Tuesday, April 27, 2010

On Being Competitive

I just recently read a really interesting article in the Canadian Todays Parent magazine. It discussed the issue of competitive mothers and why women as a whole appear to be ultra competitive with our children. Whether your child knows their ABC's by the age of 2 to eating 100% organic without a lick of sugar ever to pass a child's mouth. It discussed the way that mothers are quick to judge or at least appear to judge. And well, it feels like the truth doesn't it? There are times that I have been made to feel like such an utter, complete failure yet there have been times where I feel that I can hold my head up high with pride in knowing that I am doing something right. But, what exactly is right?

Trust me when I say that I am guilty of being one of the most judgemental and competitive people born on earth. I am getting better now, but I used to carry such a burden of envy, self pity and bitterness upon my shoulders and I wasn't afraid to use those traits verbally to make my point. However, since becoming a mother, I am learning that sometimes it is okay to say that you can't do something, that it is okay to ask for help or that it is normal to admit that you don't know something. My children have humbled me and they have taught me that things aren't always what they seem on the outside. They are teaching me that to truly be happy, you need to let go and just love unconditionally. To just accept what is happening and deal with it accordingly. It is tough. Especially for an individual like me who has a tendency to jump in to fix things, to want to fix things and to not know when to keep their mouth shut and hold back opinions. It is hard not to want to let go of all of those emotional frustrations when other people and children are involved. It is hard to not voice my opinion when it directly affects my children or if behaviours are witnessed that I don't want my children exposed to. But I am learning that this is a part of growing up for my children and for myself. No one is capable of raising the perfect child (although mine are pretty damn close) and it is healthy for everyone to make mistakes to learn from.

I am guilty of judging other parents and tend to forget that they too are struggling to figure out this thing called parenthood. But in my defense, I am aware of this flaw in my almost perfect personality, and I am working on it. I think twice now before opening my mouth in an attempt to offer my advice and may instead opt to clench my jaw and take a deep breath. Lord knows that I wish in the past that others had practiced this on me. I am tired of feeling like I am failing and instead am going to focus on how I am in the big picture perfecting. Perfecting because even though I am making mistakes in parenting, I am loving my children with my whole heart. I am loving them to my very best ability and supporting them in their journey of life.


Jenn said...

Hi Allie, great you and laptop are back at it again. I remember when Lucas was young and I saw so many other young mothers doing things differently and there kids were all happy and healthy. It's true parenting teaches you so much about how there can be lots of different right ways.


Goofball said...

well ...you are learning right? so that's great

I have the feeling when reading north-american mommy blogs that this judging/competitiveness is a way bigger issue than in europe. At least I hope so

Ellen said...

I know what you mean - I particularly HATE the topics of breastfeeding vs. bottlefeeding and SAHM vs working mom. Like one way is 'wrong' and the other is 'right'? No way! You are so right, as long as the parents are trying their very best to love their children and guide them through life - that's the most important! I think that God gives us such grace with raising our children - I mean imagine if our kids could remember all the times we messed up :)