if you are a mother, you know what Mompetition is. it's the competition that each of us were unwillingly entered in when we gave birth. from the moment you announced your pregnancy it started. we gain and lose points daily for our parenting skills. the prize? being able to look down on all of your friends for their subpar mothering. the loser? well, we're all the loser here really.
natural childbirth? 10pts.
elective c-section? -10pts
breastfeeding? 20 pts.
extended breastfeeding? 50 pts
having your baby sleep through the night by 6 weeks? 10 pts if your friends are "baby-wise" -10pts if they're attachment.
stay at home mom? +25 pts or - 10pts, depends on your audience.
this is the tip of the iceberg. do you make your own baby food? is it organic?? everyone knows the stuff in the jars means you don't really love your baby! what about cloth diapers? what?? you don't care if the environment is ruined for your grandchildren? how long did it take you to potty train? your kid still wets the bed? fail... fail... fail.
this is the message that moms get every day. from magazines, television, blogs, other moms. only the best moms will do. you need to raise your kids perfectly, make their clothes, make their food, teach them a second and third language, vaccinate or delay vaccinating, breastfeed until they're 4, and don't forget to throw lavish, themed parties for every birthday. oh wait, make sure you get that baby weight off in six weeks, don't miss a manicure and look fabulous while doing it. everybody knows the best mom is a hot mom. on top of all of this, you should relish every moment. smiling and basking in the glow that is motherhood. just like june freakin cleaver.
ladies, this is not only impossible, it's toxic. i read an amazing blogger the other day who posted about not seizing the day. she said it's ok to not be loving every moment of motherhood. it's not always enjoyable! can i tell you how relieved i was to read that? overwhelmingly so. how often i've felt guilt for not enjoying my days more. because, really, what's more enjoyable than sleep deprivation mixed with spit up and stretch marks? just because it's worth it, doesn't mean it's easy. in fact, the opposite is usually true!
we'll most likely never get the media to stop putting these pressures on us.
but we can stop putting them on each other.
we can accept that we have different ways of parenting. we can accept that all children are not the same. we can agree that while we may not all see eye to eye, we all love our children. we can all realize that other moms can either be our greatest cheerleader or our worst accuser. it's our choice. i don't want to compete in the Mompetition. i'll lose. every time. i'm flawed, horribly flawed. those flaws extend to my parenting each and every day. i'm losing points right now! my house full of toddlers are watching dora while i type! so i'm bowing out. thanks for the memories...