When I became of mom in 2016, one of the least expectant things that hit me was how moms compare their abilities and their child's abilities. It hit me like a ton of bricks because obviously you want what's best for your child but today I want to explain why "mommy comparisons" is so dangerous. (DISCLAIMER: Let's me say this.....this blog is NOT because I'm a pro at parenting. I'm a new parent right? This blog was inspired in prayer this morning and was heavy on my heart. With that being said...let's chat.)
First, ANY comparison is unhealthy if it's not rooted in truth. Comparison that is rooted in truth is based on looking at life and Gods word and seeing that you need to adjust some things. Comparison based on anything else is unhealthy and unfruitful. When a mother compares how she loves and is raising her child with another mom abilities, the enemy starts to grow a root of bitterness in her heart. It may not be visible at first but overtime it turns into competition instead focusing on what's best for your child.
Second, if your not careful people will push their comparisons on you. I see this all time. I don't think people realize when they do it, so you just have to let it go and focus on what God is revealing to you about your child.
Third, comparison robs the child of a free environment to grow and develop at their own pace. The parent feels the need to push their child to be at some great level that another is, when it may simply be that child is gifted scholarly. I believe every child has a gift/talent that comes natural. Our biased school systems unfortunately highlights those with scholastic abilities and rewards them. But don't be discouraged, your child has amazing abilities and I pray God reveals them to you sooner rather than later. It is those gifts that you want to encourage and promote no matter what the world feels or how your neighbors kids is doing.
I think about my own journey. I did really well in math and have always excelled in that area. The other areas were weird for me because only a few subjects I connected with but didn't excel. Writing is a good example. I was encouraged at a young age to write more, but only one person told me that after reading my writing. Everyone else encouraged a different route. I didn't do well in "school-based" or grammar focused writing but I could tell story that was crystal clear via writing. (Not trying to boast just sharing my story). I tried to follow the others suggested route but my gifts weren't in those areas. It wasn't until after college that I started focusing on my true natural gifts. That is when I realized I had been focusing on all the wrong things. Hindsight is super clear but I thank God that eventually I realized this fact. Everyone has a different path. Doesn't make one better than the other....just different.
Let's look at Gods word and what it says about parenting:
"Train up a child in the way he should go; when he is old, he will never depart from it" Proverbs 22:6
The main thing I gather from this is the responsibility on the parent to train the child. It never says "if you have the ability; train up your child." What I grasp is that every parent has the ability to train up their child in the way he/she should go. It's not based on your education, family background or income. It's based on knowing what is right and wrong in Gods eye. At the end of the day, our goal should be to make sure they seek to please God first and foremost. Our focus should be on getting their hearts directed towards the Lord. Let's look at another scripture:
"And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." Deuteronomy 6:6-7
What I take from this is that teaching starts at home. School should be the follow-up but parents should teach from home and I think that's God way is helping parent see the unique nature of each child from the parents perspective. Maybe God wants to show us how he created them rather than the school system telling us.
I want to end with this because I sense mothers feeling anxious about this topic...so I leave you with this comforting, reassuring scripture to meditate on day and night. It's also happens to be one of my favorite scriptures:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6
Truth is....we just need to do our best and let God do the rest. Since so many people compare....let's start a movement of moms encouraging each other rather than comparing. Are you with me?
God....I pray for the mom reading this. Help her to know that you are right there with her walking with her, teaching her how to raise her child. God uproot any bitterness in her heart, and help her be free from comparison. Help her see those in her circle that may be unhealthy to her mom journey. Help her to guard her heart so that she may be the best mother to her precious children that you created her to be. God...heal our world from this vicious cycle of comparison. Help us to focus on you and be humble in our approach to parenting. We need you God. Lead us and help us to stay focused. In Jesus name....Amen.
Let's go higher!