Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Being human OR rabbits and elephants

Am I the only one who looks for comments constantly as reinforcement? I'd like to think that I really don't need praise, but I think I do desire recognition, I am human after all. Ultimately, I think that is what this rambling post is going to be about. I "live in my head" all day long, and this blog seems to be the best way to get most of what is in my head out. In other words, it is a good way to give my mind some peace. My original blog thoughts for today involved moms being so hard on ourselves. I often speak of a friend who used to say she wished she did X like this person, Y like that person, and Z like another person. The problem is those were three different people and she was taking all of their best qualities and comparing them to her own perceived shortcomings. I think we all do that. Someone will always have a cleaner house, smarter more polite kids, etc... We need to be gentler on ourselves. Another friend has put it this way "we are comparing our insides to someone else's outsides". We know our own shortcomings, we see are own yucky insides (envy, worry, frustration), we may show them to those closest to us, but basically we try to show our "best" to the world. When we see each other's good, a common reaction is "I wish I were more like they are". My hope is that someone who reads this (IF anyone reads this) will be touched by it and remember to go easy on themself. Personally, I am usually pretty easy on others. I try to be, anyway. I often say things like "the fact that, as a mother, you are concerned about this, or questioning that, means that you are doing a good job". I say it to others, but I don't often listen to myself. Last night after I ranted to Jonathan about his needing to make more time to read, Mike reminded me that overall Jonathan is turning out pretty good. My response was, "I'm not trying to raise average children". Generally speaking I don't think anyone sets out to raise average children, but I've continued to think about that all day. I often say to my kids things like "I'm not putting all of this effort into homeschooling you for you to.....blah blah blah" {I'm sharing some of my yucky insides with you now}. The thing is, I know this kind of thing is counterproductive, but I'm human so I do it anyway. Then I beat myself up over it because being human is no excuse. [please tell me I'm not the only one who does this kind of thing]

Anyway, what is my point? Well I don't really know, but weeks ago I said I was going to have more posts on the homeschool convention, so now I will attempt to pull some of that into this and wrap it all together. Jeff Myers is one of my all time favorite convention speakers. He is president of Passing the Baton International. It is a ministry that trains mentors to "pass the baton" to the next generation. The baton being leadership, faith, communication skills, etc...etc... Because I went to every session he spoke at at the convention, I was able to get on his email list. I received an email from him today. In it he told this story {the story actually comes from someone else, you may have heard it, but I never have}...It goes like this...say you have two elephants and you put them in your garage. Say one is male and one is female. After some time (a year or two) you open the garage door and what do you find? Now you might have three elephants...a mom, a dad, and a baby. On the other hand what if in that same garage you instead put two rabbits, a male and a female. In a year or two you'll not only have 3 rabbits, you may in fact have hundreds of rabbits. The point is this, so often people are "all or nothing people". "If I can't do it perfectly, I'd rather not do it at all". We need to recognize our own baby steps. Instead of looking for "elephant" experiences we need to embrace the opportunities for smaller "rabbit" experiences. We are all challenged with something (or many things) it may be health, finances, difficulties with children, etc...etc... Whatever your issue is right now, praise yourself for the "rabbit" steps you are making.

10 comments:

Tiffany said...

Great post!! As always I needed to hear something like this...
I really need to hear this Jeff Myers speak. I think I'd like him. Do you have any CDs I can borrow?

Julie said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on comparing ourselves to others. I do that all the time, and you are often the person I want to be more like.

cdgantz said...

As always, good stuff! I'm sorry that I don't post more and reinforce your awesomeness! You are a pretty amazing woman who I hope to grow up to be more like!

I need to be thankful for my little rabbit moments!

Amy said...

You are right...We are all doing the best we can with our own children in regards to our individual circumstances...However, you are doing an amazing job.

oneblessedmamma said...

I got that e-mail too. I loved the story. Such a great visual.

Dani said...

Julie, As always I love your writings. They remind me of who I am and help me keep my feet firmly planted! I try very hard to remind myself that "we all have something"; our own mountain to climb if you will. It IS easy to look at all those great qualities in others and not see the great qualities that we ourselves have that another person is admiring! I do find myself re-living clips from the day; statements made, snippets of conversations that I had with my children. Sometimes it is hard, but I remind myself to also remember the great moments of the day no matter how small. We are so blessed with our families and friends!!

Melissa said...

Well said! Thanks!

Randi said...

Thanks! I needed that.

GardenofGems said...

That is a very good point about comparing our own worsts to everyone else's bests. Thanks for sharing

crispy said...

I think all of us moms need more encouragement and positive reinforcement. More patting on the back and great job. Very few of us get that and we need to stand together to lift each other up. We are surrounded by some spectacular moms.

Way to go. You do a great job. Your kids will one day understand all that you have done to make their childhood fantastic.