Why do we compare ourselves to others? It’s funny that our society has most people playing tug-of-war with our self: We are to find our own uniqueness, yet we are to do it within expectations. It’s ok to be different, as long as it kept within our little box. WHAT??? This is a bit confusing isn’t it? So is it any wonder that we have people walking around not sure what to do? Have joy in being unique, but do it while conforming to others.
We all have expectations put on us. As a disabled woman, some people are really surprised that I’m married and have two kids. It’s acceptable that I went to college and got my degree. Good for you. But you found someone to love you. WOW! The first question people asked is; “Is he disabled too?” (Now, before I go on let me just say I’m all for disabled people marrying whomever they choose.) But a lot of time people assume that because I’m disabled then my husband must be disabled too. He is not. So, obviously we do not have a typical marriage in some ways, while in others it’s very typical. I’m a stay-at-home-mom. It’s my job to the “normal” mom things; keep the house clean, do laundry, do the shopping, make meals etc. I may not do things the same way that “non-disabled” moms do but my kids and husband know that I love them and care for them.
I can remember when my kids were newborns and people would come to visit and want to pace with them back and forth to sooth them. I had to ask people to please not do this. I wasn’t trying to be mean or ungrateful, but I didn’t want the kids to get used to this, because I knew I couldn’t pace with them, and as their primary care giver, I knew this couldn’t be one their comfort mechanism that I could offer them.
Conforming isn't always bad. I love being a wife and mother. But I tend to compare myself too often with those women who don’t have my physical challenges and start thinking things like; “A good mama can drive and she goes to all her son’s basketball games”, or “A good mama can teach her daughter how to sew”. I let what is expected of a normal mother dictate how I’m supposed to be a mother, all the while forgetting on slight detail – I’m not “normal”. Uhm, oh yeah! It can be very easy to fall into that trap of if you aren’t like the norm, then you’re not good enough. This is a lie from Satan.
Once I realize that I cannot live up to this standard, that’s when I can allow my uniqueness to step in and help me to adapt and do stuff the way the way I need to in order to be that good wife and mother that I want to be.