Today I want to stress the importance of celebrating people’s gifts, instead of competing against them, judging or being jealous.
I want to follow my dear and very beautiful friend Shelley’s brave and honest lead and write this post as I think it is very important!
She mentioned the other day on Facebook, that she sometimes feels hesitant about sharing on Facebook when her children do well at something as she doesn’t want people to think that she is bragging, and she then went on to say how much she considered and thought about why she wasn’t comfortable sharing this post, she had written it up and deleted it many times before deciding to share, after deciding that she should be proud of her children and that it is not bragging at all, it is about celebrating and rejoicing when things go right in life and celebrating successes – and I think that this is absolutely the right thing to do! There is a difference between bragging and simply being open and honest about being proud of your children, a BIG difference, the tone of voice you use, the way you say it and whether you are comparing to other children or not, and even though we know all this, for some reason, many of us feel self-conscious about being openly and proud of our children.
Shelley’s insightful, perfectly worded post made me realise that I too feel self-conscious about saying if my child is doing well at something! If I say good things about my children – I always feel the need to also say what they are NOT good at, so people do not think I am bragging! I don’t like that I do that and I don’t like that I feel I NEED to do that!
Can’t we just be proud of them without people thinking that we are bragging – on the understanding that we all know that everyone has different areas of strengths and weaknesses? You should share these things with the people who love you! The people I have as my Facebook friends are the people I really love and care about and who I know should be happy for me if I share something lovely about my children, and if those people are not happy for me or feel “snipey” about it, then to be honest, I would MUCH rather not be friends with them on Facebook as I only want to share my life with those like-minded, positive, happy people just trying to live a happy life – NOT in ANY competition with others, just being grateful for whatever we have and to be loving towards others. Why should we ever feel self-conscious of being proud of our children? Shouldn’t we all be rejoicing and proud when any child in the world achieves great things? Does it REALLY matter if someone else’s child is doing better than mine at something? Or that mine is doing better than their child at something? Do people think that it makes them a better mother if their child is doing better at something than mine?
IT IS NOT THE MUMMY OLYMPICS!!! We are not in competition with each other!!
Sure we can look at other’s parenting styles and get ideas of what we ourselves would like to do more, better, less and different to others, but to judge them negatively or compare ourselves as a parent, is completely unfair as we do not know all the background behind that person and their journey. They may have tried what works for you and it simply doesn’t work for them, they may have tried what the baby books said to do and it simply doesn’t work for them, perhaps the only thing that does work for their child is what they are doing right now.
Every adult and child is different and gifted in different ways, my children have completely different skills in different areas and when I am proud of them, it is because at whatever they did, that they tried their best or were kind or made the right choice – when a bad one would have been far more fun! 😉 Children learn in different ways, some children learn from watching someone else do something, some children can just hear an instruction and get it instantly and others need to do it for themselves before they learn how to do something – none of the learning styles (visual, auditory and kinaesthetic) are better than the others – they are just different, and whatever learning style your child has, is how they will learn best. It is the same with how we are all good at different things.
For example: I was always very good at English, Psychology, I was a fast runner (this was a very long time ago – I have definitely lost THIS ability over the years!) and was also pretty good at the creative and artistic things in school – (plus I excelled at talking and socializing a lot, but let’s not go there!).
In saying all of that, I was DREADFUL at Maths, Biology and Typing and was never any good at knowing how to be quiet or less honest – I seem to have no filter when I speak at times, I am also way, overly proud of my children, which doesn’t mean they are perfect or good all the time, because they simply are not. Sometimes, my gorgeous, beautiful, precious boys can behave so terribly that I feel as though I am the worst mother in the whole wide world as a matter of fact.
With my boys, my big 7-year-old boy is excellent at reading and spelling and being kind, playing nicely with others, he loves to help others and jumps instantly if I ever ask for any help, he is sweet, loving and openly tells people kind things without any prompting and he has gorgeous manners, but on the flip side his sports and music grades are not so great and he is incredibly messy with leaving his stuff all over the place!
My 4-year-old boy loves to learn about everything and is very artistic, he is sweet, affectionate, loving and kind, but is not all that great with sitting still for long or knowing when to stop talking (ha ha ha – he is like me!), he is the messiest eater I have ever known and can be very shy at times! But I am immensely proud of things like the fact that he had a crippling fear of the pool just over a year ago and is now swimming without any flotation devices across the width of the pool and is very confident at jumping in to the pool at the deep end now too! Things I honestly wasn’t sure he would ever do! He doesn’t have a perfect swimming stroke or perform the freestyle technique swimming yet, but the fact that he overcame that fear, is confident and BEGS to go in the pool and can now mostly keep himself safe in the water has made my heart swell with pride.
My little 2-year-old boy is adorable in every possible way, we don’t know yet where he is gifted in terms of skills yet as he is so young, but I know he is very gifted at making people smile, is great at dancing, excellent at sleeping, he is a real Mr Personality, is very tidy, is affectionate, loving, playful and has a gorgeous sense of humour and is exceptionally good at eating, but is not so good at going out to the shops or basically anywhere without having a public tantrum. He rarely tantrums at home all that badly, but going out seems to trigger him and make him anxious and become very difficult!
