Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Next to THAT Mom, I Think I'm Doing Pretty Well. . .
So many of us struggle in this area. Constant Comparisons. Theodore Roosevelt said it best, "Comparison is the theif of joy". Isn't it though?! It causes us to feel awkward, unworthy, and simply "not enough". For some reason, we just can't help comparing ourselves to other parents who look like they have it more "all together" than we feel that we do. Why do we do this to ourselves?!
If I were to be really honest, I would tell you that in the above description, I have been BOTH of those moms. The one who felt less-than-adequate next to Miss Perfect Parent in the carpool line, disheveled and exhausted (and looking the part, I assure you!). This is the mom that I find myself being on a fairly regular basis nowadays. I stay at home with a three-year-old escape artist while the kindergartner is in school. I bake cookies for the class parties, only to rush in late, poorly dressed, and feeling like I'm not bringing as much to the "mothering table" as the fellow moms at the party. The truth is, I've spent the better part of my day child-wrangling, house-cleaning, and tackling laundry while dancing around the kitchen braless to praise music with my toddler. But in moments out, moments when I'm in contact with the "Perfect-Parents-Who-Have-It-All-Together", I feel like I'm missing something. . .Like I should have my shiz a bit more together. Little do we know that Miss Perfect Parent has their own insecurities.
You see, I've been the "Perfect-Parent-Who-Has-It-All-Together" before too. And boy, were looks decieving! While I donned my high heels at drop-off, smiled a perfectly whitened smile, and looked like I had all my ducks in a row, my life was crumbling around me. I had a marriage in shambles, a job of two years that had landed me in unemployment land, and kids who would JUST NOT cooperate with my need for "quiet time" in months. Yet every morning, "dressing" as if I had it all-together was the ONLY THING that was holding me together. I looked at the mom with a smile on her face in the carpool line, with sweat pants on and kids looking "less-than-perfect" and wished for once that I'd have the confidence to be "real" with everyone someday.
We never know the struggles someone else is facing. We never know what kind of life the world has dealt a person. The only thing we can be sure of is that God is the Provider of Joy and it's only in Him that we can "be enough" when we feel as if we don't measure up. He sees past the 2-day-worn sweatshirt or hot pink high heels and Chanel sunglasses and deems us WORTHY. There's only ONE "Perfect Parent" and it's not any of us. He's invested daily in helping us become the best parents that we can be with His help. We may not look the way we envisioned and we may struggle with comparing ourselves to the parent next door, but we can have confidence in the fact that as long as we are honest with God and honest with others, we are doing the best job possible. Parenting doesn't always LOOK a certain way. It's messy and exhausting and joyful and confusing and and frustrating and overwhelmingly rewarding. Depending on the moment, your hair may be styled or disheveled, that doesn't reflect how much or how little God is using your ministry of parenthood to raise the next generation. Let's smile and nod in appreciation at the nearest mom or dad and let them know we see them, acknowledge their hard work, and are all in this business of parenting together.