Posted by Duff

As if motherhood wasn’t challenging enough and didn’t provide enough opportunities for you to doubt yourself, there are always other moms willing to take you down a peg. I have never understood this. As if our foremothers haven’t fought hard enough to get better treatment for and understanding of women in all facets of our lives, there are still those who would use other women — some who could really use a leg up — as their personal step stools.

Do you know any of the following?

Mother of the Advanced Child – your children may be the same age, but hers is undoubtedly lightyears ahead, and it’s probably because she started flashcards in the womb.  Her child was reading before yours was speaking, and she’s his publicist.

Safety Girl – She has researched every product on the market, petitioned to test drive different models of baby gear and the effects of possible wear and tear, has been to the lab testing the chemical composition of all materials used to construct the gear, and shares her findings – usually after you’ve purchased an alternate product or have spent a year doing something now deemed by the experts unsafe or likely to have xyz side effect.

Mother Earth – Nothing processed is getting within an inch of her child, be it food, vaccinations, toys or fabrics.  Which would be even more admirable if she didn’t make it so obvious that she disapproved of your choice not to share her choices, a la, “Oh, you give him THAT? I cobbled my son’s shoes together from recycled compost and mill my own organic wheat.”

Gossip Girl – She knows everything that’s going on with everyone else’s child in the neighborhood/daycare/school, and she’s going to tell you. Which means she’s going to tell everyone if your child is resistant to potty-training, uses a pacifier beyond the recommended age, or is replacing one consonant with another.

The Reader – She has read every parenting book out there, can quote the experts, and everything she has read has worked for her, so if you use her recommended method properly, it should work for you, too. It doesn’t matter if the issue is sleep, feeding, discipline or precision molding, trust her.

Been There, Done That Perfectly Mom – Chances are, her kid is grown or she has many years experience on you, so it’s hard to discount her opinion. But her kid is HER kid, not yours, and every child is different. So while hers may have never have questioned the rules or chosen his own clothing before he could say, “fire hat”, yours does. Her kid may also never get a law changed out of sheer hard work and determination. It really does take all kinds.

Chances are, even if you know one or more of all of the above, you also know some moms who remind you what a great job you’re doing when you’re having doubts.  And doubts are a given, even for our friends above, because parenting isn’t easy.  In fact, others wouldn’t have to sell you so hard on their way of thinking if they were perfectly secure.

So take heart from these words from Eleanor Roosevelt, who had the life experience to know what she was talking about:

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”


We’re all on the same team, ladies. We all want the best for our kids. But until the sweet day when we all feel secure enough to give ourselves and each other a break, it can’t hurt to read this article:  “Five tips to handle competitive moms“.