I've always been a pretty competitive person. I grew up playing sports and I spent my middle school and high school years competing in horse show jumping. While winning of course feels great, I have never tried to get the better of someone else. I was, and still am, always trying to better myself. It's no secret that some girls (and women) judge and compete with one another. This does not change much when you become a mother, in fact it probably intensifies in some ways.
You are left with so many decisions as a mother - Are you going to breast feed of formula feed? Are you going to wean your child early or do extending breastfeeding (if you do breastfeed)? Are you going to stay home or go to work? Are you going to start solid food at 4 months or 6 months? - and with each decision you do make, you will surely find someone who disagrees with you. Such is life... I guess. It shouldn't be that way though. We are all mothers, and contrary to what some women might make you think, none of us really know what we are doing. We are just trying to do the best we can for our babies the only way we know how.
Jamesie enjoying his Palm Sunday, happily in his Mia's (my mother) lap!
You meet arrogance in every stage of your life. Yesterday I had a bad experience with another mother. My parents, James, Jamesie and I went to a Palm Sunday Mass at my brothers' old high school. Following the Mass we went to a brunch that my parents had helped organize in the schools cafeteria below the church. James and I were introduced to several of my parents friends, old and new, all of whom were completely fixated by Jamesie and his way of, you know, being cute. So many people were friendly and I enjoyed talking to almost everyone.
Yet... One mother, of my parents generation and who had a son in my brother's high school class, was shockingly rude. My mother was expressing to her how wonderful having a grandchild has been, and her response was, "I can't wait for my children to start having their own babies, but of course I want them to do it in the right order." She was making a dig at the fact that I got pregnant in college without being married, and in her mind that's not winning the game.
It shocked me to hear something so blatant and to my face about the fact that I had a baby unexpectedly and out of wedlock. I almost didn't even understand what she meant at the time, and thinking about it afterwards I almost wished I had said something in retaliation, but I'm glad that I did not. I'm glad I was able to hold my grace and act as if her words didn't hurt me. But they did... And it was all so she could get the better over me and my mother at the expense of my child.
I can't let women who make comments like this make me angry. Instead, I pray for them - that they may find some justification in their own lives, without all of the competitiveness. I also try to eliminate that behavior in myself, because I am certainly guilty of judging other people, other mothers.
I'm a young mother, I definitely don't do everything right, but I try really hard to be a good person. Life's a journey, not a game.
Sometimes, God writes straight with crooked lines.