Blogs     Home and Family    

The Mom-petition



Have you gotten caught up in the competition of motherhood?

Silly faces with mommy.


I work from home. You work in an office. She is a stay-at-home mom. 

My child drank a smoothie for dinner last night. Your child ate a painstakingly prepared four-course meal. Her child ate boxed macaroni and cheese. 

I wanted to breastfeed, but life had other plans. You believe “breast is best” and were able to breastfeed your child until they were two. Her child received formula from birth. 

My son sleeps in our bed. Your daughter sleeps in her own bed. Her kids sleep in their beds, while she sleeps on the floor of their room.

RELATED: An expert's view on cosleeping

I have one child. You have three. She has two. 

We are all mothers. We all have the same goal: to raise confident, compassionate, independent individuals who make the world a better place. So, why do we take part in this competition to be the “best” mom? There is no trophy, no MVP ceremony, no certificate or grand prize. In fact, your idea of the perfect mom is most likely different than mine. When that’s the case, why is there so much knocking each other down instead of lifting each other up? Who invented the mom-petition?

You know what I am talking about, right? You’re minding your own business and being your best mom self when, all of sudden, it happens: unsuspected mommy warfare. This may take the form of backhanded compliments that slice through your body, a snide remark about your parenting style, or a blatant insult.

I’ve been on the receiving end of this many times but, as time goes on, I’ve realized something: I don’t care.

My dream is to be the PTA mom who organizes the bake sale fundraiser, but that doesn’t mean that you have to do the same. In my downtime, I love to make crafts with my son and plaster my walls and refrigerator with them, but just because I make my own play-dough doesn’t make me better than you. While you may be cooking a homemade meal, I may be microwaving some chicken nuggets and crossing my fingers that my son eats dinner tonight. That doesn’t mean that you are a better mother than me. At the end of the day, we all have our high points and our struggles. We all have different values. We all worry whether or not we are doing a good job. And you know what? Regardless of another’s backhanded compliments, snide remarks, blatant insults, or any internal shaming, our children still see us as the best mom in the entire world.

Seeing my son smile is my grand prize and I’m certain that he thinks that I am the MVP. To me, that means that I’ve won the mom-petition. Not because I am better than you, but because we’ve all won in the eyes of our kids.
________________________________________________________________

Underestimated Strength is a collection of posts all about our journey through life as we navigate preemie parenting after the NICU. You can read my posts here every Tuesday! Also, feel free to follow me on Instagram, where I speak freely about our story and advocacy.
Do you have any questions, comments or topic suggestions? Contact me via email: kristina.mulligan.blogs@gmail.com

Other posts by this this blogger


Flynn Has Breakfast With Superheroes

Jul 16, 2019

This past Saturday, our family attended a Superhero Breakfast at the Old Dutch Church in Port Ewen. The event benefited the non-profit organization Christmas Wishes Ulster County.

Friend, Stop Apologizing

Jul 9, 2019

You’re sorry that this life that we never asked for is the one that we have. But I’m not sorry.

Summer Bucket List

Jul 2, 2019

My intent for the month of July is to “be present,” but I want to make this my top bucket list item for the entire summer.

A Tale of Guilt & Intervention

Jun 25, 2019

I know that this is what he needs, so I have no regrets, but as a mom, I feel lesser than.

Things Preemie Parents Don’t Want You to Know (But You Should)

Jun 18, 2019

Here some things that you should know, being in the support system of a family with a preemie.

Letter to a Preemie Mom

Jun 11, 2019

I see you. I’ve been there. I see you, your patience, gentleness, and strength, and sometimes it helps to know that you are not alone.

Go Love Yourself

Jun 4, 2019

I'm a work in progress, but I know a lot about building self-confidence that I need to share with you.

Learn How to Act FAST This Month

May 28, 2019

In honor of this year’s Stroke Awareness Month coming to an end, I wanted to share my personal story.

