As a single woman and as a young married woman, I was very comfortable in my roles. I had figured out early on what I wanted to do with my life, I worked hard in pursuit of those dreams, and doors opened. I flourished in the workplace and I loved the finite nature of it all. The 9-5 hours, my tasks, understanding what I could do to go beyond my job requirements and be noticed. It all made sense. It was a pattern at which I excelled.
Oh, but motherhood isn't that way at ALL! No one really ever tells you about all the inner guilt, the way you constantly compare yourself and your child's milestones to everyone else's to try and achieve that same sense of security. How many times a day do you ask yourself, " Am I good mom?". And then, usually in the midst of sheer exhaustion, you scroll through facebook or pinterest ( name your poison) and see that good moms throw lavish and creative birthday parties for their one year old, and good moms hand make their own baby food out of organic fruits and vegetables, and good moms NEVER let their children watch television. They are on top of potty training by 18 months old, learning to read by age 3, or have them in ballet, soccer, and gymnastics. All of this is overwhelming as it is, but then you add in all the contradictions! Good moms don't prevent pregnancy, good moms plan their pregnancies, good moms vaccinate, good moms don't vaccinate, good moms homeschool, good moms send their kids to school, good moms work outside the home, good moms stay at home with their children! And so on and so on! It never ends. From what I can tell from speaking with lovely women that have gone before me, it's always been this way to an extent but social media has turned up the volume. This is good and bad.
Good because if your skill set doesn't include lavish birthday parties you have them all mapped out for you on pinterest to provide something special for your child. It can be a gift. The problem is that the technology that made things more efficient just managed to make us feel that we needed to fit more into the same amount of time and this has translated similarly into our lives. Because we have access to so much information, we feel this pressure to do every thing well and with flair! However, how many of your attempts have turned into pinterest fails leaving you feeling inferior?
That lie is what takes root within us and causes self doubt and insecurities to start running rampant. Either we seek to assert our superiority to drive out inferior feelings or we turn into a ball of self loathing and see nothing worthy in ourselves at all. I want to challenge this inferiority complex.
First, we can't compare ourselves to one another, even if someone is similar to you in personality, circumstance, or season of life. We are created unique for a purpose and trying to define yourself by another person or even a group of people's opinion is only going to lead you farther from where you need to be. We often don't see the God given talents and abilities we possess as being as impressive as other peoples talents but if you spent as much time cultivating our own as we do wishing we had others, we would be able to make ours shine.
In Matthew 25:14-30 We are told the parable of the talents and though the talent they speak of was monetary, I believe it applies here as well. We are given a gift and we need to make the most of it to honor the One who gave it to us! Dr Henry Cloud in his book "Changes that Heal" says,"
"Another important aspect of our identity is our talents and abilities. God has given each of us certain talents and abilities and He holds us responsible for developing them. Many times, people do not explore their own talents They accept other's definitions of them, without seeing if these definitions fit. Sometimes they will deny their own gifts and live vicariously through others,"
When we look at someone posting an amazing skill on social media we need to view it as a manifestation of innate ability matched with human effort. The talent is beautiful but it was the hard work that went into mastering their talent that makes it truly amazing! You were not looked over when it comes to talents and abilities. Perhaps you don't know what they are or you don't see them clearly because they are mundane to you. What comes naturally to you will most often seem less exciting than something that doesn't. The envy that we feel is misplaced. We feel envious not because some one has a greater talent but that they have found their calling. We long to feel fulfilled with purpose and to have meaning in our life, but trying to live vicariously or imitating someone else will never bring us to that place. We have to seek out our interests and desires and be willing to explore new things. How sad would it be if Monet had never picked up a paintbrush or Shakespeare had never written a word. You have gifts every bit as lovely to offer the world. Be willing to find them!
I was never one of those that had a certain talent but I loved to learn. I am always willing to try a new job, an odd class, or obscure hobby just to see! And through the course of time I have learned things about myself.
1. I am a jack of all trades! Good at many things but great at none. I used to consider this a weakness but I now consider it a strength because once I get passionate about something being "good" at it is often enough. There are many people that have incredible ability that I surpass because they lack the determination to excel. Much success can be achieved simply through hard work and dedication.
