Let me be upfront in saying that I don't endorse the language in this video, but I think the message outweighs it.
Sounds like it should be a new reality TV show where stay-at-home moms compete to iron trousers and diaper babies and cook dinner in record time. I had better be careful- I don't want to feed that monster. There's enough "reality" garbage on TV as it is.
Mompetition refers to this unspoken war among all moms. We try to justify our decisions, and in the process, end up slinging mud all over our potential "mom friends". As I watched this video, I groaned, because good grief- I know I'm guilty. No matter how hard you try to be neutral and not judge others, when you have such strong convictions on things, it's really hard not to be critical.
We all have equal access (for the most part) to the information that is available for researching anything and everything related to child-rearing... from nutrition to naps to vaccinations to discipline, it's out there, and it's up to us to read and digest. Some of us tend to read it all and become self-proclaimed experts, while others are perfectly content to be an ostrich and just do whatever we're told or whatever seems natural. Either way, when we come across someone who has made different choices, it seems like the only reasonable reaction is to stand up for what we have decided is best, even if it means knocking down that other mom.
There are certain things in child-rearing that I am passionate about, and I therefore have a very difficult time not judging people who do things differently...
... when I see a child chowing down on McDonalds, I wince.
... when I see an infant drinking formula from a bottle, I groan.
... when I hear that a mother is following the CDC recommended vaccination schedule, I shudder.
... when I see or hear of a mother angrily spanking a child, my eyes tear up.
But you know what? I've not walked in their shoes. I don't KNOW why the other mom has to feed her child junk- maybe she lost her job and all she had was a gift card for McDonalds. I don't KNOW why the other mom isn't breastfeeding her baby- maybe she suffered from breast cancer and had to undergo a mastectomy. I don't KNOW why the other mom is "loading her child with toxins" by fully vaccinating- maybe they are missionaries and moving to a third world country. I don't KNOW why the other mom is "beating her child"- maybe she's told him over and over, but he still ran out into the street.
So yeah. It's true. I've been a mompetitor. But my new goals? Compassion. Empathy. Because really, we need each other... we need our mom friends... we need to walk this road of mommyhood hand-in-hand with those who have gone before and those who are just beginning. Let's do this together.