Apples and Oranges

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I’m doing Jana’s Stream of Consciousness Sunday link up, the prompt is comparison/ competition.

*****

I splurged on a mini massage at Hoopla yesterday. As I lied on the table a woman named Rebecca worked on a knot in my left shoulder. That’s where the tenderness is, the spot where my troubles and stress reside. Open wounds. I jumped at the pressure of her hands there.

I started thinking that my time must be up. I don’t like massages because they always come to an end and I’ve spent the whole time thinking about that, thinking too much and crying. Instead of enjoying it and relaxing. My brain works overtime. I start thinking about the kids.

  • I have twins. There are some perfect moms out there who don’t compare theirs, but I can’t help it. I am a good enough mother (because Good Enough is the New Perfect) even if I think about how different they are.
  • One does her homework mostly without help, writes neatly, works quickly and is quite self sufficient; the other is slower, requiring assistance, writing some letters backwards. Over and over.
  • One needs constant attention. But the other can take some toys, books, and a blanket and entertain herself for hours. Her imagination is her best friend.
  • One has a nearly photographic memory. The other has to be told something several times.
  • One is Type A. The other is laid back, easy going, artistic, loving, and kind. One is a helper and rushes off to do what she’s told. And then tattles on her sister for not doing it right away.
  • One loves vegetables & will eat anything. The other won’t get near them & makes a scene when we ask her to take one bite.
  • One carved her name into the side of my car. The other did not.
  • My kids fight like cats and dogs and the morning routine before we get out the door to school exhausts me. But kids fight, right? They go from BFFs to mortal enemies in a matter of minutes. IT IS NOT MY FAULT.
  • One is possibly developing a tic. The other is having trouble with her eyesight. IT IS NOT MY FAULT.
  • I cannot turn off my brain.
  • I am tired all the time. Other moms have endless energy and do it all.
  • I feel like nothing is ever good enough.
  • I do good deeds every day to feel better.
  • I weigh myself every day and constantly compare myself to other women I see. Yet I cannot summon the energy to exercise.

 

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  • http://twitter.com/goodgirlgonered Andrea B

    Oh, my friend, this hurts me for you. I so know. It’s so hard. I only have one and I am in awe of those with many. I’m comparing myself to you … ya know? It’s so hard, we should just be, let ourselves be and not worry to this point. Your girls are beautiful, so so beautiful. And you should be proud, of them, of you, you just should be. And enjoy the massage. Try to shut your mind off if you can. xo I send you love.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Andrea,

      Sorry for the late reply, sweets. I appreciate the kind words. You’re right—we should just BE. and not worry. But I continue to struggle with that. I fear I’ll never be able to completely let go….grrrr.

  • http://www.thedestinymanifest.com Heather O.

    My girls are not twins, but they are only 17 months apart and sometimes they seem like twins. They compete and compare in almost exactly the same ways that you listed, and it is not easy being the mom of such different siblings. We all do the compare/compete thing, even when we try not to, or don’t see ourselves doing it. I mean, I just did it in this comment… comparing myself to you and my daughters to yours.

    Don’t be so hard on yourself, mama. You’re doing a great job!

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Heather O,

      You are an angel. Because funny thing is? A personal friend emailed me her comment on this post and she basically told me to stop comparing them, blah blah blah. She doesn’t do it with her kids. I have a hard time believing she is so perfect about everything. Sigh. xoxo

  • jana

    ::sigh:: twins would be the ultimate in comparison/competition. for you and for them and for teachers, boyfriends, etc. deep breaths.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Jana,

      Yes. It’s hard. Yet I know there are plenty out there who seem to so effortlessly NOT compare their kids and drift through raising children. Not I. I wish!! Thanks for letting me link up!

  • Kenya Johnson

    Other moms “appear” to have endless energy. I promise you they don’t. None of us are perfect. I am sure June Cleaver wore a girdle.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Kenya,

      Are you SURE? It really seems to me sometimes like some women have it all together…and clearly I’m not one of them. I’ll try to take your word for it!

  • http://writingwishing.com/ Alison

    The last one, me too.
    It gets me down. I see people posting pictures of them running, exercising, drinking protein shakes and I look down at my bowl of ice cream and feel the belly that still looks 4 months pregnant, and I get down about it. But I still don’t exercise.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Alison,

      THen we must be sharing the same bowl of ice cream? What flavor is yours?? I still don’t exercise either. Odd thing is, I usually weigh more when I work out—because not only am I gaining muscle, but I get STARVING and I eat and eat even more. So that sucks, too…..

