Words for Women: Put Away the Comparasaurus

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RecreateaprojectfrompinterestI love the website Pinterest Fail. Not because I have a sadistic need to laugh at other people’s misfortune (well, not usually, but let’s face it –some of them deserve a “what were you thinking?”) but because it feels like a show of solidarity for those of us who aren’t the perfect housewives and crafty mothers.

It’s not that I’m not crafty. Actually, I know how to do a lot of crafts: knit, crochet, needlepoint, cross-stitch, decoupage, scrapbook, etc. It’s just that I rarely have time to do it. So while the other stay-at-home moms are bringing gorgeous homemade cupcakes decorated like sunflowers to their kids’ preschool birthday parties, I’m the one bringing packaged cheese sticks or store-bought cupcakes with little plastic Spiderman rings shoved in the frosting. Don’t think I don’t notice those little looks of disapproval from you, Crafty Mom.

But, I think, I’ve written four full-length novels in two years! I blog three days a week. I write a half-dozen guest blogs a month. Crafty Mom hasn’t done that. Now, she’s probably stitched together a gorgeous book of family photographs for her children, complete with handmade paper, but that’s not the same thing.

And then I think: What am I trying to prove?

As my friend, Jennifer, told me once, “Put away the Comparasaurus.” It makes me laugh, because that’s exactly what it is. Keeping score on who can be the better mom, the better school helper, the better housekeeper (okay, so I gave up on that last one about twelve years ago).

The thing I’ve come to realize is… my kids don’t care. It’s more important to them that I show up for the school birthday party, even if it’s with store bought goodies. I’m home to help with homework. I’m free to chaperone school field trips and help on Field Day. I chauffer them around multiple times a day to their activities. And when that box of books that mom wrote arrived at the house, I saw their faces light up. They don’t quite understand what being a writer entails, but they get that it’s pretty cool and kind of rare to have an actual book with your name on it.

So, Crafty Mom, I’m sorry I thought mean things about the fact you brought handmade cards and a bouquet of roses that you cross-bred and raised yourself to Teacher Appreciation Week. I bet your kids think you’re pretty awesome, and they’d be right. But my kids think I’m pretty awesome, too, and that’s all that really matters to me.

How do you silence that little urge to compare yourself to others?

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  1. Jennifer Major says:

    I LOVE that you blogged about this!!
    And thanks for the shout out. Whisper out. Type out?
    We are all so very different, and even thought I can do all kinds of things, I do get snagged on the “But look at Carla’s gorgeous hair! AND *she* can (insert name of thing I can’t do) and I can’t. But that’s what the enemy wants , isn’t it? To divide from inside and cripple the team before the big game.

    I remind myself that God did not make me to be anyone other than ME. Good qualities and bad, I am who He made me to be.

    And I know that feeling when our kids look at us and say “Wow, Mom, way to go!”
    Once, a few years ago, when my middle son had to do a paper on his hero, he told me that he wrote the paper all about me, because I went to Bolivia and told people about Jesus.
    I was speechless.
    I’m pretty sure he may have had extra dessert that night…

    • Carla says:

      I love that story, Jennifer! I’m always reminded that if the body of Christ only had eyes, there would be a lot of seeing and not much doing, and so forth. We are all created differently with different purposes, and we have to remember that it would be a boring world if we all had identical talents. There’s just so much pressure on us to be all things to all people and be excellent at everything, we forget to focus on what we can do. And more importantly, on what we have been CALLED to do.

      Maybe Crafty Mom isn’t a show off. Maybe she simply has the gift of hospitality. 🙂

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