Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you. (Anonymous)
As you continue to spring clean, throw away the negative habit of comparing and placing judgement labels on yourself, your family, your children and your life.
by Neissa Springmann
Seriously, motherhood is the most difficult job I’ve ever had. From waiting tables, getting whacked in the head by flying hands and feet when coaching gymnastics, to consistently getting up at 4:45 a.m. to start a day of personal training or iGniting, hands-down being a mom takes the cake. While it’s obviously wonderful and very special, it’s an immense amount of responsibility which has rocked my once-controlled and organized world, that was perfectly packaged with a big fluffy bow on top.
Since becoming a mom three months ago, I’ve been trying to put my finger on when I’ve felt the feelings and emotions that I am currently experiencing. While possibly lame, I’ve figured out that being a mom reminds me of the feelings I had when taking tests in high school and college. Unfortunately, I was never a good test-taker and even if I knew the material I was constantly questioning my decisions. And now, for the first time in my adult life I’ve found myself again questioning my abilities and wondering if I’m any good. After all, I’m a huge people-pleaser and thrive on positive feedback and results, so before my son Durant starting smiling, I was convinced that I was the worst ever!
Additionally, like test taking, motherhood is overwhelming and a huge responsibility that is physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting. However, unlike taking a test, which ends the second you answer the last question, once you step into motherhood there is not a last question or even a grade. Instead, the perplexing and confidence-rattling questions keep coming, only to become humbled and confused all over again.
About a month and a half ago, Durant had consecutive cranky days that led me to believe that he was not a happy baby, which in my mind meant that I was a bad mom. So, in a raw and desperate moment I called my personal cheerleader, my mom, to lift my spirits. In the midst of complaining and seeking solace, she confided that even today she questions whether or not she is a good mom. Her truthful moment blew my mind because I think she is THE BEST MOM IN THE WORLD! Where does doubt creep in to your life? Take a few minutes to look at the Weekly Intention Guide to help you brainstorm…
What my mom feels and I am currently experiencing is doubt, which is a very evil five letter word. I believe doubt appears when we compare ourselves to others and put labels on ourselves and things like “good” or “bad.” This is exactly what I was doing when thinking Durant wasn’t happy, in turn making me believe I was a bad mom. In my mind, I assumed that it was impossible that another baby spit up or cried as much as he did. After all, every baby I had seen always looked perfectly cute, content and clean. Furthermore, I must be a horrible mom because I wasn’t able to breast-feed for more than one month, unlike so many other of my friends who had success for months and even years.
At iGnite we keep strong, faithful and smart women around us to remind us of what’s really true those times doubt or fear trickle in…
So, here I was (and still am)….WAY out of my comfort zone, in uncharted territory and torturing myself because I was comparing myself and Durant to everyone else. And the conclusions I made from those comparisons were not actual, but perceived. Of course plenty of babies cry and spit up as much or more than Durant does, and the more I talk to friends, the more I find out that they didn’t breast-feed as long as I assumed they had, and I think they are GREAT moms and their kids are equally as awesome!
The truth is that when you and I try our best, there is no right, wrong, good or bad. And, the second I let doubt creep into my heart is the second I convince myself that God hasn’t equipped me with exactly what I need, when He undoubtedly has and always will. I just have to trust, keep trying my best and continue to get other mothers to share their crying and spit up horror stories (ha!) to keep a realistic picture. Motherhood, like everything else in life, is not perfectly controlled and wrapped up with a big fluffy bow on top, unlike what I had persuaded myself I had to make it.
Finally, we have all been uniquely blessed with talents, treasures, and gifts. Of course, we can’t be great at everything or be as good at the same skills as our neighbor. However, instead of comparing, doubting and thinking you’re not good enough, praise your friends and neighbors for their skills, acknowledge and be proud of yours, and keep doing your best. Remember… just because someone else is good doesn’t mean you are bad; and as you continue to spring clean, go ahead and throw away the negative habit of comparing and placing judgement labels on yourself, your family, your children and your life. Guaranteed, no one is perfectly packaged with a big fluffy bow on top, and they’ve experienced “spit up” (of some sort!) a time or two. After all, spit up is normal.
While I do believe I’ll be able to teach Durant some dance moves, I’m ok with the fact that I probably won’t be successful at teaching him how to shake it like the baby in this weeks video. However, I sure do commend the person that did. Be sure and turn your volume up because you’re going to LOVE what you’re about to see… and we’ll plan to practice his dance moves during Cardio Dance this week!!
JOIN THE DISCUSSION- In what area of your life can you compare yourself to others less?