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Not wanting my DS (4 months) to be in development competition with his cousin

(51 Posts)
LittleMammaTo2 Wed 17-Jun-09 12:53:10

SIL very competitive, straight A student, apple of parents eye, very academic. Had baby 2 months after I did and insists on having "face offs" whenever we see each other. Example - who can smile first, who is the biggest, who weighs the most, let's see who walks first and talks first etc etc.

makes my blood boil and I really want to tell her to pi$$ off and stop being so childish.

Am currently typing one handed due to said DS being whingy and gripey (obviously nephew never is!) so will add more later.

Please tell me I'm being rational and SIL is pain!grin

JemL Wed 17-Jun-09 13:05:32

I hate comparisons between babies. Especially size / weight ones. The nicest interpretation I can put on your SIL's behaviour is that it could be anxiety - ie wanting to know that her baby is developing normally by comparisons with yours. COuld it possibly be that?

If not, I found the best way to deal with these attempts at competition were just not to engage in them - to be really vague when I was asked about how much does he weigh now, etc, like I wasn't too bothered - (even though I knew down to the last ounce, and had written down first smiles, laughs, etc in a notebook I kept handy) - there is nothing wrong with celebrating your baby's milestones, but the competetiveness is completely unecessary!

MummyDragon Wed 17-Jun-09 13:06:40

Tell her to pi$$ off and stop being so childish wink

Seriously, do it, or you will just get really really riled and resentful ...

Why didn't anybody warn us that, along with a shedload of guilt, a whole load of competitiveness seems to be born along with that baby?! Or perhpas they did warn us, but we just didn't (or couldn't) believe them.

IME it's the mums who were competitive BEFORE they had children who are competitive about their children, IYSWIM. Me, I am not competitive at all and couldn't care less if someone else's child is doing something earlier/faster/more coherently than mine. However, some of my friends are nightmares, and are obsessed with statistics, charts, what the books say, etc. Drives me mad. I'd rather read a good book (not a childcare one, I hasten to add wink )

LittleMammaTo2 Wed 17-Jun-09 13:13:14

DS gone to sleep at last so can write more.

Def not anxiety - just that she wants to be best and enjoys rubbing DH nose in fact that she was always considered best when they were growing up. i thought motherhood might soften her but it appears to have encouraged a new monster to emerge.

She doesn't do any of it in a nasty way and we just tell her she's ridiculous and ignore her but it still drives me mad. She loves telling us over and over how her DS has slept through from being a couple of days old (we've had major sleep problems with DD).She is first time mum and despite fact that I already have a daughter she insists on criticising the way I and Dh do things - also drives me mad.

It will be partly me overreacting and being a bit insecure - I worry that other people (MIL/FIL) will be making similar comparisons and hate the thought that they may be thinking my DS is not up to scratch (BTW he is way heavier and taller than hers as he's 2 months older so for the most part it makes no sense at the mo anyway to compare!)

Just needed the rant and reassurance that I'm not over sensitive - thanks

pembslass Wed 17-Jun-09 13:14:38

lol @ baby "face off's".

I do this with other mums. I try really really hard not to but.....

peppapighastakenovermylife Wed 17-Jun-09 13:15:11

Oh I hate this! And its so hard to get away from. I have one friend in particular like it and drives me nuts. What I hate in it all is the underlying implication that if their baby is 'better' then your baby is inadequate if that makes sense.

One friend thinks its a compliment to tell people 'your baby is so advanced' even if its something normal or just a bit chewing their socks grin. I worked out in the end she seemed to base her 'success' at motherhood on how seemingly developed her baby was compared to others and understood her better - but still didnt agree.

Then there are the ones who specifically spend hours teaching their baby to do random things and then specifically show off - Im not talking about a toddler who wants to learn something here but some bizarre show for a baby.

Im guessing it never goes away...

How do your family react to her?

LittleMammaTo2 Wed 17-Jun-09 13:15:51

mummydragon - couldn't agree more - I've never been competitive either so maybe I just don't understand her need to be! (Not that I'm not proud when DS does reach milestones)

benfmsmum Wed 17-Jun-09 13:21:02

If we all grew at the same rate/ate the same/did everything by the book the world would be very boring!! All children/adults are unique and should be fully encouraged to be so!

