compare, don’t compete.

July 24, 2008

As Moms go, I haven’t had a chance to get into the race yet. Perhaps Nadi is too young as yet, maybe I am just not that racing kind of mom or maybe I haven’t been challenged enough yet to go in there with all guns blazing. Only time will tell.

On one of my late night blog hops, I came across a blog where the mom author insisted that we should compare but not compete – I had asked her in her comment box if such a thing was possible. Doesn’t competing come as naturally as breathing to moms? especially once the age of schoold starts. Who has the better kid? Who throws the better party? Who has the better holiday? Whose husband is hotter? Whose capris are shorter? I think the line of fire just gets more and more ridiculous as moms get more and more into it.

All stories start with a question about  the other person’s kid and end with a glowing achievement of your own. That’s why moms have conversation in the first place- to be able to eventually get around to boatsing about their own. What age did Nadi start teething at? Well MINE had 54 teeth by the time he was 9 months old. Is Nadi walking yet? Well MINE was running by the time we camé back form the hospital. Sure he was.

I always take the passive stance by locking my mouth into a smile and nodding while thinking of other things that I have to not kill the person infront of me. I have no intentions of plunging Nadi into a competition this early on in life. I realize that it will be inevitable as the grades, heights, races and life take over and I will allow for healthy amounts of I am better than x, y or z to enter our lives but at this point int life I cannot join the comparison sweepstakes and get into the inane conversations of who outdid whose 1st birthday by how many millions.

Of course it’s all well and all for me to get huffy and step aside from competition in theory, but when it comes right down to it in my head, it’s always compare and compete isn’t it? You worry because your kid didnt walk at 14 months whereas A was walking at 11 months. You stress that your kid will be socially shy because he doesn’t go up and hit other kids, like T does. You wish your kid would speak early so that you could show up X, once and for all. It’s such a vicious cycle to be caught in because along with your poor unsuspecting kid, you drag in yourself, your husband and you entire peace of mind.


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10 thoughts on “”

  1. Prolly the first time I am saying it in public in these many words: I opted to be a school drop-out, as in refused to go back to school for the very same reason. During school – I was not like A, I was not as intelligent as S, I was not liked by the teacher as much as T, I wasn’t as popular as H, and so on and so forth – a constant battle of who’s better and who is not and how I always freaking lacked in something or the other at all points.

    Yes, I understand that a “degree” is important or so THEY say, just like people think it’s vital for Nadi to start walking NOW instead of a month later… I have Allah ka shukar come to terms with the fact that life is too short to be judged, compared, graded or all of the above and I do what “I” want to do. If I won’t make as much money as XYX does who is an MBA from IBA – so be it! As long as I am not serving as a slave to other people/employer’s wish and commands!

    I think you’ve provided a vent-hole but really, in all honesty I am glad that Nadi is surrounded by such happy people and that he has a great set of folks to call Mom/Dad. Keep him away from the keeeraas! 🙂

    Much love, respect and power!

  2. I can totally relate to what you’re saying.. zain my son is 9 months and I constantly feel I am involuntarily being thrown in the cycle of compare and compete… i just make it a point to veer conversation away from my baby… why can’t moms talk about other things in life..i will never understand… besides how many teeth he has at what age isnt really in my control to begin with.. so i just smile and move on….

  3. good points you raised. now here’s something you should tell those other moms who’s little bundle has walked/teethed/talkd already:

    i have, over the last decade or so, turned into a bit of an angry, man-hating, feminist. I refuse to consider marriage and I can’t stand kids. I also don’t believe in happily ever afters.

    That being said, I often visit your blog and I smile about how precious your stories and pictures are. Your kid is the only kid I don’t mind reading about. The way you handle situations, even tiny mundane ones, with so much grace and level-headedness….honestly makes me smile. I really do feel delighted when you put up a new entry.

    As for those other moms, I still hate their kids.

  4. sara, i love your post – it so resonates with my life at the moment..however, tell me, how can you compare and not compete…doesn’t one go with the other?

    i have a couple of friends – our kids are three months apart..thankfully, we don’t compete or compare, just share the other baby-parent firsts…however, it is the world around us that constantly compares our kids and at times i feel the subtle competition, sadly inflicted by our external and NOT internal environment.

  5. insiya- i doubt that there will ever be a time when one can live a life that is fully and yet has no competition. Im a big believer in the high of winning but i hope i have also taken my losses somewhat gracefully. I would love nadi to be ideally a person who wins and loses in equal measures so he understands the lessons that come with both. ah the ideal bubble of mine! but you are right- as long as he knows he is loved no matter what, it doesnt matter whether you win or lose.

    cheeky- gotta love the sucky world! hahah

    holmz- smile and wave bhaee smile and wave!!

    sakmeth- coming from an anti happily ever after im touched by your happiness and prayers for us- i wasnt too big a kids fan myself- and take it form someone who has hated men in her time also- they are NOT all the same and this baby thing- well its the most underrated thing in the world. but to each his own and im happy you smile when you read my blog 🙂 keep visiting ok?

    ali- thanks! i dont get many male readers- or many male readers who bother to comment at any rate haha.

    nisreen- so well said- it IS the external environment na? a couple fo very close friends an di also had our babies a month or two apart each and when we all foudn out it wa sso exciting to think that people who shared your ramances an dtragedies you would now share your baby times with- and now with all our kids hitting having hit the big one, we will have to phsyciialy try and keep the comptetion element to a basic healthy level or we will end up jeopardizing our friendships and thats just not on.

  6. Hi,
    I think you were referring to “compete but never compare” 🙂 I’ll tell you how : You do you best and let God to the rest.

    After reading your post though, it does seem as though you are having a tough time with other moms around. Its a common trap, everyone tries to inflate their ego by inflating (and often simply making up) their kids achievements.
    Good luck,


    (If you’re not the type that believes in God, then I suppose you’d let things take their own course after you do your best)

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