  • http://twitter.com/shoshuga Shosh Rachel

    Can I will not compare….I will not compare….I will not compare…I will not compare… be a meditation mantra? I know, it’s probably an impossible task. I’m adding a book to your reading list– Poser: My Life in 23 Yoga Poses by Claire Dederer

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Shosh,

      i think told me about that one before. i’m going to order it on amazon now! thanks!

  • http://www.misselaineouslife.com Elaine A.

    Honestly, I had NO idea they were so different – Wow, Erin! And I hear you on that last one but it’s mostly because I cannot run… xo

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Elaine,

      You know how sorry I am that you’ve been robbed of your one joy, your favorite thing. It stinks. and yes, there are SOOOOOOOO different. It makes it truly difficult.

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  • http://twitter.com/RASJacobson Renee Jacobson

    One thing I have learned in my 45 years: we make our own joy and we make our own hell. I, too, have a noisy mind. And yet, it is quieter now that my son is older. You are at the hardest place: twins, a littler one, trying to write, produce, write, mother, SuperEverything! I wish you a place to learn to be gentle with yourself. We all have our appearances that are very different from what may be closer to the truth. But yes. We all feel these things. We do. I do. I need to talk to you about something big. I’m scared and need help deciding. I’ll email you about it. Then you will see my ugly underbelly.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Renee,

      I love what you write. Your first line and your noisy mind. P.S. You have no ugly underbelly. You are being ridiculous. And when do we get to chat again? xoxoxo

  • IASoupMama

    I compare all four of my kids to each other. My son is brilliant — taught himself multiplication while he was in Kindergarten. My daughter is very bright, too, but cannot be motivated by any way except internally, which means she doesn’t give a rat’s behind who she pleases. The twins? Oy. In addition to being completely different physically, they haven’t met milestones at the same time, which has caused me no end of worry. My first two were both walking and talking by 11 months. The twins? One walked at 13 months, one at 15 months and they are 19 months old now and not speaking in sentences. Oh, they’re totally on track with the guide at the pediatrician’s office, but compared to the first two kids? They’re in remedial toddlerhood…

  • http://twitter.com/ByWordsMusings Nicole Morgan

    No one does it all.
    No matter what it looks like from the outside in.
    I hate to workout, last worked out when I was seven months pregnant – that particular child is now 14.
    When I weigh myself in the am – I will get on them again if I pee.
    No perfection here. None at all xxx

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Nicole,

      It sure seems like some do it all…and THEN some. I hate working out, too. Well, I’m always proud of myself afterwards, but…I loathe the prep and actual workout. My husband, on the other hand? Is a workout-a-holic.

      P.S. You seem pretty damn near perfect to me!
      thinking good thoughts for you, mama. I know it’s been rough. xoxoxxo

  • http://amidlifescrises.blogspot.com/ Dana

    *sigh* I do know this place, and it is a difficult place to be!

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Dana,

      Thank you. It’s so good to know I”m not alone!

  • http://twitter.com/momgosomething Kimberly M

    I so know this. I have chronic back pain and I frequently go for deep tissue massages. I want to be able to just pass out on the table but my head won’t shut off.
    It’s great how each child is their own person.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Kimberly,

      You can’t turn your head off either? What is WRONG with us? I mean, we should be able to just enjoy it….maybe I need a big drink before my next massage. LMAO!

  • Susi

    I’ve done the same comparison thing with my kids… first between the older two (which sound like your twins even though they aren’t) and now with the little one who I fear is a little genius. As for exercise… I do, but not regimented and not crazy, training for a half marathon type thing. I try to walk as much as I can but it’s not always happening. Also, throw out your scale, right now! I did!!! ;)

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Susi,

      You threw out your scale? OMG. You are my HERO!! And a half marathon sounds pretty amazing to me. You should be damn proud of yourself! Thanks for coming by, and I’m sorry for the late reply!

  • heidi

    This could be my stream of consciousness. The back and forth. The comparisons. The worrying. The ‘not being able to turn off my brain’…what is that?? Anyway, I just wanted to say I get this. And that I so enjoy you.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Heidi,

      Oh, you are the sweetest. It makes me feel good to know you enjoy reading. And my husband commented on my inability to turn off my brain. I don’t know how to explain it to him…do you?

  • http://www.facebook.com/smartinez03 Stephanie Marie Martinez

    I feel like the comparisons are unavoidable! Nothing major to comment but wanted you to know I came around.