Who’s a better mom? Is it your next door neighbor, your work colleague or you? And if it’s not you, what are you doing wrong? And although most moms don’t come right out and say it, they’re thinking, wondering and worrying whether they’re raising their kids “right.”
With all the competition out there for best mom on the planet, it’s not surprising that so many of us find it stressful. Subtle as it may be at times and not so at others, the rivalry continues at a non-stop pace. Working moms compete with stay-at-home moms over quality time vs. overall time spent together, home-cooked meals vs. take-out, availability for school trips vs. “I can’t go, I have a meeting,” etc., etc., etc. And the competition isn’t confined to working vs. stay-at-home moms. Plenty of friction is palpable within each group as well. Who has the better nanny, daycare or au pair, whose child never awakens at night, is reading, writing and of course, computer literate at 2 years old and then the pie`ce de re´sistance much further along the long and circuitous parenting road – whose child is admitted to the most prestigious university.
In addition to your child’s academic achievements, if you haven’t scheduled your child for almost 24/7 activities after school, before school and weekends, you may begin to believe you’re a failure as a mother. When you’re not enhancing your child’s education with music/dance/art/language lessons, broadening his horizons by exposing him to multiple cultural events and building your child into the olympic athlete she was born to be with soccer, field hockey, swimming, softball and gymnastics, let’s face it – you’re just not “keeping up.”
How are you doing so far? Well, if you haven’t racked up the points you were hoping to, all is not lost. As a matter of fact, you’re doing better than you expected. How do I know that? Because you’re still reading this blog in complete amazement at the outrageous and totally counterproductive stress moms put themselves through while raising confident and resilient kids.
So when another mom regales you with her high score in the mommy competition game, smile to yourself and don’t take the bait. Know that loving, supporting and empowering them your way is the right way.