“Over”achieving

Yes, I planned a theme party for my two-year-old. No, he didn't care. Yes, it was fun for me. No, you don't have to do it if you don't want to!

Yes, I planned a theme party for my two-year-old. No, he didn’t care. Yes, it was fun for me. No, you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to!

It’s funny, being a mom. You lose yourself in wiping butts, making healthy / creative snacks, scouring Pinterest for toddler activities that will keep the two children from killing / maiming each other on a particularly snowy day when you haven’t been outside for three days straight…

And it’s hard. You don’t get time to talk to other adults, further your career, or dress like a normal human being. (Damn you, yoga pants, for being so comfortable.)

And then we compare ourselves to each other.

A friend of mine shared this list on Facebook the other day and the comments instantly piled up around “overachieving moms” – who apparently make parenting harder for the rest of us. But only if you compare yourself to them.

I feel like I’m doing a bad job at least once a day: The kids aren’t eating enough vegetables. Blaine is nowhere near potty-trained (um, he knows where the toilet is?). Cal isn’t getting enough one-on-one time. The list goes on. I also used to (less now) compare myself to other moms: They feed their kids organic foods. They make their own snack bars. They use cloth diapers. They do a sensory activity once a day. They wore their baby instead of packing him up in a stroller to go to the library. For me, these things are really hard. For me, these are “over” achievements.

But here’s the thing: I do a lot of things really well. I love throwing theme parties for my two-year-old. I love making Shutterfly books of my kids’ every milestone and vacation. I love taking photos of them every month and making a collage. I love getting them out for hikes. Not everyone does. For them, these are “over” achievements. Every once in a while, someone will say to me “how do you have the time?” I’ll tell you how: I use disposable diapers. I don’t bake my own granola bars. I only give my kids a bath every other (okay, third) night.

I’ve learned not to compare myself to other parents. They aren’t over-achievers, they’re just achieving different things – things that we perceive as deficiencies in ourselves. We are all doing our best to reconcile who we were – teachers, crafters, jewelers, travelers, doctors, etc. – with what we’ve become – moms. And we’re all doing an amazing job.

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