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.