Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Great Compare

Her license plate says "SuperMom".

I'd be lying if I said I didn't roll my eyes sometimes when I drive past it. Ok, all the time.

I sit on the side of the pool with my feet in the water and splash the girls and people watch and soak up the sun. I see her across the way and am again reminded how different our lives are - how she can now relax at the pool, work on her tan, and catch up with the regulars. I remember her from school, I remember that our achievements are very different, and I remember her hurtful comments last year when she caught wind that I was pregnant again.

I also remember that comparing does your heart no good.

I hold my baby close and my head high to prove that I believe in this journey I'm on.

I walk Lincoln up and down the 2 feet and he falls asleep on my shoulder and I remind myself to be proud. I may not have the free time she does, and even though I've run daily for a year, miles logged doesn't repair every little tiny change that came from housing and growing 6 miracles - and even if they did, I'm going to keep my one piece and remember that God and my husband think that modesty is admirable.

Although I constantly remind myself of the truth, comparison always steals my joy.

I rock the babe and spray sunscreen and pass out PB&J's. I brush off the insecurities of the season I'm in and the job I'm doing and the fact that that may be my child throwing a fit.

I may not be that mom, but I'm their mom. 

I hear her and other moms laugh and carry on while I listen to my girls giggle and talk about the diving boards. And I thank Him again - for this season, this process, and these lessons.

The more I thank Him, the more grateful I become.

I get passed by the socialites and passed judgement on and asked if he's my last. I let myself feel like I don't fit in when the only thing I need to be fitting into is His plan for me.

Am I consumed by my job? Sure. But even at the end of the day when the only thing I can whisper when my head hits the pillow is "Lord, give me strength and wisdom.", I still wouldn't trade it for anything.

Embracing where He has you leaves little room for comparison.
This isn't a season of loads of R&R or time alone. It is a time of chaos and chattering girls and sweating the small stuff even though they tell you not to. This season is about me being the mom that He created specifically for them, and realizing how green He has made the grass on our side.

Less comparing, and more focusing on these great kiddos. That's the plan :).


This Heavenly Life said...

I needed this tonight. Thank you :)

Jen said...

I love this :)

Mama D’s Dozen said...


Oh the comparisons I could make with 90% of the women my age (who are all "enjoying" their empty nests).

But, I am Oh.So.Glad. that I didn't stop at "just 6" kids. I have no desire for the empty nest. I LOVE having a house full of kids still. I LOVE homeschooling (for the 22nd year). I LOVE going to every track meet and baseball game.

Seriously. I think I would be bored out of my skull if I was like the other 90% of women my age. While a coffee date now and then with a friend would be nice . . . it is not something I would do every day.

Nope. I am right where God has called me to be, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

And, you are right exactly where God has called you to be. Keep up the good work!

mama of 12

cleverblonde said...

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I too appreciate the reminder. I'm going to scribble that last sentence onto a scrap of paper and stick it on the fridge. We often tell our son as we told our girls that God called us to be his parents and not Billy's parents which is why we don't parent the way they do or allow the things that Billy is allowed to do. I've been upset lately feeling abandoned by friends who no longer find me interesting because of a chronic illness. I've just realised it doesn't matter because God called me to be wife and mother and that comes first, always. Thank you Kate

Stacey said...

I *totally* understand where you're coming from, and you know I adore you. But I have to speak for a moment from the other side of this equation.

This week my 4yo son is in a 3-hour/morning day camp. When I was dropping him off the other day, another mom stopped to chat with me at my car and said "OH! I bet you're going to have a relaxing morning now!" I looked at her, puzzled, and said, "I still have a house full of kids at home." (my 4 older ones: 11, 13, 15, and 18) I didn't even mention my new full-time work-at-home job that I needed to get back to, but still.

Anyway, she looked at me incredulously and said, "But your older kids don't bother you, do they?! They must leave you alone to do your own thing!!!" She was laughing dismissively this whole time.

I believe that she - as a mom of 2 young kids, 4 and 7 - was looking at me as a mom of older children thinking that *I* had reached some point of Parenting Nirvana. Older kids = tons more freedom, less cares, less worries, relaxation. That could not be farther from the truth.

