Comparison is the Thief of Joy…. Yours and Mine.

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So the other day I thought all day about a conversation I had with a mother whose children are grown.

Here is my paraphrase:

“I really think your generation of mothers has it harder than we did. With social media you guys can see what is going on in each others lives and that really gives way to the urge to compare. You are bombarded with images and expectations making it so hard to be content.”

Word.

Pinterest makes my mind explode. Mother guilt about all the crafty things I should do GALORE. Keeping up with the Jones’s.. pshhh. Keeping up with about 78495386725409245 people who show their highlights everyday.

Twitter. Instagram. Facebook. Pinterest. Blogspot. WordPress. Snapchat. That google thing I know nothing about…

Do not get me wrong. I love seeing the wonderful things going on in peoples lives. I think it is a slippery slope when we get into blaming social media for our own lack of contentment. There is nothing new under the sun. There has been and will always be someone richer, smarter, skinnier, healthier, craftier, etc… in this world. Jealousy, coveting, and greed are not new feelings. Comparing with others is not a new thing. In this age of social media we just get to be bombarded with other people’s information on the daily so sometimes I think it makes it harder to control our thought lives.

It is so important that we do not covet that God even threw it into the Ten Commandments. It is that unhealthy.

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”- Exodus 20:17

So I do not think I will be coveting my neighbors ox and donkey anytime soon, but man this verse totally gets me.

Do I covet my neighbors house?

Sometimes.

Do I covet my neighbors wife?

Sometimes.. she is much better at this wife and mom thing. And look at that bod… I bet when she goes to the beach she doesn’t wear a shirt over her bathing suit like a chubby preteen at summer camp.   

I mean I could go on.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

I think every one needs to grab that quote and sit on it.

 

We can have our joy stolen, but we can also steal others joy. You know when something really great happens for someone and you react with that sour look because you totally wish something wonderful would happen to you? How selfish are we when we covet?

SELFISH. SELF-CENTERED. AWFUL.

I have seen woman relationships ruined because of the evil that is coveting.

Comparison is the THIEF of joy.

Do you want your joy stolen? I certainly do not.

Do you want to steal other people’s joy? Oh no.

So let’s do this. Let’s be grateful for what we do have and be happy for others. And remember, on all these social media sites, you are seeing the best parts of people’s lives. We show the nice parts that we want people to see. And that is wonderful. I want to see the good parts. The bad parts are reserved for one-on-one conversations, personal friendships, or maybe for a carefully worded blog meant to inspire 😉

So one last time say it with me:

I WILL STOP COMPARING OTHER PEOPLE’S HIGHLIGHT REELS TO MY BEHIND THE SCENES.

 

And if you are really struggling with coveting and comparing because of social media… Get off the internet for awhile. Your husband will thank you. Your children will thank you. Your friends will thank you. And your heart will thank you.

Whew. Sorry I went off on a tangent there.

Here I will make you feel better and show you some of my “behind the scenes”.

How I feel when:

1. When Baby has eaten yet another piece of paper out of a book because I looked away for too long:

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2. Trying to put a diaper or any item of clothing on Baby:

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3. When it is 3 am and Baby won’t go back to sleep:

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4. When I have to do long overdue housework:

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5. When I have just finished all the laundry… and I find more:

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6. When I have been dieting all day and my husband brings home cookies:

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7. When I am telling someone something about baby, my marriage, or anything really, and they respond with “Oh.. just you wait” and proceed to tell me all about all the knowledge and experience I do not have and they do have:

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8. When Baby will not take a nap:

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9. After my husband gets home and I hand him our child who has decided not to sleep all day:

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10. How I felt about any TV shows about childbirth right after I gave birth:

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On Being a Mom

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The other day I was talking with my friend who is a new mom. We always exchange experiences and stories as we try to navigate this new world of pregnancy and parenthood. She told me she really wished people had been more honest about some of the not so “bright” moments of motherhood, and I don’t think she is alone in that sentiment.

