The Self-Righteous Mommy Syndrome

You look at her and your first thought is,

“How in the world does she have time for that?”

Your second thought is,

“She’s probably sacrificing her marriage or her children or her time with God.”

Whoa!  That was a quick leap from time management to outright negligence!

As I was writing my post on me management (and also my post for Homeschool Blogging on Sour Grapes Blogging), I realized that all too often we project our own feelings and weaknesses onto someone else and sometimes we end up acting downright self-righteous.

I’m not going to lie to you.  I’ve done it.  I’ve looked at another mom and said in carefully-hidden jealousy (*cough*),

“How in the world did she find the time to do that?”

Maybe she took a gourmet cooking class or clipped coupons and paid $2 for groceries last month.  Maybe she wrote a book or had a speaking engagement halfway across the country.  Maybe she created a stunning scrapbook or manages to blog at Starbucks every weekend.  Maybe she took a shower without 6 little voices talking to her the entire time.

Whatever it is she did, the moment we pass judgement is the moment we elevate ourselves to a pedestal.  Just because MY time bandits are X, Y, and Z does NOT mean Susie Homemaker down the street is squandering her time if she is doing X, Y, and Z.

We tend to get a little self-righteous when we see someone else doing the very things we can’t seem to do without sacrificing a massive amount of our time.  It feels unfair and in turn, we become unfair in our assessment of the situation.

But, what if

  • God has that mama in the place He has her for a reason?
  • God has you in the place you are for a reason?
  • Her God-given giftings make it easier for her to do the things she does?
  • Your God-given giftings feel crazy-difficult to her?

God created us each differently and has us each in different places all for HIS glory.  It’s not my job to decide if you are or are not where He placed you.

Ladies, we don’t know the full story, but God does.  If you absolutely see outright neglect or sin, then by all means address it…in love.  But, the first step toward contentment in your own life is stop comparing yourself to others.

God didn’t make me a couponing queen or a scrapbooking diva.  He put me 30 minutes away from a Starbucks and gave me 7 beautiful children, several of which talk to me during my shower.

I blog.  It’s where He has me…for now.

I want to leave you with a beautiful quote from Jamerrill Stewart of Holy Spirit-Led Homeschooling, FreeHomeschoolDeals.com, and the recently announced co-ownership of The Homeschool Village:

{Jesus} answered my heart’s cry with a ministry right from my farm house kitchen. He also has only increased this passion, creative ideas, and opportunity…I feel the Lord’s pleasure when I blog. Despite what some may say about the energy I put into my blogs, I am in God’s will. He confirms it. He multiplies my time. Jesus is mixed up in the middle of this with me.

PS – There is definitely a flip side to this Self-Righteous Mommy Syndrome called the Defensive Doing Too Much Mommy Syndrome.  You’re not off the hook!  Coming soon…

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38 thoughts on “The Self-Righteous Mommy Syndrome

  1. Amy, I am very thankful for your blog and the fact that God has gifted you to be a blessing and encouragement to others. Truly, we must find contentment with how God has designed us all differently. I have had this reminder three times now in the last 5 days; seems to be a strong message.:) Thanks and God bless you!

    • In the past, I’ve gotten sore about everything from not being very good at cake decorating to being the world’s worst gardener. It is so freeing when you finally accept your limitations and stop complaining. Lol

  2. LOVE this post! We should not compare ourselves with others, nor should we judge how others spend their time. That is God’s place….and if we are in the place where He wants us….then, that is the right place. Even if we find ourselves out of balance and not inthe place HE desires us to be…still, others are not to judge or condemn…. Either way, if we are judging a person…we in turn could be judging God and telling HIM…we think that person A should be spending their time different…….sorry, soap box. Thank you for this!

  3. This may have been the most important blog post you have ever written! I give a hearty “amen” to it!
    Too often we judge another person–and too often thinking we know all the facts, but we don’t. Scripture warns us not to judge another Man’s servant! (Romans 14:4)
    We must see we are different parts of the Body,and different points of growth, and a different callings. Let’s pray for one another, let’s gentle correct if we see clear definable sin, and lets encourage one another as long as it is called today…and all the more as we see The Day approaching. (Heb 110:25)
    And I have found My Master putting me in a positions where I experience “being” the thing I criticized, however mildly, in my mind!
    Thank you, Amy, for your vital encouragement.

  4. Beautiful post. Comparing ourselves to others only leaves us feeling inadequate, either materially or emotionally, and resentful. Now, the Defensive Doing Too Much Mommy Syndrome? I’m not sure if I wanna read that one. ;) Just joking. I have a feeling that it will really speak to my heart and am looking forward to it.

