Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Quitting the Mommyhood Rat Race

Compete, Compare, Comment: I won't!
Motherhood is a blessing, the culture that often surrounds it, not always. I've been thinking that when I don't Compete, Compare and Comment, motherhood becomes such a pleasure. Here's what I mean. 

Compete - I compete in short and long distance races several times a year. When you're competing, you come with the mindset to win and do the best you can. There are also rules we need to abide by as competitors. The sweet thing about running competitions are the perks you get at the end of the races. I once registered for a competition but I couldn't go. My husband went without me and I stayed at home. I didn't have to dress for competition or abide by the rules. I simply stayed at home comfortably nursing a little one back to health. I think it's a great idea to remove oneself from the mommyhood rat race. Let's be serious, we all know it happens. When I decided not to show up for such competition, my daily life became lighter, freer, more enjoyable.  I don't have to abide by any rules. I don't have to present my digital life as a happy, magazine worthy Pinterest board. I get to simply be freely me. I will not compete, not anymore. 

Compare - comparison is the thief of peace. There are s thousands ways I can compare my parenting with others but there's one way to stop it. I decided to listen to a weary heart who was confused and really couldn't keep up with the world of illusion around me. My motherhood comparison was changing my thinking (scary, I know) but thank God for the Bible and faithful friends who reminded me that God was not going to ask me for something I didn't have. My struggle was with the types of experiences I thought I should provide to my children. What I was beholding digitally was a world of luxurious experiences. When I looked at myself, I came up short every time. Through reading eternal truths in the word of God and sharing my struggle with friends who successfully raised children, I learned that God didn't expect me to provide my children with a trip around the world in 80 days because my husband and I can't give them that experience. I was also reminded of what I do have. I was reminded of the power of prayer and how God hears and answers. I will not compare, not any more.

Comment - It is so tempting to have an opinion about everything related to parenting. The tough truth is that unless I have responsibility, I don't get to have an opinion. My mind is made up and I know that when I stand before God one day He will not ask my opinion about someone else's parenting style. He will hold me accountable for the children I birthed. I have learned that comments are cheap because there are things of worth I can do for other parents. The first one is prayer. I can pray that God will give them the wisdom and endurance they need for their long-term parenting journey. The second one is encouragement. I find parents to be like plants in the heat of the Texas summer: every drop of water is much needed. Encouragement is like water in the soil of the soul: it nourishes, revitalizes a person. I will not comment, not any more. 

Friends, I realize that when I don't Compete, Compare and Comment, the gift of motherhood remains a gift and not a burden. Will you join me and get out of the rat race too? 

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