This week we explored two more traps that we can easily fall into as moms if we’re not careful: The Mirror Mom Trap and the Tomorrow Mom Trap. Like the traps that have already been mentioned, I find myself falling into these as well!
Chapter 6: The Mirror Mom Trap
What is it about women that think we constantly need to compare ourselves? Have you ever looked around a room as an attractive woman walks in? More often than not, it isn’t the men who are “sizing her up”: It’s the happily-married women! We immediately compare her looks to our own, even if we do it subconsciously.
I loved how Tracey challenges us in the book to STOP COMPARING OURSELVES to the women around us. We are each uniquely gifted and we are each called to serving in different ways. Comparison truly is the thief of joy…and if we allow comparison to be a daily practice in our lives (even on the internet), it can be fuel for a very dangerous fire.
I also really loved the section of the book that talked about giving each other grace. Tracey points out that when our feelings have been hurt by someone, we can almost always assume that we have unknowingly done the same thing to someone else.
I am a super-sensitive person (and that’s not a good thing). When Prince Charming asked my dad for permission to marry me, my dad felt like he needed to warn him about my sensitivity (now anytime he claims that I was too sensitive about something, I tell him–”You were warned!). :) I wear my heart on my sleeve and you can usually tell what’s going on inside my heart with one quick glance at my face. I don’t hide my feelings well, unfortunately. Case in point: An incident occurred just this week where I got my feelings majorly hurt by a few women–I tried to do something nice and was basically chastised for it. I shed some tears and it ruined my whole day (which also meant I was super grouchy with the kids)! Rather than giving these women grace and recognizing that they didn’t intentionally hurt my feelings (and I know they didn’t, now that I can see the situation a bit clearer), I chose to retreat, lick my wounds, and feel sorry for myself!
These words from Tracey really convicted me:
“The next time you feel offended by someone, first ask yourself if you may be at fault because you’re too easily offended (guilty). At least consider the possibility. Remember, just as you need grace from others, you need to extend grace to the women in your life. Simply said, don’t dwell on it. Skip over it and give that person grace. I’ve learned that once this becomes a habit, life is sweeter.” -p. 90
I know that I have unintentionally offended or hurt other women in my life (and if you are reading this and I have done this to you–I AM SO SORRY). Just like I would hope that others would give me grace to know that I wouldn’t purposely hurt their feelings, I too need to give that same measure of grace to those around me.
All-in-all, we need to encourage each other as women. We need to go the extra mile in our friendships, even when we feel thwarted by someone else. God has given us each other to encourage and edify along the way.
Chapter 7: The Tomorrow Mom Trap
I don’t know how many times I have uttered the words, “I can’t wait until my child can do _____ by himself.” Whether it is wiping his own bottom, feeding himself, or just being able to sit still…the thought of independence is a beautiful thing in the mind of a mother with babies and toddlers.
Independence comes…and it typically comes far before we’re ready for it. One day it seems like we are spending every minute of the day tending to the needs and demands of young children while the next day they are telling us they don’t want our help. Tracey reminds us in this chapter that when it comes to kids, putting off tomorrow what could get done today can often be a huge mistake. This chapter reminded me of the country song “My List” by Toby Keith. As the video illustrates, sometimes it takes a tragedy to realize what is really important–let’s not let that be the case for us.
I also appreciated Tracey’s “math” about the percentage of our lives that we will be actively parenting: It definitely put things in perspective for me. She says 20%…I’m going to say 25%. I don’t wish to live to be a hundred…unless the love of my life happens to live that long too. I’m sure I’ll be more than ready to meet my Maker well before I am a century old! :) But still TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT of my life will be spent actively parenting…and less than half of THAT will be spent in the Baby/Toddler/Preschool Years that can be so demanding. I’m looking at less than a decade of my life spent meeting the daily demands of my young kids. That is not much time!
So this week, I’m going to make a conscious effort to keep that in the back of my mind: To take those opportunities to build my relationship with my kids…even if it means putting off a blog post, letting the dishes get crusty in the sink, or the freshly-dried laundry wrinkle just a little bit . Although the days drag on, the years really do fly by (as I’ve seen with Big Brother).
Tracey sums it up well:
“Always putting off doing the right thing until tomorrow, or trying to coast through parenthood, robs us of the joy of building relationships with our children.” -p. 106
If you missed our last two book club sessions, go here:
Next week’s Assignment: Finish the book! Read Chapters 8 and 9 (and leave your comments, please!)
Do you have any questions for the author? Leave a question in the comments and we’ll choose a few to have Tracey respond to in next week’s post!
What did you think about this week’s reading? Leave a comment or link up below!