I’m constantly amazed, although I really think the intensity of it really should have worn off by now, how much mums (generally speaking) view everything as a damned competition.
If it’s not their birth (good or bad), it’s their kids (brilliant or moronic), and please don’t get me started on the whole competitve behaviours with school lunches, birthday cakes and how to do a pony-frigging-tail for school (I once saw a post that was 20 ways to do a pony tail for school … I just can’t even …)
Last year I even had a discussion with a co-worker that went “Oh, you have three boys. I have four. I beat you by one!”
It was even accompanied by a smug look.
“Well let me bend over and pop out identical male triplets!” I wanted to reply but I was seriously so incredulous I was literally incapable of saying anything more than “erm”.
Also, it was not a competition I was willing to get into, and most definitely not something I was even remotely determined to beat her at. She could have the apparently coveted title if it meant so much to her.
I think at some point we need to acknowledge the things we’re good at, and the things we’re not.
I know I, for example, suck at the arts of sewing, knitting, crochetting and other activities in the same realm.
I know I am reasonably good at baking, and can whip up some delicious, albeit suspect looking, desserts and cakes.
I know the taste is brilliant, but that I don’t have the patience to put into making it look Pinterest Perfect. It doesn’t stop me Instragraming it though.
I do know that I enjoy it, and that it makes me feel relaxed and happy.
I know I am a good writer (although please don’t take this blog as any kind of example of the quality of my writing; it is literally my outlet and brain dump and I type faster than I can think sometimes … it’s not my best work) and that for my clients I can literally change not just minds, but feelings and emotions, too. My serious writing does this, too. Or so I’m told.
It just doesn’t look very pretty, unlike the arty crafts of a lot of my friends.
But it makes me feel good, and I thoroughly enjoy doing it, and allegedly I’m good at it.
My point is, know what you’re good at, know what you enjoy doing, whether you’re great at it or not, and know when to stop wishing and hoping you could do something, when you clearly neither enjoy it nor good at it.
(This is different from being shite at something, but loving doing it – don’t give that up!)
This was made clear to me when I stupidly embarked upon a rude emoticon text messaging spree with two of my friends.
It was clear, about three SMSs in that I was never, ever, ever going to be able to match their standards. Learning from them? Yes, absolutley!
Being mentored by them? I’m sure if I asked they’d happily oblige.
What I did know is that were about 7 steps ahead of me at every point, and unless I developed a strong inclination to learn more, then I was screwed.
Which is an ironic term, really, given the images that were flying back and forth.
I did send one to another friend, a crude variation of the marvellous creations I’d been sent by my other friends, and she had to ask her eleven-year old son to help her out with a reply.
Even he was so far removed from the standards my other two friends could produce, that I felt it best they give up too. Although we still occasionally have fun with stupid messages to each other.
(Because, clearly, we are very growed up and mature and stuff. Whatevs. *stomps off and slams door*)
It was just one of those moments where you realise that you really can’t be the best Mother ALL of the time.
There are some competitions that you just don’t want to get into … and others that you shouldn’t.
Do you know which ones to avoid?