Mar 10, 2010

Don't you love a competitive mother

Dear Scary mother at Busy's swimming lesson yesterday,

hello. Yes hi. I just wanted to chat to you about something you said. About my child. About my parenting actually. Yes. You. Please take a seat.

You see, my beautiful little munchkin is 3 and she doesn't know how to swim and I actually don't think this makes me a bad mother. In fact I am quite sure it doesn't. You see when you compare your 18 month old  by saying what a great swimmer she is compared to mine who is so much bigger than  her - yes, she is tall. she takes after her parents- it actually just makes me think you are a twat- not a better mother. My little daughter- yes she is a girl, oh , you thought she was a boy because her cozzie is blue and green stripes, yes I can see that you feel its important to dress your child in a gender specific way -your 18month old wears a pink bikini to swimming lessons and always wears pink dresses and pink hair clips and pink pink pink -is going great at swimming and in only  5 lessons is now going totally head under water ( YAY Busy!!!!)

You see , some of us work. Some of us like working. Some of us think it actually makes us better mothers. So when you say things like " I could never let a stranger raise my child" - again, it just gives me the shits. I actually have to work, to help support my family, which I am only to happy to do. I love my job. I spent years at uni so I could do my job.

I wouldn't call three days a week in family day care with 4 other kids being raised by someone else. So considering we live 65km round trip to swimming lessons I think we are doing great. I actually don't think it is essential that a 6 month old baby learns to swim. Call me crazy but I don't think Busy has suffered due to her lack of swimming skills. Again, like I said she is 3.

Also does your husband know that you flirt with the swimming teacher? It makes me cringe. You have probably not noticed that the swimming teacher cringes too.

Anyhow thanks for the chat and by the way Busy wants to say something too:

Hmmph!

42 comments:

  1. Hee hee, I do love those mums, I think perhaps they should all be put on an island somewhere, but then where would that leave there poor chldren all stuck together.
    Caleb has just learnt to swim this year at 5 and is now in private lessons as they work better for him but there was lots of parents whnging when the instructor had to give himextra help - you paid $10 for the lesson you aren't gping to get Ian Thorpe.He and the teacher flt so much pressure that by the last of the 5 lesson run that Caleb ended in complete meltdown (with Asperger's sutism not that unusual). I don't understand why mothers find the need to be like that.
    Busy on the other hand is doing great! We are still working on underwater and I think that you are doing a great job with your gorgeous girl too

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  2. Well summed up, have often wanted to write ones in a similar vein. Made me laugh, but I sometimes do wonder about the sisterhood. Verification word is swears!!

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  3. urgh, some people just don't know when to shut their mouth do they??! I had my dfaughter at swimming lessons at an early age simply because I am absolutely terrified of drowning. I had MANY nightmares of her drowning and it put my mind at ease to think she might be able to save herself if it came to that. Not that my paranoid little self could ever have left her alone near water for a second. People need to get over that whole competitive thing and get a life. We are not all trying to raise little Olympians! And also, I always got that too, "what a lovely boy!"... she never wore pink.

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  4. OMG she really needs to get a life, instead of living her life only through her kid!
    I dare you to put her in her place next time you meet...hee hee, and please let Busy blow a raspberry right to her face!

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  5. Great post! I HATE competitive parents. We have our boys in swimming (2 and 4) so they can learn survival skills, not to be Ian Thorpe! They enjoy it and we enjoy being involved. It is the social worker coming out in me (!), but parents that act like that are only doing so because of their own insecurities about their own parenting and child's development. I feel sorry for her poor daughter, a lot of pressure for an 18 month old. Enjoy your swimming lessons and try and sit as far away as possible!!!

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  6. You tell em Busy. Here's a great article by Catherine Ceveny that might give you more ammo for next time: http://mogantosh.blogspot.com/2009/04/your-childs-gifted-you-say-thats-nice.html

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  7. ah yes, the competitive parent! roy was chatting nicely with another little boy at swimming when the oth boy asked about his doll, roy excitedly showed him (a doll that i had made and roy loved so much that he nabbed it and hid it in his room so i couldnt sell it) only for the boy to proclaim, 'dolls are for girls! arent they mum?' the lovely mother then asked me ' do you realise what your doing?, he'll probably end up marrying a bloke'
    ????????????????????????????