Just because I am a very GRATEFUL mummy, does NOT mean I am necessarily a GOOD mummy – I feel as though I stuff up this parenting gig ALL the time! I am not saying I am not a good mummy either, but all I am saying is that although I try my best all the time, I know that I make mistakes far more frequently than I wish I did. Yes, I do love to play and spend quality time with my children, and I love my family more intensely than I could ever explain, and I do EVERYTHING that I possibly can to keep them safe, healthy, happy, loving, loved and to enjoy learning, but sadly, often the busy-ness of life simply gets in the way and we can’t always do and say what we want all of the time. As a mother, I get tired, cranky, exhausted, impatient, quick-tempered and I get regular times when my tank is just completely and utterly empty.
I feel as though I am really happy most of the time, but that I also have a routine mini-nervous breakdown around every 3 months, where I have a week of feeling completely snitchy, then suddenly some silly little thing will make me just need to go to my room, get a moment alone and maybe even have a little cry to release all of the overwhelming emotions that have built up over time plus all the mummy guilt, stress and pressure of being a mummy. I set such silly, unrealistic and high standards of myself to be the best mummy I can possibly be and because these expectations are too high, I never feel as though I ever quite “make it” as a mum and inevitably feel like I have failed…..far too frequently.
The truth is, that most of us do the best we can with what we have every day, and I like to think that so long as we have hearts full of absolute love and the very best of intentions for our families, then any little “stumbles” along the way will not mean all that much, as the abundance of love, appreciation and effort that has been poured over our families by us will overpower any of our little stuff ups.
Sure, we will look back and wish we had other ways of doing things at the time, and yes over time, they may discover new and better ways to do everything that we do now, but if we “do the best we can with what we have right now every day”, that whatever we are doing now is the best we can do under the circumstances and therefore it is unfair and unkind and unnecessary to judge.
At the end of the day, everyone needs to find their own gifts within themselves where they will find their own success in life, you might be the best in a certain sporting event, or at hairdressing, or the best nurse, teacher, doctor, or the best at helping others, or making other’s smile, whatever your gift is – (and EVERYONE has at least one very special gift that you were born with) – whatever it is, find it and embrace it and use it to find your own version of success in life and also be happy for others when they have found theirs too!
I have made the choice to not enter myself in “The Mummy Olympics” and you should too! You will be much happier for it!
On this topic, I have to recommend this wonderful book by America’s funny Family Feud host Steve Harvey, who has written a wonderful book about how people are all born with a gift and they just need to find out what that gift is, in order to find success and happiness and he teaches you how to find out what it is.
He has been divorced twice, lived in his car for three years, been homeless and on the depths of despair among other struggles in life and has been at every end of the scale financially, and he is now highly successful and highly celebrated, just because he was able to find his “gift” in his entertaining personality and good sense of humour.
Click on this affiliate picture link below to go check out this book at Fishpond.com.au that offers free shipping! Definitely worth a read!!
Here is another excellent book that I read many years ago, it is a fantastic read that has a “Strengths finder” to help you discover your areas of strength and it talks about the importance of using your strengths to find success in life rather than focusing on the things that you are not good at (it doesn’t say to stop trying to improve on those areas, but has more of a message like, find your passion and your strengths, then success will come easily and abundantly to you, another excellent read!! I will write a more detailed Book Review Post on this book soon as it is really an excellent book and puts your own and your children’s strengths and weaknesses in to perspective – it really relaxes me knowing the wisdom of this book to let go a little of what I am not good at, and what my children are not good at, and to focus more on our passion and our strengths and gifts instead.
Click on this affiliate picture link below to go check out this book at Fishpond.com.au that offers free shipping! Definitely worth a read!
Overall, I just want to say a very big thank you to you all who I love on here, who I trust to always know that if we share these precious moments of our lives together, that we do not judge each other, we are trusting each other and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable only because we feel safe with each other. This is a privilege to be allowed in to each other’s lives like this, and we should respect this honour!! I only share on here the way I do, because I feel safe with our friends on here. If you ever share good news, achievements and things that you are proud of, I will be so, so, SO happy for you – not jealous of you or in competition with you! I can’t stand the competitiveness of some people, and I simply won’t be a part of it. I really don’t care if my children are better than anyone else’s, sure I would be proud of them if they ever are excelling at something, and yes I would probably worry a little if they were struggling to stay around the same level as most of the other kids at school, but I don’t care if they are better or worse than anyone else, I just want them to do their best, to make a big effort and to all be happy, well-rounded, kind boys who try their best and have loving natures. I want them to have the best opportunities in life available to them of course, and to do this they need to be at a certain level academically, but if your child is getting an A grade in music and mine isn’t, I will be happy for you and your child – not jealous or in competition!! Mine might be getting an A grade in something else your child isn’t and it wouldn’t even matter if he was, he might get an A grade in my books for simply being a loving person who is always kind to others – which I rate FAR higher in importance than being able to play the “trombone/flute/clarinet/fill in the blank” in music class. I know what I rate as more important in life.
Wishing you and all your children every success and happiness at whatever it is that makes you and your children feel joy and hoping that we can all be more accepting and loving and less judgemental of others – as we are all doing our best!
Thank you to all our readers on here who all make this a safe, warm and happy page where we can all share and be ourselves and boost each other up instead of bringing each other down. You really all are the best bunch of people and it is an honour for me to be surrounded by such amazing people. Thank you to you all!
I hope that you all have a beautiful, love-filled day with a renewed enthusiasm for other’s successes and for your own. Please celebrate success – no matter whose it is!!