Disclaimer: actual scripture-focused post coming very soon!
Each Wednesday morning during the summer months, our local library hosts an arts and crafts activity for young kids. My tiny buddy and I love these and have gone to them all. Last week, as we stood lined up in the hallway, awaiting the opening of the meeting-room door, I overhead two moms talking. Both ladies were mothers to 3-4 kids each, of varying ages, and both were wholesome-looking moms with natural faces and adorably messy mom-hair. They were discussing the quintessential “stay-at-home mom” topics: essential oils and diets free of unprocessed foods, gluten and sugar (by choice, not necessity). One of these moms not only managed to feed her children and presumably keep them happy while running a sugar-free establishment, but she even disallows sugar substitutes (i.e. Splenda, Stevia, etc.). Despite it being abundantly clear that this mom was a witch (maybe both moms?), I began playing that deadly game of comparison. Y’all, my kid eats a popsicle and a cookie EVERY DAY OF HER LIFE. She’s never met a Lucky Charm marshmallow she didn’t annihilate, and I can only pray she loves her future husband to the extent that she loves as a French fry. Compared to these moms (of more than one kid!), man, I was falling far behind the curve.
So, time came for us to go into the craft room and put together our mosaic. While waiting for my child to stop people-watching long enough to actually complete our task (she get it from her momma!), I happened to glance behind us where these two earth-mothers and their broods were clustered. One of the kids (of the sugar-nazi mom), a boy of about three years old, was sitting in the floor, very near a large dark stain that for my own peace of mind I decided HAD to be a previous crafter’s spilled drink. As I looked at him, this kid reached out, plucked a piece of something right off the top of that mystery stain, AND ATE IT!!!! Zero exaggeration. Obviously, I continued watching until I was finally able to determine what he found so utterly irresistible: paper. Yep, this child who ate only clean, unprocessed foods, who was refused sugar and sugar substitutes except on Friday night family nights, was eating pieces of paper straight off one of the nastiest, dirtiest floors in this city.
Now, let me clarify. We’ve all been there. If it’s not paper off the public library’s decades-old indoor/outdoor carpet, it’s a booger. I mean, kids are weird. They’ll eat anything. Seeing this, I had ZERO judgement toward this mom. Instead, this let me off the hook with regard to judging and comparing myself. No matter what it seems like to someone else, none of us are 100% awesome. None of us are total rockstars. But you know what? We try hard. That lady, those ladies, are doing a great job as moms. And as hard as it is to say it and as much as it chokes me on the way out, I’m doing a great job, too. Hey, you…yes, you…the mom who questions herself and feels inadequate pretty often…you are doing a great job too! We don’t all make the same choices, but that’s okay. We aren’t the same people, and we aren’t raising the same people. God gave us the kids He chose for us ON PURPOSE. No one could be the mom to your kid(s) that you are.
So for us here in the Thomas household, we’ll continue eating that daily popsicle, and we’ll have those cookies. As for those others folks, well, you do you, kid…eat that paper off the floor. All my money says you turn out just fine regardless.
Ps. Our mosaic took forever, but it turned out beautifully.