Mothers often fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to one another. This is a trap many women fall into. We compare our families, mothering styles, fashion sense, careers or lack thereof, bodies, etc. Even mothers with babies in heaven compare the way we grieve our children. I know…sad…but we do it, if we’re honest enough to admit it. So, how can we find freedom from this? Sharing is a start…telling the truth…admitting the struggle. I think, then, we will see that we all love our children, regardless of how we choose to remember and honor their lives…whether publicly or quietly…with big parties or simple moments of remembrance. Be real on this week’s post, and let’s free ourselves from the trap of comparing!
Hmm..where to start. I compare lots of things. I compare my old self to my new self. I get mad or frustrated because I am not the person I used to be. Just last week I had the stomach flu. The awful 24 hr bug. The old me would have pushed through it, complained a little and moved one. The me after being through grief was just pathetic. I was scared, terrified that really it wasnt just the flu, that maybe it was something more. I called my husband so much that day at work-each time to tell him how scared I was! So silly b/c it was just the flu. I was a mess.....all because of a 24 hr illness that really is no.big.deal. But it brought back so much-fear, anxiety,unknowns. And so I compared. Told myself how well the old self would have handled things and then felt lousy for the next few days. I am hard on myself and as much as I try not to be my own worst enemy, I still am.
I compare myself to others who have lost babies. I still have a deep need to talk about Caleb. I see other BLM who seem to be all moved on with their loss and not needing to be vocal as much as I do. Then I think "maybe I should just really move on with this." Stop dragging things out by writing on this blog. Just be done and stay quiet about what happened. Its hard to justify your feelings when you do not see them mirrored by others.
I compare our life and the way we raise Abigail to the way others do. I get jealous that they don't have to think the way we think. I get angry that they can count on getting pregnant, staying healthy, and bringing that baby home. Babies/fertility/bringing live baby home/pregnancy- are all so hard in my world. They bring up such complicated feelings and sometimes I just wish I didn't have them.
I struggle with planning our family. There are so many people I was pregnant with when carrying Caleb that are pregnant now. I always feel guilty for not sticking to that timeline. I feel like there are two family timelines-the one we should be on if he lived and the one we are on. It's weird to see the life you thought you would live play out in others. I have really been praying for grace lately to accept our family timeline that God has given us. Also I have been able to see that we are different, almost like we have a handicap because of what happened. Getting pregnant and the decisions that go along with that are going to be a lot bigger for us-bottom line. So I have stopped looking around for the most part, but it still creeps in.
Lastly, body image. The last 11 months have probably been the hardest I've ever had with my body image. I know I had two pregnancies back to back-both full term. But somehow that still doesnt make me give myself any slack. I had two babies, but only one to show for it. Sometimes I think people wonder why the weight is not coming off, I mean Abigail was born 11 months ago! Get it under control already. But I can't-even though I try. I guess this is just part of mommy hood, but its hard not to compare my body to others who have had babies and lost the weight so easily.Hard not to get bitter that they had live babies and then lost the weight. I just keep telling myself how much God loves me and He is the creator-if he wanted my body a different way he would have made it that way, but He didn't.
Wow-so I guess I compare more than I thought! This was an interesting topic, one I am going to spend more time in prayer on. Hoping others can relate to all this somehow!