Tell her to stop comparing two children who have different genes so will grow up to be whatever they will be.

You can be the adult in this situation and rise above it!!

LittleMammaTo2 Wed 17-Jun-09 13:21:26

Sorry, computer playing up, hadn't finished last message...

peppapighastakenovermylife (LOL at nickname) her family think it absolutely normal behaviour I guess because this is how she has always been. We are very, very different people, different backgrounds, non of the same interests in life - she considers her life to be infinitely better than mine and always will - this bothers me not but as you say - it's the inference that her baby is best - can't bear it.

fucksticks Wed 17-Jun-09 13:27:01

I really wouldnt stress about it.
I always used to go the opposite way tbh and say things like 'oh your ds is walking at 3 months? thats early, my ds is a lazy wotsit, takes after me! he'll do it in his own time, cant be doing with stressing about these things'

what sort of things is she comparing? there cant be a lot to compete on at 4 months old anyway surely?
Maybe try to put her off before she starts, so if she says 'is your ds sitting up yet?' then say something like 'not yet, shouldnt think he will for ages yet, dd was bang on time for things like that, so no reason why ds will be early. i'm really enjoying this stage actually, wouldnt like to wish his life away!'

SweetEm Wed 17-Jun-09 13:30:37

YANBU - this kind of thing drives me mad too.

Unfortunately, your SIL sounds just like someone I knew who not only knew exactly how many words her dd could say, she had also segregated them into nouns, etc. I kid you not! I don't see that woman anymore....

Sorry, I can see that the above anecdote is not particularly helpful and will not make you feel better! Maybe you could ask your SIL to stop before it gets worse.

Galava Wed 17-Jun-09 13:30:37


My SIL is like this and we are 12 years down the line now, so sorry to say it doesnt get better.

Now we are long past the smiling and walking stage its grade 4 violin and speech and drama results.

Oh and dont forget the GCSE's in a few years time, then A levels, uni .... Oh lordy lordy !

OrangeKnickers Wed 17-Jun-09 13:58:06

LOL - I used to say 'your baby is so advanced' as a piss take to those kind of mothers to try to get them to realise how stupid they were being.

I have the answer! Count in your head how many 'competitive' things she says. Then you and DH have a bet with each other each time you see her. Whoever loses has to do the washing up! That way you'll be begging her to tell you how her child can already limbo dance at 5 months. Maybe you get bonus points for the craziness of the assertion.

I had one friend who said to me 'OrangeKnickers, don't hate me' when her baby sat up before mine. CRAZY.

LittleMammaTo2 Wed 17-Jun-09 14:04:59

orangeknickers LOL will have to def put this into practice!

chosenone Wed 17-Jun-09 14:08:32

I do get this totally, and have it only a slightly smaller scale its very annoying! I agreee with not engaging and being very vague about things. Equally smug mums set themselves up for a fall as when DC does something differently, or later or is naughty they have egg on the face and everyone finds it very amusing!

If you want to be a bit meaner shock you could say something like this;
SIL: My DC has done 2 poo's in potty
You: wow
SIL she/he's so clever, told me 5 minutes before that they wanted to im so pleased!
You: Who'd have thought having children would turn us into baby bores talking about shite all day! and by us I mean YOU! grin

preferably in front of an audience!

namechangerforareason Wed 17-Jun-09 14:10:30

Tell her to piss off, every baby develops at their own rate.

I have this as my SIL's sis had a boy 2 weeks after me and all I get just now are questions about what he can/cannot do, how many teeth he has etc.

Cant be arsed with it and have told her to stop annoying me.

I know my DS is best anyway and that is all that matters.

Flibbertyjibbet Wed 17-Jun-09 14:22:54

Just smile sweetly at her and say 'oh he'll do xyz when he is ready'

No child does everything first. SOme do some things earlier, some do others earlier.

From my experience of my own two very different children, (so its hardly scientifically proven fact!) I would say that if they are quicker to do the rolling, sitting walking etc then they are slower on speaking and language.

