Yesterday I went out for lunch to celebrate a friends birthday and something happened. I call it the hierarchy of mothers. Have you noticed this?
I was sitting there with my two littles eating my lunch when a latecomer joined the group. She had one toddler in tow. She introduced herself to me and mentioned her little guys name and told me that he's one of her three kids. His name would have sufficed, but she felt the need to tell me that she's not just a mother of only one measly kid, but she's a proud mother of three. Why did she do that?
I've noticed this behavior amongst women everywhere. I first began to see it when I had Zander. It seems that the more children you have, the more respected or pitied you should be. Whichever you are going for I guess. Whenever I'm out with the entire crew, women constantly tell me they have more children or more grandchildren than children I have. As if I really care. As if I base anything on their lack of birth control. As if that makes them more important or experienced as I am.
Is this more equalizing? I know as women we wear our children as trophies. Well some do. I love when I am out with only the baby and all the women I run into give me advice and "wait and see's". It cracks me up. I never tell them oh he's the youngest of four and I'm pregnant with five.
But it doesn't stop there. There are subcategories to the hierarchy. It's also includes, how old your oldest is, the spacing, how old you were when you had your first, are they all still at home or are some school aged. any teenagers in there, and even their genders. There's a whole order here.
Someone asked me the other day how close Eryx and the new baby will be in age. I replied that they will be 18 months apart. To this she said, "oh well my oldest two are 14 months apart so 18 is nothing". Yikes, I wasn't complaining or bragging. They are what they are. That was the Lord's timetable with this pregnancy...not mine. Am I super mom because my fourth and fifth child are 18 months apart, or is she because her first were only fourteen months... what was the attitude there?
Another incidence of this was when I found an old friend on facebook. She had just given birth to her fifth child and us our fourth. When I told her that we have four she actually said to me, "oh I'm winning". I said, "what?" She said that they have more kids so she's winning. I told her that if having children were a race or contest then yes, she would be winning. Blah!! Really people!! Those children are her trophies, yes... In her eyes she had five trophies and I only had four...yikes!
Do you see where I'm going. Why is this even discussed? I have three friends with more children than I do. I don't look at them as a threat. I'm not losing the game. I look to them for their precious experience. When I'm around them and they speak of what works in their homes with their kids, I take notes. I don't judge them or feel like I'm less than they are because we ONLY have four children. This is so silly, yet it is a social standard that women create.
Why do we do this? Have you noticed it? Any opinions?