|Image courtesy of http://turnofthecentury.tumblr.com
Excuse the very apparent snarkiness of this post, but it is frustration borne of the inability to “keep up with the Joneses.” Somethings gotta give.
I’m not sure what the root of this behavior is, but I suspect that it is a result of our inherent insecurities about our abilities to parent as well as we would like to. Society has set up unrealistic “norms” that, through media, movies and otherwise, has made many of us feel like we just can’t compete. Hence the overcompensation via bragging to save face in the view of our peers who, ironically, are doing the exact same thing. All for appearances.
I think it’s safe to say that it’s okay to not have a perfect house. It’s okay that your child is not top of his or her class at school or daycare. A simple day at the park is fine, even if you don’t have a cottage or country home to visit to get away from the proletariat.
Perhaps I’m dreaming of a Utopia, but I think it would serve all of us moms better to treat each other as allies, not adversaries. Of course we have our friends who are in our camps, but in a larger sense, this issue of competitiveness and one-upmanship is very real – and very sad. It would be great to somehow join forces and have more supportive and collaborative ways of connecting with our kids’ schoolyard friends and their parents instead of getting the feeling that we just can’t measure up every time we drop our kids off for the day. Because, after all: can’t we all just get along?
I look forward to your comments!