We are all aware of the dangers of comparing ourselves or our kids with others, so why do we do it?
Areas of Comparison
Over the years I have personally struggled with comparing myself to others. From the locker room, to my home, to church—everywhere there were people who were better than me at pretty much everything. Now as a homeschool parent there is still a temptation to see if I measure up with my friends who homeschool or to the public school in general.
Here are a few thoughts that run through my mind every now and then:
- Am I as good of a teacher as the schools provide?
- Maybe my home doesn’t measure up to a cute kindergarten classroom
- She seems to have the perfect curriculum for her kids, are my kids happy enough with ours?
- I wish I had a real homeschool room in my house like my friends
- Moms who work outside the home seem so fulfilled, am I getting that from homeschooling at home all day?
- As hard as I try to keep my kids socialized maybe they don’t have as many friends as other homeschool kids
- Maybe my kids need more opportunities with the arts and sports like kids at school
As homeschool parents we need to fight these thoughts of comparison with the confidence that we are doing what we think is best for our kids right now. There is so much more at stake than my own happiness, having the perfect house, or being the crafty and cute kindergarten teacher with artistic bulletin boards. The well-being of my kids, as I provide them with a safe and nurturing environment to learn, is more important than any thoughts of wondering if I am as good of a homeschool mom as someone else. Yes, there will always be ways to improve how we homeschool but we can be confident in what we are doing as we focus on all the benefits our kids are receiving through the homeschool lifestyle.
Since comparing ourselves is so common, there will always be another homeschool parent who could use encouragement. Instead of letting a friend suffer as she wonders if she’s good enough to keep homeschooling, be the encouragement she needs. A note, a smile, a quick text can be just the thing to remind someone else that their efforts are valuable and farther reaching than today.
How do you overcome the urge to compare?
Sarah Brutovski is a homeschool mom of three children. She grew up just down the street from where she and her husband are raising their family now in rural Upstate New York. When she is not teaching her kids, grocery shopping, or drinking coffee you might find her training for a half marathon, escaping for a morning at the beach, or chatting on the phone with one of her four siblings. Sarah loves writing on her blog sarahswritingcafe.blogspot.com and currently teaches creative writing at her kids’ weekly co-op.