I sat down at the beautiful breakfast brunch with writing friends. We sat on a sunny porch with Pinterest-inspired glass lights and wall hangings, the garage door of the porch was open, letting the breeze in, hitting the backs of our legs as we sat at the breakfast table. It was the perfect excuse to dust off a summer dress and put on my favorite lipstick. We talked about our kids, the work we do outside of the home and our latest joys. I soaked it up, thirsty for a quiet meal and good conversation with other moms who write. Our time concluded with a message from the Founder of City Moms Blog Network, Stephanie Flies.
Stephanie spoke to us about the ability to choose celebration in motherhood. She shared some everyday moments and how she chooses the path of celebration in those moments; celebrating a special achievement with her children involving sprinkles and finding joy in a friend’s kitchen remodel. Her examples highlighted how very easy it is to let jealousy seep in and miss the remarkable moments in life.
Her words stuck with me on the day before Mother’s Day and reiterating the message that Mother’s Day isn’t perfect and we have to find simple joy in our lives. But her words were lessons for beyond Mother’s Day weekend, they are relevant for the path we walk in motherhood every day. It is so easy to let competition and jealousy wash over us in motherhood. It is a harder path to walk to congratulate and find joy for others and even in our own family if we are stuck in competition.
How can you find space for celebration in motherhood?
- Start a gratitude journal or just start keeping a note on your phone with your joys.
- Live the life you want. I’m serious. One of the biggest impetus for competition in motherhood stems from resentment. Why not me? Well, why not you? Do something uncomfortable that is calling your heart. Take the art class you’ve always wanted. Get the certification to teach Zumba. Start that volunteer job at your church. Plan ahead and start saving for the trip to Paris with your daughter. Register for that running race. Sign up to help with a local political campaign. You are a better mother when you grow your passions, hobbies, and interests.
- Get off social media. Yes, you probably are reading this article because you found it through social media and I am totally grateful for that, but getting off social media will make you more compassionate and grateful in your life. I’m not saying quit it completely, but learn to take social media breaks and know that when you spend time on social media you are missing out on other things. Maybe it is reading that book you’ve been meaning to, maybe it is enjoying a hot cup of coffee, or maybe it is taking that ballet class you promised yourself you would take someday.
- Check your inner imposter syndrome. Another ugly piece of competition is your inner imposter syndrome. Oh you know, the one who says that no matter what you do or accomplish, you aren’t qualified to do it and when you do it, it really sucks. Shut down that noise by noting what is the real truth in the experience or action. Maybe you published your first blog post, the truth in the situation is that it is really scary to be vulnerable, but you may be making an important connection with someone and there is no imposter in that.
- There can be more than one. There can be more than one good cook, photographer, fitness coach, home remodeler, organizer, fashion expert, salesperson for a product, parenting blogger, etc. Sometimes, we feed ourselves the lie that we can be the “only one” and if there are others, well, that negates our expertise. That’s just not true. When you see another “one” who is also in your wheelhouse, cheer them on, congratulate them on a big accomplishment, and find joy in knowing you both can bring your knowledge and personal experience to others. You’ll find celebration and confidence in the work you do.
We have the choice to choose celebration over competition in motherhood. It is a path we need to put effort into and it isn’t always the easiest response, most often, it’s the hardest. Competition pulls us down like concrete cinder blocks in motherhood.
We have to recognize that someone else’s joy has absolutely nothing to with us; it is not a measure of how much I haven’t accomplished or what I don’t have.
We have to find a way to cheer for others otherwise we will live a life where we can never be happy with our own life because it is always being measured against someone else and never lining up.
We have to recognize that we are enough.
I choose joy.
I choose to cheer.
I choose celebration.