Theodore Roosevelt said “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
And he was right. This time of year with testing, the end of the school year, parties, awards ceremonies, and all the hoopla that signifies the ending of another season bring with it the nasty little bug of comparison. While a little comparison and even competition is good, letting it reel you in and rule your decisions is not! Homeschool, public school, or whatever other category you may fall under, every single mama is in danger of letting comparison steal her joy in this season.
You can listen to more thoughts on comparison here:
But you see that little Sally got the co-op award for Latin and all of a sudden you begin scrambling for books for next fall because you haven’t even thought of teaching Latin and it must be so very important since Sally got an award for it, and oh-my-stars do you even know what you are doing and what if your kids never get into an Ivy league because your 6-year-old can’t do algebra? And it just goes on from there. (You know I’m not making this up!)
Or your son’s best buddy outscored him on whatever standardized test your county gives to 5th graders so you commit him to major tutoring over the summer. There goes baseball, creek exploration, and possibly the family vacation depending on how much that tutoring costs.
Mama, just breathe.
Little Sally might just be struggling in math, but we generally don’t share the not-so-shiny bits about homeschooling for fear of looking bad or having our children “labeled”. Your son’s best buddy might just be a great test taker while your son is an auditory learner and really needs the questions read to him for him to do well. Relax.
Don’t let this season ending begin a season of comparison and keep-up! Be joyful for others and their accomplishments! And if that silly little bug starts chirping in your ear that “you-should”, “why-aren’t”, “oh-no”, don’t take the bait. Comparison will reel you in and steal your joy. Don’t do that to yourself or your children.
Enjoy your season. Evaluate. Congratulate. Celebrate the little victories and the big ones. Don’t dwell on the challenges.
Remember that we are raising fishers of men, not fishers of compliments.
How do you deal with the comparison issue when you realize it’s taken root? How do you help your children deal with this issue?
Funny, I wrote something similar on my blog today, not about judging ourselves but about reacting when others judge us. http://www.thejuliagroup.com/blog/?p=4688