Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Competitive Motherhood

It is so easy to get caught up in it... so easy to think, "my house isn't as clean as hers...", "my food isn't as 'real' as hers is...", "my kids don't do cute crafts like hers do", "my house isn't all decorated for the season like hers is...", "I don't rub my hubby's feet every night like she does..."

I do it.

Do you?

Overall, I think I do a pretty good job in my role as wife and mother. Quite honestly, I know I certainly give off that impression. I know there are mommies around me who are saying, "my kids doesn't eat as well as hers do...", "I don't bake from scratch like she does....", etc, etc.


Do they know how much I hate to mop my floors? That dust bunnies linger under my couches? That (too often) I'm tired and short-tempered when my beloved husband gets home from work? That I love Diet Coke and I have no interest in eliminating white flour, rice, or sugar from our diets? Do you know those things about me?

And it gets worse. Not only is there a competition for "wife and mother of the year", there is also a competition for "who has it roughest".

This can be true among preemie moms:

"Oh yeah? Your baby's horribly near-sighted? Mine's blind."

"Oh yeah? Your baby was born at 26 weeks? Mine was born at 24. And I had twins."

"Oh yeah? Your baby had a grade 3 brain bleed? Mine had a grade 4..."

It's insane. But it's very real.

And it's not just preemie moms...

"Oh, your husband's away on business? Mine was just deployed and will be gone for months..."

"Oh, your mother-in-law was in a car accident? I lost both my parents to cancer."

"Your husband lost his job and money is tight? Mine has been unemployed for six months and we lost our house..."

I try not get caught up in these things. Not to compete.

Not anymore.

From now on, I WILL compete. Each and every day.

With myself.

My questions for myself will change...

Instead of, "Is my house as clean as hers?", I will ask, "Is my house cleaner than it was yesterday?"

Instead of, "Is our diet as healthy as theirs?", I will ask, "Are we eating better than we did last year?"

Instead of, "Am I serving my husband as well as she is?", I will ask, "Am I pleasing MY husband? Am I doing my best for HIM?"

I am going to embrace competitive motherhood and wifehood.

But my only competition? The ME of yesterday. I am the only measuring stick that matters.

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