So if her dc is doing the physical stuff first then just wait till yours is coming out with grammatically correct sentences as hers grapples with 'mama' grin

AMumInScotland Wed 17-Jun-09 14:24:14

The first trick is to not care what she thinks, or what your PIL might think. She's an idiot, and if they think she isn't, then they are idiots.

So, if they think it is in some way important that her child did X earlier than yours, then they are not people whose judgement is worth caring about, however well you get on with them in other ways.

Once you stop being bothered, you can ignore her, or laugh, or as someone suggested make a joke of it with DH. You could even start up a "competitive mummy bingo" card, where you have to watch out for different words and phrases, and call out "house" when you match 3 in a row. (Possibly tricky while balancing a baby, but not if you can memorise it....)

zeke Wed 17-Jun-09 14:53:19

That is really rotton luck that your SIL is one of those mums. They are always highly irritating, but to be related...UGH!

I think they key thing is to develop stratergies so that you find it amusing rather than massively annoying, and then forget about it/her immediately afterwards.

I wish I had earlier! My DS is now almost 5 and I have only just learnt not to let this kind of silliness bother me, sort of.

The way I deal with it is to gush and egg them on almost, and be the opposite about my son's achievements - really underplay them/avoid talking about them/be very vague.
Just don't rise to the bait and have a secret chuckle to yourself about how silly they are. It usually comes back to bite them on the arse, and that's fun, too!

Only the other week I had the uber pushy parent in my son's class boasting to me about what a good reader her DD is and how she is on a higher reading level then everyone else. I knew she wasn't but I shut up, gushed as she wanted me too and said it is usually a battle to get my son to do his reading (it is, but that doesn't mean he cannot do it!). Then my son read to her in class a few days later and she discovered he was a couple of levels above her DD. I would be very happy for her not to know this but there was some satisfaction :D I was SO pleased I didn't rise to the bait and reveal my son's reading level during her boasting bout!

HumphreyCobbler Wed 17-Jun-09 14:58:17

I agree with Zeke

Everytime she boasts about her child just gush "oh you must be SO PROUD! How amazing! Isn't that wonderful!" While never mentioning your own child.

Someone on here once mentioned that their bil was even competitive about the apgar score...

Qally Wed 17-Jun-09 15:01:36

I hate this. DA is developing nicely and I don't even read the farking books on what he "should" be doing. There's plenty of competitive bollocks in store for him without me starting it before he can even talk.

Maybe politely say to her that you personally don't think that sort of attitude is healthy really you, and you'd be grateful if she used another mum and baby as her comparators? It isn't like there's a shortage who do it.

Qally Wed 17-Jun-09 15:03:23

"Someone on here once mentioned that their bil was even competitive about the apgar score..."

LMAO, someone told me their son was 10/10... at birth. I just smiled and nodded and sadly confessed that no, mine wasn't... grin

GoodWitchGlinda Wed 17-Jun-09 15:18:25

I had this too, and IME, they often lie. Like saying their DC is "sleeping through", when in fact it is only til 4am! hmm

Don't enter into it. Do as others have said and "congratulate" her but don't mention your DS in the same breath. It isn't healthy, because in a few months time it will all change and one will do something before the other one, and it will go back and forth like that for years yet.

I found if you exit the race, they will eventually stop trying to have these conversations with you because they get no response.

Good luck!

sweetnitanitro Wed 17-Jun-09 15:36:56

YANBU, I absolutely HATE it. If people say that dd is 'advanced' or ask if she is doing X yet I just reply that I don't read any development guides because I just want to relax and enjoy her learning things at her own pace instead of stressing over time frames.

TheProvincialLady Wed 17-Jun-09 15:49:27

Qally was that me?blush My DS1 had apgars 10 and 10 and I was genuinely proud (pfb). I still haven't got over the shock of DS2 being only about 8 at birth.

"Gosh, really?" is my stock phrase in these situations. If I am feeling particularly unkind I might add "How fascinating," with what I hope is a smile that says "for people with nothing better to think about."

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