A wise friend recently told me to “never compare your inner world to other people’s outer worlds.” As much as I want to follow this advice, it is very hard to do so. I find that I am always comparing myself to other people’s “outer worlds” and I find myself coming up short.
The problem is, it’s hard to have a good sense of perspective about your own life. If I could look at my life from a distance, what would I think? I don’t think I would be terribly impressed. My life looks pretty ordinary.
But that’s okay.
I often envy others who have impressive careers and make lots of money. Or a medium amount of money (ha). But that is not what life is really about. I think if your life becomes all about pursuing material success, it will leave you feeling empty. I know that if I prioritized my career over my family and personal relationships that I might enjoy it for awhile but I would regret it eventually. Being a good wife and mother isn’t something that our society really values, but it seems to me that it’s of the utmost importance.
Honestly before I became a stay-at-home I thought being a stay-at-home mom was luxurious. But after realizing the cost of daycare, I think being a working mom is luxurious. You have to have a job that pays enough to make paying for childcare worthwhile. And you get to have an identity aside from being a mom. And you can talk to other adults every day. Wow — sounds amazing.
But realistically I know that being a working mom is also very difficult. Being a mom is hard in these early years. I think it’s harder than being a dad because there is more pressure placed on moms to be the perfect parent.
Yet when my daughter comes up to me in the morning and rubs her nose against mine and says “nose kiss,” it does seem pretty worthwhile.