In December I was asked to play the role of “miss every-day mom” for a little pretend pageant at church. Apparently I was a pretty good fit for the part. About a week before performance night we were sent our script to memorize. I won’t go into detail, but the gist was this: A group of talented women are in a pageant, and then there is miss every-day mom, a total train wreck. At the end of the play it’s decided that all the women, including little ole me, are talented and capable in their own way.
Here was my part:
In hustles miss everyday mom in yoga pants or jeans and t-shirt with a messy bun, looking a bit frazzled. Miss everyday- I’m so sorry I’m late! I had to take my kids to soccer and gymnastics, and then the hamster got out of its cage and I had to find it before the dog did! Then right as I was getting ready to leave, the baby threw up on my dress, while I was changing I burned the casserole, and then the sitter called and cancelled!! Also, I tried all day to come up with something special about myself, or a talent to share and I just couldn’t find anything!
Now let me tell you how everything had REALLY gone that day for this “every-day mom.”
I had to take R to school. As we walked to the car the dog got a hold of one of M’s gloves, so I chased him around the yard. As we drove to school I realized I hadn’t helped R study any of his spelling words that week, so I spent the next five minutes drilling him on words he hadn’t a clue how to spell. He walked in just in time for the late bell to ring. I chased the chickens around the yard to herd them back into their coop before the dog had one for a snack. Dinner was totally lousy because I hadn’t been to the grocery store in two weeks, and my husband was running late from work. I hadn’t done laundry in a while either, so when it was time to leave I was relieved that my part required me to wear yoga pants and a t-shirt because, well, that’s all that I had to wear that was clean!
By the time I walked up on that stage, I didn’t even have to pretend my role. It was painfully clear that I WAS miss every-day mom. The play was meant to uplift and help us to see that we all have talents and abilities, but I have to admit I went home feeling like nothing more than an every-day mom, capable of nothing but herding chickens and washing dishes. Talents? Nope. My kid couldn’t even spell GRAY. Other kids in his class were probably spelling words like onomatopoeia. And who’s fault is that, really? You can’t exactly blame him! I knew plenty of “every-day moms” that could also pass off as “miss bakes-a-lot. I had a few friends who weren’t only amazing moms, but they packed their kids up in strollers and ran for miles every day. Some that were the darlings of the PTO, room mothers, artists, musicians, dancers… Not me. I chased chickens. I have to admit, on the drive home I started feeling those pangs of jealousy. When I walked in the door my always-reassuring, sensible husband reminded me of an important life lesson I so often tend to forget. “So?” He asked. “What do you mean, SO??” I whined. “Sally can bake the most amazing cookies you’ve ever tasted. Bobby Jo is training for a marathon. Me? I chase chickens.” His response hit me hard. “So? It’s not a competition.”
All I wanted him to say was, “Oh, Honey. You are so good at so many things!” You know, gush over me a little. But he didn’t. And you know what? He was right. Life isn’t a competition. My husband had reminded me in those few short words that jealousy is a very unattractive trait, and I was oozing with it.
So often we compare ourselves to others. How many times have we thought, “Oh sure, she makes the best cookies, but I bet her kids watch a ton of tv!” Or, “She can sing all right. But you should see her without any make-up.” How often do we try to make ourselves better by putting someone else down? So she’s better at baking cookies. Can’t we just be happy that we have an opportunity to know her and enjoy her creations? Finding fault in others to bring ourselves up is such an easy thing to do. We all have our shortcomings, don’t we? When we are filled with those feelings of jealousy, when we are secretly searching for any reason we are better than someone else, we loose our ability to truly love that person. A person that we could learn so much from and maybe even help in our own way too. What a sad existence, to feel that we have to be better than others. Not to mention exhausting!
when I feel those jealous feelings, that someone else’s talents are superior to my own, when I start to search for ways that they fail to justify why I can’t do the amazing things they do, I try to remember the wise words of my husband. “So? It’s not a competition.” I hope I can find joy in others’ successes. It is a wonderful feeling to truly love someone, to not look for fault and simply decide to be happy they, in all their amazingness, are in my life. I have faults. That’s a painfully obvious fact. You have faults. And that’s ok. So now can we just find the good in each other? The green-eyed monster is very real. I hate to admit I am acquainted with him. Probably far better than I should be. But I know I feel so much better when he isn’t around.
