I don’t know about you, but I am giddy with excitement once back to school time rolls around. Probably more excited than I should be. My excitement level for back to school is just about right up there with Christmas. All joking aside, I do love back to school for many reasons, and not because it’s been a long summer of hearing “I’m bored” and “Can we go somewhere?” I love the structure it gives my kids from the time they get up, through the time they sit down to a regularly scheduled dinner, and ending with the blessed thing we call bedtime.
I welcome all things back to school, except for one—comparing myself to other moms. For us moms, it’s easy to notice what other moms are doing in contrast to what we are not doing. You see, I don’t volunteer in my kid’s classroom or perfectly label all their things with customized monogrammed tags. I haven’t chaperoned a field trip nor, dare I say, volunteered for the PTA. YIKES! I could point out all the ways I’m falling short, but I’ve come to realize that it’s completely OK. I didn’t get there overnight. No, this took a few years to work through. I had to get over some serious mom guilt (you know the kind that makes you feel like a complete and utter failure). It took some processing and really digging deep into the kind of mom that God wants me to be.
It’s scary being a mom sometimes. We wonder if we are making the right decisions, some that will affect our children for the rest of their lives. It doesn’t help when society and the internet shove warped images in our faces of the types of moms we should be. Other moms can speak in disapproving tones about their ways being better than ours. What’s important is that we are the types of mothers that God intended us to be for the children He has blessed us with.
I love my kids, and I love being their mom, which means I don’t have to volunteer at every school event or be the president of the PTA. I can be the mom who drops her kids off in her pajamas, teaches them how to cook, and shows them traditions that her family holds dear. I love that we are all different and have our own strong suits. Some moms I know totally rock the PTA, volunteer for field trips, and, thank you, Jesus, bring snacks to the soccer games.
The moment we compare ourselves to other moms, we allow ourselves to think we aren’t good enough and ultimately rob ourselves of the blessing of being a mom. This year as we head back to school, I hope you take a deep breath and know that you are a great mom. You are exactly the kind of mom your kid needs. And instead of focusing on what other moms are doing that you aren’t, focus on your own strengths. Be the mom who cheers for her kid—and the other moms too.