What You Do Wrong vs. What You Do Right

Her shirt reads: "I'm definitely up to something..." Truer words were never written.

I am my own worst critic. I've talked about that little devil on my shoulder before - you know, the one that likes to pick apart my flaws. Some people call it low self-esteem, negative thoughts or just plain Satan whispering in my ear. Whatever you personally feel that it is, I'm sure you've been there at one time or another.
I posted on Facebook & Twitter today that teaching reading (to my son) was going to send me to the nut house and that I could only hope it would get better. My son Zeke is six years old (going to be seven in August) and I feel like a giant failure because he's still not reading. He knows his letters and all their sounds. He can read and point out many different words and sometimes I think he knows more than he lets on...but he's still not reading. When we sit down and practice reading, sight words or phonics, it often turns into a battle. He'll spell out the words and tell me all their sounds but just can not string them together. It really ends up bringing me down because I feel like I'm doing a horrible job. I see other people's kids who are reading and that little voice in my brain is screeching, "You're doing it wrong! Look at them - THEIR kid is reading and they're younger than him! Just give it up!"
I know I can't (or shouldn't) compare myself to others. I am not a failure or a piece of garbage just because it's taking some more time on something - like teaching reading - or because I'm doing something "wrong." It may not necessarily be wrong per say - it may just need some retooling or I just might not be doing things exactly the way someone else did them. And guess what? That's totally fine! If we all did the same things, life would be incredibly boring. And with kids and families and marriages - practically everything - what works for one, isn't always going to work for the other. We're all different!
It helps to remember that I'm a work in progress. As crappy as I am in some areas, there are other areas I'm doing pretty well in. I think something that helps when we start to feel negatively is to look at what we are doing "wrong" (or different) vs. what we're doing right. For example:

- My son's room may be an official Disaster Zone and he may scoff at picking it up...but he loves helping with other chores and readily volunteers to do them, like putting away the dishes and setting the table.
- My son may do things that annoy me, irritate me or make me think I've been parenting terribly...but then he'll blow me away with his thankfulness or by putting others above himself.
- My daughter's Terrible Two's (Almost Three's!) are full-blown and some days are a giant challenge for me...but she still asks specifically for me every morning when she gets up (sorry Daddy...) and wants me to cuddle her when she doesn't feel good.
- I may have a long way to go on becoming a better homemaker...but I'm slowly improving and getting better organized. I can already see improvements in many areas.

- I haven't been getting out of bed as early as I'd like to, exercising or doing a daily Bible Study...so I signed up for Hello Mornings! to give myself a kick in the pants. ;)
- I'm not always a good wife, daughter, friend, niece, grand-daughter, step-mom, or cousin...but I think I've come along way from where I began.

So if you're feeling like I was, take a look at all the things you're doing right instead of focusing on the things you're doing "wrong." I bet you're a work in progress, just like me. :)

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