Competition, some of us live for it… which I say is good, but is there a limit to it? We see people competing about anything and everything these days. Parenting now-a-days has become more of a competition of who is doing it the best. No, I’m not talking about all of the parents out there, but we do see so many people going all out there who are hell bent to prove that they have an upper edge in everything.
Good or bad… take simple things for instance, a couple of days back I had mentioned what a bad day I had with tight deadlines to meet, a training session and a child in the worst of moods shouting on top of her voice. I ended it by saying ‘if anyone says the job of a work-from-home-mom is simple, I will punch their face’. I got a lot of comments on that update, and a very few of them agreed with what I said. 90% people said in some way or the other, “Well, if you think that is tough, I can beat you hands down any day. What you just described above was my best of days.”
So there were people even competing for the worst parenting day ever. It was something like a game of one up-manship going on there and that is when I started saying to myself, “Why??? I don’t want their sympathy, can they just let me be… I was just venting out my frustration and Hey! I felt good after that.”
I mean, parents are competing with anyone and everyone with a child, their next door neighbour, their colleague, a parent at their child’s school, everyone. Something like, “You think your cooking is bad, well talk to me girl, I have a toddler who eats out of the box almost every day”. Or maybe, “Oh you just read to your child for 30 minutes, that is way too less, I have a library already and we read for a good 2 hours every day”.
I just sit here and think aloud, is this kind of competition really good for us as parents or even as human beings? Is this due to the constant stress, fear and insecurity of whether we are doing the best as a parent for our child or not? I don’t know why we all get into this, because I believe we will not come to know whether whatever we did was right or not. Not until at least your child is all grown up and independent. Why do we find an excuse to feel guilty? We work too much or don’t work at all. Haven’t breast fed our child or have not been able to wean him/her when we’d want to. A mom might be worried that her child talks a lot and another that her child doesn’t.
Another incident recently happened at a parenting forum I’m a part of where people were making fun of some parents who put a ‘nazar ka kala tika ‘ on their child’s face. I personally don’t believe in it but why make fun of someone’s belief just to show how educated and cool you are. Did the parents who you were making fun of ask you for your opinion? Everyone wants the best for their child and they know what they are doing.
My question is why do we stress ourselves (and people around us) so much? Why do we constantly want to show how good or bad we are ‘as compared to’ other parents out there? Who is coming out as a winner in this situation? I think it is no one… no one at all. Being jealous of what other parents are doing or making other parents feel small because of something you have achieved. I mean, I wrote something on my Facebook wall just to vent out my anger after a terrible day, not to become even more terrible after the responses I received. I was actually cursing myself to have gone ahead and written something like that.
I was also a part of this competition till I came to realise it was making me sadder and completely stressed out. I have decided to chill and parent my child the way I want to… not the way I see 1000s of others doing around me.
A story-teller, a Communication Trainer, a Parenting Blogger, a wife to her best friend and mum to the most adorable 2-year-old – Zoe. Falak Randerian, plays many roles, her favorite Being Zoe’s Mom. She runs story telling & communication workshop for kids My Little Chatterbox. You can read her personal blog Being Zoe’s Mom and her parenting website which she runs along with her elder sister www.momsters.in .