Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Competitive Talking

image from lifesnip.com
I think it’s human nature to stand fiercly behind a belief you have, even if what you believe in is shaky.  Take your favorite football team, for example.  So they haven’t won a single important game in years and can’t even spell the word P-L-A-Y-O-F-F-S yet you get in a room with someone who is wearing red and silver instead of your trusty orange and blue and they become the enemy.  You’ll rip apart their team down to the awful boots their cheerleaders wear while at the same time lording the immaculate nature of your precious team over their heads.  And admit it, in your head you’re listening to their points and thinking, “hmmm, that’s true, they can’t catch a ball”, but it comes out “the ref wasn’t looking and we were robbed.  We Rock!!”.  You stand firm in the slop that is your football team and shove their greatness down your friend’s throat.
Feeling guilty of that?  I know I am.  Maybe not the football part, but about a lot of things (mainly baby related things).  It’s almost like I feel that someone is trying to personally offend me when they prefer a different brand of stroller, sippy cup, or even if their baby rolled over before mine and I feel the need to defend my life, hoping to show how “right” I am.  Huh?  What’s up with that?  Who cares if Timmy prefers his Dr. Brown’s sippy cup when my Little Man needs a Nuk?  Aren’t they both happy?  Neither one is right, and I know that.  Why, then, when around another intelligent mommy I feel the need to defend the honor of my favorite products or my baby's development, when their honor isn’t even being questioned?
It’s got to be deeply ingrained in us moms somewhere way down deep that we must be right.  We have to be right. We have to be the best or have the best and somehow that makes us right and the have-nots wrong.  Is that why we feel “wrong” when we don’t have what they have?  I can’t tell you how many times I have felt that it is wrong for me to be growing my family in a small, 1100 square-foot condo with no yard or even garage.  Other women at my young age with growing families have yards, garages, seperate rooms for their kids, and don’t even have to go up three flights of concrete stairs while wrangling a screaming toddler, sleeping baby, and groceries just to get to their front door.  I feel like I need to get on the “right side” of this topic so I can be right and have all the right things.  And yet, when someone mentions my living situation I feel an incredible urge to defend my choices.  
Why can’t I just say, “yeah I love where I live, and your house looks so wonderful too”.  Instead it comes out snarky and a bit too fierce.  Then I feel like I have to show them all the other things I have right; like how great is this accessory or that product that I just happen to have.  Plus, the way I live is not wrong.  I shouldn’t feel the need to defend anything!  And why is it that while “defending” our silly possetions we have to try to knock down what others have or believe in?  I act like I am defending the miracle of Christ or something, not just the best diaper brand. It never actually makes me feel better or truly right and I leave the conversation knowing that I didn’t change their minds because when moms get together, sometimes we are unable to “hear” eachother and are just competative talking.
Plus, my team’s due for a comeback - your team doesn’t stand a chance.
(Oh boy, I didn’t learn anything)


  1. Such a great point. What is your team by the way, I'm sure they are due a comeback as well. :) My team on the other hand has had their day and I'm afraid they're on their way back down. Oh well. Thanks for the follow. Getting you back. Come back soon.

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner

  2. We have to support those Denver Broncos no matter what here in middle america :) Which team are you rooting for?

  3. Kelly-

    You raise some good points, you really do. It is something for us to all think about, that's for sure!

    One thing that really helped me understand this issue was to just look at America. We value being independent SO much, perhaps maybe too much. We want the best job, the best car, the best whatever just to show that we are independent thinkers, and by gosh, we've made it. Independence is valued at the cost of having a real relationship with others around us. If we look at other successful societies, we begin to see that they function as an interdependent unit. In America, this is looked at as a sign of weakness, but is it? Is being able to look at your fellow man and say, ok, I can do this, and you can do that, why don't we figure out a system and work together for the betterment of all really a bad thing? Only once we begin to value what another can do, as well as their (and our own) shortcomings, can we begin to create a truly interdependent society. But until we reach that point, we are stuck in defending what we have and what we think we know.

    Just a few thoughts.


  4. Annika, I think it is so true that we are "over independent", leading to swollen heads and an inability to really listen to what someone else is saying. I do think we will get there, but it is going to be a loooong way coming with a lot of bumps in the road.