Have you ever fell into the comparison trap? I have. And when I did homeschooling went from being enjoyable to a chore.
The comparison had ruined our homeschool. Don’t let that happen to you!
I ended the school day feeling like a failure. I will never really understand why. The kids seemed to be learning. They were happy. And progress was being made. But something seemed off. I had started our day off mindlessly browsing Pinterest. Fifteen posts about sensory play, ten posts on amazing crafts, five posts on Charlotte Mason. None of those posts were related to what WE were doing in OUR homeschool. I felt like the last person in the world who should be homeschooling.
So, I decided to change things up. Added in a sensory bin. Bought craft supplies. Checked out every book our library had on Charlotte Mason. And you know what? I was miserable. The kids hated it. I hated it. And homeschooling went from being enjoyable to a chore. This was a huge homeschool regret.
The comparison trap had ruined my homeschool.
Chances are at some point in your homeschool journey you have felt this way too. In a world saturated with blogs telling you exactly how you should be homeschooling and what you should be doing, you may feel like you are never enough.
In a Pinterest perfect world, those homeschool crafts look like a million bucks, and the science experiments always turn out right. But, in reality, you end up with a cell model that falls apart, and homeschool crafts aren’t even on your radar.
At the library, you run into some other homeschool moms. Their kids dressed exactly alike, big bows to match, talking about their recent lessons at Classical Conversations. Meanwhile, your son is swinging from the bookshelf pretending to be a monkey.
- You feel like the curriculum you have is never enough. The lessons you are teaching could be taught better. Your child isn’t learning at the same pace as everyone else.
- You compare.
- And somewhere amidst all the comparison, you lose your confidence.
So, when comparison gets you down, I want you to remember these three things.
It’s a Glimpse
I think that too often times we forget that what we are seeing on Facebook, and Instagram and even on blog posts is just a glimpse into someone’s lives. It’s not the REAL deal. I mean how often do we take a picture of the mess our kids spewed all over our kitchen floor?
When do we snap a picture of the BURNT chocolate chip cookies and post it for the world to see? The three times the project failed doesn’t get documented, but the one time it works does.
Social media is a highlight reel of other people’s lives. It’s not a behind the scenes feature. We need to remember that BEFORE we start comparing OUR crazy to someone else’s perfection.
Comparison STEALS your Joy
when we compare our homeschools to others we are robbing ourselves of so much. Theodore Roosevelt said this:
That phrase is so true! The truth of the matter is comparison is jealousy. Jealousy can cause us to resent others, it can hinder relationships from growing into friendships. It limits God’s plan for our lives. The comparison makes us less appreciative of the blessings right in front of us. It robs us of our joy.
He Knows What Your Kids Need
When I start to compare others homeschools to my own, I remind myself that God knew what He was doing when He gave my kids to ME.
Don’t forget that these children were given to YOU by God. That HE called you to homeschool, and that HE knows what YOUR children need. Guess what? It’s not the lady down the street or that mom on Instagram. It’s YOU!
God created us differently. We all have our own talents and our own ways of doing things. Our kids do too. I know my middle would NOT be able to handle a mom who gardens. My oldest would be miserable in a home that was less than organized. But, luckily my kids got ME, and I am more than able to meet their needs, their learning styles, and help them reach their greatest potential.
So, when you begin to feel yourself falling into the comparison trap, remind yourself of these three things. Pat yourself on the back. Don’t let comparison ruin your homeschool. And occasionally share a real-life picture with the world. There may be a mom who out there who needs to see the mess and chaos that lives behind the perfect on social media. And that peek into the real world may be what SHE needs to kick comparison to the curb.
Has comparison stolen your joy?
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Yes, exactly!! I think it takes a year or two (sometimes longer) for us to find our normal.
Heidi Ciravola says
The trap of comparison is one I think we all fight throughout out our lives. Given that homeschooling is already considered less than main stream I think that makes us even more prone to comparison. We strive to fit into the “norm”, only to realize that we need to create our own normal.