Do you ever feel like you are in competition with other moms even if you don’t want to be? Whether it’s milestone achievements, parenting styles, clothing trends, or even how many followers you have on social media, in a world that should be about cultivating friendships, connection and collaboration is sometimes a world of shaming, judgment, and jealousy. Motherhood is not a competitive sport, but we live in a competitive world and can’t help but be tempted to be in constant comparison with each other. Don’t get me wrong, not all rivalry is bad. Some friendly competition helps stimulate a successful drive in us that otherwise may have not been exposed. But when you are finding yourself on the defense with someone else that is making you feel uncomfortable, it is then more about contempt and criticism and it is unhealthy.
Maybe you’ve recently joined a local mom group with the intention to gain support and get to know other moms in your area. At first, all the moms seem kind and helpful. Then slowly but surely you feel like one or two of them are always trying to one up you. Then one day you share some good news with the group expecting them to be happy and proud of you or your child’s accomplishments but instead they shun you. You are blindsided by their competitive and petty nature and feel like you are in middle school again. The reality is that certain people out there may be threatened by someone else’s success and just want to knock others down. They may be envious of what you have or more realistically what they perceive you have.
So what is the psychology behind someone that treats others like this? Insecurity? Possibly. Immaturity? Maybe. Entitlement? Perhaps. As a mental health practitioner, I can’t help but analyze the psychology behind the actions of others.
We all tend to be bias at times, we are only human after all, but when you are intentionally and deliberately unfair to someone else to be hurtful, that evokes a behavior that is unacceptable. And even worse, if you are a bystander to this type of behavior, you are considered just as much part of the problem. It’s bad enough that one person may say or do something cruel, but if you stand by that person and don’t say anything even though you know it’s wrong, you are guilty by association.
If you aren’t part of the solution you are part of the problem.
Sometimes the meanness is overt for everyone to see, but most of the time the meanness is covert and hidden behind another mom’s back or subtle enough for only the mom being victimized to know it’s happening even if no one else does. Research concludes that, “girls are socially competitive creatures striving to be popular and victimizing others in the process.” But why does it have to be this way? I’d like to stand up and say no! I’d like to stop this behavior in its tracks. I’d like to challenge all of us to take a deep breath and think twice before we say or do something that may hurt someone else. We can’t allow our disdain and impulsivity get the best of us. We are role models for our children and need to behave the way we want them to behave. We are their teachers and are responsible for our actions.
According to an article in Marie Claire* a few months ago, a recent study concluded that 80% of millennial moms said they have been shamed by other moms. But lets not pick on the millennials – mom bullying can happen to anyone at any age from any generation. As moms we spend endless amounts of time and energy educating our children on bullying and cyber bullying and we spend hours protecting them from being hurt by others when all the while we are being bullied by other moms in the meantime. With the rise of social media, it isn’t necessarily surprising. As moms we put our parenting, our children, our lives, and ourselves on blast for everyone to see. And despite our vulnerability and transparency, we don’t typically post something to be judged or shamed in return. As moms we have all received unsolicited advice at one time or another, but most of us moms, whether you are a professional blogger or not, post photos of our lives to share, relate, and connect with other moms. We look for motivation, inspiration, encouragement, and support. Some moms may mesh with what we say and some may not, but does that give them the right to try and tear us down when given the opportunity? What do they gain from being mean? They may feel a temporary defeat, but those feelings will flee and then they are still left with being as miserable as they were before – always trying to compete. And always trying to be better and never feeling like they are enough.
Well moms, enough is enough. You are enough!! There is no need to compete. There is no need to compare. There is no need to be unsupportive. There is no need to judge. There is no need to shame. There is no reason not to help and be happy for someone else! You are better than needing to overcompensate for your emotional insecurities. A little less competition and a little more collaboration goes a long way! So next time you see a mom struggling, support and appreciate her. If your friend has exciting news to share, be excited and congratulate her. If another child earns a reward, be happy for them. If another blogger has a question, help her! If your friend has a bad day, encourage her. Leave the impulsivity, irritability and envy behind. When moms come together, the possibilities are endless! All of us moms could benefit from resources, advice, success, and love. You give what you get and if you want positivity, surround yourself with a positive environment. And if there is some toxicity in your life, empathize with that person as they must be struggling with something powerfully negative, and move on.
Speaking of competition, let’s talk for a minute about football. It’s one of my favorite competitive sports to watch and with preseason football already in full gear, why not get your little one in the pigskin spirit with a pacifier in your favorite team’s colors?
Little Guy Sport is a family owned company that launched last month that sells the coolest novelty mouthguard pacifiers and strap clips for your little ones! You have the freedom to mix and match your favorite colors to make the best combination to either match your child’s outfit or to wear as an accessory to route on your favorite sports team. Created by a mom and dad, these trendy baby soothers are perfect for girls and boys alike!
And as much as I love an adorable sporty look, as a mom, my baby’s safety comes first. Well rest assured moms, these pacifiers have a FDA medical grade silicone nipple that is thermally bonded and hermetically sealed. The pacifiers are also uniquely designed to completely prevent any moisture from penetrating into the nipple that could compromise your baby’s health. The specific classic nipple design and FDA approved silicone ensures comfort and a natural fit for your baby’s palate. The strap is made up of FDA Approved Elvax EVA Copolymer Resin to allow for flexibility, durability and additional safety measures. Little Guy Sport’s products are BPA-Free, Latex-Free and Phthalate-Free and conform to all safety requirements of the ATSM F 9063 and 16 CFR.
The mouthguard pacifiers come in 4 different colors and the strap clips come in 10 different colors. To find your own favorite color combination or to match your favorite college or professional football team and purchase your own mouthguard pacifier and strap clip, please visit https://littleguysport.com To follow Little Guy Sport on Instagram click here https://www.instagram.com/littleguysport/ and on Facebook click here https://www.facebook.com/LittleGuySport/
And you know I love working with companies that give back. Did you know that Little Guy Sport supports Jacob’s House, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to provide a home-away-from-home for families who have loved ones, of all ages, undergoing traumatic medical crisis. In fact, the company’s logo was designed by the owner’s brother, Jacob, who passed away at the young age of 24. The Little Guy Sport™ logo is Jacob’s self created character he utilized in a book he authored and illustrated. Please visit the website where you can purchase Jacob’s book, “And Then There was Jake” as well as see where the inspiration of the Little Guy Sport™ logo came from. http://www.lulu.com/shop/jacob-nelson/and-then-there-was-jake/paperback/product-20397250.html All proceeds from Jacob’s book will go toward their family non-profit organization, Jacob’s House.
Please read the safety instructions on the packaging to keep your baby safe when using these products.
*To read the Marie Claire “The Rise of the Mean Moms” article published in April 2017 click here http://www.marieclaire.com/culture/a26300/bully-moms/