I’ve always been a competitive person. I’ll never forget my nephew looking at me with tears in his eyes after I beat him in a video game and he said, “You were supposed to let me win!” Oops.
But although I’m a competitor at heart, one thing I was not prepared for was the competitive nature of motherhood. When I was an outsider, I imagined a support system so strong, encouraging, and although somewhat dysfunctional, I knew motherhood was a club I wanted to join.
I am not saying every aspect of motherhood is competitive, but competition does creep in.
No matter what phase of motherhood you are in, how tired you are, or how your child behaves, someone always has it worse than you. You mention feeling worn out, and the other moms spout off their longer to-do list. I’ve seen mothers look so defeated while others talk about their own personal stress. Whatever phase of motherhood you are in, another mama will claim hers is harder. Competitive moms are no joke!
Venting is a necessity, in my opinion. I am with two young kids all day and need my adult time. However, I find myself beginning my stories with, “I know others have it worse but…” or “I know it will only get harder, but I feel…”
Let me just say, that’s draining! Why do we play each other’s enemy without first offering one another the compassion and support we all want? Why do we believe our friends have the worst in mind for us rather than the best? Why do we lose friends over the silliest things that go along with motherhood instead of seeking to understand and holding tight to the ones who want to walk through the crazy journey alongside us?
This isn’t even getting into those friends we have who do not have kids — as if women with kids are the only ones who understand what it’s like to be tired. I don’t know about you, but I am all for keeping busy. Before my daughter, I was still working multiple jobs and receiving little sleep. I know friends of mine who don’t have kids who I can honestly say they work just as hard. I could never devalue them by saying, “You don’t understand,” or “Wait until you have kids!” They know. They feel what we feel and need support too.
Are you tired? Yes. More than me? Maybe! But does comparison unify or separate us? Spend less time comparing your life to those around you and more time celebrating all of your motherhood wins.
I find myself falling into the trap of competition all the time, but let’s support, encourage, and enjoy the beauty found in all stages of life together!