Mompetitor

So last week at swimming lessons we came across a mompetitor, and to my eternal shame I actually felt myself getting all mompetitive myself.
Brodie and I have come across this lady and her child before. When our offspring were babies this mum had an overwhelming need to compare her own child (favourably) to all those around her. She was delighted her baby weighed more than all the rest, forced her baby to ‘sit up’ before the child’s body could comfortably stay upright, and fed her mush way before health professionals suggest in order that her child be the first and therefore the best. Not really my concern I know. Parents are free to raise their children however they see fit and I always try ane remember that the actions and feelings of others only really affect me if I let them.
So I was kind of appalled at the way I felt myself willing Brodie to kick faster, jump further and be bolder than he was ready to. How did that happen? Why did I suddenly feel the urge to ‘beat’ them?
I was reminded why I avoid toddler groups and coffee mornings. While there is often camaraderie between mums and it’s nice to commiserate with someone else doused in sick who hasn’t slept for a week, in my experience there is always an undercurrent of tension. When you have a group of children and mums together comparisons are inevitable. It makes me uncomfortable and I find I start to worry about things I never thought to worry about before. I think the reason I avoid these kind of situations because I’d probably be a pretty terrifying mompetitor. My own competitiveness might (would) turn me into a complete monster. I don’t really want Brodie to pick up on that side of my character.
Sure I enjoy a casual chat with a mum or dad at swimming or soft play but I don’t really want a blow-by-blow account of their children’s milestones. We already see streaks of Brodie wanting to be the best, which I think it is pretty normal and I hope we can raise him to be competitive in appropriate situations tempered with some sensitivity. Actually Greig seems to be able to do all those things – maybe that’s the key to avoiding mompetitors – send all the Dads instead.

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