One-Upsmomship Can Suck It

More running later (I have a race this weekend!), but first I need to get this off my mind…

One of the headlines this week consisted of Gwyneth Paltrow telling the world that she has it SO MUCH HARDER than regular non-famous moms. Going to the office every day?? Is SO easy! We have routines! OK G.

To follow this up Mackenzie Dawson wrote a rebuttal to Gwyneth, basically stating the obvious – G doesn’t know what it’s like to be a non-famous working mom. And then proceeded to put her down.

In my opinion? Both women came across as huge a-holes and… the war on Motherhood continues. Right?

What I fail to comprehend is how ANY of these sentiments and statements make you , me, or even G a better mother. We don’t live each others lives. We don’t know each others hardships. Yes, it’s very first world problems to announce you have it so much harder because you have to work 14 hour days for 3 weeks in a row and then go on vacation — but I get the thing about the kids not having a routine or being able to see their mom (which, I do believe was the point). Sometimes being a mom – working outside the home, or staying at home – can just plain suck.

But, there’s no reward for being in the suckiest position. It just sucks more. So why the EFF are we bashing each other over it?

Are we addicted to one-upsmomship? Why do we have to keep proving that we are simultaneously the best AND the worst moms? And  do we have to tear each other down to feel good?

That said, I feel REALLY lucky. I have a lot of mom friends. Some of them work, some of them stay home, some of them work from home — and you know what? It doesn’t matter what we do. We honestly don’t talk about it. We all have similar complaints and struggles. Our kids go through the same stages and have the same ups and downs. We spend our days worrying about kids, we get pissed off when they act out, we are brimming with pride when they do something that amazes us, and we love them more than we ever imagined. But then I read this crap online and think — what the hell? Why do people care what my family does? And more importantly, why are we so definitive on how much harder our lives are?

My favorite quote lately seems to be “Be kind, for everyone for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” I mean, how freaking true is that?

Maybe we all need to continuously chant it. Be KIND. It goes a long way. Do any of us really know what we know what we doing?

And one-upsmomship? Yeah, it can SUCK it.

Let’s commiserate — what’s hard for you this week? For me, my pump is sucking — or rather, it’s lacking some suck and it’s pissing me off. I think the motor is dying. Plus, E is still waking up twice a night. *Yawn*


  1. Meg M says

    What is it about our society and the one-upping? There is no reward for being “busier” or having it “harder” than someone else.

    Ohh I totally commiserate with the sleep stuff. M is still getting up 2, sometimes 3, times at night. The cumulative effects of almost 11 months of sleep deprivation are terrible.

    • says

      I’d much rather brag about being happier and on vacation. But that’s me. Lol.

      E keeps teasing us with a few really good nights of sleep and then plays the wake up game again. Don’t worry though – this WILL be short-lived! They’ll both sleep soon.

  2. says

    I think the issue with GP’s comment wasn’t so much the message as the delivery. Poor choice of words, and clearly, she should’ve avoided the comparison to working moms. She could’ve just said that is was difficult having an erratic schedule and spending weeks away from her children. That’s hardly a controversial statement.

    This whole “controversy” didn’t annoy me nearly as badly as the breast feeding dad ad that said, “I’d do it if I could.” I understands the intention, but I found the delivery sooo condescending. Like, guess what? I could’ve said the same thing, like many women who had difficulty nursing. Good intention – just not framed well. In my humble opinion.
    Victoria recently posted..Best Damn Race Orlando (Recap)

    • says

      I agree on the delivery. It was a stupid thing to talk about in the first place.

      OMG yes to the breastfeeding dad ad. Really any breastfeeding propaganda that makes the assumption that all women don’t breastfeed b/c it’s their choice. Maybe instead these ads should talk about the resources available if you want to – seems like a lost

  3. says

    I maybe see my two year old for about an hour a day given my crazy work/commute schedule. So the time I do spend with him he’s super clingy and emotion, and I totally spoil him out of mom guilt. I need to be more firm, but I hate punishing him during the little time I have with him. I guess I should suck it up because I’m still the parent and he needs to respect me, but ugh. It’s hard.

    I am the only mom in my group of friends, too, so it’s not like I can commiserate with anyone. Thank you for opening up a little mom rant space!
    Emily recently posted..A Baby Story

    • says

      It IS hard! And as for punishing/spoiling — I feel like at 2 it’s still hit or miss anyway. You can start time outs and whatnot, but I don’t necessarily think they understand it and it’s generally NOT malicious. I feel like 3 is a different story though. Lol. You’ll make it work somehow!

      And congrats on your news :)

  4. says

    This week I got to experience the “joys” of puking while trying to nurse the baby…though luckily not quite at the same time. And then my husband got sick too and the baby just wouldn’t step up and take care of us while we were ill. ;)

    Just wanted to say that I loved your post. While I thought GP’s delivery was poor, the whole “who has it worse” humble-bragging is getting so old. Unfortunately this seems to apply to many aspects of life – not just motherhood.
    Lauren recently posted..Life Lately: Overwhelmed

    • says

      Man, your baby really need to get with the program! Lol. I hope you all feel better soon. That sounds horrible.

