When I start to think about comparison and comparing myself to other woman, I realize that I am still so young and have so much to learn. Not from others, but from Christ.
Before I became pregnant with my firstborn son, I worked for myself as a full time graphic and web designer in a hipster, urban area of Des Moines. I had a cute little office and a spanking new imac G5. I had friends in higher places and networked with fellow young professionals and urban shakers alike. I was moving… fast.
After a couple years of establishing myself I became pregnant.
It was a difficult time because as more and more projects were coming in I knew in the deepest of my hearts that I did not want someone else to raise my babies.
Unfortunately, for me, working is out of necessity. I do enjoy hard work, however, being at home as a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) was not an option for me. So I decided to be a WAHM. (Work At Home Mom)
I packed up my office and moved into our newly finished basement. My plans were to give myself a few months off for the baby. As a freelance designer this was excruciatingly painful. That meant I had to hand over ALL of my clients to someone I trusted and pray that the transition back would be smooth and gentle.
But, I could do it! I’m a Woman!
Praise the Lord I have an amazing friend and everything worked out great. However, I realized right away that being a first time mom with the baby at home and working full time was not going to work. I gradually started to decline projects to give myself part time hours.
After a couple years of working this way I knew I couldn’t continue. Raising a child and pregnant with a second, networking was out of the question. Any entrepreneur knows that networking is the key to finding new clients. Without that, my work gradually started to lessen.
How do other woman do it? How does so and so manage it all? If she can do it, so can I!
As our financial means were getting tighter and tighter at home, I started praying to God to bring me something. Anything to allow me to stay at home. My children were still so little and I didn’t want to miss any of the fruits that come with raising them.
It was about this time that I discovered blogging. I didn’t expect much from it, however, it started to blossom. I started meeting others online that were making a descent living blogging.
Could I do this? Could I make money from this space? Could this be a source of income to help my family?
It was then that I also discovered many other woman homesteading, homeschooling, homemaking, doing…. doing…. doing!
I became inspired, maybe too much. If they could do it, so could I… right?
As things were getting even tighter, Gabe and I kept praying. God is so good, he brought me a part time teaching position at a local community college making more money, working less hours with less time and commitment.
This job literally landed in my lap!
I should have been content but I kept looking at these moms online and how they were teaching their children at home. So, I decided to homeschool.
I could teach, continue with some freelance work at home and teach my kids. No problem! I can do it!
As I look at my life over the past 5 years, it hasn’t been so bad. However, I know I compare myself to others in order to find my place and value in life.
In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he’s reprimanding the church and writes, “let each one examine his own work…” Not their neighbors, their brothers, the person down the street, but their own.
In this life it’s so easy to scale ourselves when we compare ourselves to others.
I think that’s when pride starts to set in and that’s just sinful.
As humans their is one of two ways we compare ourselves.
- I’m better than that person
- I want to be like that person. I’m not there… yet.
Sure some comparison is good. It can motivate us and drive us. However, the only person we should be comparing ourselves to is Jesus Christ. We should be striving to be like Him and no one else.
As woman we are especially hard on ourselves. We expect so much from ourselves and it’s been proven time and time again, we can NOT do it all!
One thing will always take precedence over the other. So we must choose.
It was on Oprah, many years ago, that a very successful business woman stated clearly, ladies, you can’t do it all! You can either be successful at home or in the workplace.
I’m not saying you can’t be a fantastic mother and work full time. You can, but there will be clear disadvantages as you will not be there as much as someone who is at home full time. It’s okay though, we live in a time and place where working outside the home is a reality to most and we have to make due with what God gives us.
It’s time we live our OWN lives.
In this age of social media and blogs we can begin to absorb the lives of others and compare ourselves to that.
This past Christmas my husband was praying with me and together we decided that I can not homeschool.
I’m not a SAHM but a WAHM and now working outside the home. It’s difficult working from home because many people assume you don’t work. You’re at home. I do work and I have to continue in that. I realized that I can not do both successfully. I either commit to one or the other and one is not an option. So, I gave everything to God and am trusting Him.
I know He will prove himself faithful.
It was such a freeing experience to let go of that.
When I say freeing… wow, it’s like unloading a heavy burden. I had expectations on myself that were unrealistic and again, I was comparing myself to others.
I’m trusting in God and I’m following Him.
A very wise woman once told me the acronym of busy.
Being Under Satan’s Yolk
Ladies, the more and more we take on, the less and less time we have for our Maker, our husbands and our children. At the end, what’s the most important thing? What you’ve done or accomplished or seeing your children love the Lord. Seeing your marriage fruitful in Christ.
It’s so easy to get caught up in worldly things because there is so much going on.
Let’s remember, God has a plan and one that we can not hinder or stop. This is a dying world and we need to be focused on Him.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself.
- Do you wish you were as skinny or as fit as her?
- Do you strive to cook real food, even when you don’t have time?
- Do you sometimes wonder, how on Earth are her kids so disciplined?
- Do you wish your husband was more of a leader like hers?
- Do you sometimes think, she’s prettier than me?
- Do I have high expectations of myself?
- Do you feel you can do one more thing on that list?
- Are you homeschooling because your certain it’s what God wants but you don’t have time?
- Do you wonder, how is she so organized?
- Can you do it all?
Now ask yourself, “Does God even Care?”
Well, I think we know what that answer is. Let’s not create one more burden that God never meant for us to carry and live out our OWN lives without looking at others. He’s made us individuals and unique and no matter where you are, “you are a treasure if you are in the hands of Christ!”
Our only goal is when it comes time to stand before our Lord to hear him say, Well Done My Good and Faithful Son.
Some Great Articles To Read:
- Keeper of the Home: My Journey to Burnout: Proof That I Really Can’t Do It All
- Passionate Homemaking: Balancing Nutrition and Priorities