I'm Sick And Tired Of Feeling Like I'm In Second Place
Do you ever feel like you are in second place in certain parts of your life? I know that I do.
If there was a time that I felt the most “second place” it would be high school…and now.
While I do have some wonderful memories (my friends and dating my now husband), my overall teen experience was a pretty hurtful one. Almost no one knows that I suffered from teen depression.
Satan can have this overwhelming power over us...
telling us that we aren't good enough.
I felt that I was unworthy on so many levels. I worried about popularity, sports, my body, grades, church, and the kind of daughter I was. As the oldest of 3, I set myself up with insane expectations to be a good example but I couldn’t handle it. I felt like it would be so much easier on my aching heart if I just didn’t wake up again the next day and it would all be over. I felt sick and tired of feeling like I'm in second place. I had to do something about it.
I’ll never forget the day that I actually googled “signs of depression” and had this overwhelming feeling of
“This is me and I need help”.
I printed out my research, highlighted the signs I was experiencing and took a deep breath and told my parents that I needed help and that I wanted to see a therapist or something.
It was the most vulnerable time of my life because even my parents were shocked that I could be so sad. They knew my trials and my hurt but I had been too depleted. I had been on my knees too long without knowing how to get back up.
I don't think there is ANYONE out there that wants to be sad forever.
So I got help and recovered. It was 6 months of excruciating emotional pain to lay on that therapist couch and I promised myself I would never cry that hard again.
But lately, I feel like I am right back there. But instead of feeling second place in high school,
I NOW FEEL SECOND PLACE IN MOTHERHOOD.
Have you ever felt like that?
The moment I had my first child I started to feel it. Then whenever a new mom or pregnant woman would ask me for advice, I noticed I would tell everyone the same thing.
MOTHERHOOD IS JUST LIKE HIGH SCHOOL. AT LEAST FOR ME.
Let me tell you why:
Motherhood is like high school because of unspoken competition.
It’s no longer who has the best grades or the most friends...it’s who has the most followers, who has the best stroller, who can stay at home, who has a successful career, etc.
I have a best friend whom I love and still love dearly and while I actually never envied her, I sometimes envied what she had. Next to her, I was always second place.
One year, we tried out for cheerleading but I didn’t make it and she did. Later we tried out again, both made it but I was on JV and she was on Varsity. Then we both made Varsity but I was just a team member and she was captain. I was Student Body Secretary but she was Student Body President.
When we were both nominated for Homecoming Queen senior year I actually thought...
“ok, this is my chance. This is it. I WILL be first place. I gotta be. I mean I have endured so much and lived through it, this has got to be it right?”
haha well, no…. My dear best friend who I could never say a mean word about won Queen. (all the while there were rumors that I put myself on the ballot). I was surprised at it all and have to admit that it hurt a lot more than I wanted it to.
To this day, I’m surprised how much that experienced affected me because it’s still a bad memory in my mind. Instead of celebrating that night with my friends, all I thought was how I wasn’t good enough. Looking back I still just remember losing.
Motherhood is like high school because of the divisions.
High school used to be a bit like you are Mormon or you are not. Either you did drugs/drink/ or did not. Either you believed in AP classes or didn’t care.
Now, it’s either full on breastfeeding for a year or you are a failing mom because you gave up 3 months in.
You either make goldfish crackers from scratch or you are one of “those moms” who apparently don’t care about their child’s nutrition.
Motherhood is like high school because of high expectations
Forget high school expectations from parents, that’s a given and normal yes.
But my own personality type that is such an issue for me, is that my standard of perfection is WAY high. I love goals and planning and succeeding. But when I DON’T reach that goal I feel like the world is crumbling on top of me.
We have an addiction to toxic perfectionism.
I had that problem in high school (oddly not in college…) but now again as a mother.
I think it’s because of the fact that I’m not only in charge of my eternal well-being but also tiny humans and that grows my anxiety to another level.
BUT HERE I AM AND I WANT TO BE DONE WITH THAT MINDSET.
It’s too time-consuming, it’s making me feel sad again and I want to be in a place where I can let that go.
My husband asked me a few months ago if I felt I needed help again. This time I feel more prepared to tackle it head on because I have learned better ways to cope with the struggles. But it's a daily challenge. Let’s not forget that. I haven’t perfected motherhood or the feelings that it brings.
Instead, I’m just going to rely on Heavenly Father more and give Him my burdens. I also need to keep doing some self-care items that have been working WONDERFULLY for me. These things are WAY better than scrolling through Facebook. I’ll share them with you I promise.
Now that I’m been taking better care of myself and my soul, I’m in SUCH a better place to face the world of motherhood straight on. I need to forget about the comparisons, judgments, and expectations of the world.
Our kids need a strong mother who can face this life with them and not hide in the shadows. To them, we are ALWAYS first place and we can’t let them down.