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!”