      And yes, I agree – it applies to EVERYTHING. I guess it’s social media?

  5. says

    So true. It is hard being a mom no matter what your situation. I wouldn’t change it for the world, but it is hard.

    Sorry your pump is not sucking. I have the same one and am on my 3rd motor. The good thing is that medela has great customer service. The bad thing is that the thing keeps breaking. Good luck!
    Heather recently posted..33

    • says

      Omg – your 3rd motor?? I feel lucky that I’m just having issues now!! At least I planned on weaning from the pump in a month or so anyways. Hopefully you won’t have any more problems!! If you do – get the PISA instead – I used it for 2 babies without ANY issues.

  6. says

    You know, I never much paid attention to all the “mommy wars” until I started blogging and reading blogs regularly. I guess, I’m just more aware of it now. I don’t like it and I think, we all need to mind our own business, G. included. We are all different people, we all parent in our own way but at the end of the day we are al human and what matters most, should be our kids!!! Hope you get some rest soon.
    Susi recently posted..Let’s Play Ball (Wordless Wednesday)

    • says


      I’ve had a few “run ins” with some of the moms at B’s school. It took me a few years to realize that life is too short to care and I definitely had my share of hurt feelings. Why I cared? I have NO idea!

  7. Kara says

    I dropped my last Cadbury egg and I can’t bend over and my dog ate it before I could get my gripper stick.


  8. Kate says

    Hi Michelle– Long time reader (though I’ve never commented) and your post prompted me to respond. This week my challenge is that I had a c-section 10 days ago and then came down with a bad head cold/virus with a horrible fever that is making my recovery even worse!

    I agree with you on the “mommy wars.” Everyone just needs to shut up…it doesn’t matter who you are, everyone has their challenges. Don’t we all have better and more constructive things to discuss? We live in France and it’s really interesting that these kind of mommy “debates” don’t seem to exist as strongly or as passionately here (if at all). I’ve even had some English friends here comment to me that it seems like the mommy debates in the U.S. are pretty intense!

    • says

      Oh no — I hope you feel better soon. It’s hard enough just having a baby!!

      Interesting on the mommy wars perception. With about 80% of the mom’s I interact with are amazing. I have no idea if they work or stay at home. They are great people who, like me, couldn’t care less about what other moms are doing. Then there’s the 20% who give mothers a bad name. They are the ones who make me give myself the “not everyone has to like you and you don’t have to be friends with everyone” pep talk. It’s unfortunate when my kids are REALLY good friends with their kids. Such is life though!

  9. says

    I feel like we also need to add that because someone DOESN’T have kids, doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t know what tired is, or that they have it so easy. In life, there’s really no “harder than yours”. There’s just hard. One person’s hard can’t quantify another person’s. And I’m giggling for saying hard so many times, but there we have it. Maybe that’s why I’m not a parent. One-upsmanship in general needs to quit tearing people down-we do that enough to ourselves, we don’t need any help, amiright?
    Laura@FitFreshandFunny recently posted..Monday Morning Musings

    • says

      Hard is hard. I mean that should be a famous quote, right?

      I SO don’t get people who are so consumed with worrying about other peoples lives.

    • says

      Right? I work and you stay home – but you know what? If we met in real life (maybe someday!), we wouldn’t spend but a minute talking about any of that. I just don’t get the great divide!

  10. says

    I don’t have kids (not by choice) & all of my friends are very quick to tell me how I have more time than them. It’s my BIGGEST PET PEEVE. It’s not bad enough that I have to deal with infertility but now I have to listen to my friends tell me how lucky I am to have so much time. UGH!! Everyone has 24 hours a day. Our priorities on how to use that time is different.
    Traci Blanchard recently posted..The Weekend!

    • says

      Oh man, a huge HUG to you! And I don’t like to hug.

      And yes, we all have the same hours! People just need to shut their mouths. Lol. I do look back to my child free days and think “what did I do with my time?” BUT I do 800 times more things now — and about 60% of it has nothing to do with my kids, so I can’t even blame them. Lol.

  11. Denise G. says

    What’s hard for me is biting my tongue with my MIL. She lives out of the country but has been staying with us every other week for the last month. I’m tired of her taking my baby away from me and basically forcing me to leave the house. She tells me to trust my instincts with him but yet overrides me when I finally do. She thinks I worry too much and gives me a hard time for mentioning what I’ve read in baby-related books and websites. In the world of mother in laws she’s not that bad, I’d just like my home and baby back for these last precious weeks before I’m off of maternity leave.

    • says

      Oooo – it’s such a fine line with the grandparents. I have learned it’s better to let them have their moments and go with it. Picking your battles is both key to parenthood AND dealing with family. It’s really hard when you only have a few weeks of maternity leave though. I can COMPLETELY relate!

      Congrats on your little guy!! So happy for you :)

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