Becoming a parent is a whole new adventure in life. A lot of times we are afraid to admit to anyone that it is not all fuzzy bunnies and rainbows on this adventure. Sometimes you think you are on the right path, sometimes you have no idea where you are, sometimes the directions are way too confusing, and sometimes it feels like the greatest journey of your life. We love our kids so much that admitting discouragement, anger, apathy, or frustration towards them often feels like an act of betrayal.

With the internet, I do think there is a lot more honesty about the ups and downs of motherhood, but I also think there is a lot more criticism.

There are so many different parenting ideals out there that it often becomes overwelming. And with every idea comes an opinion. Mothers are a tough crowd. We often see things in black or white. I do not know why we sometimes take our own guilt and shuttle it onto our own self righteousness pedestal, but man does that happen a lot. Parents… we do not need to be giving each other guilt trips! Don’t you remember how hard it was/is to parent? I think we can agree we are all flawed human beings so why don’t we support each other? Not one of us has all the right answers.

There are many wonderful, supportive women in my life, but there is one lady that really sticks out to me. Funny thing is, I do not really even see her that much, but when I do, she always tells me that I am doing a good job at being a mom. Always. No unsolicited opinions. Just support. At first I was kinda taken back when she said those words to me… it was my first day back to church and I was sleep deprived with sore boobs and a post partum belly, but she smiled and just told me what a good job I was doing. I could have bawled right then and there. That one sentiment broke through all my guilt and really lifted my spirits. Thank you Beth M.

Enter “Tell Another Mom“…

“Tell another mom she is a good mom” is the slogan of this website. Their mission is to “to stop judging other mothers and instead support one another through encouragement. We’ve all either been judged or criticized in some way by another Mom, just as I’m sure many of us have done to another. So here’s our chance to change that… TELL ANOTHER MOM that she’s doing a GOOD JOB.”

I recently learned about “Tell Another Mom” and saw that they were looking for guest bloggers. I emailed Janet and she was gracious enough to let me be a guest blogger. Go over and check out the post and her blog.

Be Encouraged. Whoever you are… You are a GOOD MOM!

http://http://www.tellanothermom.com/2014/02/13/breastfeeding-bliss/

 

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A Tale of Minty Freshness

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I have just returned from a trip to my husband’s grandparent’s house to celebrate his grandma turning 80. Baby got his first taste of a road trip! The trip was eight hours each way. The kid did pretty well considering he detests his carseat. There were a couple of times I really just wanted to just hover over his carseat and nurse him because he was crying so hard, but I didn’t want to traumatize my sister-in-law.

The weekend consisted of staying up late, a hike, lots of food, and visiting with wonderful family. It was a treat. I really love all my in-laws so much. It feels like I have been a part of their family forever.

It was such a great weekend, but it was also accompanied by a baby (and a Mommy) whose sleep patterns were out of sorts and lots of night nursing. Suffice to say I was pretty tired when I got home, but there is no rest for the weary. After traveling such a long distance, we had to wake up early the next day to get my car at the dealership before the hubby went to work.  How tired was I you ask? Let me tell you… 

This morning while I was working out I noticed my pants kept falling off. What the heck?

I figured I must be losing some weight which would be surprising since I ate terribly this weekend.

I also noticed how weird these pair of pants fit me. The front went up higher then the back. They are kinda funky pants so I paid them no mind. Well I finally looked at them after they almost completely fell off of me while doing sprints.

I had put them on backwards.

To make it worse… when I had put my pants on earlier I had started to put them on backwards… noticed my error… stopped dressing.. and attempted to put them on the right way.

Apparently that attempt didn’t work… but this is the icing on the cake…

You know you’re tired when:

You go to brush your teeth in the morning. You see the toothpaste your husband bought that is not your favorite and are bummed.

It doesn’t leave your mouth feeling nice and clean.

So you decide to brush your teeth with the travel size Colgate toothpaste on the top shelf instead. You begin to brush your teeth, but soon realize something is wrong… very wrong.

