Last week I was talking to a “friend” and fellow first time mom and I mentioned just how incredibly difficult my baby has been. I know being a first-time mom always comes with challenges, but our baby was exceptionally challenging for the first four months of her life. My friend didn’t reply with even one tiny drop of empathy.
Instead, she replied, “Wow, that sucks. My baby has been the easiest baby on the planet.”
So I kept the conversation on the subject of mom life but changed sub-topics. I shared how it has been so fun to watch my six month old explore solid foods and learn what she loves. Her response? “Wow, you just started her on solids? I started my baby on solids at four months. He is super advanced, though.”
I took a deep breath and changed the subject once again. I mentioned how I was super excited for my new gym membership because I have felt like my body is just not in the best shape after having a baby. Before I even finished my thought, she quickly told me that I wouldn’t have that problem if I had tried harder to exclusively breastfeed my baby. “That’s how I bounced back so perfectly,” she said.
Y’all, it’s a good thing I know Jesus because if I didn’t, I probably would have said things that were less than pleasant.
While most people enjoy a little healthy competition from time to time, there is nothing fun about mom competition. And that is exactly what was going on with my friend.
I see it everywhere and in so many ways. For some reason, moms feel the need to one-up one another.
Whether it’s bragging about how much easier their baby is, how much more advanced their baby is, how much more sleep they get, or how their parenting style is more effective, it is just wrong.
I even see it on the flip side. In one conversation moms are bragging about how much easier their life is. In another, they are downplaying another mom’s stress, claiming their day was harder or that “it could be worse.”
There is an underlying and unhealthy need to simply one-up other moms in whatever direction feels right in the moment.
And it needs to stop.
Because here’s the thing, mamas. Another mom’s parenting does not make yours any better or any worse. Another baby’s sleep patterns will not make your baby’s sleep patterns any better or any worse. And if another mom has a bad day, it doesn’t lessen the reality of your bad day. It’s okay for babies to advance at different rates and have different strengths and weaknesses. And it’s okay for us mamas to parent our children differently. What works for one mom might not work for another, and that is fine.
And it’s okay for your mom body to be different than that of the mom next to you. Comparing your body to hers won’t make you any skinnier or any healthier. It will only make you jealous, or even worse, it will make you gloat.
Stop comparing, mamas.
Because another person’s success will never make you a failure, and another person’s failure certainly won’t make you any more successful.
You do you, mama. There is plenty of space for every mom to experience her own unique journey in parenting.
But the space for competition is rapidly running out.