The Danger of Comparison

30
Jan
2014

Comparison-Main-Motherhood

We’ve been sharing about the effect comparing ourselves has on our self-esteem, motivation and our perceived reality.  Comparison is like a poison that quickly seeps into other areas, creating dissatisfaction, and discontentment.  

Not too long ago I was going through a very discontent season and God called me out on it, I shared about it here.  I was spent and tired and felt really lost – but when I pushed in to find grace and ask forgiveness, God met me and healed my heart.

When Jill talked about how our high expectations end up fueling these scenes we see played out so perfectly in others’ lives, I saw very clearly how they can be a breeding ground for discontentment with our real lives.  What is worse is that we don’t even know it until it has truly poisoned our thinking and view.  We end up having a distorted perspective and viewpoint, she says this:

“It’s a subtle erosion of our satisfaction.  If we don’t recognize it, the discontentment can turn into disappointment, and then the disappointment can eventually turn into disillusionment.”

We need to keep our perspective clear and not fogged by the lenses we look at daily.  Unless you do not turn on TV, go to the grocery store, a PTA meeting for check Facebook – you are bombarded with what seems perfect.  

Take a step forward and recognize the desire that lies within to compare yourself to others.  When you recognize it and name it, it is a bit easier to try to curb.

APPLY

Here is the topic for this week from our discussion questions:

Identify one place where you tend to unfairly compare yourself to other moms.  Some  places to consider might include church, moms groups, grocery store, your child’s school, Facebook, mommy blogs, magazines, etc.  Ask God to help you identify when you are unconsciously making comparisons.  When you realize what you are doing, thank God for showing you your unconscious thoughts.  Then thank Him for making YOU the unique mom that you are.

Spillin’ the Beans

Here is where I come clean and answer the above for you.  

So, I struggle with several areas, all at the same time!  You see, I am right now an “older” mom of a toddler.  Most of those who have kids the age of my son, four, are much younger than I.  So perhaps they are in a bit better shape, wear cuter clothes because they are just a bit more “hip” and also have a fresher viewpoint of motherhood than I do.  

I struggle with not wanting to do all the crafty things I may have done with my kids who are much older when they were my son’s age.  I feel like I don’t fit in.  Period.  That is the exact line that has been achy to be released from my heart.

I don’t fit in as a mom of a four year old at 46 {almost 47}.

This is where I need to stop the train and check out what is TRUTH.  The Truth is that God placed this little guy in my life for a specific reason.  I may not know and understand what that reason is {okay, there are many reasons I do know, but don’t understand it all yet!}  I do know and believe there is a much bigger reason and beast that I am trying to conquer with this feeling that I don’t fit it all the time in this season.  Maybe it is to stay uncomfortable so I can help other moms who may be experiencing similar feelings – God doesn’t want us to get too comfortable because that can lead to pride – ouch!  Been guilty of that.

Perhaps being confident is good, but He doesn’t want me to become ‘over-confident’?  That could surely be the case as well.  Whatever the reason, I hope to find out one day, but for now I know I need to recognize when I compare, hold onto the truth, which is – God placed this little boy in my life at just this time because I was perfect for him to have as his mom.  I need to write that down over and over again, to have it embed in my heart and not let the enemies lies seep in.

I ask you, can you do the same???  Write a one sentence TRUTH out that you can hold onto even when you are feeling stuck in the comparison trap?

Get a jumpstart on your reading over the weekend by reading Chapter Two – feel free to share in the community over on the Facebook page and I will be back on Monday with our Week Two schedule.

Making the Most of Our Time

13
Nov
2013

Making-Most-Time-Motherhood

Chapter Eleven and Twelve:

A few key sentences that got my attention:

“That’s why evaluating how we mange time wasters, and how we make the most of our day, is uniquely personal.  And comparing ourselves to each other is deadly

“You can manage time wisely and accomplish what you are supposed to do in the time you have been given.” 

“To gain control over your time, start making little changes”

“If you are tired of saying “I don’t know,” or spending more time than necessary trying to accomplish a task, perhaps you need to evaluate your workspace and raise the professionalism of your approach”

The big one for me:

“Here are some examples of common time management problems:  

  • Saying yes to things you shouldn’t
  • Not differentiating between urgent and important
  • Allowing too many unnecessary interruptions
  • Using time inefficiently”

 I need to keep these on a sticky note and place it everywhere!  I think I have trouble with interruptions, which I often create myself!  Just in the process of writing this post, I’ve answered emails, Facebook messages, scrolled Facebook, looked at two topics on the internet (not related to this post) and distracted myself with snacks!  LOL

Identifying Time Wasters

 Productive women maintain focus

We’ve mentioned time wasters before….but it is worth keeping on your radar all the time.  If you have time to spare, great!  Go for it – but most of us complain at the end of the day that we still had things to do, yet we realize we’ve surfed Facebook for 2 hours or been glued to Pinterest.  