Inclusivity is the New Black

May 21, 2019

Ask the questions. Become more knowledgeable. Practice inclusivity. Be compassionate.

The Toll of the IFSP

May 7, 2019

We’ve become pretty good friends here, right? I think we have, so I’m going to be honest with you. Ready? Let's talk about the IFSP...

Milestone Worries

Apr 30, 2019

As a mother of a child with developmental delays, I am often asked the question: “When should I worry that my baby isn’t _______ yet?” and I want to offer my advice.

Celebrations & Sensory Kids

Apr 23, 2019

There are certain things that are important to remember when you have a loved one with sensory needs.

Our Favorite Children’s Books Right Now

Apr 16, 2019

Here is a collection of books that never get old at our house, recommended by a pretty cool two-year-old...

The Opposite-of-Terrible Twos

Apr 9, 2019

With all of the focus on the negative, it’s hard to remember that there is so much more to two! There are many other things that come with two that are unbelievably far from terrible.

Interview With a Preemie Dad

Apr 2, 2019

I sat down with a very special preemie dad to ask some important questions.

"That's Your Dream?"

Mar 26, 2019

So many books tell us that we need to pursue our greatest dreams and be more than just who we are. But wait, what if that’s not my dream?

Prematurity in the Media

Mar 19, 2019

With premature birth being a huge concern in this country, it’s important to spread knowledge and awareness. Can the entertainment industry help with this?

Stepping Into Early Intervention

Mar 12, 2019

As a new mom, I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew this wasn’t “normal.” When you don't know what to do, where can you seek help?

Ways Being a Preemie Mom Has Changed Me

Mar 5, 2019

In what ways can prematurity change your parenting? For me, preemie life has lasted long beyond leaving the NICU.

Small Steps for Self-Care

Feb 26, 2019

How can you include self-care into your life without it feeling like work?

Mom Guilt: What is it and what can we do about it?

Feb 19, 2019

mom•guilt /mahm-gilt/ (noun): the unhappy feelings caused by thinking or feeling like you did something wrong, like missing your child blink, not having time to make teacher gifts, or forgetting that they don’t like scrambled eggs this week.

The Stages of Preemie Parenting

Feb 12, 2019

How can the stages of grief apply to the NICU experience?

How Choosing My Words Changed My Parenting

Feb 5, 2019

The words that we choose are more important to children than we realize. How can vocabulary be changed to create a more positive environment?

Five Toys for Babies and Toddlers That We Would Be Lost Without

Jan 29, 2019

We take our toys very seriously at our house. These are some of our favorites! What are yours?

Life as a Work-From-Home Mom

Jan 22, 2019

I'm sharing my personal experience of what it's like as a mother who does double-duty with work and parenting all day.

How I Created a Sensory Routine for My Toddler

Jan 15, 2019

Did you know that quick additions and modifications to your current routine can create a more regulated sensory environment for your child? Check out these tips to incorporate sensory activities into your every day!

Home with a Preemie During Flu & RSV Season

Jan 8, 2019

Premature babies have immature immune systems and get sick more easily than babies born at term. Learn the precautions that can be taken to minimize risk.

New Year...New Me?

Jan 1, 2019

What makes a New Year's resolution?

There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays

Dec 25, 2018

If you know a family that is in the NICU during the holidays, here are a few ideas to make their days merry and bright.

It's Beginning to Look, Smell, Taste, Sound, and Feel A Lot Like Christmas

Dec 18, 2018

This year, I organized a Twelve Days of Christmas Crafting Extravaganza for Flynn. Each activity is sensory focused but is also so fun and, of course, holiday-themed.

NICU to Now

Dec 11, 2018

After being admitted to the hospital at 27-weeks pregnant with a sudden and severe case of preeclampsia, Kristina's pregnancy went from amazing to scary. At 28-weeks, she gave birth to her son Flynn via emergency c-section. This is Flynn's story.