Sunday, February 17, 2013

Mommy Wars

Mom's putting on a show in public. Soft sing-song voices that may or may not persist behind closed doors. My kids are cuter. My kids are smarter. My kids are dressed better. Your kids are covered in food. My kids' birthday invitations are hand crafted, the cake from scratch, and the favors expensive. I look so rested and relaxed. {Hemmm, no bitterness from me on that one... nope... none.} My husband is so sweet to me, gives me gifts, is better to me than yours is. My kids do the cutest things.

What does first place get you? Does it make you better? If so, better how? Does first place make you a better mom? Does it matter how stiff the competition is? Why on earth do we do this? It's like we are hardwired to fight this pointless fight.

I have learned that adoption has a way of bringing this out in full force. Our journey was more difficult. My kids have more labels, more diagnoses, more "stuff." My kids were older when adopted. We adopted more siblings at one time. My kids' tragedy is worse than your kids' tragedy. My kids are more difficult than your kids. 

We had been home about 7 months. We were still so very overwhelmed. We were drowning every day. Every single day. Months 1, 2, 6, and 7 have been our most difficult thus far. It was then that someone said "well whatever you are dealing with is nothing compared to what she (she being a new mother of a tiny infant) is dealing with right now." Whose days were more difficult? Hers or mine. I don't know. I've never been there. I'm guessing that this new mom was probably thinking and feeling many of the same things that I was at that time. But it's too difficult to compare that apple to that orange. In so many ways it was the same and so different at the same time. But the bottom line is, why does it matter? Does her struggle make mine feel less painful? Does it make me any better?

Please let me say clearly that I do not consider myself better than, more special than, or more dedicated than someone who has adopted 1 child, adopted an infant, adopted domestically, or decided not to adopt. Single kids need adopting. Infants need adopting. Kids in foster care need adopting. Bio kids need loving. People with no kids are valuable. God brings us together to accomplish His will. We have been so very privileged to be a part of others' lives. By helping. By encouraging. By giving. And we have been so very privileged to be the recipients of so much support. By helping. By encouraging. By giving.

I wish we could stop competing. Keep in mind that you can always say more later, but words spoken in judgment cannot be taken back. So many words spoken serve so little purpose other than to be hurtful. Some words spoken are said with malintent. Others are said in innocence but still cause hurt. This is just going to happen. It's life. But why do we engage? Why do we join in when we could forgive and move on? Why do we perpetuate that which we know in our hearts to be so damaging? Because we are human. Flawed. Insecure. Selfish. 

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