The subject is: Mom competition, or as I have decided to call it, "Mompetition." (Seriously, these things just come to me. It's a gift.)
Luckily, in the year + a couple of a weeks that I've been a mom, I haven't encountered much mompetition. But I know it's inevitable. Maybe more so when Campbell starts going to daycare or school, but I'm sure it's coming.
Campbell @ 8 months
If you're not sure what I mean, I'm referring to competitiveness between mothers who want to be the best mother in the world. These are well-meaning mothers who feel the need to constantly defend and/or brag about their parenting decisions as if it is the only way to parent.
It's easy to compare yourself to others, and completely natural. I do it all the time, but I make it a point to never feel like I'm not a good enough mom or that I don't love Campbell as much as some other mom loves her child. It's a lie that moms tell themselves! I don't want to be a part of it. And I hope I never make another mom feel like she is 'less than' because she doesn't do what I'm doing. I DO hope that when I share the way I do something, that it is in some way helpful to someone.
It reminds me of a story that Kennedy's grandmother told a while back. I can't remember if I was still pregnant or if Campbell was a newborn, but I was so thankful to have heard it before I was too far into the mothering game. And details might be off but I think I'm telling the overall gist of it.
She said that one of her children was being particularly challenging one day. They were uncooperative, defiant and head-strong. She told us that she started to pray for her kid's attitude to change and then stopped. She said at that moment she realized that she needed to change her prayer. So she began to pray that she would be the best mother for that particular child.
It makes me want to cry. I think going into motherhood, I assumed that I would completely influence who Campbell would grow up to be. Her story made me realize that he is already who he's going to be. My prayer should be that I could be the mother that he needs me to be.
I share that story for two reasons: 1) It's a beautiful story. And 2) As long as you are looking out for your child's best interest, you can't be a bad mom. You will make mistakes of course, but every child is unique, and needs a mother that is THE BEST MOM for him or her. Not the best mom in the world.
What a load off!
I'm so thankful that I have amazing examples of motherhood in my life. My own mom, my grandmothers, my mother-in-law, Kennedy's grandmother, aunts, cousins, etc. And I'm excited to learn from the new moms in my life as well!
Further sentiments on "mompetition":
Elle Apparel Blog - "On Mommyhood"
Harper's Happenings - "Ramblings on parenting, and I do mean ramblings"