Competitive Parenting

From my son’s Kindergarten class to my daughter’s swim school, even in the drop-off line, competitive parents are lurking.  I know them, because I am one.  And for the record, I’m perfectly okay with it. And that’s because I would like for my children to have a healthy dose of competitiveness within them too.  Of course, this must be instilled very delicately these days. 

God for bid you do too much cheering at a sporting event. 

There are clearly varying levels of competitive parents.  There are the extremists. The ones that just make you smile and thank your lucky stars that you’re not that competitive about anything.  You know who I’m talking about.  They’re the ones that talk to you about their children as if they’ve slated to be the next great leader of the free world.  Everything their child does is ground-breaking, earth-shattering and moves mountains.  Their kids speak 5 languages (yet they are unable to utilize any of them because their social skills stink).  All is well if you want to share with ‘friends’ when your child has done exceptionally well, but there is a difference between sharing to make others feel inferior and sharing because you’re genuinely proud of what your child has accomplished. 

Then there are the ones that do not want impurities to ever enter their child’s mouth.  They only feed their children fresh, starch-free vegetables that were hand-picked from their organic backyard garden.  I have a black thumb and everything I touch dies, so props to you.  May I please have some tips on how to grow the dang things, and then I’ll worry about actual consumption at a later date?

Also, your kid just ate a rock, but I suppose that’s okay because it comes from the ground?

Most entertaining of all, though, are the parents that judge you and scowl at you when your child is sick.  Instead of consoling, they instantly relate the illness to poor hygiene and/or not diffusing the proper essential oils at the exact right moment.  And usually the topic of when it began comes up because they’re more concerned about getting sick themselves than they are about the well-being of your kid. 

Dude, I get it, but at least have 1 ounce of sympathy seeing as how I just got vomited on 4 times in the last 20 minutes.

Then there is the FOMO competitiveness.  This is my category, my jam, my gig.  It’s the constant need to be involved.  It’s wanting the best coach, the best tutor, the best instructor, heck, the best popcorn.  It’s a form of competitiveness that’s infectious because someone is constantly telling you about ‘the best.’  Yelp surely doesn’t help.  And Angie and her list?  Well, she’s an extremist apparently. But really, who wouldn’t want what’s best for my children and their family? 

And lastly is the creative AND competitive parent.  In all actuality, these folks might be the most dangerous species of parent.  On top of the ‘everything I do is amazing,’ everything they do  actually is amazing.  Those colossal  hand-carved valentines unique to every friend, and that damn ‘turkey in disguise’ that could never have possibly ever been a turkey (aren’t familiar with that game?  I dare you to look on pinterest for ‘turkey in disguise’).  And don’t even get me started about the gingerbread house competitions.  No way that that kid could do that!  But bravo to you, Mom + Dad.  That ‘Stranger Things’ house was incredible!

When all is said and done, I’m perhaps a bit jealous of the super creative parents. 

However, I legitimately don’t have time for much of that anymore (single tear), and I admire it (and perhaps giggle a bit) when I see it.  My children eat processed food, cloth diapers stopped being used when my first born was 19 months old (and far from being potty trained), my kiddos enjoy watching television, and often they don’t get baths in the summer, because well… chlorine. 

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Lo is the Founder + Chief Innovation Officer of Trotting with Tots, a local stroller-toting mama tribe. When not scoping out new trails and neighborhoods to explore with the running group, she spends her time cooking up random vegan concoctions, inflicting pain on friends with her waxing skills, putzing around on her Cricut machine, inventing some new house project for her husband, and/or drinking wine while watching the latest episode of Intervention. Lo is married to her very own Magic Mike, whom she met on an airplane, and is lackey Mom to two munchkins (Gage + Gemma), and an allergy-ridden pup (Killian). She loves the color yellow, the sound of high heels on asphalt and gargantuan wind chimes.

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