What’s with the mom competition, anyway?
I can’t be the only who has experienced it. Whether it be self inflicted or brought on by other moms in your life, competition among moms can be so damaging. I have struggled immensely with this and still find myself trying to avoid the thoughts and feelings that surround this toxic part of motherhood.
It can strip the joy out of your motherhood experience.
For me, it all started when I was pregnant. I remember in the beginning it was that other moms who were due at the same time as me looked more pregnant than I did and I felt insecure. Typing that out actually makes me realize how ridiculous that sounds, but I didn’t understand! Other moms had this pregnancy glow, whereas I had more of a pregnancy swell. It was not my best look. I was consumed by envy. I stole my own joy.
Then, the babies were born. Birth stories were shared, seeing whose was worse. Posting and discussing whose baby was reaching milestones first, whose baby could sleep through the night, or whose baby smiled the most. We were all trying to be the best mom ever. Little did we know, we all already were. We were exactly who our individual babies needed. I spent more hours than I would like to admit in anguish over seeing my friends succeed at breastfeeding meanwhile it was a torturous and depression inducing experience for me. I was full of jealousy. I wanted to have that same experience that so many other moms were having, but I couldn’t.
I allowed this concept of competition to strip the joy from my experience as a new mom. I had to remind myself that I was the best mom for my son and no-one else in the world would be better for him than me.
There’s a lesson to be learned here.
One thing I’ve come to learn and appreciate over time is that all babies are different. Each one has his or her own pace. Each has his or her own favorites. Each family has its own sphere of influence on their child. But truthfully, each baby is enormously loved, cared for, and adored.
Let’s change the game.
Let’s stop the comparison game. It’s so damaging to our spirits as mothers. It’s damaging to our relationships with our children. It’s damaging to our relationships with each other too. It takes a village to raise a child, but with this constant comparison we are tearing down the village we so desperately need.
Rather than live in a world where there’s a “comparison game,” let’s stand up for change. Let’s create a network of support to encourage and uplift each other. Whether that be within our small friend groups, larger extended groups, families, church groups, you name it! We have the power to make motherhood the most inviting and warm club to be a part of.
Now, I challenge you.
Be the type of friend you want to have. Understand that we’re all different and we all have different needs, but if you’re a natural helper, then be that person. If you’re the mom who a friend can call for a glass of wine and chit chat, then do that. If you’re the mom who plans group outings, do it. We each have a role to play in the mom world, so let’s do our absolute best not just for our children, but for each other as well. After all, we’re all on the same team.