“I was in labor for 18 hours and then I pushed for another 5!”
“That’s nothing. I was in labor for two weeks and then they finally had to do a c-section.”
“My baby was sleeping through the night at three weeks.”
“Well, mine slept through the night as soon as she was born!”
“My son was crawling at 8 months and walking at 11.”
“Ha! My daughter never crawled. She just started walking when she was 9 months old.”
“My kid knows 50 words!”
“That’s it? Mine knows at least a 100 in three different languages.”
We moms love competition. Each story we tell is one-upped by our friend, by our coworkers, and even sometimes by random strangers met on the bus or in a changing room. We tell our tall tales proudly, daring people to doubt us, knowing full well that it doesn’t matter if no one really believes the details. We are warriors telling battle stories, embellishing them more at each retelling.
Sadly, every so often, a mom will take it a step too far. She’ll add a little criticism to her story and rather than making others feel like comrades in the trenches she’ll make them feel like they aren’t cutting it. Her nursing prowess is no longer just a boast, but a critique of her friend’s formula feeding. She uses her stories about her child’s sleep success to make a point about your co-sleeping ways. She talks about how much she loves staying home to make me feel bad about going back to work.
These are the moms who are hurting us all. They are the ones that forget that in the motherhood war, moms are all on the same side. Instead of pitting us against the rest of the world, they are pitting moms against moms. And frankly none of us should have the energy or the bandwidth to fight that pointless fight, not if we’re doing our jobs right.
A little healthy competition is good for everyone. It keeps us sharp and on our toes. So let’s keep telling our tall tales and embellishing our stories, but let’s not forget the point. It’s all about strengthening our bond, not isolating each other.