Motherhood brings debates and competitions that you never knew existed. I have yet to meet a mother who isn’t competitive in some way or on some level.
There are the obvious big debates bottle vs breastfeeding, SAHMs vs working moms, C section vs natural. Where everyone thinks they know best, they argue why their decision was best and take offence easily when somebody is critical of the opposition.
Then there are the subtle humble brags such as the insta “My little precious is fully potty trained at 18 months.” “My kid just did their first ballet show.” Just the very fact that we post on social media is often viewed as narcissistic and self indulgent. Bloggers often experience imposter syndrome and question if certain things should be shared but at the end of the day, we all show off. Whether we’re ostentatious or subtle about it, we do!
Every mother wants to show off their kids and show off their milestones.
As I like to overthink I’ve been over analysing why I think moms are such competitive show offs. The reason is quite simple in my view.
Most moms will often report craving “me time” or missing elements of their “pre motherhood self”. (That’s a post for another day!) The point is, in one way or another when you become a mother you will more than likely quit an element of yourself whether that means you quit your weekly exercise class, stop seeing your friends, giving up alcohol through pregnancy and feeding, go part time at work, quit work altogether. Part of you becomes obsolete in some way. In some cases, several parts of you disappear and you might not even recognise yourself sometimes.
This can often make women feel vulnerable or alone and left wondering if they are ‘just a mom’. Recent events in my life have shown me that just a mom isn’t a bad thing but I get why some people feel lost at the thought of being just a mom.
So if you are just a mom, you’ve got to nail it haven’t you?
You’ve got to be the absolute flipping best mom in the world otherwise what are you? A failure? No job, no friends, no hobbies and your kids are little shits? What have you actually achieved if you get to 50 with no career, no sense of independence, no hobbies, no social life and teenagers that are smashing up bus stops?!
I know I sound quite harsh but I think this is a real thing that goes through our minds.
However, if we get to 50 and we gave everything up but can proudly say that our kids are our greatest achievement and genuinely do us proud, then it wasn’t all for nothing.
So when mothers are annoying in the baby stages, smugly stating that their kid walks and talks by 1 it’s because on some level it makes us feel like we’re getting it right.
I’m not saying that delayed development is an indication of a bad mother but I am saying delayed development will make you question if you’re a bad mother and have some how got it wrong! (I’ll write about my experience with this some other time.)
Before you get mad with annoying smug mothers, question how much they’ve given up. I think there is probably a Sacrifice vs Show off correlation.
We all show off our kids because we’ve got to do them proud and raise them to be decent people, so when we’re proud of them we’re enabling them to be proud of us. They can look back on their childhood and say Mom was always there at my shows posting pictures of me and buying me all the equipment I needed, I’d never be good at [insert talent] if it wasn’t for her.
As annoying as the constant potty training updates, days out, super star talents, first days and everything else might be… all we’re really doing is justifying our role as a mother so yes it might come across as competitive or overly gushy but what is the harm? Girls post 17 selfies when they’re proud of their Friday night make up, why can’t we post 17 updates of how proud we are of our kids.
We’re doing a good job.