Friday, May 25, 2012

Compare, Compare, Compare...

Have you seen the recent Time Magazine cover, "Are you Mom Enough?" It has obviously stirred up some controversy.  Reading about this topic made me realize that I am not alone in this matter.  As moms we want to do our absolute best.  We pour into our children's lives with our love, values, beliefs, education, talents, and finances.

In addition to this, we work tirelessly to keep our homes running smoothly, we cook, clean, do laundry, grocery shop, work, educate, give baths, read, sing, kiss boo boos, listen, pray, tuck little ones in, open our homes to friends and neighbors, and make endless school lunches.  Not to mention committees we serve on at school and church and community volunteer work.

We are moms, we are strong, we are driven, and we are tired.  As a mom it is super easy to compare yourself to other moms.  This one does this really well and that one does that like no one else.  We want to do everything well and when we see someone who has it together in a particular area, it's so easy to compare ourselves and think we're not doing a good job with our children. 

One thing we tend to forget when making this comparison is that we each have special gifts and talents unique from others.  Some of us are more creative and do lots of projects with our kids, some of us are more active and help our children get out and experience a variety of activities, others have a strong domestic bent and their house is amazing and always has a freshly baked something-or-other laying around, while yet others are book worms and frequent the library encouraging their children to make new discoveries. 

Whatever your strengths, you have value and you add value to your children's lives by focusing on being you...not by trying to be someone else.  The truth is, I'm great at being myself.  My daughter knows when I'm being myself and she responds best in those moments.  When I'm trying to be like someone else, we're all miserable.

This doesn't mean we can't learn from other moms and implement new ideas.  But, we should remember that God, in His wisdom, chose us to mother our children.  He's the one who gave us our mother's intuition.  He's also the one who gives us the grace to walk through the tough days with a smile on our face.  And, He created us to be ourselves - not our neighbor or our good friend who is better at this or that. 

So, I'm asking moms to take a pledge to stop comparing themselves with other moms. When you notice that a mom is super patient and you know you lose your patience all the time, remember that you have clean floors or you're really animated and make The Hungry Caterpillar come to life when you read it to your child.  Remember, just as you are looking at moms and wishing you could have it more together in one area, they are looking at you and wishing they could be more like you in another.

What do you say?  While you take the pledge?


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