It was Theodore Roosevelt who said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” And he lived in a time where comparison wasn’t nearly as easy as it is in our world of social media!
Moms are particularly vulnerable to the Perfection Infection (PI) I first wrote about in No More Perfect Moms. The PI happens when we have unrealistic expectations of ourselves and unfairly compare ourselves to others.
Instead of comparing ourselves, we need to embrace what our friends and other moms bring to our life! My oldest daughter Anne, wrote about this in our Better Together book:
My friend Robyn is so creative in her interaction with her 4 year old son. She’s not afraid to suddenly become a superhero in order to redirect her son’s tantrum. She’s also a quick thinker and, without effort, can come up with a fun game the kids can do. One day, I found myself comparing and thinking “I wish I was more like that in my parenting.” I even experienced some guilt in not being able to improvise like her. Then suddenly, as if God tapped me on the shoulder and whispered into my soul, that thought was replaced with “You are both fearfully and wonderfully made.” With that gentle reminder, God moved my heart in a new direction.
God created Robyn to roll with the punches and me to be more methodic. Her distraction default balances my discipline default. Her spontaneity and creativity is what makes her such a good friend for me. She inspires me to think outside my box and being around her makes me a better me!
My friend Emily hosts incredible Pinterest-worthy parties. She runs with a theme – right down to the water bottle label. While I love hosting parties, my creativity capacity doesn’t extend past the cake and invitations. It’s easy to begin the comparison game and feel inadequate, but it’s in those moments that I have to start the internal work of standing in God’s truth that we’re both fearfully and wonderfully made.
As moms, its easy to compare ourselves to those around us. We’re drawn to those who have different strengths and talents than we do. Instead of comparing and feeling we don’t measure up, we need to think about how those moms complement our strengths and talents. They fill our gaps, expand our world, and play an important role in our mom tribe.
Just like Anne, you and I can easily get sucked into shame when we really need to be grateful for how other moms strengths fill our gaps! Do you need to kick the Perfection Infection out of your life? Here are three steps you can take today:
- Say to yourself, “She has a backstory I don’t know,” when you’re tempted to think that someone else’s life is easier or better than your life. We all experience pain. We all have struggles. She may not “look” like she does…but she does in some way! This will pull you back from the ledge of comparison and plant you on the solid ground of reality.
- Focus on your identity in Christ. Stop using the wrong measuring stick to tell you who you are. Focus on these truths of who you are in God’s eyes!
- Take the Mothering Personality Quiz we offer from our Better Together book. It’s FREE and it will help you embrace your unique mothering personality. Once you really understand how God wired you to operate in this world, you’ll stop trying to be someone other than who you are designed to be! While you’re at it have your friend, sister, neighbor, or the moms in your moms group take the quiz, too. Then share your results and talk about how you can fill each other’s gaps!
What about you? Do you have a friend whose natural strengths make you feel guilty? Can you turn that around in your mind, embracing her differences and seeing what they bring to your life?
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