Monday, November 7, 2011

Dare to Compare?!

This past Sunday was my eldest daughter’s birthday.

We celebrated & enjoyed time together as a family. Had some cheese cake and brownies (her favorites). Opened a few gifts & played a few games. Yet, I worried that we weren’t doing “enough”.

Yep, you read it right… as a mom I worried that we were not making her day special enough, memorable enough, fun enough or even close to enough!

I think that the old saying “keeping up with the Joneses” has taken on a whole new level with access to the internet. Whew, I’ll say it…the internet can be evil (on sooo many different levels). Here’s where I’m coming from: There are many social sites out there, where people that are like minded can connect. But when you connect, do you have a tendency to compare yourself with others (if this is not a problem for you, you may not be interested this article)? It is no longer, the “Joneses” that live down the street, it is the “Smiths” that live across the states, or the “Jacksons” that live across the ocean. It is spread throughout the world, and it can be a horrible trap!
Take for instance my daughter’s birthday: She chose to have a sleepover Friday night with some friends from school. Sunday we had grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins over for more goodies and birthday wishes. That was it. She received some nice cards and presents. She was happy with what she received, she enjoyed the time with friends and family.
She was happy, but was I?!

On the same day, on the internet, a mom that I follow on an iPhone app called istagram (where you take and share pictures with those that you follow or follow you, think FB/Twitter through photos)was taking pictures of her newly 2 year old sons’ birthday party. Let’s see, there were homemade dinosaur tails for each kid to wear, there masks to go along with them. There were color coordinated cupcakes and cake pops and punch and the beautifully decorated theme table. The child and many friends were at a kids play place, with slides, inflatables, tunnels…etc. They had a pizza party, as well as the treats. There were MANY gifts for the little guy. There were even homemade goody bags for the guests that came, in color coordinating bags.
...Am I jealous? On some levels.
...Am I angry and sulking? NO!
...Do I wish that I were talented enough or had the money to put together a party like that? Partly.
...Would any of these THINGS make my daughter any happier than what she was? Probably, for a short time.

So, what’s the deal? Why am I writing about it? Maybe just to alleviate my guilt, that I didn’t make a big to do for my daughter’s birthday.
Possibly to help me realize that we did what we could, with what we had and that should always be good enough.
To remind myself that no matter what you want to give your child, the best things you can give them are free and it is never worth going into debt to do something for them.

The family I referred to may well have been able to afford the big celebration they put on for their birthday boy. I don’t begrudge them the wonderful time they had with family and friends. I’m just reminding myself that what we did was just as pleasing and just as important to my daughter!

Moms sometimes have it bad when it comes to trying to do what other moms are doing. We often compare ourselves, our homes, our mothering to other moms we know (in person or through the internet). Moms let’s not get sucked into the web of comparing, one upping or coveting what we see. Let’s just remember to love, celebrate and enjoy (all free things!) those that are in our own home!

This beautiful girl was tired, happy & all about being an 8 year old!! As for me, I'm looking forward to another year of growing with her, learning with her & loving her to the utmost of my abilities, & not worrying so much about how it compares to other moms!!

--Jeanette using BlogPress on iPhone

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