Dear Wonder Woman Wanna Be,
I often get asked, “How do you do it all?” My answer is simple. “I don’t.” But then I find myself looking at others and wondering, “How do they do it all?” The answer is the same. “They don’t.” No one does. And, I dare say, no one is supposed to. But we all seem to think everyone else is doing everything else, and probably better than us. Why are we so willing to think we’re not living up to some standard?
So, let’s stop it. Let’s look at Wonder Woman, who we often honor when we lift up the women we admire. I haven’t seen any new versions of her, so I’m going with the original, feisty role model – with hips, a Lasso of Truth, and no cape! Spoiler alert – she doesn’t do it all either. She’s not a mother or wife. Yes she’s a super hero with a successful day job. But that’s not everything. Don’t get me wrong, Wonder Woman is an impressive woman.
Here’s the kicker, though: If she knew you, she’d likely find you to be an impressive woman too.
See, while we’re busy looking at others and wondering how they’re so great at some area of life we’re not, they’re looking back at us wondering the same thing. I think that’s often how these “mommy wars” get started. I don’t think they’re about others putting us down as much as they’re about us thinking that someone doing something ‘better’ than us is rubbing it in our faces. But they’re not. They’re struggling with something that we’re doing well. We’re all just doing the best we can. I promise!
So, maybe we could stop comparing ourselves to everyone else and just accept that every situation is different. How’s that sound?
And let’s take a moment to look at those standards. Who sets them? Where to do they come from? After some thought, I think they’re mostly in our heads. I was just talking with a friend about how I don’t know if I can succeed at both writing and homeschooling. She asked if I thought writing was interfering with homeschooling. I chortled – snort and all. Most definitely it is. Then I realized, though, that just because my style of homeschooling has changed doesn’t mean it’s changed for the worse. But in my head I’d created this situation where I wouldn’t be able to do either successfully. All in my head!
So, maybe we could not only stop comparing ourselves to others, but we could also give ourselves a wee little break.
I’m a fan of saying that there are a lot of right ways to be a good parent, a good homeschooling family, a good anything. Why don’t I give myself the same benefit of the doubt? Starting today, I’m going to. How about you?
In the end, I think it comes down to this – you’re already Wonder Woman. So am I. There’s no need to wanna be if you already are. If we simply focus on what we’re doing well and feel good about those things – that is wonderous – and loving ourselves is possibly the best super power to have!