Competitive Mother Syndrome

My five-year-old daughter came home from school last Friday full of excitement.  In her little hands she clutched her end of year report.  Her teacher had told her that she had done well and she was eager to reap praise from Mum too.  She handed me the report and then ran off to play with her classmate who had also just handed her Mother her school report.  The Mother and I eyed each other as we unfolded the written status of our respective child’s intelligence, neither of us bothering to hide our suspicions that our child was top of the class, but hang on… despite my girls assessment being absolutely glowing, an abundance of praise lavished on every line, I felt anger overpower my smugness.


I was sneakily reading over the other Mother’s shoulder.  Her child’s report depicts a more complex work itinerary than my child’s.  Why should that be?  My baby has always been intellectually advanced!  I therefore deduced that when selecting pupils for the two reception classes, my child must have been plonked in the ‘slow’ group in order to make up the numbers.  I was fuming!


The next day my daughter went to Stagecoach.  My Husband had, after much negotiating, managed to get the day off work in order to see her perform in the end of term show.  We gathered together our son and his favourite toys that would keep him quiet during the performance.  Miss Jane, the stage school proprietor, informed me that there would be no performance on this occasion instead the children would have a fun arts and crafts day with face painting.  I knew my little girl would be thrilled about the change of schedule but I was gutted.  Hubby and I always look forward to each show and like many parents I am sure, we brag all the way home about how good our child is and how much more talented we believe her to be than the other children (yes we admit it even though we know it is frowned upon. Our kid rocks!).  I shoved my annoyance into the same bag as the school report and spent the next hour and a half seething.  We returned to collect her from Stagecoach and she was beaming.  Her Little Mermaid themed face paint cracked around her cheeks from so much smiling, then she produced her trophy.  Her very first trophy!  My angel had been awarded ‘Early Stages Pupil of the Year’.  We were ecstatic and cheered and sang all the way home.
Still loving Stagecoach years later

Next on my hit list? The Carnival Parade.  There we were, squashed up on the High Street pavement watching the brass bands and the Morris dancers unenthusiastically jangle by when my daughter spots three of her classmates upon a float.  Tiaras and gowns sparkling they threw what I considered to be pity waves in her direction.  I saw my sweethearts face fall and her eyes forlorn as she hugged me “I wish I could do that too Mummy”.  I looked at those float bratz and felt rage brewing again.  Smug kids, Smug Mothers, your kids are butt ugly compared to mine (again, I know this sort of honesty is frowned upon, but any Mother who says they don’t have similar thoughts sometimes is lying!)  I knew my girl just wanted to be with her friends rather than competing with them but I was unable to stop myself masterminding a bigger, brighter & all round better float with a personalised tiara to boot.

Monday morning; the school cloakroom.  After more than two days of mentally executing my daughter’s form tutor, I got my opportunity to vent.  Her teacher was so stunned she literally stepped back from me as I informed her that I was unhappy with her education so far, that I did not want her continuing in the dunce’s class (I am cringing as I write this, especially as the so-called dunces parents were within earshot) My child is capable of so much more and no wonder she is doing brilliantly if there is so little to challenge her.  The teacher took me aside and for the next half hour went though my little girl’s workbooks.  My accusations were completely unfounded!  The children in her class were mostly above average intelligence and almost all, my daughter included, deserved more dues than I had afforded them for their efforts. Ashamed, my daughter put me on the naughty step that night to think about my behaviour.
5 years later, she was a carnival princess

I consider myself to be pretty laid back.  I compete mostly against targets that have been set by myself rather than others.  Somehow when it comes to my children however, I become a different type of character; whom I do not know is good or bad.  Am I a Pushy Mother who always expects my child to be the best?  Am I just a concerned parent who wants opportunity, high standards and all that is fair and good for my children?  Does it go deeper? Could it be as simple as I spent the first 14 years of my life feeling sneered at for living on a council estate where opportunity and respect from your peers is very limited?  I guess it built for a stronger character!  Is it any of the former or am I just suffering from Competitive Mother Syndrome?

Find out more information on Stagecoach UK here…STAGECOACH UK

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.