When Comparison is a Thief of Joy

Ive got a PSA for you: Being a mom is hard. You’re shocked, I know.  It’s hard physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually. For every one thing I do right, there’s a hundred more things I get completely wrong. Long story short: Motherhood is not what I thought it would be.

I love being a mom. Raising these three children the Lord has given me is my greatest calling. It’s my ministry. I feel blessed that I get to spend my days with my babies. But.

But its hard.

And when is it the hardest? When I give in and start to compare myself and my children to others. My oldest needed a year of speech therapy because at 2 1/2 he knew maybe 10 words and could not form even 2 word sentences. My middle child is extremely strong-willed and will literally pass out if she gets upset. My youngest is in physical therapy because she struggles with gross motor skills and torticollis. So, yeah. I’m an expert at comparing my parenting journey with others.

But the problem with comparison is that it doesn’t give us a very clear picture. It keeps us from seeing all of the good things that are happening. We get so focused on how we are messing up, that we forget to celebrate all of our parenting victories. And, I can guarantee that the person/family you are comparing yourself to is struggling with the exact same thing. The grass is not greener on the other side, and the Joneses have just as many insecurities and struggles as you do.

In short, comparison is a thief of joy.

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the mommy guilt. I’m tired of playing the “if only” game. If only I would have read more to him. If only I wouldn’t have given in so often. If only I would have demonstrated patience and grace instead of blowing up in anger.

Maybe you feel the same way.

If only pregnancy wasn’t so hard on me physically.”

“If only I would have had an unmedicated birth.”

“If only I would have breastfed past one year like this mom did.” 

“If only my kids were as well-behaved as this family’s.”

But the truth is, we all feel that way. The mom who you think has it all figured out has just as many insecurities and doubts as you do. Because there is no such thing as a perfect mother, or a perfect child. Just hopelessly imperfect parents who are doing their best to raise imperfect children, each with their own unique skills and personalities.

So instead of comparing, I’m going to surround myself with friends that I can confide in, laugh with, and cry with….and always, always make sure the freezer is stocked with ice cream.

I’m ready to stop comparing and take back my joy in motherhood. Are you?

 

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