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Don’t Compare! Do Your Best!

By Rikki Beth Poindexter




I want to share with you something that was difficult for me as a young mother. It is something I still have to remind myself of at times. Don’t compare your life to others. Don’t compare your kids. Don’t compare your parenting styles. Don’t compare your marriage. Don’t compare your home. Just don’t do it! Comparison is a thief!

II Corinthians 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. Comparison either makes you feel inferior or superior. Neither of these honors God.

I can remember going to bed at night and feeling guilty because I did not measure up to what a lady at a ladies conference said a good mother was. I did not devote thirty minutes a day to each of my five children individually. I did not sit on the floor and play board games or playdough. I had spent the day homeschooling, making sure everyone practiced their instruments, wrangling a toddler, potty training, cleaning up messes, cooking meals, doing laundry, and handling ministry issues-not to mention being a wife! As a young mother, I lay in the bed that night, and many other nights, beating myself up because I did not measure up.


Hang on a minute! I did not measure up to what? Whose expectations were I failing to measure up to?

Being a good mother is doing what is right for you, your husband, your children, and your household. That can look very different at any given minute. Just because you do not mother like the next mother, does not mean you are not a good mother. I want to encourage you, Mom, to do your BEST! (Whatever that may look like for you.) Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might;


Our BEST will always begin with prayer- lots and lots of prayers. Prayer should be offered up for ourselves, our husbands, and our children. We cannot do our best alone. We desperately need the help of Jesus and His wisdom to parent.


If you are a mother who works outside of the home, I encourage you to do your best! Do not beat yourself up! This is a huge balancing act. I had to do this for a very short season. Do not compare yourself to the stay-at-home mom. Do your BEST with your circumstances.


If you are a stay-at-home mother, be content! Do not compare your life to that of a working mother. If you stay home, most likely, you have decided to give up some things in order to make that happen. We can get in a rut of wanting things we do not have, desiring things that others have or the lives they live. We set the tone in the home; we need to do our BEST to set the BEST atmosphere.


If you are a mother of an infant, do your BEST! This season will pass so quickly, believe me! Enjoy it! Take naps! Find out what is important to your husband for you to get done in a day and focus on those tasks. Soak it all in!


If you are the mother of toddlers, take my advice and breathe. Pray and pray some more and then do your BEST! Be consistent in training them. You will be so glad you did. Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. There will be hard and tiresome days. Enjoy them though; they too pass so quickly. This is such a rewarding time; so much is learned during these days. Don’t compare your days with others. Remember, the Bible says we are unwise to do so.


If you are a mother, trying to decide which avenue of education is best for your children, pray, consult with your husband, talk to others, and make the decision BEST for your family. Do not compare your situation to other families (we are not wise when we do this). Homeschooling is not best for every family, neither is Christian school best for everyone nor public school. It is ok!


If you are a homeschooling mom, do your BEST! Make the days and the education your kids receive count. Remember, one day they will grow up and have an opinion about the education they received at home. It will also factor into which education they decide for their kids. I have sat across the table from many a lady who decided not to homeschool their own children because of the lack of discipline and structure in the education they received at home. School was not the priority for the day. If you are currently homeschooling and finding that you are not doing it justice and that it is not for you, there is no shame in this. Do what is BEST for you and your family! Do not compare yourself to others. Your education and possible future are riding on you, mama, and only you. Not anyone else.


If you are a mother to teens, do your BEST! Together with your husband, make decisions that are BEST for your family! These are such crucial years: college decisions, work decisions, courtship decisions. PRAY! These years can be wonderful! We have surely enjoyed our children’s teen years!


For those of us with adult children in the home, do your BEST! There are so many changes and even challenges in this season. Pray and do your BEST! Communication is vital during this season.


If you are an empty nester, do your BEST! This is the season where we will have to learn where our lane is and how to stay in it. I am not at this season yet, but when I get there, I want to do my BEST for my family.


Maybe you are a mother with several different ranges of children: infant, toddler, school age, adult, and married…. just do your BEST! I had our five children in six years! Currently, they are ages 21, 19, 17, 16, and 15. Mothering in many different stages can cause us to compare our lives to others in different seasons or to long for different days. Do not do this. Just do your BEST. Focus on the day you are in and not the days ahead or the days gone by.


You may be reading this and you are the Grandmother! You too can do your BEST as the grandmother! What a rewarding time this can be. Watching your children, that you did your BEST with, now raising their own. Be the BEST mom and grandmother you can be. Do not let your guard down on comparing your life during this season.


I do want to add that in doing our best, we will still make mistakes. We will punish too harshly at times, and sometimes, we won’t punish when needed. We will make mountains out of molehills and disregard things that we should have handled more swiftly. We are not perfect and will not parent perfectly. We must allow the Lord to teach and correct us. We need to apologize when it is needed. Children are so forgiving, and for that, I am so grateful! However, we can do our BEST and should try at all times!


Never discount God’s Word in our current season. Never discount the power of prayer. Never discount the wisdom from other wise women who have “been there and done that.” Proverbs 14:1 Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. You can ask for advice and counsel from others, but make sure you do not compare yourself. Remember, it is unwise. Just do your BEST for your family. Proverbs 31:27 says, She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. She did her BEST! Proverbs 31:28 says, Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. This was the result of doing her BEST!

Am I comparing myself to others or am I doing my BEST?



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