Tip # 8 is Stop Comparing Yourself the Jones’
What is it about human beings in general that we constantly compare ourselves with others? Moms really seem to be in the comparison business. I can’t tell you how often I’ve been in situations where a mom is trying to one up me or worse they try to compare their child to mine. When Anya was 3 years old I was outside of her ballet studio and another mother with a child in the class was remarking on Anya’s skills (remind you she was 3), I thanked her and gave her daughter a compliment as well. She then went on to tell me how clumsy her daughter was and that she was trying to determine her talent! At 3? Talent didn’t cross my mind, all I saw were sweet little cherubs faces running around giggling and having fun! It was sad that this probably well-meaning mom couldn’t just simply enjoy her daughter and embrace the moment. Every family is different every child is unique and when we accept these difference life is so much more enjoyable!
As a single mom regardless of how you got here one sure way to burn out is to continually compare yourself to other families instead of being content with your family as it is in its present state. It is exhausting to want something you can’t have. Looking at other families and wishing you had a house like theirs, worrying that you aren’t giving your kids the opportunities others give their children in a two parent family (or so you think), or stressing that you’re not as organized or as crafty as the mom across the street will only make you miserable! Don’t try to overcompensate and wear yourself ragged to prove that you can be like other families that you perceive to live a picture perfect life because no one does! I’ve seen many two parent families struggling more than many single mothers I know. They appear to be like the Beavers and unfortunately their reality more resembles the War of the Roses. Listen, the bottom line is every family has their challenges. Your family is a family whether it is a 2 parent family or if it is you as a single mom doing the best she can for her children. The key is finding joy in your circumstances. Rejoice in your family and stop comparing it to others because it is unique.
Don’t pressure yourself to be on every single PTA board, hold the best parties for your kids, host the neighborhood potluck all because you want to live up to some non-existent standard. I’ve had my own struggles with overcompensating and it burned me out and made me an absolute nightmare to be around. I had to come to realize that I am who I am, my family is what it is and we are blessed. God doesn’t want us to compare ourselves or our family because it is beautiful just the way it is…right at this moment. Find peace in the place you’re family is in and honor it, that is when joy comes in and the Jones’ won’t matter.