Moms! The competitive thing is going way too far.
Kimberly Seals Allers: Last week I found myself caught up in the oddest of conversations. It was a bunch of moms bragging about how big their baby was. The visceral display of I-can-out-baby-you masked by smiling faces and giggling laughs was purely disgusting! In this world of oversized SUVs, supersized meals, and McMansions, it's no wonder that our obsession with all things big would seep down to the products of our loins.
This is a very raw topic for me and quite frankly, gets my blood boiling. Let me tell you why. My first baby was an 8 1/2-pounder, and given my 5'2" petite frame, this was an impressive feat. When I was pregnant with my second child, I expected the same results. Hey, I knew what I was capable of and I'm a classic overachiever subject to all the same pressures to out-baby myself. So when my boy arrived at a very healthy 7 lbs 4 oz, I was, quite frankly, disappointed.
I felt I had failed this pregnancy by not producing the biggest baby possible. No matter how many nurses and visitors marveled at his bright eyes and I've-been-here-before glances, I just could not get past the 7 lb thing. I admit, I was a victim of the Big Baby hype. A casualty of the mommy competition that sadly includes everything from whose baby is biggest, who lost the most fat fastest, who out-breastfed whom, and a host of other things that moms practice a mean game of one-upmanship over. I wanted those bragging rights, and a 7-pounder (though perfectly beautiful in every way) was just not going to get me any street cred at the next Gymboree class.
Anywho, I share all this to say how sad I was to hear more mommy competitive talk. I remember how I felt when other moms called my baby a "little peanut" while they bragged of 10 lb mini-men being birthed. I often cried. I hope that we can stop this madness. Shouldn't we be more about supporting each other than battling each other like a bunch of East Coast/West Coast rappers? Shouldn't we celebrate all healthy babies, and encourage the moms with "little peanuts" to grow them into chunky monkeys with thunder thighs without all the guilt?
|Kimberly Seals Allers is an award-winning business journalist and founder and editor-in-chief of MochaManual.com, a weekly online magazine for moms of color. She is the author of "The Mocha Manual to a Fabulous Pregnancy" and "The Mocha Manual to Turning Your Passion into Profit." Kimberly is a divorcing mother of two and lives on Long Island, NY.|