December 19, 2009

to all us moms: Chill Out!

There is an interesting phenomenon going on in the world of motherhood: competition. Not that competition among women is anything new (hey, the saying goes that women don't dress for men, they dress for other women) yet in that past however-many years competition among women in the world of motherhood has become an all too common thing.

It's like this secret code language us women have with our children - comparing developmental milestones and parenting secrets and justifying why we do the things we do with our children. Don't get me wrong, it's perfectly fine to share things about our kids - heck, a lot of us have blogs where we do such a thing! It's great to be able to learn from other moms and hear what others are up to. But it's another thing to be constantly comparing ourselves to one another in everything from our homes to the spacing of our children to how early they crawl and talk.

So, why do women compare themselves? Personally, I think it comes from a desire to be affirmed - to know that we are good enough. To know that we are making the right decisions for our children and our families. Although these are good and healthy goals the way we go about doing it can leave us feeling deflated.

Among moms who attempt to live outside the norms of the secular world, this level of competition may not be present in the same ways, but it can still rear it's ugly head. We may not compare ourselves on what schools our children attend or what they got for Christmas, but rather on the level of who has the most "well-kept" home or who has the "happiest" children. There is a great article over at Heavenly Homemakers that highlights this exact thing. It's called Will All of the Real Moms Please Stand Up. It's a must read for reminding us that no one really has it all together.

As a mom who has really tried (although not always succeeded) to leave competition and comparisons outside my mothering realm (actually, all of my realms) I ask all you moms out there to band together with me. Let's fight against this attack from Satan to pit ourselves against each other. Let's become each other's biggest fans, because only a mom knows what another mom is going through. And let's look to Mary as our only comparison - to her humility and grace. Because, despite how cute, smart, and developmentally able they are, the only thing that really matters is that our children become like her Son.

Love is patient; love is kind. Love is not jealous; is not proud; is not conceited; does not act foolishly; is not selfish; is not easily provoked to anger; keeps no record of wrongs; takes no pleasure in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

1 comment:

The Gaunts said...

Amen! this was a great post Kristine! I couldn't agree more :). Merry Christmas to your beautiful family!