The Comparison Trap

In her book Daring Greatly, Brene Brown talks about the two biggest areas that women feel insecure being 1) in our appearance and 2) in the kind of mothers we are. And because of this, these are the two areas where people will usually judge or insult a woman first.

And when I say people, I mean other women. And when I say other women, I mean me.

“Can you believe that haircut? What was she thinking?”

“I can’t believe she doesn’t have her kids dressed warmer. She’s just asking for them to get sick.”

“Did you hear how her son talked back to her? I would never let my child speak to me that way.”

And I do these things as a result of my own insecurities in the way I look and in the way I mother, because the inner voice of self-judgement speaks loudly and frequently in my ear.

“Look at that mom taking all of those pictures with her nice camera. I am such a bad photographer and haven’t printed a photo in over two years!”

“She is feeding her kids such a healthy, organic lunch. I have got to get it together in the food department!”

“I can’t believe she’s already lost her baby weight. I’m still struggling two years later!”

Does this sound familiar? Do you ever find yourself thinking this way?

I have a little name for this…the comparison trap. And the comparison trap is a dangerous place for us to get tangled up in. The comparison trap was handcrafted by the enemy of our souls as a way to strip us of our self-worth and to build walls between us and other women.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

We all know that there is no such thing as a perfect mother, but yet we so often judge ourselves and others to an unrealistic standard of perfection. And the longer we do, the longer we stay trapped. And the longer we try to keep up the façade of perfection in our own lives, the longer other moms stay trapped.

The best thing that we can do for ourselves and for each other is to be honest. To admit our struggles and our weaknesses, our fears and our insecurities. To stop judging ourselves and each other and begin lifting each other up in prayer and in encouragement.

Receiving grace and extending it.

My friends, let’s stop comparing. Let’s stop judging. Let’s stop pretending that we have it all together. Let us tear down these walls we have built and join forces to raise this next generation for His glory and His kingdom’s purposes.

“Two are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” Ecclesiastes 4:9

Cultivating Intention:

The next time you feel yourself stuck in the comparison trap, I encourage you to pray your way out. The Bible says to pray for our enemies, and whenever we find ourselves judging ourselves against someone else, they can become our enemy without us realizing it. So the next time you find yourself thinking another mom is better or worse than you, begin to pray for her. Pray that God will bless her and her children. Pray that God will help her in her weaknesses as a mother. This kind of prayer will release you from that trap quicker than any self-pep talk will.

Cultivating Grace

If there is one area we desperately need His grace, it is in the everyday work of motherhood. Raising children is not an easy job, especially because we are still growing and learning in so many ways. It is important that we embrace the journey of motherhood and accept that we are going to make mistakes along the way, knowing that His grace is more than sufficient to cover our weaknesses. If there is an area in motherhood that you know you are struggling, take it before the Father in prayer. Motherhood is a calling and when He calls, He also equips. He has all of the resources available to you to handle each and every situation that you encounter as a mother. You simply need to ask and receive.

Always,

Amanda

v904This post is Day 27 of the 31 day series I am writing on cultivating a life of intention and grace. For a complete index of posts in this series, click here. To read more 31 Days series, please visit The Nester.

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Comments

  1. This was great. As a single mom I always find myself feeling like I am not doing enough as a mother. As we visited others in their beautiful holiday decorated homes ( we just put our tree up) I keep saying ” I have got to do better”. I have to remind myself that I am empowered by Gods grace to be a mother – I live by 2 Corinthians 12:9. Thanks for sharing.

    • Amanda Medlin says:

      Thanks Aisha! I am glad that you were encouraged by my words. 2 Corinthians 12:9 is one of my favorite verses too!

  2. Brene is so right. Just when I thought I had all my insecurities kind of under control, just when I was starting to accept myself, I became a mother. I guess it is one way God keeps us on that growing journey!

    • Amanda Medlin says:

      I know exactly what you mean. I had no idea that motherhood was this complex. I never knew how much I needed God’s grace and mercy until I became a mom.

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