When I read my friends’ and acquaintances’ blogs or Facebook entries, it is easy to get the impression that they all lead more productive, creative, relaxed lives than I can manage.
These people have pancakes and fresh berries for brunch on Sundays, while I’m satisfied when we manage any kind of breakfast for all four of us at the same time.
They sew clothes for theirselves and their kids. Me, I’ve had a half-finished simple curtain on my desk for several weeks.
They have lush, beautiful gardens. I have weeds between the strawberries in our planting boxes, and it took me until late May to pull out the remains of last year’s dead flowers from our one and only flowerbed.
And these are people like me, parents of young children, not care-free singles.
But when I stop to think, I realize we have just prioritized different things – or we’re good at different things, or we have kids with different temperaments. Their lives are not “like mine but better” as their Facebook posts may make them seem, just different. They have their own struggles, activities that they avoid because their kids make it near-impossible, things that don’t get done. I’m comparing my average to their best.
The mum who manages pancake brunches, despite two kids? Spends an hour and a half putting her kids to bed at night. She hasn’t found the secret for frictionless life with kids, either.
The one who sews for her family? Never reads any books. Sewing is her hobby, whereas mine is reading books. I wouldn’t trade one for the other.
The one who gardens? Doesn’t cook much. I’ll take a good home-cooked dinner over a lush garden, every day.