So, you think you’re better than me?


Unless you’re a mom, you probably haven’t heard the word “mompetitor” thrown around.  You know, that mom that just seems… smug?  Yeah.  THAT mom.

Two weeks ago, a bunch of us moms got together.  Without kids!  Whoot whoot!  We talked about everything under the sun.  (I didn’t get home until 1:00am!)  But one thing that sticks out in my mind is a couple of “mompetition” comments.

I was talking about how guilty I sometimes feel for not making everything in my entire house from scratch!  My friend said something about how I make my own pizza, with my own pizza sauce.  I realized I had (unwittingly) come across as THAT mom.  The smug one.

And then I said, “Well, your house is always spotless!”  I admire M’s clean home.  I’ve never ever seen a pile of laundry in her house, not even behind a closed door!  (Not that I’m opening closed doors…)  I’ve never seen a spider web in the corner, a speck of dust on the woodwork, or a crumb on the floor.  And I envy this!

What an exhausting sin.

Right now I’m struggling with envious feelings towards the moms who make all their own food, eat only organic, raw, unprocessed foods, and never, EVER eat sugar.  Moms that make their own bread (freshly ground soaked grain, of course), tortillas, yogurt, cheese, humus, refried beans, salad dressings, ketchup, mayo…  also their own deodorant, toothpaste, laundry and dishwasher detergent.  Almost anything you can buy, you could make instead!

I’m not putting any of those moms down, that’s just my envious “tone” coming out.  Because I want to do all that!  I feel like I should be able to, if they can, and I’m a bad mom if I don’t.  My dear, sweet husband has pulled me back into reality many times.  In fact, he once told me he’d divorce me if I didn’t let our kids eat french fries!  So there I have it!

Us moms end up differing in so many ways.  Breastfeeding or bottle, cloth diapers or disposables, crib or family bed, scheduling or not, baby “crying it out” or not, food ( a biggie!), potty training, when our kids learned to crawl, walk, and talk, and even what our kids play with.  Oh, and the whole homeschool/public/private school issue!  There’s a big one too.

If it stopped at just differences, that would be okay.  Different is good!  A world of identical moms would be super boring.  But we DO turn it into a mompetition!  Not on purpose, I believe, but it makes us feel good to imagine we’re better than someone else.  I know, I’ve done it!

I remember a mom telling me she uses paper products because she doesn’t have time to wash dishes.  “Oh!” I thought.  “That poor mother.  I never use paper products, so I must have it together better than she does.”  What shames me most is that I smugly told my husband about this other mom, so he could compliment me on my amazing abilities.  How foolish I was!  For one, I AM NOW SERIOUSLY THINKING ABOUT USING PAPER PRODUCTS!  For breakfast and lunch anyway.  It would save so much time!

Secondly, it doesn’t really matter.  For real.  It doesn’t!  When I stand before Jesus in heaven, He won’t ask whether or not I used paper products.  (Or kept my house clean, or what kind of diapers I used, or how early my children learned to read.)  No.  He will ask me if I loved.  What was my attitude?  Did I really judge other human beings?

It does boil down to love!  Love is more important than faith or hope (1 Corinthians 13:13), and loving God and loving our neighbor are the greatest commandments (Mark 12:30-31).

Have I LOVED today?  I hope with all my heart I can answer this question with a “YES!”


About patchofheaven

"Mom" sums it up quite well! I cook, I clean, I homeschool, and yes, I do still ride a tricycle. I love to read books to my kids, and every once in a while I manage to read a book "all by my big self." I journal about my life, here at patchofheaven; hoping to remember, grow, love more, and entertain my mom and other readers!

8 responses »

  1. Thank you Ruth. I really needed that. I am in a house of Chaos with all the construction and I keep thinking that I am a bad mom simply because I can NOT keep things in order! But have I loved? I certainly will today!

  2. Ruth, thank you for letting Jesus shine through you. Those words are just what we all need to remember. Do what you can. Use what you have. Let God perfect it. Love ya!

  3. Ruth, I am agreeing with everyone else. These are words of wisdom and a good reminder.

    We become “bogged down” when we start to compare ourselves to one another. We all are called to different things, and we all live different lives with so many variables. I would be and do become very discouraged when I start to compare myself with others. There is always going to be someone who does some things better than you/me, and there is always going to be someone who does things worse. We need to strive for excellence; comparison is not that. Perhaps, we need to have more of the “Pollyanna” attitude where we look for the good in others — to encourage and edify — rather than to try elevate ourselves or to become depressed because we aren’t like so and so. God has made us each with unique gifts and abilities; let’s use them for His glory today, tomorrow, and ’til He calls us Home or comes for us.

  4. AMEN!!!

    This whole issue is one reason why I sometimes threaten to quit blogging. The last thing I want to do is heap guilt on a mom that isn’t doing something the way I do it. The very few areas that I may look like I “have it together” sure don’t make up for all my failures. But you can’t see my filthy bathroom on my blog – so sometimes I wonder if I’m just adding to the problem.

    I know that there are days that I just have to stay out of blogland so that I don’t get the envies!
    Thanks for the reminders! And it was SO GOOD to see you all last night!

  5. I totally agree… so tempting to compare, and so debilitating! But all I have to say to you guys who want to make everything from scratch in a land where it could all be SO EASY is– COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!!!! I make things from scratch and can vegetables because I don’t have any other choice…. ENJOY living in a country where necessaries can be expedited, and you can have more precious time to spend with your precious kids!!!! 🙂

  6. Amen Sister! Loved this! You need to send some of these in to Readers Digest or a group like that, you’re an amazing writer!!!! Seriously!!

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