Today I want to talk about one of my biggest struggles as a mom and truthfully, I am a little ashamed to admit it, but here it is…comparing myself with other moms.
Let me set the scene, perhaps you’re familiar with it:
It is late in the wee hours of the night and I am nursing my little man back to sleep. I pull out my phone to check all the usual spots (Facebook, Instagram, etc) in an attempt to stay awake. I see so many of my friends from high school and college are joining me in the amazing world of motherhood (yay cute babies!). Before long I find myself flipping through pictures…
“Holy crap, how the heck does she look that amazing after giving birth?! I looked like I had been run over by a mac truck!” Perhaps it is pictures from a birthday party: “Wow, that party is so perfectly decorated! How did she find time to do that? I wish I was that creative. Why didn’t I think of that??” Maybe it’s pictures from a fun day out: “Man I should take Asher to do more fun activities. Am I doing enough to stimulate his development! Is he getting enough opportunities?? I am a horrible mom!”
Okay, the end was a bit ridiculous, I haven’t actually thought I was a horrible mom, but many times I have turned the phone off and gone back to bed wondering if I could do better or if my child was some how given a lesser advantage because I didn’t do something. It is a horrible feeling, wondering if you are some how failing this tiny creature for whom you feel the deepest love you’ve ever known. The craziest thing about the whole cycle is that usually these feelings are fueled by that exact insane, soul-grabbing, love you have for your child. It is because of this love that you want to provide the absolute best that this world has to offer and sometimes it hurts when you think you have fallen short.
But the fact is while we are all moms with a crazy love for our babes, we are also humans with varying strengths and weaknesses, and while it may appear that other moms have it all together the truth is they too have things they wish they were doing better. And frankly we all need to be a little easier on ourselves. It just isn’t fair to compare our weaknesses to another’s strengths. We need to remember that these feelings of guilt, inadequacy, and even jealousy serve no use or purpose. They simply make us shift focus from the things that truly matter: all the great moments with our little ones. It doesn’t matter if your child’s birthday party is Pinterest-worthy or if your house is a spotless, organized masterpiece. It doesn’t make you less of a mom if your child plays with pans and a wooden spoon while your neighbor’s kid plays with only “intellectually stimulating” toys. What matters is that you cared enough to celebrate the birth of your little one or that you are on the floor with them playing drums or cooking the best imaginary pasta they’ve ever tasted. At the end of the day, our children only care that they have a happy mom that spends time with them being goofy and making them laugh. They don’t always need the extravagant parties or well planned activities and frankly give up the whole, super organized house thing (at least for now)…kids are a magnet for messes.
So ride the waves of motherhood and just keep trying your best and remember there is no better mother for your child, that’s why God put you two together.