Keeping Up With The Joneses

I have read so many blogs and articles where mothers feel guilty for not being “super mom.” I know you should not look at some things a person does and wish you could do that because that same person might be looking at you and wishing they could do some of the things you do. I know I should not do that, but I can’t help feeling the way I do. I was recently asked how I find any time to run at all much less six miles or more a day. It has been hard, but I’ve had to carefully schedule it. So I know some people do look at me, but if they only knew.

I feel bad for my friends when they are sick. I have mutual friends offer to bring over dinner and I feel worse because I did not offer to do that. Heck, I do not know what my family is having for dinner tonight! Then on top of that I have associates or people I don’t really know that well that are sick or having a tough time and these same friends offer to watch their kids or make them food. I feel like I am doing good watching my own two and again did I mention I do not know what we are eating for dinner tonight or any other night right now?

Part of me tells myself that I do not have to save the world. I do what I can. Maybe I send one friend a get well gift basket or gift card to cheer her up. I still do not know what to do about the associates. Another part me feels that I shouldn’t worry about them. I do not know them real well. Then another part of me feels like that isn’t very nice. I know of them and I know they need help. I should do something. Then I stress some more, my husband comes home, and we fight over what we are going to eat because neither of us knows what to cook.

Is that part of “keeping up with the Joneses?” I used to always think it was more about material things like cars and houses. Now I think it is anything you feel that another family has that is better than yours. That mom is so nice. She baked cupcakes instead of buying them for her son’s birthday. That mom took meals to five new moms last week. That mom made a meal for a friend of a friend just for the heck of it. I feel so selfish just cooking (if you can call it that) for my family.

Oh and then there is the development thing. I know my little ones were born a little early and I am supposed to see them as a month or so younger, but they do so well that it is hard for me to do that. I don’t want to push them to do things they are not ready to do. I want to enjoy them. I want to watch them grow at their own pace and level. I can’t help wonder if I am doing what I am supposed to be doing to get them there.

I am a first time mom and I feel so insecure. I know a lot of moms feel that way even if it isn’t her first time. I saw a kid the other day that is only a month older than mine and she already knows her 1, 2, 3s. Are my kids behind? We are just now getting to know where our nose and eyes are. Am I slacking, am I expecting too much, or am I comparing apples to oranges?

We have a program with the school district called Parents as Teachers. Our parent educator that comes out and sees us has never said anything bad. She always says the babies are right on track. Our pediatrician has also said that they are doing great. Why then do I look at these other kids doing stuff mine can’t yet do and wonder if I am doing something wrong?

I know I am not alone in any of these thoughts and feelings that I have. Like I said, if you search mommy sites and blogs you are going to find article on top of article about some mom not feeling good enough. So why do we do it? Why is this subject such a big deal and people constantly write about it? Well I think I sat down and started this because it felt good to get it off my chest. That and what one of my blogging friends said one time, “Blogging is much cheaper than therapy.”

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