Comparison is the thief of all joy. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
It started while I was pregnant. Already uncomfortable with my body, the weight gain made it so I did not have any interest in taking photos. I remember when a friend prodded me to post “baby bump” photos on social media. I cringed. There was no way I was posting photos of myself getting fatter with bigger arms and a double chin. I felt miserable and was certain I looked worse than I felt.
The worst self-loathing came from comparing myself to friends who were or had been pregnant. I watched as nothing on their bodies expanded except their bellies. They stayed cute and relatively thin. They seemed to wear the same clothing up until their third trimester. Meanwhile, I’d had to start buying maternity clothes early in the second trimester.
Once my son was born, this continued. Even though I felt mildly better after his birth, I didn’t lose weight like I expected. Postpartum preeclampsia meant I retained water and, for weeks, my swelling was just as bad as during pregnancy. I was diagnosed with postpartum depression just a few months after my son was born. And for someone already feeling down on herself, depression is not good news!
I’ve continued to battle with this insecurity and inferiority complex. It’s certainly ongoing. But what I’ve realized (and must continue reminding myself) is that we are good enough. The most important thing in life is the unconditional love I receive from Jesus. Jesus does not evaluate me based on my weight or what size jeans I fit. He does not evaluate me on the number of Pinterest pins I actually follow through and create. I will not be judged for how many dollars I pay for a designer haircut or color or makeup. (I might, in fact, argue Jesus discourages women from “preening” too much. See Proverbs.)
The more I focus on my appearance or how little I’m doing from Pinterest or how few days I straighten my hair and apply full makeup, the less joy I find in my daily life.
So, if you, like me, are facing lots of “I’m not good enough because…” days, I have some words for you.
Moms, you are good enough. What will matter at the end of your life is the love and laughter you share with your children and your spouse, not what you weighed in your 30s. What will matter are the memories you make together, not whether you went diligently every six weeks for your root touch-up. What will matter is if you lived a life Jesus would be proud of, not whether you created all of the pins you saved on Pinterest to decorate your house.
When you start to compare yourself to that size two mom with the perfectly coiffed hair and expertly applied smoky eye look who just pinned the lunch totes she sewed herself for her four children on their first day of school (along with their perfectly posed first-day-of-school Instagram photos), just STOP. Jesus loves you just as you are, and there is nothing more important in life than that.
Throw on your yoga pants or sweats, put your hair in a ponytail and enjoy the day with your children. When I was particularly struggling recently, I even created a reminder on my phone with an image from InstaPray reading “God loves you, and that is enough.”
God bless you!