I can’t always be a rock star mom. In fact sometimes, all I can be is a barely-keep-it-together-I’m-exhausted-so-let’s-eat-fish-sticks-and-watch-TV type of mom.
We get so bombarded by the internet and Pinterest and we see all these amazing woman out there and we think WOW, now that mama is rocking it! The problem is that we then start to compare ourselves with the internet version of what we see portrayed. The truth is, everyone’s life looks better online or in the eye of the public. As a single mom, I envied these woman. Woman who got to stay home, do crafts, cook all day, and home school their kids.
I remember one particular day at the beginning of my separation I was at work, waitressing. It was a Saturday and I worked across the street from the mall. A mother and daughter came in and they had obviously been shopping. The girl had her American Girl doll all ready to eat with them. When they walked in it was the first time since my ex had left that a wave of pity and jealousy hit me; I used to be this woman, taking her daughter out for shopping and lunch, and now I was the one who was forced to work to provide for mine. I went in the bathroom at work and wept bitterly that day.
You see when my ex first left, I focused on all the things that I no longer had the privilege of doing. All the things I was missing. Part of this is a normal part of mourning and there is nothing wrong with mourning. In fact it is necessary to your healing. What is wrong, is when we allow it to become the focus of our lives, when covet other’s lifestyles and allow it to make us bitter in our own.
One of the hardest parts for me was not getting to give my kids the fairy tale life I had striven so hard to create. My journey has taught me that it’s OK to not always have an amazing spread laid out for dinner. It’s ok if my kids are wearing clothes that I bought from Value Village. It’s OK if I make my kids swap on who gets a birthday party each year, because I’m just two exhausted to do two. It’s OK if sometimes we just sit in front of the TV and have fish sticks for dinner.
The measure of me being a good mother is not tied up on how well I follow the “Susie Homemaker” criteria in which I believe I should preform. But in the ability to love my children, to be there for them when they need it and to make sure that they are happy, healthy, clothed, and taught that the only means worth measuring yourself against is what you and Jesus say about yourself. Those are the only two that count.
The truth is, the internet lies and only allows us to see what the beholder wants us to see. We all have our own struggles that we are dealing with. So let’s stop comparing ourselves with others. Let’s compare ourselves with who we were yesterday, last month, a year ago. Let’s embrace our weaknesses because the reality is, “When we are weak, He is strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Years later God has blessed me so much, that now on my day’s off, I get to take my girls shopping and out to lunch, because my God is good! But for tonight we are having fish sticks for dinner.