Its been a while since I've blogged. The owlet has turned 1 (more on that at a later time). But something has brought me back to the blogosphere and pulled me away from Pottermore and Pintrest. That something, mommies, is Mompetition.
What is mompetition? Its when we, as mommies, feel the need to compete with other moms. This can be done in several ways, but the most common is comparing your child to another's. Theirs might have started walking at 8 months, but YOURS is already fluent in Chinese, and your family is not even from China. Its this need that many moms feel to one-up a fellow mommy. And ladies, I have to say, no one wins here. Sure you might feel better about yourself for a second, but then you find out that another baby is fluent in not only Chinese, but also Spanish and is currently studying German.
Another example of mompetition is putting another mommy down, or telling her, "you think you have it bad now? Just wait. My 2 year old just electrocuted his younger brother. You have no idea how good you have it." Similarly is when a fellow mom asks for help and receives the reply, "Oh please. I had 15 kids at once and worked 40 hours a week and still managed to be June Cleaver every evening at 4:30, with a four course meal ready and prepared for my husband."
Again, this helps NO ONE. Because again, you might feel good for a millisecond (but do you really?) And all is does is make that other mommy either a)feel like crap or b)make her feel like she needs to then one-up you.
What is it about us women that we can be so kind and wonderful to one another, and then turn around and stab each other in the back, just to make ourselves feel better? Wouldn't we feel even greater if we actually, I don't know HELPED one another?
When a fellow sleep deprived, overwhelmed, out of it mommy comes to you and says "oh. my. god. If Johnny doesn't start sleeping through the night, I am seriously going to lose my schmidt," wouldn't it make you feel so much better to say "Oh, honey. I feel you. I remember what it was like to be there. And it does eventually get better." Instead of, "suck it up, sunshine. It only gets worse. My kid is sleeping through the night but he refuses to pee in the potty and chooses instead to pee on the couch, so see how much easier you have it?" Because at least with the first example you've made a fellow mommy feel like she's not alone, instead of feeling even MORE overwhelmed than she already was.
The other day while driving home from work, there was this stupid radio program that I have no idea why I listen to, and they were talking about a mom with a 5 month old who is a SAHM, who wanted to hire a housekeeper. They could afford the help financially, but the husband wasn't on board. So they called this show up for some advice. And folks, the number of people (including FELLOW MOMMIES) who berated this woman, both on the air and on facebook made me sick. They called her lazy, and told her to get up off her ass and do some housework. Several were of the "I had 400 kids, and was a military mom*, and worked 65 hours a week and sunshine shines out of my butt" variety. I could tell in minutes that this poor woman was totally and utterly overwhelmed and was clearly asking for help, in more than just asking for a housekeeper. And by berating her, she probably felt even more overwhelmed and alone than ever.
* I have the utmost respect for military moms, btw. I have no idea how you mammas manage to take care of your kiddos by yourself while also worrying about your loved ones deployed and fighting for our country. My point was that these mommies were acting all "holier than thou" when a fellow woman was asking for help.
As far as I know, as moms, we're all just trying to do the best damn jobs we can. Some of us do it better than others, but we all have our own strengths and weaknesses, and we can all help each other out. So mommies, when you see or talk to another mommy who clearly has her hands full/is overtired, overwhelmed, or utterly exhausted, offer her some FRIENDLY advice. Some words of encouragement. Tell her it gets better (even if it doesn't). Because right now, that mommy who is still up every 3 hours with her son to breastfeed, does not need to hear that soon she'll be dealing with that same child playing with his own poop in the toilet.