Comparison comes in many forms. Whether it is comparing incomes, jobs, or lifestyles, we all tend to fall into the trap. I admit that comparison has been a huge issue in my life, and one that I have to work daily to avoid.
Sometimes, I think that comparison runs at its highest levels in the homeschooling world.
And it is terrible!
And I’ve done it. I’ve compared. So this post isn’t me judging you. Rather, it is me saying that I get it.
In this homeschooling world, I have met many types of moms. There are public school at home moms, un-schooling moms, online streaming service moms, cd-rom moms, co-op moms, shove in every subject under the sun whether the kids are ready for them or not moms, high achievers who must do every activity imaginable moms, stay at home and just do their thing moms, iPad apps for school moms, Netflix documentaries for days moms, and then there’s my group… traditional homeschooling moms.
I fell into my traditional homeschooling group because the structure and routine of a traditional homeschool approach works in our special needs family. My kids thrive in their routine.
But I have a confession to make… I wish so very much that I could be an un-schooling mom.
And that can lead me to compare.
As I read about other un-schooling families who have centered all their learning based on whatever interests the children have at the moment, I find myself comparing my approach and often I think it’s so very boring.
But I can’t change what I do. I know that because the few times I have tried, things have basically fallen apart. I can’t complain about that. Or maybe I should say that I won’t complain about that. My kids are different and that’s ok. I love them.
But when I see some un-schooled children going all wild and free with life, well, I often can’t help but think about how they can do that, but I do this. They can go there, but I go here. They can, but I can’t…
And that’s me. That is where I struggle.
I found myself struggling with some comparison this week, and then this morning I read Galatians 6:4-5.
Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.
And I started thinking about why I was comparing and what exactly was I getting out of it?
Not much. That’s what I was getting. Not much.
I know that reading into this Bible passage and applying it to homeschooling may seem like a stretch to some, but I believe the Lord speaks to each of us in His own way. And He designs for us to hear what He needs us to hear.
And I needed to hear that I am doing a good job whether my kids are frolicking in the forest or not.
I needed to hear that I didn’t need to compare myself to anyone because I’m doing what I need to do.
I needed to be reminded that I’m only responsible for what God has me doing, and I need to be ok with that.
I guess sometimes I get a bit insecure in what I do. And when I read about un-schooling families who spent three months doing nothing but visiting museums or hiking through various national parks, well, I start to think about all the things my kids are missing.
And I start to doubt that I’m good enough for them.
But then God reminds me that I’m responsible for me. This is my job and I’m doing it the best way I know how. And I guess that’s what matters most.