This post is a guest post by Marisa Boonstra, she is a mama too and does a beautiful job writing about Reaching Beyond the Mommy Comparison Trap, you will be encouraged and blessed.
When my husband was interviewing for the Media Director position at our church, our family stayed in a hotel about 10 minutes away. During those four days another family, a man with three women and several children, were staying there also.
I am ashamed to admit this now, but we made the wrongful assumption that this was a sister wives situation. It turns out this man was traveling with his wife, her (real) sisters, and their children to visit the women’s elderly father in the hospital.
Reaching Beyond the Mommy Comparison Trap
As moms, we too have the tendency to jump to the wrong conclusions about how another family might be living based on what we see. We make a judgment because of what something appears to be, without knowing the facts. In today’s culture where there are so many different social media platforms, you can basically live your life in front of anyone who will follow you, and it is very easy to play the comparison game.
You can view photos of another mother’s perfectly posed children in her spotless, uncluttered home, read about the latest healthy recipe she whipped up from scratch, and learn all about how she led her children through a creative, educational craft that tied their recent homeschool learning experience together.
We think that she must have a cleaner house, more obedient children, less insecurities, a better wardrobe, a more fun and structured homeschool, the list goes on and on.
But what if she (gasp!) is really just like you?
What if she removed all the junk lying around the living room when she snapped that photo of her sweet children, who, just moments before were fighting? What if she had an argument with her husband that morning, or snapped at her kids as she struggled to get them out the door on time?
What if we’re too busy looking at the outward appearance to reach out to her? She may just not have the time or desire to admit how overwhelmed or exhausted she is when we see her, but we can notice it in other ways if we look.
It could be a sigh, a slightly exasperate voice, or simply tired eyes. We don’t have to ask her what’s wrong. A simple gesture such as asking how you can pray for her, texting or emailing to let her know she’s in your thoughts, or dropping off some homemade goodies can go a long way in brightening her day!
Comparing your house and your kids to others’ is poisonous, and the Enemy loves to use that as ammo. One of his favorite tactics with moms in particular is to make us feel defeated.
When we feel defeated, we also don’t think we have anything to offer anybody else, least of all another mama who seems to have it all together.
The truth is God has given each one of us unique talents, gifts, and resources so we can carry out the unique mission He has called us to. A heart that desires to please the Lord can be used to accomplish His purposes, far greater than eloquent speech, a spotless house, beautiful Pinterest-worthy crafts, or even perfectly behaved children (which, let’s face it, none of us actually possess).
So let’s reach out to a fellow mom this week, and let her know you’re in this with her!
You can read more of Marisa’s posts at her blog Called to Mothering.