A Losing Battle


I don’t think of myself as an especially competitive person. I never cared about getting straight A’s in school or what team was winning which game. I couldn’t care less about keeping up with the Joneses and really don’t compare myself to other women. But, since becoming a parent, I have been finding competition in some unexpected places.

My children’s looks, for instance. As babies, Evan and Lily looked remarkably like their father. At three years old, Evan is an exact replica; their baby pictures are almost indistinguishable. While I think my kids are cute as can be, I can’t help but feel I’ve lost some sort of DNA contest. And, I’m not being facetious– every time people remark on the similarities (which is all the freaking time,) my blood boils. It’s not fair.

And then there’s the competition I feel outside of our little family. We got married early. We had our first child early. We had second around the same time our friends were having their first. Everyone thought we were insane by the time we had our third. I loved being that couple who beat everyone to the punch. It was fun being the crazy ones and paving the course for everyone else. But, lately, they are catching up. Even worse than that, they’re beating us. And, it’s beginning to piss me off.

We have all the kids we can handle. I truly think a fourth would put me over the edge into Looneyville, USA, and I don’t have any interest in residing there. But, still, I can’t help but feel jealous of those with families larger than ours. We have friends with four kids, the last of whom are twins. Friends who have four kids and two dogs. Five kids, even. It’s insane. More insane than my insanity. Suddenly, I feel like a loser, but the only one competing is me.

Jeff thinks I’m nuts and doesn’t feel this way at all. So, I’m asking you, fellow mothers: Is this normal? Anyone else feel this odd competition or is it just me?

Perhaps I should pick a sports team like the rest of the country. It’s certainly easier than continuing to pop out babies.


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  1. Mardi says

    So is Ben your mini-me, DNA match? Because he is SUPER CUTE. I don’t get jealous over people having more kids, although sometimes I get a twinge when I see cute little girl clothes.

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  2. Jazz says

    not just you…we were that trail blazing couple aswell..i loved it..and although no one we know has caught up to us in the kids department (we have 5) I still feel-worry-drive myself crazy about a ton of other things..and in the childrens looks department…I lost too…which doubley drives me nuts because my husband is a total Irish whitey and I am dark complected…I should have the domonent genes right?…NOT…all my babies are whitey dighteys…before we decided to homeschool..our oldest went to pre-k and the first “parent day” teacher saw me and said “oh you must be (insert name here)” I was like no..I’m gavin’s mom.. teacher went on and on about how she just wouldn’t have pegged me as his mother and how much they look like my husband…and dont get me started about what my in-laws say..lol…sometimes I feel like I was just the incubater..LOL

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  3. Christine says

    So glad I am not the only one! We always planned on 4 kids, but after 3 and a loss we decided that was it for us. Every time I see someone with 4 I feel like I am such a slacker for only having 3.

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  4. Jennifer says

    Hmmm…understand the feeling but after spending any actual length of time with my brother’s kids (he has four), coming back to my two seems like a piece of cake.

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  5. Heidi says

    Oh, this is perfect! We’re not in a place to have another baby yet, but *everyone* is already on #2 and I feel like a total loser. I actually scolded myself for even caring earlier today, so I’m so glad to know that if I’m crazy, at least I’m not alone! Ha!

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  6. Bella says

    Okay. I really want to tell you that I am jealous of people with five children or even four. But I would be lying. I have 2 and I got to keep my sanity. Sort of. There is a possibility that my kids will grow up and move out while I am still fairly young lol. I do not want more kids.

    I do experience the dna envy though as both my boys look SO much like their Dad!

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  7. Life with Kaishon says

    I think more would be better. You are so darn good at it : ) And remember…you don’t have to worry about heating the bottle or anything. I am almost positive this next one is going to look JUST like you!

    I want a baby so badly. I don’t know how to convince Gary. I have tried EVERYTHING. I am going crazy.

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  8. Breeh says

    I’m one of THOSE moms. The ones with four kids and two dogs. I also work and go to school full time. There is a trade off, my house is never exactly tidy.
    We’ve been in this race since birth. To compete for our parents attention, to earn friends, to be the “coolest.” Now we compete to see who can juggle the most. Who has the most on their plate I stopped this for myself long ago, I simply don’t have time for it. I cannot take on another thing (except perusing great blogs like this.) I chose my family and opportunities I wanted to pursue over the race to have the most, the best, the cleanest.
    Best of luck with your struggle, just know that four really is one too many.

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