Friday, 1 July 2011

What if Motherhood was a sporting Competition..??

While sitting and watching Wimbledon over the last few days it got me thinking what if motherhood was a sporting competition? 
After all we all know of the super “competitive mums” who make the rest of us “mere mums” feel inadequate.  You know the sort I am talking about, the ones who have to have the best natural pain free birth around, found breastfeeding a breeze, what post baby fat?  As if at the end of their endless bragging and one-upmanship they get a bright shining medal that they can proudly display as “No 1 Mum”.  Yes I am sure we all know someone like that or perhaps you are one?
So, as I was saying, what if motherhood was a major sporting competition, and what events would there be?  Perhaps there would be….
….The mother of all “Marathons” would be the labour and birth.  Many will fall to the wayside due to sickness along the way; the hint of an epidural will see you disqualified as gas and air is the only accepted drug of choice!  The hotly contested Post Baby fat weigh in, where uber mums would be lining up to prove what great shape they are in after giving birth.  With the occasionally squeal of “I am smaller than I was before getting pregnant”.  Breastfeeding would have to be the hurdles where the mums in this event would be lining up either by choice or because they feel they have to.  Some will drop at the first hurdle, and will give up at this stage while others will pick themselves up and carry on to the next hurdle falling again and again but going until they reach the end.  The 100 meter Baby race, where mums are racing to compete with each other, over what milestones their baby has achieved in their short little lives.  This obviously will turn into the Toddler 1500 meters, where mums will be anxiously racing to tick off all their toddler milestones?  But the most competitive and derision event of mothering must surely be routine versus non-routine.  Like a boxing match this hotly debated topic will go rounds with each side debating which is best and why the other isn’t.
Sound ridiculous don’t you think?  But in some mum circles that I have come across this isn’t far from the truth.  When these situations arise, do I try and compete alongside them?  No bloody way, I stay on the sidelines. Chatting to anyone else who like me, prefers to watch the madness and competitiveness of these mothers without getting involved in it all.

You see there is a need for competition in various areas of life but not in being a mother.  Who cares or why should it bother anyone else on how you got pregnancy, your (or your lack of) morning sickness, what you did in pregnancy, your birthing decisions, if you followed a routine, breast or bottle fed, dummy or no dummy, single or married….?

The only thing that matters is that we are all mums and we should stop passing judgment on other mums especially if their choices were not your own.  Enough judgment on mothers is already being passed by the media with various "research and studies" that hit the papers almost weekly and then let’s not forget the various websites that exist to make us feel like bad mothers when our opinions my differ from theirs.

After all you just never know when you may need the help of the mum, that you have already judged!

11 comments:

Fox in the City said...

So well said!! Us mummys are just do damn hard on each other.
Jenn

Rachel Faith said...

Next time you encounter a super-competitive mum, try throwing her over the fence, shot-put style, and calling yourself a gold medalist. A more confrontational approach admittedly, but very sporty.

Frankie P said...

Jenn- Yeah i see it most days, might jsut be where i live..

Rachel - What a great idea,knowing me i would put my back out trying to throw her over the fence... Thanks for the comment

Emma said...

Gosh you are so right on so many of those points! It doesn't end either does it, that's the frustrating thing, we are currently at the "how much is your child reading, writing, spelling part of the "competition", and I am sometimes frowned upon for not forcing my daughter to do a million and one after school clubs like some of the other children! I wish people would just support each other rather than judge! Anyway, I always did hate PE! Emma :)

Frankie P said...

Hey Emma, We are going thru exactly the same thing with our eldest as him and his friends are all about to finsih reception.. I kinda feel like standing back and shouting.. "for god sakes they are only 5!!!!" And if one more person says to me "thats because he is a boy, girls are so much better at this age" i will scream!!

Babes about Town said...

Great post Frankie and lol at Rachel's comment above. I call it one-upmumship, and yep, it's rife. Best thing like you do is to stay by the sidelines and have a giggle when it gets out of control.

Another thing though is how to tread the line between celebrating and being seen as bragging? Sometimes you can see a mum's look like 'oh yeah, she thinks she's all that', when you're simply enjoying your child's achievements, not actually trying to compete with hers!

Frankie P said...

Hey Uju
thanks for the comment and agree about the fine line about bragging and celebrating, thats a tough one...

Stigmum said...

I'm a sideliner as you are but that is not to say there aren't mums competing with you or me. Your post made me think. I shrank after my pregnancy because I was in an appalling relationship. I once stood infront of the mirror and counted my ribs.
Everything I did, I did depressed but I'd had a 'natural' birth, was breastfeeding (as my sister reminds me 'forever') and looked good, nay, great! in skinny jeans. It impressed others way more than it impressed me (until recently when all jeans stopped fitting and started ripping but I now have tits!!).
Judging mothers is a national sport, international sport even. If I'm not on the sidelines, I'm sleeping! I can't be arsed to take part!!

Frankie P said...

Hey Stigs... Funny isn't it how others are impressed by things about yourselve when they really have no idea what or why things are the way they are... its that little green eye monster lurking in all of us i suspect...

Mari's World said...

I can't bear any of it and am definitely not looking forward to the competitiveness that starts at school, thank God we have a year of pre-school first!
Mind you, I'd be quite high up there as had 1st 2 babies with NO PAIN KILLER in Italy as none is ever offered - ouch!

Random Woman said...

Great post. My boy is 16 months and we're getting to who can feed themselves, draw, speak, build the Taj Mahal out of mega blocks territory - can't be doing with it. They all get there in the end don't they it's not a race!