Mothers often fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to one another. This is a trap many women fall into. We compare our families, mothering styles, fashion sense, careers or lack thereof, bodies, etc. Even mothers with babies in heaven compare the way we grieve our children. I know…sad…but we do it, if we’re honest enough to admit it. So, how can we find freedom from this? Sharing is a start…telling the truth…admitting the struggle. I think, then, we will see that we all love our children, regardless of how we choose to remember and honor their lives…whether publicly or quietly…with big parties or simple moments of remembrance.
Comparing… yes, I compare all the time, mostly with a “poor me” pity party type attitude. Especially with pregnant women, women with newborns, or women with little girls. They have their daughter and I do not. They are lucky and I am not. They are happy and I am not. They have something I should have, and I almost feel as though they stole it from me, rational or not.
I have, in the past, compared homes. My nursery wasn’t as nice. I didn’t have nice “couple” photographs taken. I didn’t have matching furniture. I didn’t have a picket fence. My car was old and usually quite dirty (this has been solved, I have a new car that I’m desperately trying to keep clean).
I’ve worried that I grieve too loudly, that I talk about my daughter too much, that others will judge me for grieving the death of my daughter rather than “just” a miscarriage. In actuality, no one has really made me feel like that at all. I compare with women who got pregnant several times and had healthy babies. I think their bodies are better than mine, and mine is flawed. I compare with women who can have their children with their spouses. What will I tell my child about their father?
To combat these feelings, I naturally have to keep repeating to myself what I DO have. A small house with lots of work to be done, yes, but I own it. It’s on a lake, and I have an old pontoon without a canopy, but it’s still a pontoon. It’s still a beautiful place in the summer. I have a new car. I have a good career, and the means to live comfortably, if not glamorously. I have a usually healthy body that allows me to work and be independent. I have a foster care license and the potential to be a mother again. I have ways to grieve my daughter that are healthy, and people to grieve her with me. I have health insurance to cover therapy. I am a loving mother who may not be able to give future children a father, but can give them lots of other people who love them, and a safe life with education and protection and opportunities.
It’s important to remember that the majority of people in this world do not have all of what I have in the above paragraph. Not just important, but absolutely necessary.
2 thoughts on “Walking With You: Week 5”
This post is beautifully stated, so truthfully… There are so many things that we can find with and around ourselves and lives, but there is always someone out there who is worse off.
It is a precious gift you give children, when you freely give yourself… your love…
One very good key to working through the comparison trap is to look at what you do have, as you shared. Gratefulness is a key to healing in many areas of struggle in our lives. I think that’s a great way to cope with the comparing. It changes our perspective from what we don’t have to being thankful for all that we do have.