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Mothers, Competition and Kindness

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Dr. Meg Meeker

School is starting around the country and as moms out there start to run into other mothers, I know it is inevitable that conflict will rear its ugly head. Sometimes it’s in the form of jealousy and other times it appears in the form of competition. I’m writing today’s post as a brief refresher from my book The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers and as a guidebook for moms out there.

Say No to Competition, Moms. One way to do that is through deliberate kindness. Doing kind things for others is always good, and acting kindly toward another mother with whom we compete helps our relationship and derails the desire to compete.

If there is another mother you know who just had her third baby and you desperately want another child but can’t have one, cook her a meal and bring it to her. If ther is a mother who works outside the home in a job that you think is fabulous but you know you can’t have, ask to take her child to the park one day while she’s working. Perhaps there’s a mother whose kids are number one and two on the varsity tennis team at your son’s high school and your son can’t play any sports well because he’s, well, clumsy. Send her a note telling her how well her kids are doing.

This is tough stuff. I’ve done it myself and I know that it works. It requires that we dig deeply and act against our natural instincts. But this is the only way to get off the train of competition. Part of you is on that train, wanting to be better, look prettier, be more successful in something. So get off. Right now. Take the hard road and abandon it altogether. Confront your nature to compete with other moms and rise above it every day, every week. Doing this is the beginning of reconciling with yourself that what you have and all you need lies within you, not outside of you. All of it.

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