There is no minty freshness. There is only horror.

That would be because you just brushed your teeth with the Cortizone cream that is meant for hemorrhoids. 

I am going to go take a nap now.

P.S. I have some exciting news about the blog  to share with you all later this week!  

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Tales of Motherhood: Apathy and Anxiety

So on Thursday  I had my birthday! YAY! And in Mommy world that means that Daddy skipped his workout, played with Baby, and let Mommy sleep until it was time for Daddy to go to work. When did getting out of bed at 730 am become such a luxury?

So much has changed in this past year. As I ponder all the changes in my life,  I have decided I have really gotten into the swing of things with this Mommy gig. If I could sum up what I have learned, I would say that… for me… there is no middle ground when it comes to Mommy emotions. When you are a mother… you live your life in extremes.

Apathy and Anxiety. 

These are my two extremes.

When Holden was first born I went from staring at him obsessively and needing to have him near me constantly… to having a mental breakdown because I felt like I would NEVER be alone again.

Oh hormones… I do not love you.

But seriously… how do you explain to someone without children that you absolutely crave alone time, but after only a short period of being alone ..you have an insatiable need to be with your child?  Could I be more bipolar?

The list goes on:

Anxiety: I still check on Holden every so often at night to make sure he is breathing…

Apathy:  He has started crawling and getting into everything. I have baby proofed, and I watch him as closely as I can… and all I have to say is that this stage is exhausting. It has gotten to the point that when I look over my shoulder and see that Holden has crawled over to where the books are hidden… and has started to forcefully attack Vince Flynn again…  all I can think… without even blinking an eye… is “Oh look… Holden is eating a book again… of course.”

Sidenote: Seriously.. this whole crawling and pulling up on thing has changed my life. Within the last twenty minutes, Baby has already fallen and bumped his head four times… I am not even exaggerating. I need to get the kid a crash helmet.

Apathy: It used to be if I saw something gross I would automatically gag and be grossed out. The idea of cleaning human feces was enough to send me across the room. Bodily function humor was not my thing. And while I am still a lady, I must say that I do not get grossed out like I used to… at all.

I am numb. Desensitized. My innocence is gone.

Example: I was laying in my teenage sister’s bed with her and Holden. We were having a lovely conversation when I realized Holden was about to crawl off the bed. So I reached over and pulled him close to me. I just kept my hand on his back as I continued to talk to my sister, but then I noticed my hand felt kind of grimy. I proceeded to  take my hand off Holden’s back and look at it.

Feces. 

My sister is horrified. Without even thinking I just muttered “Oh that’s what that was… just Holden’s poop. This is why I can’t have long nails.”

The look on my sister’s face changed from one of horror to one of disgust. Sadly, I was not even phased.

She also enjoys it when I smell his bottom or open his diaper and take a whiff to see if he needs to be changed.

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Anxiety: Holden has had really bad gas lately. I mean REALLY bad! He has even made me gag. What is worse is that when he passes gas he is LOUD. Like little man baby loud.

What the heck is going on in that little tummy?! We have already ruled bananas as a culprit for some of his gas problems. Curse you monkey fruit!

The worst part is is when it happens in public.

You know… casually standing in line with my adorable, smiley baby… just minding my own business and glorying in all the compliments I get on how beautiful he is. Proud Mama here.

And then it happens. The tummy gurgles… and it comes.

Baby totally rips a loud, smelly one right there in line.

What is a mother to do?! I certainly do not want people to think that I am unapologetically passing gas in line and forcing the surrounding public to wait in the stink.

So I do what any good mother would do.

I explain that my baby has exceptional gas powers and apologize.

But this strategy backfired…

I am met with looks that say “Sure lady.. blame it on the Baby”.

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I now just talk to Holden loudly about his gas problems and hope people understand. 

Do you have any stories of motherhood Apathy and Anxiety? Feel free to share!

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