I’ve Withdrawn From the Mompetition

  1. Shelley says:

    A freaking MEN!!!

  2. parenthacks says:

    love love love this story, and exactly how you tell it. Thank you!

  3. Kimberly says:

    I used to work with a woman who bragged constantly about her child. When her child was only around 6 years old she told me straight faced that she didn’t have to worry about college costs because her daughter was going to get a full academic scholarship. I liked my coworker for the most part but when she turned into the “brag hag” I just wanted to throw something at her and tell her to shut up! I feel bad for feeling that way but… geez…. she did it all the freakin time! I try to remember her when I talk about my own daughter so that I won’t annoy other people. I hope I succeed 🙂

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      I’ve thought a lot about what makes me cross over into brag hag territory– I think there’s nothing wrong with sharing with other moms the types of stories that convey how much we love our kids. But when it’s a story that’s designed, even subtly, to prove that our kids are better/smarter/more talented than other kids— just no. 😉

  4. Gbea says:

    That was awesome. And I’m not even a Mom.

  5. I hear you, Lindsay. I’m so over it.

    And I’ll tell you that we were quite anxious about what we were going to do for 5th grade, too. But we are THRILLED with the middle school. Excellent teachers, excellent band experience; my 5th grader loves it.

    Just wanted to give you that review. I know it’s maddening to make the decisions, especially when you feel like your choices are limited because so many options are off the table because you absolutely can’t afford it (even with financial aid — in our case, anyway).

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      Thanks, Mary. Both my stepdaughters went there and it wasn’t a bad
      experience- I’m just not thrilled with Metro Schools’ education
      philosophy in junior high and high school in general. Both of my girls
      graduated absolutely HATING school and I felt that the
      teaching-to-the-test mentality (which most of the teachers seemed to be
      dissatisfied with as well) was to blame. If I can afford a school that
      pays a little more attention to my kids’ individual learning styles and
      talents and fosters a love of learning, I want to try for it. This is
      absolutely not a criticism of any other parent’s choices- just something
      I’ve had the last ten years to think about! 🙂

      • Oh, I totally understand where you are coming from! I really resent the entire “machine” that is public education today (can’t speak for private as I have no experience with it). I’m sorry your step-daughters hated school. 🙁

        Actually, I think homeschooling is a phenomenal alternative for the right families, kids, parents, etc. Alas, I do not believe our family is one of them. 🙂 But I do recall your telling me about the one hybrid homeschool/classroom setting that you were considering for Punky. Is that still on the table? (That may be a consideration for us, especially as the dreaded high school decision looms.)

        I wish you all the best. I know it is tough.

  6. Tara says:

    Gosh, and to think my kids graduated from one of only 2 high schools in our county. One is a Sgt. in the US Air Force and one is working on her Bach. degree in nursing. I can’t imagine how we survived without the “special” schools. 🙂

    • Tara says:

      **public school from K-12

      • grayeyedgirl says:

        LOL I giggle because the only special school we had in my town was the one where the bad kids went after getting kicked out of public school. There were no magnet schools or private schools around. But the moms had lots of other ways to compete. I hated hearing it because my mom never partook. She never bragged and I always felt bad but then I felt good because she wasn’t giving in. She is a strong lady.

  7. Jennifer says:

    I feel like I somehow end up in this conversation ALL. THE. FREAKING. TIME. And my son is only in second grade. We have two more years of this! It’s exhausting.

  8. Melissa says:

    Leaving the Mompetition is a lesson I’ve learned early on thanks to my firstborn. When he was born I had this grand illusion that everything was going to go perfectly according to the magazine milestones (I hate parenting magazines but that’s a different topic for a different time). Well, um, NO. My precious baby had pretty big speech and gross motor skill delays. He didn’t sit up or roll over or crawl or walk until WAY after the vast majority of kids his age. At almost four years old he’s still in speech therapy. I spent the first two years of his life in agonizing silence while all the other moms sat around chirping about how quickly their own babies were advancing and all the things they were sure they were doing right to make that happen. Well I was doing all those things too and my baby was still delayed. It sucked. It was painful. It was lonely. I spent many evenings after putting my son to bed in tears about it. I felt ashamed that we had him in therapies because so many other parents are so negative about it. Their kids were JUST SO SMART and started speaking in full sentences all of a sudden one day so they wanted none of “that speech therapy crap.” Imagine how that felt to me. Like getting punched in the chest. Was I a bad mom for buying into “that speech therapy crap”?

