Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Walking With You Week 5

February 4, 2013 ~ Mirror, Mirror ~ The Comparison Trap

Mothers often fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to one another. This is a trap many women fall into. We compare our families, mothering styles, fashion sense, careers or lack thereof, bodies, etc. Even mothers with babies in heaven compare the way we grieve our children. I know…sad…but we do it, if we’re honest enough to admit it. So, how can we find freedom from this? Sharing is a start…telling the truth…admitting the struggle. I think, then, we will see that we all love our children, regardless of how we choose to remember and honor their lives…whether publicly or quietly…with big parties or simple moments of remembrance. Be real on this week’s post, and let’s free ourselves from the trap of comparing!

Hmm..where to start. I compare lots of things. I compare my old self to my new self. I get mad or frustrated because I am not the person I used to be. Just last week I had the stomach flu. The awful 24 hr bug. The old me would have pushed through it, complained a little and moved one. The me after being through grief was just pathetic. I was scared, terrified that really it wasnt just the flu, that maybe it was something more. I called my husband so much that day at work-each time to tell him how scared I was! So silly b/c it was just the flu. I was a mess.....all because of a 24 hr illness that really is no.big.deal. But it brought back so much-fear, anxiety,unknowns. And so I compared. Told myself how well the old self would have handled things and then felt lousy for the next few days. I am hard on myself and as much as I try not to be my own worst enemy, I still am.

I compare myself to others who have lost babies. I still have a deep need to talk about Caleb. I see other BLM who seem to be all moved on with their loss and not needing to be vocal as much as I do. Then I think "maybe I should just really move on with this." Stop dragging things out by writing on this blog. Just be done and stay quiet about what happened. Its hard to justify your feelings when you do not see them mirrored by others. 

I compare our life and the way we raise Abigail to the way others do. I get jealous that they don't have to think the way we think. I get angry that they can count on getting pregnant, staying healthy, and bringing that baby home. Babies/fertility/bringing live baby home/pregnancy- are all so hard in my world. They bring up such complicated feelings and sometimes I just wish I didn't have them. 

I struggle with planning our family. There are so many people I was pregnant with when carrying Caleb that are pregnant now. I always feel guilty for not sticking to that timeline. I feel like there are two family timelines-the one we should be on if he lived and the one we are on. It's weird to see the life you thought you would live play out in others. I have really been praying for grace lately to accept our family timeline that God has given us. Also I have been able to see that we are different, almost like we have a handicap because of what happened. Getting pregnant and the decisions that go along with that are going to be a lot bigger for us-bottom line. So I have stopped looking around for the most part, but it still creeps in.

Lastly, body image. The last 11 months have probably been the hardest I've ever had with my body image. I know I had two pregnancies back to back-both full term. But somehow that still doesnt make me give myself any slack. I had two babies, but only one to show for it. Sometimes I think people wonder why the weight is not coming off, I mean Abigail was born 11 months ago! Get it under control already. But I can't-even though I try. I guess this is just part of mommy hood, but its hard not to compare my body to others who have had babies and lost the weight so easily.Hard not to get bitter that they had live babies and then lost the weight. I just keep telling myself how much God loves me and He is the creator-if he wanted my body a different way he would have made it that way, but He didn't. 

Wow-so I guess I compare more than I thought! This was an interesting topic, one I am going to spend more time in prayer on. Hoping others can relate to all this somehow!


  1. Thank you for being real, RyAnne. I love you just the way you are. And I can relate to every single thing you said. The dark clouds are weighing heavy on me right now, thanks for being there to understand. ~Maria

  2. I can really relate to the weight thing... I can'y seem to lose the last 20 pounds and it bugs me! I can fit into my pre-pregnancy pants but my tummy still makes me look pregnant. I really don't like the question from others that don't know that I loss Tossie... When are you due? That question drives me up the wall and around the corner and up the stairs...

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. It is really "weird" for me to watch woman having healthy/normal pregnancies/delivery after my loss. I just had picked up this overwhelming anxiety after loss, and nothing ever appears normal. Like I'm waiting for the next bad thing to happen. Worry has a hold on me, BUT I'm working really hard at giving it to God... Every.Time.I.Feel.It. It's a lot easier said, than done! :)

  4. It is definitely a hard thing to watch the life you expected play out in others, while you are left with a life you would never have asked for...and the missing you carry in your heart instead. I get that, and I remember those days when the pain was fresh and I had to take the bitterness to the Lord and ask Him to heal those broken places over and over again. I could relate to much of this post...even 16 years later...remembering some of the struggles in the early years.

    You know, we are all unique in what brings us comfort and peace...all unique in the way we express grief and heal. You are walking this walk in the best way you can. Other moms may do it differently, but there is no right or wrong way. I know me saying those words doesn't take the feeling...or the comparing away. But, need to speak that truth anyway....should doubt set in and those feelings discourage...just want to say...if you want to keep talking about Caleb, there is nothing wrong or strange about that. I didn't start talking about some aspects of our babies and their lives...and my experience until 8 years after they died. It's been 16 and 14 years...and sometimes, I still need to talk or write about them.

    And, you know what...I'm not sorry about that....and think it's just fine. :)

    Thank you for this post....loved the way you discovered pieces of your heart as you were writing. That's exactly what this walk is meant to do...help us work through the things that are in there.

  5. Ryanne, I love how honest and real this post is. I can relate so much to this statement - "Its hard to justify your feelings when you do not see them mirrored by others." I have often wondered if I'm alone in my feelings and if something is wrong with me because of that. I also feel a lot of jealousy/envy towards my non-BL friends...they make having babies seem so simple and easy. All they have to do is WANT a baby and bam just like that, 9 months later they're taking their baby home. I am in awe of other people who can have babies like it's the easiest thing in the world... I just look at them and think, HOW DO THEY DO IT?? For me, having another baby looks like the longest, hardest, most stressful journey EVER. I swear I'd rather climb Mt. Everest than have to endure another pregnancy.

    Don't give up on the weight loss battle...it takes a lot of determination, but it will come off in time. I've always been slim and found it easy to lose weight. I gained over 25 lbs when I was pregnant and I was POSITIVE that I would be able to lose the baby weight quickly and easily. I told myself that it didn't matter what I ate when I was pregnant... that I would pop right back into my old body in no time! Well, it didn't take long for that little bubble to burst. It took me almost 6 months (of running, weight-lifting, yoga and rigorous dieting) to lose the weight and I still don't have the same muscle tone or metabolism that I used to. Baby weight is seriously evil!

  6. Thank you all for the encouragement!!!

  7. I am always so nervous for those who are pregnant around me, wondering if everything will be ok and hoping for a happy ending. So many think it is a guarantee but it's not!!

    Having a baby is such a huge thing for your body to go through. I had babies in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012. I've been pregnant or breastfeeding every year since 2007. It's a lot on the body! Your body is NEVER the same once you've had a child, let alone 2, 3, 4, or more. Don't feel bad that you aren't a certain weight or looking a certain way. Us moms are too hard on ourselves in way too many ways. We need to cut ourselves some slack!!

  8. RyAnne,

    Your post is so beautiful and true! If we all sit down and think about it, we compare a lot of aspects in our lives to others. But, it is absolutely necessary to turn it all over to God. He is in control! Thank you so much for sharing! Hugs and love to you mama!