Thursday, June 12, 2008

Me, Myself and I

We would worry less about what others think of us if we realized how seldom they do. - Ethel Barrett

I have been pondering a few things over the past few days. There have been many blogs and posts in forums that I have read that have talked about how inferior some moms feel when they look around themselves at others. I think that this is one of the greatest things that keeps women from developing very close bonds with other women. We consistently compare ourselves to each other.

Most of the time when someone encourages me in the work that we are doing with the boys or they call me their hero, I am quick to dismiss it in my mind with a personal dialogue that says "ya, If you were in our home for more than a few hours and really got a good look at a real day you would not think this."

I yell at my kids, am not as diligent as I should be about things that need to be done, should play with the kids more than I do and so the list could go on and on and on.
I do compare myself with other moms. Moms that I think have it all together. I also know that if these moms knew this they would laugh, because they to compare themselves with other moms and feel the same as I do.

We as moms do the best that we can on any given day. We make sacrifices that only other moms can understand. So today I am making a new resolution. Instead of comparing myself to these moms, I am going to enjoy their strengths and thank the Lord that we are all different and can compliment each other so well. We can learn from each other and encourage each other instead of beating ourselves up over not being all that we think we should be.

Here is a list of many of the moms that I hang with and what I appreciate about them. (even if they feel themselves less than super I think the are all wonderful)

Amy Koons: She is one of the best writers I know. I love to read her blog, because I know it will be a good read and I will feel uplifted when I am done. I think she could write about an earth worm and I would think it was great.

Alaina Fulk: I love to hear about her menus and the entertaining that she is doing. She is one of the most hospitable people I know.

Monica Bird: One of the dearest friends I have. She is raising 7 children and homeschooling and yet she still has time to listen and encourage me. She has a mind that wants to learn and she has not neglected it just because she is a mom. She can also feed her brood on an amazing budget.

Heather LeFebvre: One of the most creative people I know. She is constantly sewing cool things and creating really cool food in the kitchen. She has persevered through a very trying illness and has developed a true compassion for those in the same circumstances.

Ginny Enas: Is raising 10 children ages 19 - 2. I am amazed at her wisdom and continually seek her advice in the raising of my kids. She has shown me that I can still be me in the midst of marriage and motherhood.

Catherine Gillespie: Reads more books than I knew existed. She reads to her kids on a daily basis. She is learning how to do things on a tight budget and I am gleaning so much from her thoughts on that.

Rachelle Swan: She loves her stepchildren as though they were her own. I have not seen many women care about children they way she cares about her 2 oldest. She is in the midst of trials and she is facing them with determination and fighting for her kids.

Each of these women are truly super moms. They are unique and wonderful in so many ways. What is posted above is just a hint of who they are.
I guess what I am trying to say in this post is that so much of our energy is wasted on comparing ourselves to others instead of enjoying those differences.

So I am going to step out of my box and in spite of my really bad stained carpet have a party for Edy for her birthday. I know that I think so much worse of it than others do. I am not going to let stained carpet or shabby furniture stand in the way of entertaining those I hold dear or doing something for someone else because I don't know if they will like it. I have held back too much in the past few years because I did not want to be judged on the actions of my children or the condition of my house. I am determined to accept things as they are and move on.

So when you read this post if you feel inclined to leave a comment, I want to know what your favorite thing about yourself is. Is is time for us moms to start dwelling on the good that we have and quit getting down on ourselves for those things that we wish we were.

Edit: Darrin got on me for not posting my favorite thing about me: I am glad that I am so flexible. I like to be spontaneous. I think the most fun to be had is just doing something without forethought. (this has gotten me into trouble, but I have always had a good time.)

I think you are all wonderful and no one else could fill your place on earth!


Heather L. said...

What a great post! comparing is such a bad habit!! I agree with everything you said. As for you, I thank God for gifting you with energy -- I guess He knew you would need it! :) and also the ability to be out-going! (you were one of the very first people to talk to me and Christina when we first moved here). It's amazing how God can use all of us with our various giftings TOGETHER to meet the needs of one another and reach out.

jennie said...

You need to post your favorite thing about yourself. I know it might be uncomfortable, but it is a step in a good direction. Be a bit egotistical. I want to know!

Heather L. said...

I know, I was in a rush yesterday. :) I'm not sure exactly what to put, :) but I guess I do like the fact that I'm creative :)

BTW, thought of you this morning when I caught a little monster happily dumping salt on the counter and eating it up! He then proceeded to charm his mother with very cute faces and smiles, while also gagging a bit.

Mary said...

I want to come to Edy's party! I don't care about your stained carpet :^)

Alaina said...

What a sweet and thoughtful post. I am blessed to have all of you women in my life! Jennie, you are a constant inspiration to me as you selflessly love your children and husband and give of your time and energy to serve others as well!

Hmmm, my favorite thing about myself... That's tough, I tend to be very critical of myself. :) I guess I like that I can make alot of different things in the kitchen - with or without a recipe. :)

Catherine said...

Great post. Thank you for your kind words! You're so right about how our worries about what other people will think of us keep us from deep relationships, or keep us from doing things like having people over etc.

I guess one thing I like about myself is that I make things nice even when they aren't that nice (like serving plain dinner food on fancy dishes or putting flowers out or something).

I'm glad you're back to blogging!

Monica said...

Thanks, Jennie, for keeping it real. I love all the time I spend with you that I don't even notice the carpets or anything else. I think you've visited at my house sitting with my loads of laundry:)

What do I like about myself?
I can laugh at the everyday things that might make other people crazy (especially in regards to myself). I really think life and people are enjoyable so the crazy things that happen only make me smile more.

Can't wait for Edy's party- Betsy is homesick for her.

Kevin & Amy said...

Jennie, you are so thoughtful, kind, and generous. I also think it takes guts for women to come right out and say they compare themselves to others because we ALL do it. That is something I have really struggled with a lot in the past several years, too. And, you're right, it's the thing that hinders us MOST as women. It really keeps us from reaching our potential. Plus, no woman "really" has it all together.

I think you are a wonderful woman, wife, and mom. And I especially appreciate women who are able to bare their souls, show their flaws (i.e., be transparent), and women who really want to do the right thing. I find that in you. I think those are the best qualities.