Thursday, May 10, 2012

Competitive Parenting

This Time Magazine cover inspired this little slice of pie.

One would think that we could give up the competitiveness and petty comparisons to each other when we graduate high school and begin our lives as adults. Unfortunately for a lot of women, it just isn’t easy. That habit to continually scrutinize and meticulously pick at other moms because they don’t agree with their parenting styles is just an extension of the immaturity we were supposed to leave behind with graduation. There is always a ‘better’ way to do something; formula vs breastmilk, co-sleeping vs crib, paci vs no paci, cloth diapers vs disposables. The list goes on.

What gives these moms the right to tell YOU that you’re not doing it right? Why is their way the right way? What makes them superior to you? Why is it that they have to make other moms, who are already concerned about whether they’re raising their children right (because, let’s face it, we all are), second-guess themselves? Why do so many moms let the ‘superior’ moms get to them? Who knows?

What I do know is that unless that mom happens to be a pediatrician, her opinion matters just about as much as what that drama queen had to say back in high school.

I happen to be one of those moms that does what’s best for her children, no matter what the public opinion is. I have happy, healthy children who are very loved and as long as it stays that way, I’m ‘doing it right’. Just between Middle A & Little A, we have been all over the parenting spectrum. With Middle A, it was formula, crib sleeping, paci, & disposable diapers until she was over a year old. With Little A, it’s exclusively breastfeeding, paci, all cloth diapers, crib-sleeping AND co-sleeping.  We did what we felt was best for each of our children. No two children are alike. Just because something works for the ‘superior children’ doesn’t mean it will work for yours, and vice-versa.

If you do a quick browse through on any parenting website that has discussion forums, you’ll soon find out (if you didn’t already know) that parenting is a competitive sport. The amount of competitiveness varies, but there’s always a comparison made somewhere, at some point between parents. This behavior is ridiculous, childish, and immature, but it happens. We don’t need magazines covers to insinuate that breastfeeding your three-year old makes you more of a mom. Breastfeeding doesn’t make you a better mom at all. Doing what is best for your children makes you a better mom.

If anyone asks if I’m ‘Mom enough’, my answer will be absolutely, 100%, without a doubt, YES.

I’m dominating in this mompetition.


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