Dare to Not Compare

There is another mom at Rex’s daycare who has a baby in the room next to his. She arrives with said baby around the same time that I am leaving from dropping Rex off.  Her baby can’t be more than six months old, at the most and yet the woman looks like she stepped out of a magazine.  When Rex was six months old, the bags under my eyes were entrenched, I was still wearing cotton tops because spit up washed out of those and the general public was lucky if I wore mascara, let alone full make up.

Her? Flawless face, perfect figure with a tiny waist and really high heels.  Everyday. (Although, she wears hot pink fuzzy slippers when she goes into the infant room, yet she rocks them at the same time. WTF?!)

Via Creative Commons by last-light.com

Seeing her always puts me in a bad mood.  Mind you I’ve never talked to her, I don’t know her name – hell, I don’t even know her kid’s name which at daycare is tantamount to admitting that this person is a complete stranger.  And yet, I let her make me feel like crap every single time.  I always notice how well her clothes fit (helps with that tiny waist!) and they are completely free of animal hair (dog, cat or other) and spit up stains. Her gorgeous long hair is beautifully done like she had 30 minutes just to spend on it alone whereas mine, well, I’m lucky some days to get a hot iron on the wings that stick out.

Then, there’s the shoes.  I am particularly envious because due to Gimpy Knee, high heel shoes have just been too painful to wear.  My gorgeous Coach peep toes? Sitting on the shelf.  Same for my lime green suede numbers.  Just the thought of standing in them makes my knee ache.  Yet, there are her super-trendy and super high heels sitting out in the hallway, alternating between mocking me and waiting for their mistress to return to once again elevate her above all other mortal beings.

The thing is that no matter how hard I try, I can’t stop comparing myself to her.  A little voice pops up saying, “you have a 14 month old who sleeps until 6:45am and you can’t look as good as the woman with a 6 month old who was probably up multiple times through the night? What is wrong with you woman?”  And I have no answer.  Well, no answer that doesn’t sound totally lame.  Because to me, being well put together is the hallmark of a woman who cares about herself.  She is saying, I know my worth and it is sky high, bitches!  I feel like that maybe one day out ten.  Her? She looks it ten days out of ten.

So what’s a girl to do? I see two choices: 1) I can put in that extra effort, run the lint roller over my entire closet, and gimp up my knee even more by wearing high heels or 2) I can be happy with how I look now. I know what the magazine-quiz right answer is.  We all know what it is.  Yet I’m still drawn to the answer that most women would probably choose if they were being really honest with themselves.

I present the question then to you fine people.  How have you come to accept your appearance and been comfortable even when you’re standing next to a super model? Or, did you gimp your knee up just to wear the high heels?