Confession 5: I Sometimes Compare Myself with Other Parents

Good Enough is Good Enough: Confession 5: I Sometimes Compare Myself with Other Parents

We’ve made it to our final week of the book study! If you’re just joining us today for the first time, or you’ve been coming along with us on the journey, we want to know how this book has impacted you! What has stood out to you? What have you taken away from it? Has it changed the way you’ve thought about your motherhood?

  1. How do you handle children’s extracurricular activities? Is your family life balanced or not?

    This is such a tricky situation in our home. We try to be balanced, but it seems there are unavoidable events between my husband’s work schedule and our children’s commitments, not to mention my own activities. We live by such a school based calendar that often times we have the whole semester planned out ahead of time. Since weekends are already booked by school and work events, we’ve tried to build in weekends that are empty. They are left for relaxing and being more spontaneous with our planning.

  2. Do you have a tendency to moralize certain parenting practices? Why or why not? What parenting practices do you friends make into moral issues? Why is the practice a moral issue or why is it not?

    This question is really hard for me to answer I kept having to come back to it. So much of my parenting and decisions in general are based on my moral beliefs. When I had toddlers, I wanted them to learn to tell the truth, because lying is wrong. As they grew older I worried about which school to send them to because of the influences they would experience, specifically the experiences that could impact their moral judgment. As my children are heading into the preteen years I want to show them how to make moral choices and then necessity for them in our faith lives. For me, it’s a constant conversation with friends, to see if we’re making the moral choice in the way we parent. Which schools, which curriculum, which activities, what clothing, will help them grow closer to God?

  3. Do you compare yourself against the activities and efforts of other parents? Are these comparisons generally helpful or unhelpful?

    I used to struggle more with comparison but I’m trying to detach from other’s views of me, or the perceptions I have of what they think of me. I do struggle with comparing our parenthood to the parents around me. I’ve convinced another, or myself, at one time that basically everyone around me is a better parent than I am. They are more loving, more patient, more understanding. Their children love them and never argue with them, they way mine do. I’ve come to learn that there can be benefits to comparison, and that is when I see something that I believe is a good parenting strategy and I implement it for my own children. For me, comparison can become toxic when I belittle myself or allow myself to fall into despair over it. I often imagine what their homes must be like, when in actuality I don’t know what it looks like when I’m not around. And I know I parent differently in front of other people. It’s like when people talk about Facebook comparisons, I’m comparing myself at my worst (when I’m home and frustrated) to them at their best.

  4. Have you ever had to abandon a “perfect” parenting practice is favor of a “lesser” one? Why? What did you learn?

    Parenting for me can seem like a day-to-day adventure. One day something works perfectly and the next day, that same parental practice can cause a melt down response. I try to decide in each moment, what will be the best way to connect to my child and work through the situation.

  5. Knowing that you can’t force your kids to be or remain Catholic, how can you show them why the faith is so important?

    I try to show my children how God loves us. How he created us out of love, and when we turned away from that love, He sent His son to die for us, so we could be reunited with Him. I try to show them the importance of prayer in times of joy and sorrow. I desire to give them a faith that they can turn to as they journey through their own lives. I also try to show them the celebratory side of the church. We celebrate as many feast days and we can and enjoy being active in the liturgical celebrations of the Church. I want them to remember that our faith was interwoven in all aspects of our lives, not just on Sundays. We religious art on our walls so they can see they faith each day. They love to attend vacation bible retreat in the summer with our parish and summer camps put on by religious orders as well. I want them to have their own life in the faith. I want them to claim this religion as their own, and not just something that mom and dad made them do. That said, as long as they’re home with us, we will all be at Mass on Sunday and participating in the Sacraments.

Copyright 2019 Courtney Vallejo All Rights Reserved

Image Credit Copyright 2019 Karen Padilla. All Rights Reserved

Courtney Vallejo