Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Praise God for Those Perfect Homeschool Moms

Don't compare yourself to others. If I had a nickle for every time I heard that phrase I would be able to hire a self-esteem coach to remind me daily of perfect I am.

If you read my blog then you have probably seen a few of my posts about how I feel about how it being ok to do some comparison. Look, I get the heart behind the "do not compare" mantra. Ultimately, the only person I should be measuring myself up against is Jesus.  Here is where I have a hard time though, we homeschooling moms have made a career out of "not comparing ourselves". We have turned it into an excuse not to be better than we are. Not only that, we have made it an occasion to poke fun at moms who have managed to "do it all" or to make broad assumptions about how she must be neglecting other areas of her life.

She feeds her children healthy all the time? Well, she must spend so much time in the kitchen! I would much rather be making real memories with my children.

Her house is way too clean for her children to be enjoying any artsy craftsy time.

Her children must be afraid of her to be that well behaved.

There is no way she could possibly be that joyful all.the.time.

So why are we so jealous of those mothers who have found a way to make it all fit together? Why do we assume that they can't possibly be real? Or that what they have is so unattainable that we shouldn't even try?

When I see a mom who is doing a better job at something than I am, I often have that initial flash of jealousy and envy. Then, after a moment of repentance, I often find myself looking at her and wanting to pick her brain. How do you manage your meal schedule? Talk to me about how you discipline your children. Share your secrets with me!

Instead of tearing down these mothers, why aren't we asking for their "secrets" with an earnest interest in learning how to make our own homes run more smoothly? Why are we not praising God for placing these women in our paths so that we can learn from them? Why are we not telling them how encouraging they are to us? Why instead of looking at them as a rare exception to the rule, are we not looking at them as a rare gem?

My home may never be perfect. I am still very much a work in progress. It will never look exactly like someone else's. I have been blessed with my own unique circumstances, but God forbid that if I should become "that mom", any of my fellow sisters look at the result that God has produced through me, and tell me that it is unrealistic and then proceed to criticize me behind my back for being "too perfect".

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Jessica said...

YES!!! WOOO HOO! LOVE THIS! It is okay to be good at things! It doesn't make you proud or "above" others!

No one should ever make anyone feel bad about being good at something or force them to defend that!

Rachel E. said...

I love your last paragraph. You said it well. I haven't seen too many mom's I find are "perfect", but I don't seek them. I tend to gravitate towards those who have it the same as I do. :) I don't like to feel alone in the world. Hahaha. No, seriously, I do envy those mom's some, but I know they could teach me a lot.

Tina said...

I LOVE THIS! I agree with Jessica. No one should ever discourage another for being successful, due to hard work and training (or even natural skill), in an area where they are not.

I would like to temper the idea of someone seeking out another's "secrets", with their willingness to do the hard work that is necessary to conquer their problem. I far too often hear, "How do you do that?". As soon as I tell them, I begin to hear the excuses as to "why" they "could never do that".

Cristi said...

My problem isn't comparing myself to one other homeschool mom. I tend to see just the great parts of a whole handful of homeschool moms and create this mythical homeschool mom that has it all together. I end up jealous of an unrealistic image that I've created in my mind, not a single person that I could look up to and learn from.

Natty Perez said...

This really hit home. I've been so hurt by sisters in Christ who tell me all my hard work is in vain or that my house couldn't always look so organized, or that my children must not enjoy their childhood or homeschooling, or any other amount of hurtful words. I sacrifice a lot to get things done & keep them like that. Yes it's exhausting & yes I often neglect wants, even needs sometimes but that's my choice. It's hurtful when women you love feel bad about themselves because of some sacrifice you've made for your family & then they break you to pieces for it. Thank you for writing this.