I especially love blogs and social media because it usually inspires me and gives me tons of awesome ideas and motivations. I have enjoyed dreaming, planning and even contributing some to the world of ideas that are out there.
Lately, I've been reading many different posts from different kinds of women in many religions, political standings, many differing lifestyles and views. Lately, I have been concerned by many comments that are so extremely negative toward these women who are blogg-ers, instagramm-ers, facebook-ers, twitter-ers. It's upsetting. I feel like fighting off all the bullies and telling them to just leave. One very popular forum in particular caught my attention where they were simply bashing bloggers because they were "too crafty","skinny", "rich", "bronze-haired", "mormon", "christian", "too good to be true","white" women. Really? So take your pick, if you're one of THEM, it doesn't matter what you share, you're doomed to this online bullying, ridiculing and bashing. It's a form of school ground bullying. I find it disturbing.
What I found these comments full of is comparing. I'll give a few example from random blogs:
"OMG, she took a trip to China with her kids, she must be rich and she's skinny too, so she must be shallow and obsessed with the gym and probably has no time for her kids anyway, I can't stand the ignorance and first world attitude of these people"
"Oh yay, she created a beautiful table-top piece, wow she must be a SAHM who has all the time in the world to do that sort of stuff, I'm so glad I work and can avoid the pressure to think I have to do this kinda crap".
"I can't believe that anyone would WASTE their time or money on a silly birthday party for their one-year old that they won't even remember, she must have nothing else to do or she must be depressed to feel like she needs to do that."
"You're a working mom so you must not understand what it's like to be a full-time mom in the trenches."
"Wow, their family is picture perfect, they must not have a care in the world, everyone looks like a supermodel, our family pictures are nothing like this"
"I'm so tired of all of these women posting positive things about ______, like she's so perfect. They need to say things like it is and make her know we are not happy with her choices."
"I can't believe she doesn't put a helmet on her kids while riding their bikes, I'm appalled at this irresponsibility."
"How can they afford to go on that vacation? Aren't they on welfare? I mean, I don't know, but it just seems like with that many kids, they would be on welfare, idk. I know I could never afford that, even if we drove like they did"
"She must've spent all the donations she received from the plane crash to buy all of the expensive clothes, and boots and stuff from anthropology. That just makes me so mad, and now they have this huge expensive house, I just think that that is so wrong. What gives them the right?"
"How are all of these mormons so rich with so many material goods? Their church much have a pretty good welfare system to be able to make it possible for these kind of lifestyles." (This one kinda made me laugh...if only?)
Yes, these are actual comments I've seen on different blogs and Instagram pictures. And there are SO many more of them, not to mention all of the debates back and forth between, SAHM's, Working Moms and WAHM's. It's like we never left high-school, or worse, middle-school. Holy smokes!
Can't we just enjoy one another?
Can't we take what we like and emulate it and if it's not for us, pass it by with appreciation for another's gifts and talents. Do we need to get so caught up in the comparing and feeling bad because we don't have the big house, the big laundry room, or the body type we want. Does that make THEM bad or wrong because they have those things?
If Annette wants to decorate a beautiful cake that she's been wanting to do for awhile and it brings her satisfaction and joy, does that take anything away from me? Do I need to feel bad about buying or making a cheap ugly cake at the last minute?
If Rachel wants to homeschool their kids, does that make me bad for sending my kids to public school? If Roxy wants to improve her life by cutting out sugar and doing yoga, what does that have to do with my life? I can be inspired by them or pass it by right?
Monica is naturally gorgeous, skinny, smart and funny and has a million kids? Does that make me naturally ugly, fat, dumb and boring also with a million kids?
If Sister Jones has 7 kids all sitting pristine and proper at church every Sunday, does that make her better than someone who only has 2 kids that can't seem to sit still?
If Mindy conducts well and gives great lessons and dedicates a lot of time in preparation, does that mean I'm a piece of crap because I don't?
If my neighbor sends amazing teacher gifts that are beautifully done, does that reflect one little bit on me?
If Michelle gets all of these compliments all of the time about her hair, does that make my hair lame?
If Becky likes to run triathlons, should I feel like a failure because I don't?
No, no, no, no, no and no! Let's just stop this thought process altogether. What someone else chooses to do, what someone else chooses to eat, what someone else chooses to make or wear or create has nothing to do with you or me. It's SO not personal. It's simply everyone doing the best they can or at least trying to, with what they've been inclined or blessed to pursue. Some things might seem silly to you, but bring someone else great joy. Something that you do and feel is important may seem silly to others.
The key is to appreciate, respect, love, encourage and honor women! That is how we will change the world.
One family and one generation at a time.
There is not only one way to do something! My ways of organizing, planning and parenting may differ completely from another's, but can't we still be friends? Can't we still appreciate the differences and respect and honor each other for the unique individuals that we are? Do we need to bash entire religions, entire races, entire hair colors, jean sizes and entire families because we differ in ideas and ways?
I hope not. I hope that especially as women, we will rise above that.
Here are just a few questions to ask some of these ladies who leave these hurtful comments:
What if that woman you're judging is going through depression and one of the only joys she finds is in creating something no matter how grand or small. Or what if she's happy as a lark and just wants to create and share?
What if that woman you're comparing yourself to has serious self-esteem issues? Or what if she feels fine about herself but with constant negativity being said about her on social media begins to doubt herself? Who would ever want to be a part of that?
What if that woman you're criticizing it just trying to keep a journal of her family and home and do some good in the world and you're there just tearing it to shreds, putting a damper on her joy?
What if that woman you're bashing is lonely and needs some social media to validate and uplift her spirits? What if she's very social and has friends and family reading your hurtful comments?
What if she's in love with a great man and has a great family she takes care of and people are telling her that her "husband is not that good-looking anyway and her kids are only cute because of the way she dresses them"? How hurtful is that?
What if, what if.....
I love what Dieter F. Uchtdorf had to say about comparing:
Comparing often goes along with judging and I have a whole other post that will be dedicated to judging others, or better yet, not judging others. Judging others and comparing apples to apples, or apples to oranges is just so unnecessary (unless it is for math or reasoning purposes) to our eternal happiness.There are a lot of valuable lessons I have learned about the topic of judging this year particularly. I have struggled with my Pride this year and can't wait to do a post about what I've learned and how the Lord and His atonement has helped me overcome that burden. Still a work in progress! :) We are commanded to judge for ourselves and govern ourselves, but we are never commanded to judge others, unless it is within our right as parents and leaders. More on that in a different post.
Here's a great and valuable quote by Bonnie Oscarson that I really appreciate.
I love women! We're awesome and we have so much power within us to change the world. We're naturally sympathetic, nurturing, we're the ones to reach out and help others. We work hard and sacrifice for others and we make a HUGE difference in many people's lives. The devil is happy when we are nit-picky with each other and waste our time and efforts putting ourselves and others down.
And finally, one of my most favorite quotes ever and I believe it will all my heart.
It's time to join the revolution! It's the build-each-other-up-revolution and I'm on board ready to sail with it. I'm going to live off of this awesome saying from Thumper:
...but always try to say something nice!
What are some different ways you have learned to stop comparing yourself to others?
Here are some helpful links to read to help us stop comparing. Very useful.