    NO. I was not. And I AM not. My son is not like every other child on this planet. He is MY son. He is unique. He is an individual. He is special and so, so incredibly smart. Being in speech therapy does not in any way lessen those things. My job as his mom is not to make him like every other kid on the planet. My job is to make him the best he can be as himself and screw what all the other parents who somehow have to put others down to make themselves feel better think about it. I am doing the best I can for MY kids with their unique needs and personalities and with the resources we have available to us. The first few years of parenting were really, really hard for me because they were nothing like I expected, but I can see now how much I have learned and how far I have come.

    So when other parents are stressing about school and activities and OH MY GOD MY THIRD GRADER ISN’T GOING TO GET INTO HARVARD BECA– USE THEY GOT A B ON A TEST I just shrug it off and tell the truth. We’re taking it one step at a time. One year at a time. Life could change. Our situation could change. Our kids’ needs could change. So I figure the best I can do is stay as plugged into my kids as best I can RIGHT NOW so I can make the best decisions for them as they grow. I used to feel like life threw me a big ol’ sucker punch when I became a parent because it went so differently than I had pictured, but now I’m throwing that sucker punch right back at life. Bring it on. Because I’m not going to let it make me feel like a bad mom. We’re all in this together and really, we’re all just flying by the seat of our pants desperately hoping and praying we don’t screw up.

    • Tanya Strauss says:

      Good for you! I feel like cheering right here for you! I was the queen mompetitor with my first child. I know it and I’m horribly ashamed to admit it. My 2nd child has had some moderate delays and those were enough to get me to sit up and take notice. My kids are incredible and so are everyone else’s. We’re all doing the best we can for them and suggesting anything else to ourselves or anyone else is just BS.

    • Elaine says:

      You are awesome!

    • Christine Lyon says:

      Don’t listen to them!! Also, I had a horrible lisp and lazy tongue due to palate deformities. I now speak clearly, and am a champion tongue-twister (the rhymes, get your head out of the gutter: j/k!) But seriously, have you tried using tongue twisters to help him get control of his tongue? Like Peter Piper or Sally sells seashells? They REALLY help A LOT!!! I had to have corrective work done on my mouth, and after widening my jaw and then breaking it and resetting it, I couldn’t pronounce T’s, P’s, S’s, or F’s. The tongue twisters were my saving grace!!!! Good luck and I am sure you are an awesome mom!!!!

  9. Leora says:

    What a brilliant piece! My kids are still little, but I remember these conversations from my days as a teacher at a “privileged” charter school!

  10. grayeyedgirl says:

    The sad thing is that it doesn’t end with being a mom. I’m 38. My husband and I don’t have kids. My mom is constantly encouraged to join in with the Grandmapetition. She said she was at Curves one night and all the grannies were talking about how fabulous little Quinoa was at ballet and on pointe at 3 years old and baby Zander was talking full sentences at 2 months. Since Curves is in a circle all the ladies went round until it got to my mom. She said they looked at her and she said, “Well, my grand-dog is a national champion (retired greyhound).” At first the women didn’t get what she was saying so she had to tell them she had no grandchildren. And these ladies all but wept for her. And then ostracized her. *eye roll*.

  11. Christine Lyon says:

    I brag about my son loving vegetables, that he is very polite, and recently, an “A” student. But a few years ago, he was in Special Education and we were told he might never read due to a visual-perceptive issue. He learned to read, so his straight “A”s are a big accomplishment. And I ONLY fed him veggies when he was little and avoided having meat in the house, so that he would develop a preference for them young. The politeness is usually just shyness. But, yes, I am proud of him, so I brag. But I won’t compare him to other people’s kids (except the rude kid who threw rocks at my face years ago, my son is better than that!) because every child is different. Kids hear these things, why make them feel worse about themselves???

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