Motherhood shouldn't be a comparison sport, but sometimes it becomes one.
We imagine the strengths of those around us, while our own weaknesses loom large.
That friend of yours--she's so outgoing, and actually joins in when her kids play the crazy, loud games that make your head spin.
That blogger is so creative--how does she handle the ever-lovin' mess that makes me draw in deep breaths?
Over on Simple Homeschool for the past few weeks, I've been writing a series about personality types at home. All this personality talk has brought to light such a stunning revelation. Not that the comparison thoughts don't still come to mind sometimes, but that I don't have to dwell on them quite so long.
The revelation is this:
the mother my kids need is the mother I am.
the mother your kids need is the mother you are.
I believe the Creator of the universe handpicked my children, my family. Miraculously put us all together--literally drew us toward one another from the ends of the earth.
This thought doesn't excuse our personal frailties or shortcomings. It doesn't mean we never hope for more from ourselves or that we never apologize when we fall short. We will continue to grow as mothers for the rest of our lives, even after our children have full lives of their own.
But with the thought comes immense freedom. We can let go of the stereotypes and the insecurities. We can embrace our own strengths and develop them. Doing so will infuse our homes with joy and will model for our little ones the self-acceptance we want them to grow into.
* Play to your strengths (I began learning this lesson a few years ago, you see.)
"Buy or borrow self-improvement books, but don't read them.
Stack them around your bedroom and use them as places to rest bowls of cookies.
Watch exercise shows on television, but don't do the exercises.
Practice believing that the benefit lies in imagining yourself doing the exercises.
Don't power walk. Saunter slowly in the sun, eating chocolate,
and carry a blanket so you can take a nap."