It all began 7 years ago. That day I received the gift I had been praying for, for years. I was in my room where I had just delivered my first child, my son. In that moment everything was perfect. My son was healthy and we were all smiling. I had just gone through the longest labour I have ever gone through and there were many times where I wanted to give up, but I didn’t. I felt strong. I felt ready for this.
Before I even had kids, I knew how I wanted to raise them. I knew how I wanted them to act in public and how to treat those around them. I knew the values and the morals I wanted to instill in them. I knew that I was capable and that God would help me raise my children in a way that pleased Him. I didn’t have everything in their lives planned out, but I had a bit of a plan. I had planned out everything I thought I could up to that point. But, even as prepared as I thought I was, there was one thing I was not prepared for. Comparison. Comparison between me and other moms around me. Before I had kids, this wasn’t something I really thought about. I thought I would be confident enough in my parenting that I wouldn’t be comparing myself to moms around me, but I was wrong.
I am pretty confident that I am not the only mom that has dealt with this. And with social media, it makes it even harder to not compare our parenting, our lives and our kids to other people. Social media has given people a platform to post about their lives and what is posted 99% of the time is the good, the posed, and the perfect moments. I’m not saying social media is all bad, but it can sure make an insecure mom or even a secure mom, very insecure. It can make a mom feel like she is not doing enough or not doing the right thing. It can make a mom look at another mom and think that if she just mimiks what the other person does, that everything will be as perfect as the other person's life “appears” to be.
As much as I said “a mom” in the last paragraph, I was talking about me. Comparison has been such a struggle for me. I am not really a “pinterest” or “diy” kind of mom. I’m not a mom that throws huge, lavish birthday parties for her kids. I’m not a mom that bakes every day or puts together the perfect healthy meals for my kids. And when I look at the loooong list of what I am NOT, it often distracts me from what I AM. It depresses me and takes my focus away from my good qualities and my strengths as a mom. It takes my focus away from all the fun my kids and I have. It makes me think that I am not enough and not doing enough for my kids. It makes it so that I do not enjoy motherhood as much as I could. I sometimes even find myself doing things that other moms do because it seems like the better thing to do but I end of being miserable because it’s not me.
Do you know what all this comparison has left me with? Discontentment. An inability to see my own strengths and own them. Ladies, comparison is the thief of joy, among other things. Comparison does not do us or anyone else any good. So if we know this, if I know this, why is it so easy to fall into this trap? I think it’s as simple as one word, sin. It’s a part of our sinful nature to want what other people have and to feel discontent. For me, being discontent makes me feel like I am missing out on something that someone else has. But if I look at my life, if I look at my kids, I can SEE that I am not missing out on one thing. When I take a step back and look at my life, I can see that God has blessed me with beautiful children and my mothering hasn’t been all that bad! And on the topic of not feeling like we are “enough”, well I think that stems back to our identity in Christ and knowing that we ARE enough to Him. God has given you and me everything we need to be the best parent to our children. We can be confident in that!
As much as we get all wrapped up in these things and about being the “perfect mom”, do you know what our kids want more than anything? To be loved by us. To have our FULL attention. They want us to listen when they are talking to us, to celebrate them, to have fun with them. Everything else is just icing on the cake. Yes there are areas in all of our lives that we can grow in, and that’s a good thing! But to focus on all that we are not, steals away our joy as a parent. It steals away the parent that our children need.
So let’s keep things simple. Let’s not overcomplicate this whole parenting thing. Let’s show our kids that we see them, we love them, and we enjoy them! Let’s give them our full attention and our time. Let’s celebrate our strengths as parents and celebrate them together. And at the same time, let’s find our confidence in Christ and extend ourselves the grace that we need, daily. This ladies, is the key to ending the comparison game.
Hi! I'm Jackie. I'm a Canadian girl at heart but have been living in Texas for the past 6 years. I am wife and momma to two amazing kiddos who I homeschool! My heart is to encourage and equip women to move from where they are to where God wants them to be!