Her comments actually left me shaking and in tears once I got into my car. I have very real struggles of my own with my family, but because of what her version of "someday" is, she couldn't see any of them, and I felt my challenges dismissed and reduced. I honestly don't think she intended that at all, she's a wonderful person and very caring. But her comparison with my life was unreal, and for some reason, it really hurt me.

I have no doubt you have felt judgement - I've felt it too as a mom of many (and especially after "starting over" with our last son). But please consider that some of those ladies you are looking at have their own struggles that can't be reduced to whatever it is you perceive on the outside or use to compare to your own life.


Savvy Little Women - Kate said...

I actually was not trying to portray that she or any other mom doesn't have a big job or struggles as the kids get older. I've been open about my biggest job recently being dealing with our oldest - it's draining emotionally as she gets older.

The struggle to compare has to do with me, nothing to do with her and I hope that was clear. Sorry that you felt burned by the woman with younger kids, I think every mom is fighting her own battle.

jenny said...

Love the authenticity of your words. For me personally, I think the enemy loves to make us feel alone in whatever our "season" or struggle of mothering we are walking through. I have to constantly work on trying to embrace what He has for my life daily and not get discouraged with the hard days. Glad God is giving you peace daily as you manage 6 little swimming babes :) love u!

Thoughts for the day said...

"Embracing where he has you" is the whole key...You are right on. Your day will come some day. Right now your 'job' or your calling or your role or whatever you want to name it, is the most important one you personally can ever do aside from being a 'soul mate' to your husband. Keeping your home intact and safe is the MOST important.
I will continue to pray that your example to your daughters and son will be the lesson and language of love to them for a lifetime.

The Sneaky Mommy said...

Eeks, I adore you! :) Comparison Carol knocks at my door way too often--especially after having a surprise baby! I constantly have to refocus on the truth rather than the lies of "this isn't how my life was suppose to be". Sounds horrible. I wouldn't trade any of my babies for the world, but that doesn't stop sinful thoughts from creeping in. My favorite line was this: Embracing where He has you leaves little room for comparison.
That should probably be tattooed on arm as to never leave my mind!
Many great big hugs to you for your awesome encouragement! I'll be thinking of you as I splash IN the pool and let those tan mamas do their thing without my envy! :)

Step-Mama to 4 said...

I have felt the same way as I go to the pool with all my kiddos, I am a step mom to 4 boys, some Im not even old enough to have mothered. and I love them like they are mine. My comparisons come from other moms who look at me like, how could she have all those kids. And since my sweet hubby usually isnt around I get the judgemental look, that shes way young she must have started at 10 look. And it makes me sad and I am SO thankful that you posted this. My sweet boys havent been to the pool in 1 week because I couldnt take it. But you have encouraged me to try again tomorrow. Thank You!

Ruth Anne said...

I just got caught up... been busy :-D I really loved this post. Comparison truly is the thief of joy, and what those other women are missing out on, is all the love you and I get to experience from ALL our kiddos.

You have 6 kids who love you, adore you, admire you. Even when it's hard. Even when we don't do it even half as good as we'd like, in our children's eyes, we're still awesome.

I'm so thankful for you and for your honesty!

Enjoy the summer, enjoy your children, and let your light shine!

Anonymous said...

Ever think that secretly, they are comparing themselves to you and wishing they had your guts and devotion? Just food for thought. Thank you for your honestly. I sometimes feel the same things you speak of in this post, and I really appreciate you putting it out there so I don't feel alone. Hugs.

Savvy Little Women - Kate said...

I have totally thought of that too - the grass always seems greener on the other side, doesn't it :)??

funfavorites said...

Wonderful post, I had tears. Thank you I need this reminder.

Marisa said...

Good thoughts from all the comments. I think it's something we all struggle with and it's interesting to hear from both sides. Mothering is just plain hard, but such a huge blessing too. Definitely easy to feel like we're missing out on something that others are enjoying.

Tina Michelle said...

That was very well stated. It was nice to read.

Cecilia said...

Great writing and thoughts as usual.

The Beaver Bunch said...

Before last week, I got you. But now, I really get you.

Love this so much.

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