It is often funny how many times women will compare themselves to other women. We are all unique individuals so there really is no use in doing this. More specifically is when we moms compare ourselves to other moms. God made us differently and blessed us with our own set of challenges relating to the little people under our wings. Maybe it is just human nature to doubt our abilities, or perhaps we want so much for our children we cannot help but notice when we see other moms doing what we think we never could.
I certainly remember after my first son was born noticing the primped and polished mom at the grocery store at a time when I could not have felt more unattractive. I took in her perfectly styled hair, cute outfit, and beautiful sleeping baby and marveled at how perfectly she had this whole mom thing figured out. I can never be like that, I thought as I tried desperately to calm my screaming son who had spit up all over me. My ponytail, wrinkled t-shirt, and jeans just did not measure up to what I had considered her standard of perfection.
Have I got motherhood figured out now? No, that's a fantasy. The reason I say that is because no job in the world is as rewarding, unpredictable, stressful, challenging, fun, or important than that of being a mom. Children can boost their mother's ego, crush it with an iron fist, or go from one to the other at a speed an Olympic sprinter would envy. My three year old daughter is especially good in this regard. She is silly, playful, sensitive, and has absolutely zero filter. She and I were playing on the couch one day making faces at each other. Oh, how my heart soared as I heard that sweet little giggle, UNTIL.... “Wow, mommy. Your neck just got HUGE!” What you need to understand is I have what you could call an “at-risk” chin. In other words, if I don't keep it at sea level or above it is at risk of doubling in size. It's not a pretty picture I can assure you.
Her response was just another piece of evidence of what I think it takes to survive as a mom: a sense of humor. Anything can and will happen when it comes to kids. Having a sense of humor does not make you a good mom, but it certainly helps keep a person sane. I know I certainly would have checked myself into the nearest mental institution long ago without the ability to see that almost everything will be funny eventually. Whether it be the botched home hair dye job that my eldest son described as “scary gwoss,” the sliced cheese in the dvd player, or the many permanent marker art masterpieces adorning my walls, the frustration I felt at the time pales in comparison of how those memories make me smile now.
It is important to remember when we go through those times of feeling completely overwhelmed, frustrated to the point of tears, or worried about the people our babies will some day become, that that “perfect” mom from the grocery store just might be us to someone else. I will be the first to admit that I frequently wish I was a better mom, as most moms do, but I am often surprised how many people in my life tell me that I am doing a good job. My friends with one or two children regularly marvel at my ability to parent four. “I just don't know how you do it with four kids,” they might say. I usually like to quote the comedian Jim Gaffigan when I am confronted with this statement. “Imagine you're drowning, and then someone hands you a baby.” I don't think it matters how many children we have. Whether it be one or six, motherhood will always feel like a roller coaster with no brakes at some point or another. We need to remember to just hang on and enjoy the ride, bumps and all.
So why do we compare ourselves to other moms? Whose standard is it that we don't think we are living up to? That other mom's? Society's? God's? I think if we really are truthful with ourselves, it does not matter what other people think of our abilities, it is our own standard that we feel we fail to meet. I have come to understand that there is no such thing as the perfect mom, but rather there are moms who love their children perfectly. We call the Lord our Heavenly Father. God refers to Himself in this way, yet in Isaiah 66 God likens His love for us to that of a mother.
“As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you...” -Isaiah 66:13
God's standard is really the only one I should ever try to meet. For God made me the mom that I am and he loves me just for being me. No matter what I do, or how hard I try to convince myself that I am not enough, I am always enough for God. He sent His son, Jesus, to die for me, as He did for all of us, because He loves me just that much. It seems silly to assume that God in His almighty wisdom would have made a mistake giving me the kids that he did. I don't need to live up to anyone else's expectations. God loves me the way I am, and that's enough.
So after debating your suspicions you took a home pregnancy test. You may be experiencing a wide range of emotions depending on the result. If your result was positive you may be wondering what to do next. One of the most informative options available to our clients is ultrasound. One of our peer counselors will be there every step of the way to explain the process and support you before, during, and after your scan. The use of an ultrasound by our trained nurses is incredibly helpful in determining whether your pregnancy is viable or not. In other words, is the baby located in the uterus. Ultrasound scans can also help to pinpoint your baby's approximate gestational age and heart rate. Following your ultrasound the peer counselor will discuss all of the risks and benefits of the options available to you. Being fully informed is the best way to insure you are making the best decisions for you and your baby. Having a baby can be both a wonderful and frightening time. It's important to remember that no matter what, you are not alone. We are here to help. If you would like to schedule an ultrasound appointment, please call our office at 641-424-2237.
So that time when your period was supposed to start has come and gone. Wondering if you are pregnant can bring it's own set of worries. We can help you find the answer. If you would like to have a free pregnancy test, schedule an appointment with our office. The test is easy and pain free. One of our peer counselors will answer your questions and explain the pregnancy test procedure to you while maintaining confidentiality. Our pregnancy test is self-administered insuring your privacy and comfort. To schedule an appointment, please call 641-424-2237. Remember, you are not alone!