SALT LAKE CITY — The other day I was browsing through some pictures on a social network of a dang cute baby that was dressed to the nines, sitting in the middle of an absolutely spotless room that was expensively decorated.
I noticed that another mom had commented on the photo. She built up the mom who posted the picture, but tore down herself and — even worse — her abilities as a mother. It was just one instance of something that I see every single day.
“How do you always look so put together? I’m lucky if I get a shower and my teeth brushed.”
“Your house is meticulous. Mine always looks like a tornado has swept through it.”
“You are such a good mom to make a home-cooked meal every night. My family is lucky if they get Kraft Mac & Cheese.”
We have gotten to the point where building someone up and complimenting their achievements doesn’t mean nearly as much unless their successes are magnified by another’s failures.
I hate that as mothers we do this to ourselves.
For whatever reason, we have gotten to the point where building someone up and complimenting their achievements doesn’t mean nearly as much unless their successes are magnified by another’s failures.
As moms, it’s easy to do this. But isn’t it also our responsibility to stop it? The last thing I want is for my little girl to learn that in order to build someone up, she has to tear herself down, or vice versa. I certainly don’t ever want her to earn her confidence and self-worth by focusing on other’s failures.
I have always believed that when women work together and are united, the result is pretty powerful. There are few things in this world that are more influential and powerful than women and mothers who support one another and band together. We are united by a common bond that only mothers can understand.
When was the last time you told a mom that she’s a good one?
We should be complimenting one another, supporting one another, building each other up; and for heaven sake, be genuine and don’t do it at the expense of listing all the reasons why you feel inadequate as a mom!
We all have at least two things in common:
- We all feel unfit to be moms at one point or another.
- We all are doing the best we can.
So, the next time you find yourself comparing your mothering abilities to your “perfect” neighbor, co-worker, sister-in-law or whomever, try this:
You know better. You know that those moms don’t really have it all together all the time. It’s impossible!
Set the example
Break the cycle by setting the example. Compliment the moms in your life by telling them they are good moms; their kids are cute; you like how they decorate their kitchen … and leave it at that! Their kids are cute and they are good moms ... but that doesn’t mean you aren’t!
Put yourself in time out
Yes, you read that right. Ground yourself from your computer, iPhone or iPad — whatever it may be that connects you with those social media outlets that make you feel bad in the first place. When you feel those envious feelings start to creep in it’s time to shut it down.
We all want people to think the best of us. We all want people to think that our kids are the cutest, that our husbands are good dads, and that we are good housekeepers. There is nothing wrong with that. But whenever I see pictures of someone’s kid surrounded in flour on the kitchen floor or a picture of them in their pajamas at 3 p.m. in the afternoon, I find myself letting out a sigh. Hallelujah! I’m not the only imperfect one and can totally relate to that person.
Be real. It’s fun (and refreshing) to take a peek into your real life.
Lyndsi Frandsen is the creator of the Facebook page For All Momkind and the co-author to the For All Momkind blog. She has many titles, including wife, kindergarten teacher, sister and her favorite title: mom.