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Is it really a competition, or are we just trying to help each other out? I actually find sharing with and learning from other moms very helpful. But last week when I had coffee with another mom, she was talking about how she feels like she always has to keep up with work, with her kids, and with other moms. I thought, Why are we so hard on ourselves?

Stay-at-home moms, working moms -- we all face the same issues: juggling life to make sure we do what's best for our kids and our families. We want to take care of everyone and still manage to have a life of our own. Some say it's "mompetition," but I don't think so. I'm not trying to compete with other moms. I'm trying to compete with my expectations. But I guess the more moms you talk to who seem to have it more together than you, the more your expectations are raised. But do they really have it more together? 

At first I didn't think it affected me, but maybe it does. Is that why I always feel like I don't have enough time, that I'm always one step behind? Why am I driving myself crazy? I think there are many parts to our lives and sometimes something has to give. We can't be perfect at everything, can we? If you're a stay-at-home mom talking to a working mom, you may be jealous she's able to juggle a career and kids. If you're a working mom talking to a stay-at-home mom, you may feel guilty you're not home enough. When you see a mom with five kids, you wonder how she manages when you only have two. When you see a mom who looks great, you wonder why you didn't shower that day. 

Everyone has a different story. I think it depends on your priorities at the time. Let's see ... do I work, go on a playdate with my kids, make homemade baby food, work out, pay the bills, clean the kitchen, all of the above or none? I want to be a good mother, a good wife, good career woman and good individual. I try, but it's hard to be 100 percent at everything all the time. 

The next time you see a mom who seems to have it better than you, just know that you don't always know the whole story. Mompetition is good if we use it as a resource, but it can also make us hypercritical of ourselves. So for today, I'm going to try not to listen to the most critical mom of all: myself.

next: My Husband Wanted a Paternity Test
6 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous November 9, 2010, 5:14 AM

Thank you for a well rounded article that shows no matter what stage you are in with your kids and work and just everyday life, it can be a struggle and we women are much harded on ourselves then other people are.

Annie November 9, 2010, 6:10 AM

“Some say it’s “mompetition,” but I don’t think so. I’m not trying to compete with other moms. I’m trying to compete with my expectations.”

Yes, this is it, exactly! And you go on to say that even if you’re not in direct competition with Mrs. Jones, seeing her have it all together and then some doesn’t help, either. I couldn’t have explained it better! All the articles I’ve seen about working moms vs SAHMs, etc, drive me nuts b/c it seems they always fall just short of getting it right. You hit the nail right on the head!

Rita November 9, 2010, 10:40 AM

Thank you!!! I try not to compare myself to other moms because it’s bad for your own self-worth. Besides, like you said, you don’t know what’s going on at home. I’ve found the most put-together moms have a really crappy life.

I’ve also noticed the mothers who brag about how perfect their life/hubby/marriage/kids are aren’t really happy with their lives and brag just to help themselves feel better. Furthermore, the mother who always tries to one-up you with whatever is usually the one who is the most out of control, and again, brags in order to feel better about her own skills.

I’ve said it before, at this time in our lives, we need to band together and support each other, not compete with each other.

Rita November 9, 2010, 10:42 AM

I forgot to add something! What do these bragging and competing mothers think? Do they think they’ll get some kind of cash prize or award for being the best mom ever? LOL!

Mompetition November 13, 2010, 6:40 PM
Rea Spindle April 5, 2011, 12:04 PM

I don’t agree with it, thanks are in order for taking the time to put it up

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