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silently watching

there's a mommy blogger out there who is blissfully unaware of my presence in the blogworld -- and i infinitely prefer it that way.

i was raised to feel like i needed to compete with her. i don't think she got the same treatment as a child, or maybe she was just taught the power of good self-esteem. in any case, i've been practically bred to feel inferior to her. when you teach a child that another child is the "enemy," that's what happens. if you need to compete directly at school or in another activity, fine. if we were, uh, competing gymnasts, well, obviously we need to compete. but we were set up as being life opponents, and it all boiled down to being a test of who had the greater parenting skills.

if she excelled in one thing i couldn't, i had to exploit a skill she didn't have. but because i didn't know how to believe in myself, i couldn't think of any skills she didn't have -- so my only option was to swallow my personal shame and just scoff at her. my family did the same. how delighted they all were when she didn't appear at her best. all this mean-spirited "fun" at her expense. it seems so stupid now.

so now we're grown up and in similar places in our lives. we're both married working moms with young kids. i don't feel the need to actively compete anymore, but when i read her blog i tend to feel a little blue about my own. we don't do as many kid activities, i don't have the kinds of relationships that she does, i don't... seem as happy. am i doing something wrong?

but i'm happy that she seems happy. good for her. good for her and her great life.

my mother, on the other hand, doesn't want to be happy for her. i say she's trying to lose a few pounds, my mother greedily wants to know how much she weighs. i say her kid is really cute, my mother sniffs and says she's a bad eater.

sometimes i read her blog and i think it rings a little false, but maybe that's just how truly happy people sound. if so, maybe i need to look a little more closely at myself and not just my blog.

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