As a mom with some experience, sometimes I get in my head that I know how all parents should do it. I have a wide spectrum of children. My kids have issues but they are great kids. I don’t really compare myself to others, except for older women who have raised their children and seem to have it all together, at least that’s what I thought.
Over Dramatic Mom
Recently I saw a young mother with her child, which I’m pretty sure it was her first, as she was saying and doing many of the things I did as a first time mom. Everything was constantly cleaned. Her child was never allowed to get dirty. She made a BIG deal when they fell, being more dramatic than the child.
I remember looking at her and thinking, “Boy is she in trouble if she keeps this up. Her child will use this against her and be a dramatic brat.” I gave a snort, I think I even stuck my nose in the air and walked away feeling superior.
Under Disciplined Mom
Later that same weekend, I saw another mom whose children horribly behaved. She looked exhausted, ragged and worn. Her kids were badgering her, some were even hitting her. They were begging her for toys, candy, snacks, and video games. She silently ignored them as tears were streaming down her face.
I remember thinking, “She really needs to take them home and give out some discipline. If my kids acted that way there would be severe consequences. How can she just stand there and ignore their horrid behavior? Doesn’t she ever discipline them?” I shook my head and walked away thinking she has a rough road ahead and feeling sorry for her.
I’ve known several of these moms. Their children always have to have the best. They follow whatever the latest trends are when it comes to feeding, clothes, discipline, behavior, and what the doctor says. These women seem to follow the crowd without thinking, or what seems like without thinking. They take it personally when you don’t agree with them, even to the point of accusing you of hating them.
After one such encounter, I remember thinking, “When you have as much experience as I do then you will understand? When you know as much as I do, you can claim to know what is best? Until you can just wallow in your stupidity of unknowing. Hey, it’s your child you are messing up, and it isn’t my problem.” Once again feeling superior in the knowledge that I know more than they do and maybe if they are lucky they can be as good as me one day instead of brainless followers.
Who I am VS Who I want to be
This woman, who passes judgment on others with just a glance. She isn’t who I was raised to be, by my grandmother. This woman who believes she is superior in knowledge and experience, isn’t the woman my grandma raised me to be. I don’t like her. In fact I hate everything about her. Not only does she not have any love for her fellow moms, but she doesn’t really have a love for God.
By comparing myself to others, even in my head, I’m making myself miserable. I don’t want to be this woman anymore and I need help.
Do not speak evil again one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There are only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?
I like to come out strong and hitting hard, because this is exactly what I was doing. I’m passing judgment not only on others, but doing it to women I don’t know nor do I know their situation.
Are you proud of yourself tonight that you have insulted a total stranger whose circumstances you know nothing about? Harper Lee- To Kill a Mockingbird
Those who speak against a brother, pass judgement against your brother, is a judge. We are not to be judges of the law, but doers fo the law. The only one who has the right to juge is the lawgiver, the savior and the destroyer. It doesn’t get much simpler than that, and yet I made myself judge and jury.
Colossians 3: 12
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience,
God is claiming you as a chosen one, holy and loved. We are being told to put on these things.
I would rather make mistakes in kindness and compassion than work miracles in unkindness and hardness -Mother Teresa – A Gift for God: Prayers and Meditation
Comparison is the Death of Joy
Not only did I pass judgment on a complete stranger, but I compared myself to her and found her lacking. All of this in just a few moments, with no knowledge but what I observed. I was not behaving at my best. I wasn’t showing love, compassion, kindness or humility.
The words of Colossians are a VERB an ACTION something we CHOOSE to do. It won’t come naturally. We will have to work on it daily. Just like we put our clothes on everyday, we need to put these actions as well.
I know I’m not the only one who does this. Stand in a group of women and it will start. Someone will start by saying something like, “Have you heard about…,” “Did you know about…,” “I can’t believe she….,” WOW! The saddest part is that it is contagious. Once one woman starts it another continues it on.
AND I don’t feel good about myself when I walk away from these women. In fact, I feel miserable. I hate being around them and hate myself for standing there, listening and participating.
We are all trying to be good moms and need each other’s support. This life is hard enough without having the people who claim to love God and us tearing us down because we make different choices than they would.
1 John 4:20-21
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar, for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
We can’t claim to love God and not love the ones He made, our fellow brothers, sisters, and family.
Comparison is the death of Joy. -Mark Twain
I want to leave you with a couple more quotes and a final scripture.
If I feel good about my parenting, I have no interest in judging other people’s choices. If I feel good about my body, I don’t go around making fun of other people’s weight or appearance. We’re hard on each other because we’re using each other as a launching pad out of our own perceived deficiency. – Brene Brown
You don’t need to be better than anyone else, you just need to be better than you used to be.- Wayne Dyer
Finally, brother, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.