Dear Friends, I Hear You
I’ve noticed something recently and it seems to be a bit of an epidemic if you ask me! I’ve been noticing some dear friends of mine degrading themselves. They are wonderful, God-following women, who put themselves down as they speak about themselves. They compare themselves to other women we know, and speak of how they could never do what she’s doing, and how they wish they could be different. Let me be clear that these friends who I speak of, are an inspiration to me and they call me on, in my motherhood and in faith.
As these women make comments about themselves, I find my heart breaking for them. If only they could see the woman I see. If only they could realize how wonderful and talented they are, and how valuable they are to their families.
Society, it seems, is in a constant state of comparison. I believe that the “keeping up with the Joneses” has increased dramatically since social media has taken over many of our lives. So many blogs speak on how we compare our worst to everyone’s best as we scroll through our social media feeds.
I recently had the opportunity to appear on Catholic TV’s This Is The Dayshow, and it was a wonderful experience. I set up my laptop for a Skype interview and made sure to post a picture of my behind-the-scenes set up. People laughed at the pajama bottoms with my fancier top. When I went back and watched the segment, I realized how much of what was actually going on in my house wasn’t being shown on TV. I had jimmy-rigged a set of bar stools to set up the shot so that I could get the crucifix hanging on the wall, in just the right spot. My kids were outside for fear of background noise. I had a friend come over, early that morning, and do my hair, so I’d be ready for my big moment. If anyone was to compare their reality to my put-together appearance, it would be an uneven playing field of comparison.
Many mothers spend countless hours guiding their children through the struggle of comparison. They encourage their children to look at their strengths and talents instead of comparing them to their friends or classmates. There seems to me to be a double standard, however, with the behavior they allow themselves to use when interacting and speaking about themselves. I know it’s hard to model the behavior we teach our children and I know we desire more for them in their lives, but I’m worried about what my mom friends are doing to themselves.
I struggle with knowing how to tell them what I’m seeing. I struggle with wanting to tell them, “Stop talking about my friend like that,” since they’re talking about themselves. I’m starting to wonder if I need to treat the situation with more intensity. I need your help and I need suggestions! How can I reach out to my mom friends and encourage them to speak positively about themselves instead of the self-degradation that I’m hearing?
If you’re hearing the same things from your mom friends, please reach out and encourage them to see the beautiful woman you see! Together we can support each other in building up our fellow mothers.
Copyright 2019 Courtney Vallejo