I have recently come to a realization that has been an amazing breakthrough for me. It actually feels funny typing it because it seems so elementary, but here goes: nobody’s perfect. There is a second part that makes it even more amazing: no two people are the same. Like I said, these truths seem pretty basic, but they have made a world of difference for me over the past few weeks.
I see moms posting on facebook about how wonderful it is to be a mom. I see YouTube mothers who seem to have it all together. I talk to stay at home moms (even working moms for that matter) who seem to do so much more than I do. I strive to keep a perfectly clean house, balance quality time with my son, yet keeping him engaged in the things that must get done, spend daily time with God, make healthy, from scratch meals, grow a bountiful garden, and the list goes on and on. It seems like everyone else is doing all these things – why can’t I?
Hmm . . . what did I just say? Everyone else is a perfect super mom, why can’t I be? Really? I don’t think so. Most moms, like me, have strengths and these are the things they are excited about sharing with other mothers. For example, someone watching my YouTube videos or reading my blogs may get the impression that I’m always green, cook all my food from scratch, keep a really clean house, constantly engage with my son, grow oodles and oddles of food in the garden, and have creative and exciting things going on every day. These are the things I’m excited about, so these are the things I share, but I am no super mommy.
Here is the reality: While I want to be green, I make choices that aren’t like leaving lights on in the house, turning the water on for my cats to drink out of the sink and I frequently forget to take my cloth bags to the grocery store. I do cook a lot of my meals from scratch, but I buy a lot of organic jarred food for Samuel as well. I have also been spending considerably more lately on groceries than I would like. 😦 My house stays decently clean, but that is in large part because I have an OCD husband who loves to wash dishes and tidy. Anything I don’t get clean, he does. However, we still struggle with keeping the tub as clean as we should and we won’t even talk about what our guest room looks like right now. I love to play with Samuel and I love having lesson plans, but most weeks we only do about have of the things I have planned and I spend a lot of time trying to get Samuel to play by himself. I also spend so much of my time battling him to take his naps that I am frequently exhausted and frustrated when he is awake and I don’t enjoy him as much as I feel I should. I love to garden, but I don’t know how to preserve the things I grow and this year the garden is pretty pitiful because I got such a late start on it (no produce from the garden yet). I’m horrible about weeding too. Most of my “creative ideas” come from other creative ideas online. Sometimes I come up with something from nowhere, but most of my ideas are aggregates of things I have seen elsewhere.
See, that’s quite a list. I’m not posting it to be down on myself. Quite the contrary. I’m posting it to prove that I’m human. I’m not perfect – just like no one else is perfect. Everyone has strengths, but everyone has weaknesses as well, and that’s okay. In fact, if you talk to two people, one might consider cloth diapers as completely unimportant as a factor in momtasticness while another thinks made in America 100% organic, line dried cloth diapers are the only reasonable option – and that’s okay. Just because one mommy has closet organization down to a tee, doesn’t mean that I need to organize my closet the same way, or even that I need to organize my closet at all. 😉 It is our differences that make life wonderful and amazing! It is just important to differentiate between what are really just differences and what is actually important (by the way, no two people will agree on what the really important things are not to mention different children have differing needs themselves.)
I pray that God will continue to work on me and grow me in areas of weakness as he has promised in Phillipians 1:9. I also pray that I can seek God and His guidance to discover what I need to do to be a “good mom” and stop comparing myself to those around me. I need to rejoice with other mothers in their strengths (as well as my own) and realize that many of the “weaknesses” don’t even matter at all.
How about you? Do you ever struggle with comparing yourself to other mothers?