Don’t let comparison steal your joy. – Unknown
Since joining the blogging world I can not help but be aware of the many mommy blogs. Each and everyone I have read has began with their reality. Their messy house, their fast food debates, or home school troubles. Each one trying so desperately to defend the way they choose to parent from the differing opinions in the world.
I have been there so many times. In fact, each one I have read has reminded me of my own insecurities as a mother in one way or another.
I have gone through so many different stages in my eight short years of mommy hood already. I have been the mom mopping floors at three in the morning desperately searching for that sense of accomplishment of a clean house. I have tried to put housework on hold, only to drive myself even more crazy in the chaos accumulating around me as each day passed. I have gone through times in my life where I parented my children in a way that people closest to me opinions were based off, just to make them proud or to seek their approval. I have even attempted a days worth of complete clean eating…only to end up with starved, frustrated children (and husband) at the end of the day.
Each and everyone of those things leaving me feeling inadequate or a failure.
But based on what?
Based on who?
The views of others…. The practices of other mothers who are also facing their own challenges, insecurities, and imperfections.
Since Audreys death my own views have been slowly changing. I remember the morning that Audrey died and the RCMP first told me they had to go to inspect my house as part of their protocol. I remember sitting there in my mismatched pajamas, holding my lifeless daughter in my arms and feeling embarrassed. Embarrassed that they were going to be walking in to a sink full of dirty dishes and my girls laundry and toys strewn across the floor. I immediately began to worry about what the state of my house would cause them to think about me as a mother… about the death of my child…..like the outcome could somehow have been different if I could have looked like I had it all together.
Looking back I have learned to be thankful for that sink full of unwashed dishes. Thankful that I did not spend the day of July fifth, Two-thousand fourteen tirelessly cleaning but with my precious girl in my arms.
It had been a defining moment for me as a mom. A moment where I finally realized that the eight years prior I had spent attempting to live up to other peoples standards and of caring what other mothers thought about me didn’t matter. That the spot of the mommy scale that I was trying so hard to rank high on has never really existed in the first place. For years I have been letting comparison steal my joy.
Not only do I strongly believe that God has chosen each of us individually to be our children’s mother….but I believe that we were all created different for a reason. That we have all been uniquely equipped with our own strengths and weaknesses to raise our children the way they are meant to be raised. We are all fighting a battle against each other that we are already winning within ourselves.
Saying that, In each and every blog I read there is one thing that I always feel gets missed. The ones opinion that truly does matter. The ones who made us all mamas in the first place.
My focus and concerns have shifted to what they think of me…..to their happiness. Not yours.
My actions are now based on their needs or the impact that they will have on their lives and future. Not yours.
I have no control over other children…but I do have full responsibility and have been completely entrusted over my own.
As my children continue to grow and move on into their own lives my hope is that I have prepared them with the independence and life skills necessary to live a happy, healthy, balanced life. I hope they look back and remember me not just with a broom in my hands but with them in my arms……..I hope they learn to make healthy choices but also remember our annual summer ice cream supper. I hope when their own toddler marks all over the walls of their home they don’t just remember harsh words but the gentle approach I tried to take. I wish that when they are faced with heartbreak and hard times they can remember and cling to the very same faith that helped strengthen me.
Most importantly I hope when my time comes and I am no longer here….that when they catch a glimpse of themselves in the mirror and see a piece of me within them….that they are proud.
Because in the end…we are not leaving our views…our legacy, behind to each other.
We are leaving it to them.