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  8. Hi, my name is Sophie and I used to be a qualified swimming instructor for both infants and school aged children, now I'm simply known as Mum! I thought it was necessary that I introduce myself in that way. I completely agree with you that it is not necessary to enrol a 6 month old in structured swimming lessons. I never enrolled my nearly 3 year old until she was over 12 months. For the first 6-18 months of a child’s life it is all about familiarisation and nothing else, despite all the bullshit they might tell you! As long as you can achieve a level of comfort and trust in the water that is all you need at that stage and this can be achieved in the bath and shower at home! To expect a 6-12 month old t be able to safely swim to the edge and pull themselves out is ridiculous to say the least! On a separate note, each child obviously learns at a different speed and in different ways, so I think she is just a simple woman really to make that comment. You may find pleasure in knowing that each child will also go through a stage usually around 2/2.5 years where they are difficult to deal with (you would know this as your beautiful one is 3!) and may actually take a step backwards in relation to their progress in the water. When this occurs for little miss pink you may want to take it upon yourself to simply gently say to this ugly woman that “it’s o.k., she’ll catch up to my little Thorpey eventually!”
    Sophie
    http://wakegirls.blogspot.com/

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  9. My standard line for this kind of uninvited comment is ... Gosh, I could have been really offended by that, if your opinion actually counted.

    I didn't learn to swim until I was 8 (shock, horror!). And yay for family day care, which is a brilliant arrangement.

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  10. lol!! Good for you! I like this post a lot! Your daughter is delightful, and to be learning to swim at 3 is terrific! don't allow small minded people to tell you any different! Miss Perfect Pink Mother has a few shocks in store later on.

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  11. Oh....I just pissed my pants!!!! I love the mums that wear a full face of makeup to the indoor pool where the heat is EXTREME and it starts running down there face by the time the lesson is over. Perfect human dysfunctional behavior yet again!!

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  12. That is the best post I have read in a long time , you go girl , thankyou !

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  13. oh my, what a scary one. growing up my twin sis liked pink so I went with the much better blue, had short hair, and got the 'boy' line all-the-time. There is definetly such a thing as too much pink. Love the face-pulling, made me laugh out loud :)
    x Pepper

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  14. YOU GO GIRL! OMG you have made me laugh.
    Ignore competitive mum. SHE is the ignorant one. Busy is beautiful. And her time in play group/day care (whatever) will make her a more independant and balanced person growing up. I have friends who put their children into these facilities so that they can learn and grow in a way they cant at home even though mum doesnt 'need' to. They do it for their child's sake, not for their own.
    But really, how dare anyone else judge someone else's way of bringing up their child. Busy is certainly not abused, you can see that. She is too happy, healthy and beautiful! Puft to competitive mum.

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  15. Wow! That's why I usually take a magazine to swimming lessons ... and my 4 year old can't actually swim yet either

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  16. I agree with Marita when she says, 'I sometimes do wonder about the sisterhood.' Most people would pity that Mother... really. She's probably just trying to justify her own way of life. As for the work/ sahm debate: I have been a working Mum, sahm & a work from home Mum & have 'copped flak' for all 3! I have a bad habit of giving critics the 'oh purleeease get over yourself' look 'cos I just can't be bothered with their negativity. Thankfully I've found that there are actually more people who support the choices modern Mums have to make; it's just that the 'opiniated cows' stand out, lol! .............. Good luck with the swimming lessons. Whilst my daughters have been accustomed to water since birth, they're not starting actual 'lessons' 'til they're 5. Hmmmm.... what would she say about that?

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  17. 'little Miss Pink fell down the sink', remember. Maybe thats why obnoxious mum is so keen for her to swim!?
    Sound ridiculous? thats cos it is!!!!

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  18. Goodness, what a bag she sounds like. Hope you dunked her head under the water. My nearly 3 year old is nowhere near learning to swim - but we will get there when we are good either

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  19. Really Busy’s face says it all. I don’t suppose you could coach her to do it at the woman every time she spoke???? No that would be inappropriate wouldn’t it, but oh so funny!

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  20. Go Cath! You rock - and Busy, you rock too! Those faces are impressive.
    That Catherine Ceveny article MamaMogontosh mentions is hilarious - have a read Cath, you'd love it.
    And I'm with Elecat - I've done work away from home and been a sahm - there's judgement on all sides - wish we could all just accept each other's choices.

    Sounds like that woman is trying to cover up her own insecurities... who knows what might be happening in her life? I doubt it's perfect, not if she feels the need to put you down.

    x

    ps am also a big fan of FDC

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  21. You rock! You are awesome ! I want you on my side !

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  22. Well said! I too did the swimming lessons for my son and gave up half way through as I couldnt stand the other mothers. I feel sorry for her child :(

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  23. What a wonderful post. I take my little guy who is 2 to swimming lessons. I am so glad that we don't have any parent like that in the group. I have no doubt that they are out there though. WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?
    Nice work Busy...

