As my husband and I walked on a trail near our house with our 7 month old son, a stranger smiled at us and commented, “The perfect family,” as she passed us. A few steps later, my husband and I looked at each other, laughed, and both said, “Not quite!”
Why did we say that? Not because we aren’t happy, not because our precious little man isn’t the best little guy in the world, and not even because we were having a bad day! We said it because of what we know that no stranger walking past us (or someone just looking at a picture on Facebook!) could know.
We know that we were only on our second day in a row of not fighting. We know that we had just set up a meeting with our pastor and his wife at church to talk about some of our marital struggles. We know that our wonderful, happy little baby, hasn’t wanted to sleep in his crib for about three weeks and his dad and I have had middle of the night fights about how to best handle it. We are NOT perfect! That is for sure!
What this made me realize is just how easy it is to be hard on ourselves based on what we see from others. I know I have made comments to my husband like, “see how they’re holding hands? I want that!” Well the truth is, my husband does hold my hand! He doesn’t hold it every moment of every day, but he doesn’t need to. For all I know, that couple could have been holding hands simply to hold themselves together. They could have just gotten engaged, or found out they were pregnant, or…both of their love languages could be physical touch. It doesn’t really matter, but what does is that I put unnecessary stress on my relationship due to what I saw in someone else’s. Not cool, Ash, not cool.
How often do we do this exact same thing with money? We look at someone’s financial choices and somehow think that reflects on their actual financial status, reflects our own financial status. When we transcend the need to show others our financial status, we free ourselves to actually make good financial choices!
Do you buy the beautiful 2016 mini-van and take out a loan or do you buy the 2010 used mini-van that you can pay cash for? Do you do all of your housing updates at one time and take a loan on your mortgage or do you do the projects one at a time so that you can pay for them as you go? Do you get the soda when you’re out to eat or do you get water and just have soda at home? Your priorities are up to you.
From one imperfect to another,