The competition of motherhood begins when pregnant…..an unexpected and unwanted element to early pregnancy.
You announce you’re pregnant and everyone asks how you’re feeling. Your answer of course is “crap, tired, sick & huge”. And to yourself, you *are* the most crap, tired, sick & huge you’ve ever been. But more often than not you won’t hear “oh you poor love” you’ll hear “I/my sister/best friend had morning sickness 24 hours a day/was so tired they tested for narcolepsy/was so huge she needed maternity wear from 6 weeks etc etc”
You’ll discuss how gigantic you are at every opportunity only to find that no matter how big you get Sarah from Marketing will tell you how much bigger she was and no matter how duck-esque your waddle, you’ll be ‘walking like a catwalk model’ compared with Julie from HR when she was pregnant.
Your horrific labour (that will remain the most traumatic experience of your life) will always be out-laboured by everyone you tell and everyone’s newborn will be the most frequent feeder ever known. Those early days are pretty rough without the constant competition about the size of your baby and the rapidity of their growth. A bigger baby is the ultimate badge of honour as you exclaim “She’s huge! She never stops eating” and your friend tells you her baby was the size of a Shetland Pony at your baby’s age.
Breast vs boob – who can hold out the longest without giving formula? Whose nipples bled the most? Whose milk squirted the farthest? How many tubes of Lanisoh did you get through?
The ultimate competition of course is sleep. You will fall into one of two categories – good sleepers or bad sleepers and you will compete to be the best / worst in the respective categories.
Sleep isn’t always a solo game – teams can be formed. Teams of the non-sleep category will stick together and defend the honour of their poor sleep-deprived peers whilst teams of the sleep-through brigade join forces.
It does settle down a bit once the babies get to toddlers. I think as we mature as Mums and as our precious babies transform into precocious little shits we seize the opportunity to join forces and complain about them. We finally realise that it doesn’t matter one jot what age your baby walked/talked/slept through they’re still highly likely to turn into a massive twat as a toddler / threenager.
And lets face it – everyone’s a loser then….