Don’t you hate those moments in parenting when the worst in you comes out? Sometimes it happens so quickly, there’s no chance to rein it in. Or it’s slow brewing until you finally reach that point, the one with no return. It could also be a bad habit or something you picked up from your parents that you just can’t seem to shake off. Whatever the cause for the worst in you, I have some advice.
Never, ever compare it to the best in others.
We do this without realizing it. We see that other mom, who’s always so nurturing and patient. Her voice, so soft spoken that we have to strain our ears to hear it. Her house is always neat, her children clean and polite. We perceive her to be everything we’re not. And so we measure our mistakes, our flaws and deficiencies against the best moments we see in others.
Think about those times you do see the best in others. Social media is one example—including Instagram and Facebook. No one posts about their mommy meltdowns. They don’t share pictures of a red-faced mama losing it because her three-year-old has just colored on the wall using Sharpies. It’s unlikely you’re going to read a post about how she sometimes feels like running away.
Another time we see the best in others is at church. We don’t see the hand slipping to pinch little Tommy’s leg. We don’t hear the menacing tone of her voice as she grits her teeth and vows to address the bickering of her little ones later on. We can’t read her thoughts that at times it doesn’t even feel worth taking her teenagers to church because they don’t pay attention anyway. It’s unlikely when you pass and ask how she’s doing that she’ll tell you how terrible her week has been and the number of times she’s felt like ripping her hair out.
Don’t make the mistake of comparing your worst to the best in others. Remember that everyone experiences both.
© 2015, Stephanie Romero