The Comparison Voice

I thought comparing myself to others was tough while I was a teenager. Then I became a mom. Turns out as a teenager I was only in the Minor Leagues and now I’ve joined the Major Leagues. Comparing myself to other mommies is a whole new ballgame. Yikes!

Just like every other woman entering mommyhood, I wanted to be the “best” mom for my kids. I couldn’t wait to journey alongside other moms — sun-filled playdates, sipping iced coffee while pushing strollers around a lake, and of course, all the uplifting chats about the latest and greatest ideas in raising kids.

Like many moms, I love to glean knowledge about best practices and helpful hints. I therefore assumed all of the blogs, vlogs, recipes, apps, and “how-to” videos would surely help my kids reach their fullest potential, right? But instead it just made wonder, When does the advice become too much? Has the pro-tip overload actually added undue pressure to mommies? Are we actually starting to think our success as a mom has to do with how many of the “they-say” boxes we check? And do less boxes checked equal greater failure in our minds?

For me, this all created one thing I didn’t anticipate: it was the comparison voice inside my head. 

As it turned out, the more my mommy-friends would share their inspired motherhood tactics, the more my insecurities would flare up. On the outside I’d be happily enjoying the company, but on the inside I was negatively comparing myself. She does that for her kids, but I don’t. Uh oh. Maybe I’m failing…! Sometimes I’d leave those mom hang-outs more defeated than encouraged.

And honestly, it had nothing to do with other mothers. They never put any guilt or expectation on me. It had everything to do with the position of my own mind and heart. Without realizing it, I had invited the comparison voice to point out all the areas in which I “fell short.” In doing so, I let it steal precious joy and confidence in my mommyhood.

I also had to realize the inner comparison voice is a harsh judge and will always whisper discouragement. But God is a good Father with good plans for us. Jesus said his yoke is easy and his burden is light (Matthew 11:30). He is not asking us to never fail. We will ALL fail at times. He is asking us to trust and obey his voice as we raise our families. He has entrusted each mother with her specific children and will provide what she needs to raise them. 

The reality is, then, we are all different. And that’s perfectly OK! We can learn from one another, but we do not have to be another mother! Some emphasize one thing in parenting while others emphasize another. I believe God delights in our differences and so should we. There are mommies who won’t let their kids near sugar and others who feed their children pie for breakfast. Some flawlessly follow a schedule and others fly by the seat of their pants. Some have their kids in bed by 7:00PM and others by 11:00PM. Honestly, hooray for all of you! Like the saying goes, “You do you!” Then trust that YOU have what it takes to parent your children.

Reflection / Journal Questions

  • If you’ve found yourself listening to the harsh critic inside instead of the voice of your good Father, take some time right now to surrender those thoughts to him. Write down 1-2 critical thoughts about your motherhood, and then look up Scripture to see what GOD says about your mothering. Say those Scripture verses out loud! Because remember, your confidence should not be in measuring up to others, but in being the mom he has called you to be. 

  • Keri loves to see women come to better know who they are in Christ. Previously she worked as the Assistant Dean of Women at Christ for the Nations Institute and also worked as the Assistant Dean for Leadership and Experiential Learning at North Central University. Currently she lives with her husband Jordan, their 2 daughters, and 2 German Shepherds.

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Substance Moms