I’m Miss Every-day mom. You might be Miss Smart-as-a-whip, Miss Spiritually-Inclined, Miss Spelling-champ, or Miss Pinterest-extraordinaire. And that’s just great. Let’s be glad for each other, let’s teach each other. I want to find the good in who you are. In what you do. I’m glad we can be friends!
This very thing has been on my mind a lot lately. I really enjoyed your post and that you were willing to share your husband’s words. I’m sure we can all improve in this area! 🙂
Mine too, Heidi… It’s taken a while to put into words. I hope it came across the way I intended. I know I can certainly improve in this area! I think I owe you a letter from forever ago! I haven’t been a very good pen pal. I’ll write back soon!
great post Chelsi! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt this way. Love the story and how you’ve described it!
Thanks, Suzanne! Our chats always get me thinking about things. I think something we talked about while you were here inspired me. Thanks always for the inspiration! I love visiting with you!
Reblogged this on catching crawfish and commented:
I had one of these days this week and thought of this post from back in April. Sorry to those who have read it before! I needed this reminder (or maybe more like a slap in the face) that I’m happy I am who I am, and I’m thankful I have the amazing friends I have!
I’m so glad you reblogged this, because I hadn’t seen it before! ☺ I love the message of this post, because it is SO true. It is a test of life to come to feel comfortable enough with who we are, that we can simply enjoy and love other people–even if they have gifts and talents we don’t. It reminds me of Elder Hollands talk “The Laborers in the Vineyard.” That is a talk I go back to often, because this is a weakness of mine… Comparison.
But, truly, I do think you are amazing and gifted, Chelsi. You are such an amazing writer (have you started working on publishing one of your books?), not to mention a wonderful friend. So glad I have met another “Miss Everyday Mom” to share and learn with ☺
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I had to go and look up that talk because it didn’t ring a bell. I’d forgot all about it! Thank you for mentioning it! It makes so many great points, and I will be going back to it often as well. 🙂 I think that comparison is definitely something we tend to do as moms…a lot. it’s easy to do, and I think in many ways the world perpetuates that competitive nature.
So. I’ve been thinking, Marla. How about you guys just rethink this moving and come to Colorado instead?? 😉 I think it would be a great idea! You’re all packed up now anyway, and our youngest could really use a friend in nursery because as of now he’s the only boy! I thought I’d throw it out there just in case. Just something to think about. 🙂 I’m so glad to have another every-day mom to share and learn with too! And thank you for being so kind. I think you are incredibly gifted as well, in so many ways!
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Such a wonderful outlook from your husband and just the simplest of things……I was struck by so many things in your post that count you in as Lucky Mom and not what I’d call Everyday Mom. But this is such an easy trap to fall into though, I think, for any parent. …..kids don’t come with guide books or manuals, we have to figure it all out on our own and there just isn’t a very tangible way to “measure” how we’re doing. I think it’s only natural to compare yourself with other people with kids and how their kids are doing, etc. But in the end, we do need to just keep our eyes on the prize……ask yourself, “Is this what Kid A needs?” “Am I doing this because I believe it will benefit Kid A?” And you take it a step further saying we should be joyful to know the people around us with all their myriad skills…..absolutely true again….it takes a village to raise a child and one of those other people might have something very pivotal to offer you and your child in the way of a talent that you don’t possess yourself. And to flip that, you may be just the right thing for the child of another person you meet. It’s all good if we let it be good!
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Exactly! It is SO easy to compare, because kids don’t come with a manual. But when we do what’s best for our children, that’s when we can find success. I found this in more real ways to be true when our oldest finished kindergarden last year and wasn’t reading as well as many of his peers. I struggled so much not comparing him to his classmates, and not comparing myself to their moms. In the end, doing things his way, at his speed was all he needed, and realizing that both of us were not his peers nor their parents, and that was ok. I hadn’t even made the connection about others’ talents and abilities benifiting our children because they have skills we don’t…it takes a village, and that’s why. I’ve seen that happen time and time again. Thank goodness for the skills and talents of others to inspire and help everyone. Thank you for this!
This is FABULOUS!!!! Great post. Thank you for the reminder.