What are your trouble areas for wasting time?

I love that Glynnis points out the ‘not-so-obvious’- time wasters – tasks you could have delegated!  Also procrastination is another – these are where I truly need to focus my thoughts.

I will bookmark her Common Time Stealers and Solutions too – this will be a helpful reminder!

Morning and Evening routines are critical to the success of a smooth running home.  Don’t get caught up on coming up with some hugely daunting routine, but rather start with a few tasks that you do both morning and evening and add on from there.  The saying that “small changes really do add up” is so true!!

The Home Office

Even if you do not have a “business” from your home, providing a place where you conduct the business of your home is just as important.  So if you skipped the Home Office section because you do not work from home in the traditional sense, I urge you to go back and review it.  

You do work from home and having a space to corral information and access it, will do everyone good.  

If you do not have a filing system, find one that you can implement.  If this is a trouble area for you, just start with a small accordion type file and then you can expand from there.  One thing that my husband did and I adopted when we got married was to save every receipt.  Yep, everyone!  He isn’t as technical in his method, but I can tell you, I love the idea and it has been great and saved us money many times.  He takes a box, one that perhaps an amazon order would come in and we toss every single receipt in it.  Yes, all of them….. gas, grocery, clothing, restaurant – all of it.  At the end of the year when he does our taxes, we go through and determine if we still need that receipt or not and then will file it.

This makes it easy to retrieve receipts for items if we are returning, or need to know exactly how much something was.  Now, if you already have a system that works – awesome.  But if you are looking to start somewhere – try this one!

Consider these questions, answer them in your journal, comment here or you can leave your comment on the private Facebook page.  
  • What was your favorite tip for the home?
  • Do you have one main shopping list and errand list?
  • Can you put into action one of the “catch-up” tips Glynnis shared?
  • Do you have a home office, if not can you designate a spot to create that for yourself?

Jump-Start for the Overwhelmed

6
Nov
2013

Simplify-Your-Schedule-Mom

Chapter Eight:

A few key sentences that got my attention:

“Regardless of your available time, energy level, and resources, you have everything you need to accomplish the responsibilities God has given you”
“Focusing on what God is asking you to do today, this week, and this month is the first step in becoming a woman who manages time well.  For most of us, this means simplifying our lives.”
“I realized my mind was trying to manage more stuff than it could hold, and a to-do list wasn’t the answer because it wasn’t keeping things in safe places.”

The big one for me:

“You can live a simple life with clear priorities and the right amount of responsibilities.”

That is my desire….my prayer….my clear direction while doing this study.  You know, just because I’ve already read this book through once, does not mean I have it all together.  The past few weeks I have been struggling more than normal with my discontent attitude.  It is horrible.  I know that the Lord wants to fill me with Joy, Peace and Hope….and when I crowd into His space, it begins to turn ugly.  I want SIMPLE, LESS, JOY, MOMENTS.

I really liked how Glynnis honed in on this phrase, “the responsibilities GOD has given you.”    She helps us remember to not focus on what others are doing or can do, but rather truly recognize what God has given us, and what we have perhaps done to ourselves.  OUGH, that one smarted for me a bit.  I think I often jump into things that are not mine to do.

In this chapter you were taken through a step-by-step process of looking at your responsibilities in a new way….. I love this guide.

Step One:  Personal Assessment

Step Two:  Edit Your Responsibilities

Step Three:  Establish a Review Process

One problem I discovered that I carried just like Glynnis, was this notion that I can contain everything in my mind.  I can’t…..that is not what my mind is for.  I have to have a dump area.  So, by taking time to write out my ‘stuff’ and put it in a notebook, I was relieved!  This is even more important for my business……I have ideas floating around in  my head all the time, if I cannot categorize them and put them all down somewhere I am overloaded and it prevents me from doing anything.

The second part of Glynnis’ plan is to determine what needs to be deleted from your schedule – certain responsibilities.  This is the hard part, but the most important.  You’ve already determined things can’t go on at the speed they have been, so something has to give.  Period.

“Editing your life is a process.  It takes time to resign or redefine certain responsibilities.”

Glynnis takes you through the process…….did you give it a chance?  Don’t just read about it, if you have not taken the time to do this task, mark it on your calendar to do this week.  Nothing will change without you doing the work.

