• Kristina Mulligan

Taking Down the Mom-petition

I work from home. You work in an office. She is a stay-at-home mom. 

My child drank a smoothie for dinner last night. Your child ate a painstakingly prepared four-course meal. Her child ate boxed macaroni and cheese. 

I wanted to breastfeed, but life had other plans. You believe “breast is best” and were able to breastfeed your child until they were two. Her child received formula from birth. 

My son sleeps in our bed. Your daughter sleeps in her own bed. Her kids sleep in their beds, while she sleeps on the floor of their room.

I have one child. You have three. She has two. 

We are all mothers. We all have the same goal: to raise confident, kind, and compassionate individuals who make the world a better place. So, why do we take part in this competition to be the “best” mom? There is no trophy, no MVP ceremony, no certificate or grand prize. In fact, your idea of the perfect mom is most likely different than mine. When that’s the case, why is there so much knocking each other down instead of lifting each other up? Who invented the mom-petition?

You know what I am talking about, right? You’re minding your own business and being your best mom self when, all of sudden, it happens: unsuspected mommy warfare. This may take the form of backhanded compliments that slice through your body, a snide remark about your parenting style, or a blatant insult.

I’ve been on the receiving end of this many times but, as time goes on, I’ve realized something: I don’t care.

My dream is to be the PTA mom who organizes the bake sale fundraiser, but that doesn’t mean that you have to do the same. In my downtime, I love to make crafts with my son and plaster my walls and refrigerator with them, but just because I make my own play-dough doesn’t make me better than you. While you may be cooking a homemade meal, I may be microwaving some chicken nuggets and crossing my fingers that my son eats dinner tonight. That doesn’t mean that you are a better mother than me. At the end of the day, we all have our high points and our struggles. We all have different values. We all worry whether or not we are doing a good job. And you know what? Regardless of another’s backhanded compliments, snide remarks, blatant insults, or any internal shaming, our children still see us as the best mom in the entire world.

Seeing my son smile is my grand prize and I’m certain that he thinks that I am the MVP. To me, that means that I’ve won the mom-petition. Not because I am better than you, but because we’ve all won in the eyes of our kids.

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