You know what the interesting thing is, though? Not long after I hit "publish post," I stopped by another blog by another mother. Someone must have whispered in my ear to go on over there because her post was exactly the thing I needed to see. All of you who understood my feelings and were having some of them yourself, you need to take a look see as well. If you've never been to Diapers and Divinity, you're in for a treat. Go there now and see what I mean. I'm so glad I discovered her. (P.S.- She also gave me great advice in her comment to my last post.)
I've been thinking a lot about my last post, and I remembered something my sister-in-law said to me that at the time was an answer to prayer. It's something that will always apply to my life, but unfortunately, like most things, I too often forget it and need reminding. By the time I hear her thoughts in my head I've already let myself get down, and it's her thoughts that pull me back up.
She said those comforting words one day when a few of her sisters and I were gathered together one afternoon. We were talking about motherhood, as all mothers do when they get together. I don't remember the exact question I asked her (something to do with comparing ourselves with other moms), but I remember her answer (in my own words, anyway). She said:
I stopped comparing myself with other moms because I realized that they're probably comparing themselves with me. We compare ourselves with women who have talents in an area we are lacking, and because of that, we tend to put them on a pedestal and say, "They're good at everything." When in reality, they probably look at us and see something we're good at but they aren't and then put us on the pedestal. We're all good at different things. I realized there is a handful of things I am good at, so I focus on those things, and I'm not going to beat myself up for the things I'm not good at.
I loved that! And I get so mad at myself for forgetting it (have you noticed I'm rather hard on myself?). I think it's something we all can learn from. We all have talents that are different from each other, and while it's okay to want to improve ourselves in certain areas and to try to learn new skills, it's not okay to beat ourselves for things that come difficult to us. It's much more productive and beneficial to all to focus on what we are good at.
My sister-in-law's thought relates to my thoughts on my last, crazy post about struggling with what to do at home for preschool. I realized I have a silly idea that I should be the one teaching my kids everything. Whatever they learn in life should be learned at home first. Not only is that impossible, it's not healthy. Much of their knowledge in life is going to come from their own experience in the world. It's my job to prepare them for that experience. That does not mean I have to literally teach them everything before they experience it.
So, here's what I decided. I am going to make a list of the things I for sure want to teach my kids. I think this idea goes along with my sister's-in-law because I think that things I want to teach my kids will naturally coincide with things I'm good at. For example, I love books and reading and am good at teaching my kids to love them as well. So, a love of reading is something I for sure want to teach my kids.
I haven't made my full list yet, so I'll post that on another day. I would encourage you to look at yourself and make your list of things your good at/things you want to teach your kids. What are you good at? Some of you may be good cooks. Or you may be good at being physically fit. Or you might be good at being cheerful. You might be artistic and creative. You might have a strong testimony. Or you might be good at making new friends.
Try not to make your list too long, maybe only about five things. I'm not saying you can't be good at more than five things, but just focus on five things you are good at and want to teach to your kids. Any more than that will just get overwhelming, and we don't want that, do we!
Does this idea make sense? It makes sense in my head, but it's very probable that I'm not communicating it very well. I hope you get what I'm saying, and I hope it helps someone like it has me. Although, it would help me a lot more if I'd just remember it and stop needing to be reminded all the time! I honestly sometimes don't know how the Lord stays so patient with me.
I would love to hear what all your talents are! Don't be shy about it either. I give you permission to brag about yourself!