Consider these questions, answer them in your journal, comment here or you can leave your comment on the private Facebook page.  

  • Did you do the work for this chapter?  If so, what was your biggest revelation?
  • Do you fear a sense of failure if you have to stop doing a task or deleting something from your schedule?
  • How often do you think you will need to review your schedule and responsibilities?

Increased Expectations

24
Oct
2013


Chapter Three

A few sentences that stood out to me from Chapter 3:

“Our culture has created a sense of urgency and expectation that’s hard to shake.”

“The expectations of others seems to be a common issue among women who used to be organized.  It seems impossible to balance everyone’s needs.”

“As you establish a plan for responding to requests and set boundaries around your time, you’ll discover a renewed focus for your day.”

This one was a hard topic for me and I am being very convicted in knowing my priorities.  I am stepping out and going all “video” on you today – I think this might be my first Vlog! [Read more…]

4 Tips to Setting Realistic Expectations for Your Child

5
Sep
2013

4 Tips to Setting Realistic Expectations for Your Child
School’s back in session and things are beginning to look a bit more serious. Gone are the carefree days of summer, now everyone is back to work, back to a routine, and back to responsibility.

As moms, we are born encouragers. We want our kids to succeed. When kids succeed, they feel good about themselves, which feeds into self-esteem and more. So what steps do we take to get them on track to being their best?

Children will do what is expected of them. If you set high expectations for your children, they will generally live up to those expectations. Expect very little of them and they will give you very little.

As a parent, it is important to find the right balance of setting expectations that are high without setting your child up for failure or causing undue stress on them when they are unable to reach those expectations. It is a balancing act and you know your child best and can make the appropriate guidelines for him. We too often doubt ourselves. I talk about this in my book, Become the Confident Mom You’ve Always Wanted to Be, and how we truly need to believe in our own instincts as moms and the knowledge only we have about our children.

Here are a few things to consider when setting those high expectations for your child.

Your child is an individual.

Look at your own child’s strengths and weakness, interests and talents. Set your expectations based on the individual. There are many charts, averages, statistics, and data that are out there to tell you what the average child of a given age should be able to do, but no child is simply average.

Each child is unique.

Most children do not fit neatly into any given mold and their unique abilities should be considered when you are setting high standards for them. Consider developmental norms along the way, but remember that your child is one of a kind.

I’ve had to learn this the hard way with having children from three different sets of parents in my home. I used to be under the thought process that every child was pretty much the same if you parented them the same. Well, I can now say, that is completely untrue! Parenting, personality, nurture, nature – it all plays a role in how your child functions and what strengths and weaknesses he will have. Being aware and open to this is important.

Don’t set your expectations based on yourself.

You may have been lousy at math as a child, so you subconsciously expect your child to be lousy at it too. Your child will undoubtedly live up to that expectation. This really relates to looking at your child as an individual. It is important to avoid setting expectations that are too low simply because something was difficult for you as a child.

Be clear and consistent.

Give clear expectations for the long-term and set milestones along the way. Show your child what is expected for the future. Perhaps going to college is a long-term expectation, but be sure to break the long-term goal into short-term goals along the way. For example, strive to maintain good grades and complete homework assignments regularly. Celebrate the short-term achievements and allow your child to enjoy the success. They will learn that they are able to reach the expectations that have been set for them.

If cleaning a room up before moving on to playing with things in another room is your “norm” – then make sure that is something that is clearly related. Be sure to be as consistent as possible with expectations too. So many misunderstandings occur everyday simply because we do not communicate well. I not only find this in my relationship with my kids, but it certainly comes into play with my husband.

Erase the all-or-nothing attitude.

While it is important to set high expectations for your child, be sure to let him know that falling a little short of them doesn’t mean he is a failure. When you reach for high standards, you still make great progress, even if you don’t exactly hit the mark. We can easily fall into a pattern of perfection if we do not learn to appreciate and applaud the journey to make progress.

The work that took place while reaching for those standards is valuable in itself. Praise your child for the effort and the accomplishments reached along the way, being specific with characteristics that you see along the way rather than general praise, like a “good job”. Instead recognize when they’ve taken extra time to complete a task with skill or used problem solving skills to fix their own mistake.

Parents who set high expectations, communicate those expectations clearly, and encourage their children to reach for them along the way do a great service for their children. Their children learn that they can do more than they may think, hard work pays off, and they are loved no matter what they do.

As moms, we play a huge role in teaching our children how to be the best they can be!