As mothers, I feel like we are always tempted to compare ourselves, and our kids to others. We see an area of strength for one mom and we get down on ourselves that we aren't like that or our kids aren't like their kids. Well, I've finally realized why this is such a bad idea. It's not a fair comparison when you're not comparing the same things. Comparing apples to oranges is never fair. Let me illustrate my point by telling you an imaginary story of two moms: Sally and Sarah.
Both are loving, wonderful moms who stay home with their children, both age 2. It might be tempting to lump them into one category together since they seemingly have so much in common, but look at how different their realities might really be...
5:45 am: Sammy wakes up ready to start his day. Sally has tried everything to get the child to wake-up later but to no avail. He wakes at this time every day.
7:00 am: Sally realizes that they are both dressed, have had breakfast and her kitchen is clean at 7:00 am and there's three more hours until her playdate. How wonderful!
8:30 am: Sally is trying to occupy Sammy at home until it's time to leave for her playdate. She does some laundry and tries to do other things but after about an hour or so Sammy starts whining and wanting her attention.
10:00 am: Finally the playdate crew arrives. Sammy is pleased with the company but quickly has difficulty seeing his friends play with some of his toys. Sammy's attitude and actions need attention and Sally has to remove him from the playdate to give him a spanking. Sammy returns and then repeats the offensive actions, Sally removes him again from the playdate to administer another spanking. Finally, Sammy decides to have a good time.
1:00 pm: Sammy naps, Sally is happy.
3:00 pm: Sammy is awake!
5:00 pm: Sally tries to start cooking dinner but Sammy is running around the house like a wild man and pulling up his chair to her counters trying to help her cook. Really, this is just a huge hazard and while cooking dinner she is having to make sure that Sammy isn't endangering his life by touching the hot oven or by getting into the knives. 2 more spankings are administered over the course of the next hour.
6:00 pm: Daddy is working late tonight so a tired Sally puts dinner on the table and watches while Sammy doesn't eat anything she has prepared.
7:30 pm: Bedtime for Sammy. Phew! Repeat in 10 hours.
7:45 am: Sarah's little darling, Lucy wakes up. Bright-eyed and bushy tailed saying things like "love you mommy".
9:00 am: Breakfast is done, Sarah and Lucy are dressed. Lucy plays happily by herself while Sarah does a couple things around the house.
10:00 am: Playdate! Sarah and Lucy go to the playdate and Lucy is a complete angel. She shares and isn't bothered when someone takes the toy she was playing with. She's totally laid back and sweet. She leaves the playdate and gives the host kisses and hugs. She's confused when her friend Sammy has to be taken away for discipline, her mommy's firm voice is all it takes for her to obey.
1:00 pm: Lucy naps, Sarah does whatever she wants.
3:00 pm: Lucy wakes up and they read together
5:00 pm: Lucy "cooks" in her pretend kitchen while Sarah makes dinner.
5:30 pm: Daddy's home!
6:00 pm: The family sits down to eat dinner together. Lucy eats all her chicken and even a few bites of veggies! Go Lucy!
7:30 pm: Bedtime for Lucy. Kisses!
Well, it's no wonder that Sally has a little harder time in this season of life than Sarah is it?! Her day is much more challenging than Sarah's day! This is why comparing is so dangerous because chances are, you're not comparing the same thing at all. Certainly stay at home moms of young children have many things in common, but the reality of their daily life can be quite different. This is just a friendly reminder to give yourself and others grace, because you never know what their day is really like.
**These fictional characters are not based on people I know, although I will say I loosely identify with Sally, surprise!**