tripping the life unbalanced

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

competing for mommy points

This past Saturday I got a mention in Rebecca Eckler's new column in the Globe and Mail. She gave me a very nice shout-out for a recent post of mine. My first reaction was a stunned "oh wow!" which quickly led to "oh crap what the hell does it say about me and who will be reading it?" to to finally "ummm...really? A whole column about competitive parenting???"

Don't get me wrong - I can appreciate a shout-out with the best of them. I'm not as nonchalant about these things as I would like to believe. I was flattered to know my blog was being read by more people than just friends and family (I mean really, you do know this is a public website, right Kate?)

But a whole column dedicated to "competitive parenting?" Please no. I take issue with the term itself and with the act of reducing blogging parents to another playground war. As Scarbie Doll recently pointed out, we are already inundated with enough competition to make for a lifetime of therapist hours. Can we not please move beyond this? So much of parenting is already up for judgement and analysis: breast vs bottle, cosleeping vs crib, working outside the home vs staying at home. Can we maybe get a break around here? I'm already a bit overflowing with anxiety issues, thanks very much. I don't know if I will be up for the challenge of blogging for mommy points.

To be fair, Eckler does point out the fact that "reading mommy blogs is free therapy" (agree). And she has started her own blog. I am a little disturbed by the amount of hate comments she has already received. Whatever people - it's her blog. She's allowed to express what she wants. Disagreement - I'm all for that. But dissing her because she makes a spelling mistake? Is this what "competitive parenting" reduces us to?

All in all, I think a whole column dedicated to making parents feel more inadequate is problematic on so many levels. Aren't there other things we could be talking or reading about?

That's my two cents and I am sticking to it. Ho hum.


  • Hmm... very cool that you were mentioned in the column; however, the subject matter, I agree, not so cool. I don't know, it seems a little trite, don't you think? Competitive mommies? Yawn. Why is there so much writing about women and the NEGATIVES? And a WEEKLY column no less? Ugh. I'll pass, thanks. But again, the shout-out, who wouldn't like that? Props, Sistah. Oh yes, HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY ALICE! Three years is quite the accomplishment. :)

    By Blogger Jackie, at 6:52 p.m.  

  • Well said girlfriend.

    I am a bit distressed about even criticizing her. It sort of feels like a Mommy War of sorts. Part of me feels that I should be embracing her as a sister in motherhood. But I winced when I read about the Nanny and the Prada bags.

    I know her reality is not my reality. Yes, if I could afford a nanny, and therefore, the Prada bag gifts, I would shower said nanny with them. And yes, it doesn't make sense for Nanny to fly coach when they're all up in business class. (Though I do find it odd that it's the nanny's job to sit with the kid even on the flight, but I'm going to try not to judge) But would I flaunt it like that? I can't decide what to think.

    By Blogger scarbie doll, at 10:54 p.m.  

  • And here I am a starving writer trying to come up with column ideas--who knew? However, it's because of the (yes, distasteful) article that I found your blog and it's a laugh out loud place for me to visit. I was just shopping at Costco and overheard two employees talking about potty training and gleefully told them about your blog. Honestly we moms (especially the ones working from home and STILL being expected to DO IT ALL) should be sticking together.
    At any rate, it looks like her blog is down, I could not link to it. Hmmm.....

    By Blogger BeenThereDoneThat, at 6:21 p.m.  

  • well said. i have to agree. i read the Globe every weekend and was very surprised to find an entire weekly column dedicated to competitive parenting, but alas it has so many talking and that's the clincher isn't it.

    I am a mom of two, also a columnist (write a weekly mommy culture column, fairly vast in scope but the goal is to empower least i try) and rather new to this blogging thing, but i am loving it and for someone who has been so involved in the mommy community i am amazed that it's taken me so long to get into the blogosphere.

    anyway, love your site and your thoughts and will be giving you my own shout out but in the spirit of community.

    just thought I'd share.

    in sisterhood,

    By Blogger babesandtheburbs, at 8:24 p.m.  

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