Thursday, August 20, 2015

Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better (or Not)

Do you like to lose?

Just from hearing that question I'm guessing you either slightly shrugged your shoulders indifferently or shouted out a resounding, "NO!" Most people fall into one of the two groups, and if I had to pick a group I would probably lean towards the latter. There are certain things that I'm rather blase about, but in the athletic arena I don't do so well. I don't throw a fit if my team loses, but it definitely gets to me and it takes awhile to let it go. 

Believe it or not, in the last few weeks my daughters have prompted me to think on this topic. Lately they have tried to "one up" the other on almost anything and everything. It is rather ridiculous. In the past it was about being the first to go out the door, but now I'm hearing total craziness. Below are actual statements I've heard from them. 

  "My Barbie is prettier than yours."
  "My dress can twirl better."
  "My milk has more chocolate in it."
  "My hair is longer than yours."
  "My bean bag is puffier."

Today took the cake. After a certain incident the two were directed to take a break on the kitchen chairs so I could talk with them. As I sat down, Ziva scooted her chair forward, turned to Siri and said, "Look, I'm even closer to Mom." This led Siri to scoot forward. Ziva responded by saying, "Actually losers are the close ones, so now I win." She then shot her chair back two feet....and on it went. While the ridiculousness of the situation was very obvious to me, the fact that they were just prolonging their timeout clearly blew by them. 

It got me to thinking two things. First of all, where does that come from? Besides the obvious answer of sin in the world I really did think...when/where does that start? Did you ever hear Dora taunting Boots for beating him down the path Map showed them? Did Steve ever mock Blue because he found the three clues first? You probably need to have kids to understand those references, but I think you know where I'm going with that. 

Secondly, can you imagine how hilarious it would be if adults challenged each other like my daughters did? This is probably what our house would sound like....

Jesse: "I can mow the lawn in straighter lines than you can."
Sarah: "Yeah, well I can run longer distances than you."
Jesse: "Maybe, but I know I can snore louder than you."
Sarah: "That's great, but I can grocery shop faster and cut coupons more efficiently."
Jesse: "Fine, but I'm better at computer stuff."

Those truly aren't issues between us, I was just trying to make a point. While I laughed at how dumb it would sound, it did occur to me that as an adult I now am competitive in another way.  Life has gone from being competitive in the sports arena to comparing myself by much different a wife and a mom. 

      "Why can't I keep my house clean like them...."
      "Why can they handle so many things at once..."
      "Why are they able to be more successful at their job...."

This has come full circle to an inner struggle that I have had, and have worked hard at dissipating. It probably could be a whole post on its own: "The Pressure to be That Mom." You could call it many things; pressure, competitiveness or insecurity. In the end, my focus no longer is on chalking up another victory in the win column, but on using the gifts God has given me to raise our children knowing the one thing needful. I know it is easier said than done, but I pray I can learn to stop the inner competition that is often brewing inside of me.

Simply put....I need to simplify this.

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