2. Through the process of learning what I was "good" at, I narrowed down the things that inspire me to work and called out to me to pursue. Just because you are good at something doesn't mean you are passionate about it. I absolutely love photography! I loved every single second going to school for it and I still love it to this day. However, I tried to start a business doing it and though I was reasonably successful, I found it very stressful. It wasn't something that spoke to my soul the way I thought it would. I was surprised when I realized I didn't want to do it anymore. Doing it as a profession stole the joy out of it for me and I learned that though it will always be a part of my life, I don't want to pursue it as a job.
I was a buyer for many years as well and it was my dream job at the time. I never thought I would leave but then I had a baby and I couldn't imagine leaving her to work 60 + hours a week and travel a month out of the year. My priorities changed. Now the thought of returning to the rat race of being a buyer when I am in my 50's doesn't appeal to me at all and God has opened up a new door pursuing my love of fitness and helping others while being able to stay home with my girls. Each season of my life has been filled with a beautiful rainbow of talents and opportunities and so if you are looking through your arsenal of skills and nothing stands out among them, don't be discouraged! Look through them and pick something that appeals to you, or even learn a new skill that you have always wanted to try. Don't be afraid to fail at something! Failure isn't the end unless you make it the end. If you are still passionate about something after a failed attempt, try again! If your passion as waned, try something else! Life is too short not to explore and enjoy the different facets of your personality. Get to know yourself!
Something else I have come to realize is that so often we are told to look at our weaknesses and improve on them. I don't disagree that we all need to grow over time but I think before we focus on our weaknesses, we need to maximize our strengths. For example, I am a very disorganized person and when I was pursuing photography in school I was forced to become more organized. I had to organize and archivally keep my negatives and process other peoples film at times. I had to grow in my weaker areas to improve upon my greater ones and the process was much more pleasant because I was doing it out of a desire to grow my skill not because I was being forced to look at my flaws. If I had to master all that boring organizational stuff before I could dive in the part I was passionate about, I probably never would have pursued it. So, you may need to change your mentality if you have grown up in an environment that was harping on overcoming your flaws. Seriously, you grow almost organically in your weak areas as you fully pursue your strengths and there are some things you are just NEVER going to be good at so laugh at it, delight in amazement at someone who can do those things, and set your heart free to find what it loves!
If you can get to that place where you can appreciate another woman's skill without envy, you will find that you can joyfully learn from her. I have an amazing friend named Ashley who's mind is an uncluttered and beautiful place which translates into a beautiful, clean, and organized home. It's a wonder to behold! Every time I go to her house, I learn something. She keeps her sponges in the dishwasher when she is not using them, or how she efficiently organizes her pantry, or how the dining room table is not an acceptable place to store things ( who knew?) She has been in my life a couple of years now and I tease her that I now have an inner Ashley that speaks up when I'm being disorganized. Has it changed my scattered mind? Heck no! I still struggle but I do keep my sponges in the dishwasher and clean out my fridge more often. I see how her gift honors God and honors her family and I desire to grow in that but I also have gifts that require me to be flexible and not sweat the small stuff and so as I let her example inspire me, I let it take form in my own way.
I looked up the meaning of the word "Supermom" and apparently it means:
: an exemplary mother; also : a woman who performs the traditional duties of housekeeping and child-rearing while also having a full-time job
I want to redefine it. It doesn't matter if you are a working mom or a stay at home mom. A supermom in my dictionary is a mom that does all the mundane work of a mom and still pursues her passions and skills letting her children see the light of purpose in her eyes. A woman that teaches her sons to respect and honor a passionate hard working woman and who teaches her daughters to dig deep and see the kaleidoscope of beauty that resides inside herself so bright that it lights up the world around her.
We tell our daughters that true beauty lies within but we need to SHOW them! They will see us insecure and burying our talents and they will follow our example. Our deepest beauty is not what the world can see on the outside, ladies, it's that kaleidoscope we see so clearly in our daughters. You ARE a supermom! Discover your super powers! Find your passions, enjoy mastering them, and delight in your life!
"And Aubrey was her name. A not so very ordinary girl or name."(Or so says David Gates ;) I'm a wife to Phillip, a mother to Scarlett and Juliet. We live in the beautiful city of Thornton, Co. I'm a recovering red bull addict. I love to read. I hate to cook. I seek to be inspired and also to inspire others. I am a Beachbody Coach on a quest to be truly healthy mind, soul, and body and challenge others to do the same.