***NOTE: My computer is on the fritz and I can't get any pics from my memory card, so I am taking this opportunity to write about something that has been bugging me for a long time. Read at your own risk...opinions likely to be stated!!
You've heard the saying that money is the root of all evil. I agree that there is some truth to this statement, but I think for most women COMPARISON is the root of all evil.
Especially now in the age of technology we live in. Everywhere you turn the accomplishments of other women are staring you in the face. Look what we did....Look where we went....See what my kids can do....My house is a masterpiece...Look what we got our kids....the list goes on and on. And I don't think any of those things are meant to hurt others. We are simply proud of our families, our kids and ourselves and we want the world to see. I am just as guilty as the next person of publishing our accolades.
I am also just as guilty of looking at all those other things - whether it be a blog post, something I saw on Pinterest, a facebook post, or just visiting with a friend - and thinking, "wow, I am really not doing it right. My kids don't have the latest thing. My house is a wreck right now. We haven't taken our kids anywhere that required a flight. I am not doing enough at home to facilitate my kids education.
At any moment in time I can give you the record that is playing in my head telling me I am not good enough. AND I AM TIRED OF IT!!!
I don't want to compare myself to anyone anymore! God didn't call me to do what some of those other women do. God didn't give me the gifts needed to do some of the things those other women do. I don't have a passion or longing for some of those things. That doesn't make me a bad woman, mother or wife. It just means that God equipped me for and called me to different things. Not better things; not worse thing. Just DIFFERENT things. And that's okay!!!!
I have been feeling an extreme amount of mom guilt lately because I am not doing enough with Westynn. By that I mean, I haven't created sensory bins or planned activities for everyday that involve fine motor skills or early reading prep. I spent an entire afternoon browsing Pinterest and Google searching for ways to improve my child's early education. I got a ton of great ideas and printed a lot of resources. I organized a weeks worth of activities for us to do together. Let me just tell you that the whole time I was doing all of this my heart was NOT in it!! But, because it seemed like that's what every other mother out there was doing I felt I was letting Westynn down by not doing the same.
When the time came to implement all of the plans and make my kid into a child prodigy....well, let's just say that neither one of our hearts was in it!! I realized I am not called to be a homeschool mom in the traditional sense. Now the disappointment I felt at realizing this was not going to work like it seemed to for everyone else was overwhelming! WHY couldn't it just come naturally for me?!
After many days of contemplation and prayer I came to the realization that my older kids turned out "normal" despite their lack of early childhood development opportunities at home. They are wildly creative kids who are making good grades in school, rising above their mother's failure in their earlier years. They are learning the importance of making God and family priorities in their lives. They are learning that being part of a family means pitching in and helping at times. They can read above their grade levels, love math and history, and have imaginations that blow me away.
All of those things were accomplished without sensory bins, workboxes, field trips, and all those other wonderful things that some women are called to do for their kids. Maybe those kids do have an advantage later on in school, but for me the realization that God called me to lead my kids in other areas of their lives was eye opening! He has other, more qualified people, in mind for their reading and writing....thank goodness :)
I may be a failure as a mother if I compare myself to other mother's. However, God doesn't tell us to measure our success by what others are doing. He calls us to follow His will and do what He calls us individually to. If we are doing that, then we are wildly successful!!
So please stop comparing yourself to other women! Recognize your gifts and theirs and be thankful that we don't all have the same gifts. How boring would that be?! You are the woman God created you to be. Get comfortable with that, accept it and stop apologizing for it!!
The realization that I didn't have to apologize for what I assumed where short-comings was such a relief! It lifted a huge weight from my shoulders and allowed me to just be me again. So I am writing this post with the hopes that one, or more, of you reading will stop feeling guilty for the things you are not called to do. Embrace you and be happy being you! Stop comparing yourself to those around you.
If you don't know what your gifts are or what you're called to do, then spend time in prayer asking God to reveal those things to you. Ask the people who love and care about you what your gifts are. It's often easier for others to recognize our gifts. Write those things down and think about the ways that you utilize those gifts. How can you make better use of them? It can be a hard process to get to the bottom of who God created us to be, but the payoff is so rewarding!!
Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now, but I can sleep better at night knowing that I have finally written this blog post :)