  5. Amen, my friend, amen. We have to bloom where the Lord plants us. What an amazing gift that in these days Mother’s can use their gifts online. As I always say if I could quilt or put time into making stained glass windows I would. We have to make whatever our giftings are beautiful for Him–as you have. You inspire me greatly. xoxo

  6. Thank you for the reminders. I’ve only recently started reading blogs because I thought they were a waste of time for so long. But God has started blessing me with information and some peace with new things he’s planning for our family as I read. I am no longer afraid to have more children because I feel ill-equipped to raise the ones I already have. He will equip me for what he is calling me to do. There are so many of you wonderful Christian moms of large families willing to talk about your experiences that it is a blessing to many. God has placed you here for a reason and it is a wonderful ministry. Not something I could do…. but he has equipped you for it. Keep up the wonderful words of wisdom!

  7. So true. How easy it is to hop on my pedestal while I judge some other mommy’s life.

    God does have us right where HE wants us and no matter what anyone else thinks, says or believes we are ultimately accountable only to Him.

    Loved this!

    ~Cinnamon

  8. Ah, Amy, I never know what awaits me when I check your blog. Always inspiring, challenging, and convicting when need be. This is in your Top 5 Posts of all time! (That’s a pretend thing in my mind, ha ha.)

  9. Amy ~ I really like this. I recently confessed to this syndrome – wondering how blogging moms could do it all. Now that I spend more time on my blog, I have made better use of my time and can see that for this season of my life right now this is right… and everyone has been called to do different things at different times.

    Comparison is just ugly. It either puts you above or below someone else, neither of which is good.

    I appreciated your post today.

  10. Thanks for this blog. I really needed this right now. I’m constantly comparing myself with others, in regard to homeschooling. I need to remind myself of this everyday! Thanks!

  11. Thank you! People often tell me how even caring for one or two babies/toddlers is a completely time consuming job and how they never have time to do anything. Now I’m not denying for some people that is the case, depending on their abilities, their parenting choices, and their weaknesses and strengths. But it’s not for me, right now with one child and pregnant with another I have a lot of free time, but I feel judged for it when I mention doing anything because I’m apparently ‘supposed to be’ busy off my feet from sunup to sundown. I’m not sure what those mothers do during babies naptime, obviously they’re busy doing something because so many seem to be in the same boat, but I personally have that time free. I know I’m fortunate to have been able to teach my toddler to sleep until 7:30 which saves my sanity in the mornings, and I’m lucky to have an independent toddler who is happy to roam around the house getting into anything and everything instead of one that relies on me for companionship throughout the day (I also have the confidence to simply keep an ear on her, while many mums I know are ever watchful and following, that confidence comes from being the eldest of 5 :) ). And finally I’ve been blessed with an amazing husband who works part time and is, at this current point, at home 4 days out of 7 (doing work, but still in the house). It’s just the place God put me.

    First they said I’d be unbeliebably busy when she went from crawling to walking, then it was when she went from two naps to one, now it’s supposed to be when the second one comes along, it’s almost like they’re waiting for it all to fall down around me and for me to become a crumbling heap… not very encouraging! But frankly, yes, I’ll be busier, but I don’t see two being much harder than one. It’ll get hard when I’m getting to 3 or 4 I admit, there is a period I’m dreading before my oldest becomes of a ‘helpful’ age, but we’ll get by and it’ll have it’s advantages too. But that’s my circumstances and the skills God has blessed me with, I’m not denying some mothers of young ones really ARE run off their feet all day and colapse into bed exhausted, and I try to help those mums with tips and things that have helped me. You can’t compare two completely different families like some try to.

    • It does sort of seem as if people are waiting for you to fall down, but I was like you in regards to children…I didn’t entertain them all day and there were boundaries and guidelines. My children are amazing and I am so thankful I had more! :)

  12. Loved this post, Amy! Each time I visit your blog, I’m blessed. Comparison and insecurity seem to be the two “it’s only human” things I struggle with the most. I appreciated the reminder that it’s better to focus on God, and His plans for me. That’s all that matters anyway.

  13. Thank you! I can’t get anything done and my house is such a wreck I don’t know where to start, but my kids are happy, I think. Now, I’m crying. Love your blog.

  14. I wanted to echo a hearty AMEN to this. I’ve found myself on this end of the spectrum at times as well as what I can imagine you will be addressing on the other end. :) I find that I daily need to take my schedule, expectations, thoughts and feelings to the Lord and ask for His leading and guidance in what I’m doing. I then need to realize that my fellow sisters are (or should be) doing the same and respect the beautiful differences we have in giftings, callings and timing in the body of Christ.

  15. oh Girl, this one could preach! It usually comes from our own insecurites which we need to hand over to the One Who Secures Us, than passing judgement on others.. wise words!!

    God Bless!

  16. Oh yes, I am sure we all have been there. And doesn’t that just reveal how we view ourselves too though? And why do we so easily forget that God views as through the blood just the same as he views all our sisters? ;)

  17. Wouldn’t the world be a glorious place to live if we could just focus on ourselves and not others. Love that you are blessing us with this sweet post and putting our thoughts back where they belong. Saw this link tweeted (thanks whoever did that) I needed to read this today, Amy!