’t like. She’s not someone I’d consider a bad person.

She’s a successful fashion blogger, and to be honest, she seems like a downright sweet girl.

But, every time I read her subscriber email, I just… (and, I hate admitting this)…

I just feel like CRAP.

She’s skinny. She’s pretty. She’s stylish. She’s rich. (In fact, I first started following her after reading an article that said she makes $900,000 a year.) She shares pictures of her perfectly white dog and her perfectly white house (that’s been gorgeously decorated by a buttload of sponsors).

Really, there’s nothing bad about her.

Except that when I read her blog, I feel BAD about myself.

I’m not skinny. I don’t always look so pretty. My kids are stylish, but my whole life seems to wear mom jeans. I’m not rich, and I don’t work outside the home. (In fact, until a month ago, this blog was losing money every month.) My dog is far from white perfection. She’s an ugly little b&%ch who craps all over my house and barks at the mailman during naptime. And my house. Well, my house is far from perfect.

Ouch.

Yep, the comparison is real.

And then, I wonder: Why do so many people read her blog? (Besides, of course, that it’s amazing. Duh.)

Doesn’t it make others feel bad about themselves, too?

Then, when nap time rolls around (you know, after a toddler poop accident, a head-first kid tumble onto the tile floors and 17 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches), I clean up the kid lunch table (i.e. the crusts of 17 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, with which I could feed a small army) and get on Instagram.

Usually, I share a picture about my latest blog post, my nasty diaper bag or a silly kid moment.

And then, of course, I scroll through my feed.

And there’s that other blogger.

That mom of 4 adorable blonde-haired kids. She is skinny and beautiful, with loose, long blonde hair that seems to always look simultaneously disheveled and chic. Her style is casual and effortlessly cool. Her husband’s a doctor. She has a hilarious sense of humor that is both self-deprecating and endearing. She makes motherhood seem cool and funny. She’s got 20,000 followers on Instagram, and her posts are addicting.

Again, I compare myself.

And yet again, I feel like crap.

I have short, oily hair that lacks a style because I haven’t been to the salon in 2 months. I’m not skinny. I don’t look effortlessly cool. My husband’s not a doctor (but he is a brilliant entrepreneur who also happens to be an amazing father). My sense of humor isn’t funny and ironic. It’s stupid and no one gets it. Oh, and I “only” have 900 Instagram followers.

Of course, it’s probably an atrocious faux pas to write about other bloggers. (Again, I’m so uncool.)

But I hope you can see my point.

It’s not them.

The problem is me.

Do you feel me?

Are you addicted to looking at things that, at the end of the day, make you feel worse about your own life?

Gorgeously-styled Pinterest crafts, stunning and effortlessly-witty mom bloggers, perfect Instagram homemakers.

The thing is, when you look at life through the lens of social media, it’s easy to forget that everyone on that glossy screen is putting their best face forward.

But, behind the iPhone camera, Instagram filter and the WordPress post, there is something really freakin’ scary.

Real life.

Insecurity. Tears. Bad breath. Clogged toilets. Toddlers who hit their friends. Babies who won’t sleep. Jealousy. Bitterness. Diaper explosions. And a whole bunch of totally and completely awful everyday crap.

And you know what? I’ll bet the same goes for my perfect bloggers.

I’m guessing that gorgeously white house has probably seen its fair share of mud-splattered floors and disorganized kitchen drawers. That super-chic blonde hair has likely looked mousy and disturbingly uncool at moments. And, that thin body in a hip, stylish outfit probably has 8 photo outtakes that aren’t quite as envy-worthy.

But, then I realized something.

There are some things in my everyday life that are always-stylish, totally-gorgeous and stunningly-beautiful.

They are total and complete perfection, no matter how many filters are missing or how many extra pounds they’ve got.

A selfless mother.

A loving, supportive wife.

A kiss from a little one.

A nightly prayer.

A gift that expects nothing in return.

A morning sunrise.

A newborn baby.

A tight hug, just when you need it.

A forgiven relationship.

A friend who’s always there.

……………………….

So, actually, I take that back.

Lots of things about my life are, actually, beautiful and perfect.

Maybe I should write a blog post about it.

The Sting of Comparison (& Why I Should Stop Reading Other Blogs) SheJustGlows.com

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