Are you a competitive parent?
I wouldn't say I am all that competitive but I sometimes feel like I've ended up as a participant in Project Offspring. I didn't know that I was entering a competition when we decided to have kids. I naively thought I was just having a few kids to create a little family.
Oh no. How little I knew. It all started at my first mother's group - 'How many hours is he sleeping at night? How often do you feed him?' and we were off and running.
I'm not a person who thrives on competition. I sometimes wonder if I'm a little bit alone on this. I like to achieve but I don't find being in a competition very empowering. In fact the opposite - I feel quite deflated by it. I've never been a star - never the best academically, never the best at music, never the best at sport. Always pretty good but never the best.
Am I unhappy about this? No. I mostly feel fine about my mediocrity! I don't mind not being the star. And I don't mind if my kids aren't always the best at everything. In my thinking - I don't expect them to always be the best. Try hard, work hard - absolutely. But always be the greatest? Well, no. It seems unrealistic to me.
I feel genuinely happy that my son came second in a speech competition this week. He was happy with the result, I was happy that he worked hard. That's OK ... I think.
Or is it? Maybe I'm supposed to be fighting harder - complaining that the adjudicator wasn't fair, that the other kid was favoured?? (I don't know - I wasn't there). This is what I see going on all the time - but I don't get it. I just kind of don't relate to it. So I'm guessing it must be my personality.
The thing is - I feel like if I'm not fighting for my kids about something that it looks like I don't care. But I do care. I'm fascinated by them and happy to bore anyone to tears talking about them. I just don't see it as a competition or a long term project that I've entered into. It's a relationship - and come what may I have to love them through it. Whether they're the star or not.