Competitive mothers

21 Jan

One dear lady said to me “Since when has being a mother been a competition?” I would say “For years”, unable to be more specific.

I know when I had DD nearly 5 years ago, it was competitive among the mothers groups online to have the ‘best’ birth.  The overt antenatal competitiveness wasn’t so pronounced at antenatel check-ups, though it came to a head at the birthing classes.  My DH would hold my hand tight and give me a warning look so I didn’t say anything awful to the other soon-to-be mothers.   What, you didn’t know there was a hierarchy of how good a birth a woman has? Let me tell you how it works and how you get points.

1. Natural childbirth without any drugs whatsoever – 50 points
Bonus points if you don’t have an obstetrician and only have midwives.
Bonus points if you bring your own doula
Bonus points if you have aromatherapy, a special playlist on your iPod, hypnotherapy instructions, and hold on to your completed birth plan

2. Childbirth with pain relief or epidural – 30 points

3. Induced childbirth, with or without epidural or pain relief – 20 points

4. Caesarean section – 10 points

There are more point-gaining possibilities for the competitive mother. For example:

  • enduring a very lengthy or a very short labour,
  • having two or more children,
  • enduring an avalanche of relatives and onlookers during labour and birth,
  • being unable to eat for three days during the labour
  • back labour (not rated as highly, which peeves me enormously because I don’t get as many points that way)
  • extreme organisation of one’s labour bag
  • complete disorganisation of one’s labour bag because one headed off to hospital at the rate of knots

Before I get howled down for being a horrible mother and  an awful human being, I’ll tell you what I consider to be the ‘best’ birth. The ‘best’ birth is one where the baby is born healthy, and the mother is well. That’s it. We all want that same result: a beautiful, new human being to welcome into our family, our lives and our hearts.  I really don’t mind how each mother gets to that point. Just leave the points-scoring and celebrate this wonderful new life.


Next: how to be competitive after the baby’s birth.


Posted by on January 21, 2011 in Child Development, children, Motherhood, women


Tags: , , , , ,

2 responses to “Competitive mothers

  1. andrea frazer

    January 28, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Honey, I am with you on this one. Too bad you lived all the way across the world when I had my babies.

    • meowmie

      January 28, 2011 at 11:20 am

      LOL, the competitive stuff is totally mad! I wish someone had whispered some sanity into my ear during my (frequent) moments of self-doubt in the first couple of months after DD’s birth. And I reckon staying away from crazy forums online is a good idea, too. Amazing how brave/superlative some mothers are when they’re online and anonymous.


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