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!