The Comparison game
I think one of the worst things a parent, a grandparent, or a relative could do to a child is to compare them with other children. I am thankful my parents never did that. I am also thankful my parents advised me to never compare myself to other people. I am sure I started this self-flagellation of comparing myself to others as early as elementary school…maybe even sooner? I think into my 20s it was pretty bad because I was concerned about career and life satisfaction. Now in my 30s, I am actively fighting against it.
In contrast, my husband’s parents constantly compared him and his siblings against each other and their cousins. It was so bad his parents and other relatives compared out in the open at parties and other social gatherings. I have lots of friends who have been traumatized by their parents’ and relatives’ “comparison games” well into adulthood. Some fight it, some just take it and let the anger rise internally, and some retreat. The effect of the “comparison game” was so bad for my husband; he actively avoids most family gatherings from his side of the family.
Yesterday my MIL visited us. My husband and I showed her Lana’s room because we just upgraded her bedframe. MIL asked me, “What time does Lana go to bed?” I answered, “9PM or 10PM.” She asked me, “Why so late?” I replied, “Well it works for her because I start work late and I take her to daycare. She too starts her day late, so she sleeps ‘late.'” Then she says, “You know what time E (Lana’s cousin/MIL’s grandson) goes to bed?” I said, “no….” She says, “He goes to sleep at 8PM. Do you know what time he wakes up?” I guessed, “8 AM?” She corrected, “no, he wakes up at 6AM. Lana sleeps too late!”
I saw I walked into my MILs game comparing Lana and E. I guess I’ll play along and I will play hard. I turned the conversation around to get out of the topic of which toddler has the “better” bedtime. I said, “Lana’s first real word is ‘aqua’ which is Spanish for water. I guess she might be bilingual.” That’s how the comparison game ended…for now… Later that evening, my husband told me he was getting increasingly irritated with his mom comparing Lana and E’s bedtime.
Have you been a victim of the comparison game? How did you get yourself out of it?
I’m no fan of working from home
I’ve been working from home all week. Due to the rising cases of omicron, those who work in non-clinical settings get to rotate working from home. Confession: I have never been a fan of working from home. Even with my last job, my supervisor offered me an opportunity to work once per month. I declined. I am not saying I never worked from home during my time there. I declined because it did not feel like a perk. At that job, I traveled a lot for work and a lot of those sites were very far. After that site visit, I went home and continued working even more. Also, I liked my office environment. Going into the office did make me feel like I was part of a group.
In my current job, I worked from home in my final two weeks of pregnancy. At the time, I was about to begin maternity leave because I was too tired to commute to the office everyday. My supervisor gave me an alternative plan to work from home. When I was about to return from maternity leave, my supervisor offered me to work from home every other Friday. Again, I declined. It was tough working from home when I was pregnant because here I was being productive, while at the time BIL #1 was slacking off — he had no job yet. During maternity leave, I already foresaw some of the challenges of working from home with a newborn. My current job requires me to be on the phone or video conference frequently; I have to do presentations and they can run long. It is doable to do these responsibilities remotely, but I felt with a crying baby it would be difficult to do them well.
Now that she’s a one-year-old, before this week I’ve only worked from home for four days total when she was sick. I’m not saying she’s been sick for only four days since birth. My parents have helped out tremendously where they watch her on other days so I could go to work in person. This week I worked all five days from home and I am TIRED. She does not cry and scream like she use to as a newborn. I am more tired of doing dual planning where I plan my work day and I plan her day. She can play by herself and she plays well with our dogs. Towards the afternoon, I have longer meetings so I would plan for lots of play early in the day to get her to nap in the afternoon. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not.
Maybe one day I’ll enjoy working from home. I tried this week to enjoy it. In lieu of my commute, I would walk my kid and my dogs. For lunch, I would order takeout. After work, I would walk my dogs or take Lana to the library to again feel like we are going somewhere.
What are your work-from-home tips?
What has (Re)Invigorated me this week?
- Reading Amboy: Recipes from the Filipino-American Dream by Alvin Cailan and Alexandra Cuerdo – part recipe book, part memoir.
- Assembling IKEA furniture – call me crazy. But there is something relaxing about assembling IKEA furniture. But then again, I only this once per year.
- Saying how I feel. I know this is a repeat. The problem is that I overthink and I usually don’t say it.
- Going somewhere after work – I worked from home all week. I craved going somewhere after being cooped up at home for so many hours.
- Going somewhere for lunch break to pickup my takeout – If I was at my office, I would bring leftovers from the night before and that would be my lunch. Since I worked from home, I thought to change this up.
- An Orange Truffle Latte from House Roots Coffee