    Liesa

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  24. What a wonderful post. I take my little guy who is 2 to swimming lessons. I am so glad that we don't have any parent like that in the group. I have no doubt that they are out there though. WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?
    Nice work Busy...

    Liesa

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  25. Brilliant! I so enjoyed reading this post, there is one in every town I'm sure! 3 cheers for you & Busy!!!

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  26. Are you feeling grumpy again :)

    Being a completely non-competitive person myself, I find it totally weird but hey some people feel the need to put other people down in order to build themselves up! I know you know it!

    Hope your feeling better after your vent (especially the bit about her flirting with the teacher...pure gold) and big thumbs up to Busy for pulling a face...it's my favourite way of dealing with weird people :)

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  27. Oh that has made me giggle! One day when I have my own little Busy I hope I don't come across too many mothers like that! xox

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  28. Next time you're there get Busy to do a 'bomb' jump into the water right next to her! Some people are just plain ignorant and makes me feel very sorry for the children. That was a brilliant post.

    I took my son swimming from 6 months as a way of getting to know others and because I was bored out of my skull being a stay at home mum (apologies to those who enjoy being SAHMs and note it was my pre-crafty days! SAHM wasn't for me although I stuck at it for 4 years). He didn't learn to swim unaided until he was 8 and he still isn't a strong swimmer at 13.

    I didn't take my daughter swimming because I was working full time by then. She learned to swim unaided when she was 5 and can now swim capably in the school swimming gala at 9.

    Go figure!!

    PS. my son's speciality as a baby was being sick in the pool!! eeek!

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  29. great post!
    very funny!

    and my 6 year old hardly knows how to swim "properly"... yet...

    o no....

    and busy is amazing and sweet!

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  30. may i say how much i LOVE your letters to annoying folks?!!?! and the pictures were the icing on the cake =-)

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  31. What is it about the swimming pool? Competitive mamas aplenty (and fathers on Saturday mornings). I knit to survive and therefore miss most of the flinching moments. Even if there has been a near miss with a ball of yarn and toddler and the deep end!

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  32. heeeeheee..you go Cath!
    hilarious, she will be the soccermum driving the fancy smancy 4wd too!
    nice pic Busy!

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  33. Love it. There are so many Mum's like that I think they only need to learn really young if you have a pool in the backyard and then it's more about safety than swimming skills. Very funny read.

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  34. Oh dear. Seems nothing has changed since I took my girls to swimming lessons many moons ago.

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  35. Maybe you should have told her she was a dumb scrag, then should could have not only judged your child and your parenting, but your foul mouth too!

    I hope your anger and frustration have gone Cath... try not to waste too much emotion an ignorant stranger xxx

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  36. I was nodding away... yes I recognise that obsessive competetive Mum. Painful and best ignored ( I like to imagine their children as teenagers. They will probably want to run a mile!) I stopped nodding though at the whole working versus fulltime mum stuff. We all make our choices. I would HATE to be put in the make up wearing over ambitious get a life mum camp, yet I do have a problem with the "I have to work because of the money". I am only now working again after 10 years full time parenting. The financial cost has been HUGE... and still is as I face the inferior jobs allocated to the part time /school hours market. Still my choice I know. We wont have what we would have had if I had paid work over those years. It was tough ( and still is) but my choice because I wanted to be a full time parent. I too studied and indeed worked for years in my desired field before children (Social / community development). In a way I am starting again. So I respect the choices of others , But do get fired up with the " I HAVE to work" and when instead of raising the status of motherhood we demand further childcare in the name of feminism. The whole sociology of work is a fascinating beast indeed .

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  37. What a moron!!! Great letter... pity she'll never read it :(

    I love and admire how true to yourself you are Cath. You truly are an inspiration to me.

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  38. Great post! All power to you.
    I learnt to swim a few years ago ... after some traumatic swimming lessons as a scared little girl in a freezing cold pool that was way too deep even at the shallow end.
    I too am a working mum and it's hard - at work and at home. But I'm glad I work and I'm glad I'm a mum. I love both and getting the balance right is a daily struggle.

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  39. I think the photos say everything I want to say!

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  40. That is such a shame we have to put up with people like that mother, but it just goes to show how narrow minded, inconsiderate and uneducated some people are. My daughter is turning 6 in 3 weeks and has only just learned to swim this year as she has developmental delays and gross motor skills are a lot harder for her. Lucky that mother doesn't come to out swimming lessons. Just remember you don't have to justify yourself or your daughter to anyone, especially someone like that...

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