If you’re a mom and are willing to be honest with yourself, you’re likely more than familiar with the pressures of perfection and comparison. They often start innocently enough but are soon controlling our lives and dominating our every action. Comparison and perfection are cruel taskmasters and it’s time to turn on the light and tell them it’s time to go!
I recently had the wonderful opportunity to speak with author, blogger, and mom, Crystal Paine, known to many online as the Money Saving Mom. Her website, moneysavingmom.com helps countless families be intentional at home, in their business, and with their finances. Crystal and I had a wonderful conversation and while she did talk about some of the things she’s learned and shares as the “Money Saving Mom”, more importantly, we spoke a lot about the pressures of being a perfect mom, how to fight the lies of “having to do it all” with positive truths and about how she’s learned to authentically be Crystal.
Moms, this episode is just for you and I hope you’re encouraged and inspired by what you hear!
Saying goodbye to the idea of “perfection” may seem like a daunting task, but here are a few places where you can start. I promise it isn’t quite so scary!
1. Confront the lies in your head.
Every mother I know has a collection of negative voices in her head telling her she isn’t good enough in one area of another. Maybe it’s saying you’re not good enough at cooking or managing your finances, or maybe it’s that you’re not spending enough time with your kids – or if you only did this one thing, life would get so much better.
Every mom I know has a collection of negative voices in her head telling her she isn’t good enough.
We may have different scripts but all of us have this in common – those voices are LIES. The kicker is that we know that these are lies…the hard part is fighting them. Crystal talks about an exercise that she started doing years ago that made a world of a difference in this area. She began to write down the lies she was hearing and started replacing them with positive truths. Crystal says that it took years for her to change her mentality, but she is living, walking proof that this works!
2. Stop the comparisons.
There’s a well-known saying, ‘Comparison kills contentment’. Boy, is that the truth. As a pediatrician, I have listened to thousands of mothers talk about how horrible they are for notdoing things that other mothers (or countless voices of other unknown advisors) say that they should do. The truth of the matter is, we are always looking around at our friends or strangers for guidance and advice, and we can get so caught up in doing what others say and comparing our journey as a mother or parent that we lose sight of what is good for us and our families.
Comparison kills contentment.
If you find yourself overwhelmed because you’re trying to do all the things that your 75 favorite bloggers are doing, force yourself to take a month off from the internet! There’s so much bad information out there that is making you feel like a worse mom and it’s not building you up – it’s tearing you down. Mom, you know what is feeding your anxiety, and sometimes you just need to cut it off!
If we moms don’t stop the comparison in our own lives, how we can expect any more from our girls?
As an added incentive, our junior high girls are often finding their value in how many likes they get on Instagram and by comparing themselves to other people. If we moms don’t take charge and stop the comparison in our own lives, how we can expect to raise our girls with a healthy view of themselves?
3. Live authentically.
Whether you work from home, go to the office every day or are a full-time, stay-at-home mom, it is truly important for you to allow full expression of who you are, at home and in the workplace. Don’t put on airs for anybody. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not – that doesn’t make you or anyone else happy. I know this seems very elementary, but sometimes we have to remind ourselves of who we are and let that authentic person come through. You and your family will be all the better for it.
Mom, you’re worth every moment you spend fighting for your own peace, authenticity, and contentment!
Moms, I know this is not easy and is MUCH easier said than done. But listen to me, you are worth every moment you spend fighting for your own peace, authenticity, and contentment. Your children are worth it. Your family is worth it. Don’t let comparison and perfection steal one more moment of your life and your joy! It’s time to tell it GOODBYE!
By Meg Meeker, MD