Mom Envy: My Child Is Better Than Yours

By: Roshanda Pratt

Here is the scenario: You are at the park for a play date with other moms with children. Your child does something spectacular at least in your eyes. You applaud them. Within seconds another mom starts telling you how her child does so well at school and plans to skip a grade next school year. The next mom chimes in to say her child is excelling in reading and already plays the piano. For the next 2 to 5 minutes the conversation is a see-saw of child accolades, comparing who really has the “better” child.  Honestly, mama’s how many of you can say you have been in a conversation like this before?  Mom Envy.  It is real, destructive, stressful and unfair.

Not too long ago, I was talking to a mom who was bragging heavily about her kids. I mean HEAVILY.  These children were the next Albert Einstein, Picasso, Michael Jordan all rolled into one.  I listened as this mom went on and on about how “great” their child is doing in just about everything!  I found myself wanting to say, “Hey, my kid is special too, see, let me tell you!”  When I did get a chance to speak, I started rattling off a list of my children’s “accomplishments.”  She then added more “accomplishments” of her own.  After a while, I felt like we were playing a game of tic-tac-toe and neither one of us was winning.

I left questioning my abilities as a mother, my children’s education, their lack of extra circular activities (even though my children are 6, 4 and 23 months) and social skills. Was I failing?  Do they need to do more so they can “compete.”  Then the harsh reality hit, could I be the problem?  Maybe for you that is not a problem.  Maybe your “Mom Envy” consists of being jealous of a mom who seems well put together, organized, patient, etc. Here is the truth about “Mom Envy.”  It is unfair and damaging.  At the core, it says “I am not good enough, my children are not good enough, God made a mistake.”  I decided I would not compare myself or my children to anyone else.

Psalm 139:14 NIV reads, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

My confidence in my parenting has to rest on the fact that I am being the mom God has created for MY children.  I had to resolve being comfortable in my mommie “skin.” Everyone’s family dynamic is different, I had to decide to respect my situation without trying to make “my children or my parenting” like anyone else.  Now, I am not saying you should not have “mommie mentors.”  There are older women or moms who have been in the motherhood world longer than you.  These kind of relationships are an asset to your parenting.  This is a good thing.

However, what is not good is not enjoying your present because you are comparing it to others. I am drawing a line in the sand that the next time mom envy tries to rear its head, I will instead applaud my follow mom on her accomplishments, I will celebrate with her instead of pondering my “lack” of self-worth in my heart.  I will NOT be baited into comparison.  Let’s start a Mommie-lution, let’s ban together to love ourselves and rejoice with our fellow mom’s instead of feeling inadequate.  And if you need to make some legitimate changes in your mothering, you will do so under the guise of pressure to live life through someone else.  So, who is with me?  I would love to hear what you think.

Your friend in the journey of Motherhood,

Ro

9 thoughts on “Mom Envy: My Child Is Better Than Yours

  1. Actually, I hear those type of comments from my co-workers but choose not to drag out the conversation citing my child’s accomplishments. The fact that she is a wonderful kid and listens to me is wayyyy more rewarding than any trophy, certificate or ribbon anyone can give either of us. Don’t get me wrong, when shen won awards or reached milestones, I “stated” her achievements but going on and on is too much of a boast. #JustLovingMotherhood

  2. LOVE this one Ro! I so share your feelings on this. Can’t wait for my next blog to be posted – sort of in this same frame, except talking about breastfeeding, etc. and why can’t we just be moms and bond over that one simple fact. I stress over whether my kids are doing well or achieving what they should, and a lot of times it is because of conversations with other mothers, but at the end of the day, my kids, like yours are 4 and 6, really I’m thrilled that they are both cute and sweet (well, most of the time), have good vocabularies and are on the right track in their schooling ~ why do we constantly need to out-do each other?

  3. Ro and Crissie: It’s even worse to hear a mother go on like that when you’re not a Mom yourself! I’m always so tempted to start waxing poetic about my dog, Moon Pie! LOL! I remember once at a baseball game when my sister and I were “held hostage” by what I call a “MAD” mom. YIKES!!! I love reading both of your posts and appreciate what you normal moms go through…

  4. Ro, you and Crissie are so precious to me! I love your posts. Imagine how it feels to go through that conversation you described when you’re NOT a mother! I’m always so tempted to start waxing poetic about my dog, Moon Pie! I remember being held hostage by what I call a “MAD” mom at a baseball game. I was a lot younger then — now I’d just excuse myself — but it was one of the longest 15 minutes of my life! I so appreciate what you two go through as “non-MAD” mothers.

  5. Thanks everyone! Crissie, I am with you “why do we feel the need to out do?” I read somewhere this week something like there is no need for jealous when you understand God’s plan for your LIFE. That has been my mantra this week. And Mary Pat, you are hilarious! I say brag about your dog it may break up that chatty mama. lol.

  6. MP – Go for it! My children brag on our dog all the time and as animal lovers, I love to hear about other people’s pets. Before I had children, I talked all the time about my dogs and cats, if you love animals, you understand that those are your children, albeit with 4 legs, but the love is still there. p.s. And thanks for calling me “non-MAD”, sometimes I wonder what type of person I am in that regard!

  7. Fantastic article, Ro! When I’m around mamas who brag about all the extra curricular activites their children participate in, I often question whether I’m cheating my son out of those experiences. But then I remember that he’s only 4 years old and has the rest of his life ahead of him. We just have to keep our life in perspective. 🙂

  8. Great post Ro and so true!! I am proud of my son and so blessed to have the opportunity to be a mom. I don’t feel the need to compete with other moms as that then becomes my focus, rather than parenting/enjoying time with my family. Mary Pat – I have two sons (1 human and 1 cat) and three daughters (1 dog and 2 cats). I like to think of all of them as my children and we love our time with them! As a matter of fact, my mom calls our dog, Dafny, her “grandaughter puppy” 🙂

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