The Major League Baseball’s All-Star game is Tuesday. I’m sure my super competitive family will watch it together. Our whole life is filled with sports, whether we’re watching events or playing in them.
Even with all our kids, we drag everyone out to football and baseball games several times a week to watch one kid or another. My husband was a college athlete and we were both active in sports throughout high school. We seem to have passed along fierce competitive genes to our biological children.
I’ve encountered lots of competitive people and games in my life. But I realize that I’m in the most competitive sport around—motherhood.
You know where to find them. They’re in the PTA, at soccer fields, and in the lobbies during ballet classes. They brag about their children’s accomplishments, grades, and the green food their children love. Moms—they’re the most consistently vicious opponents.
Here are some ways I’ve found to cope with the fierce game of motherhood as a mom of kids with RAD:
1. Don’t compete. This one is really hard for me. I had to learn to feel okay as a “different kind of mom”. After all, you’re a super mom in disguise. Most moms have no idea what it’s like to walk for five minutes in your shoes with a child with RAD.
2. Learn to feel genuinely happy that kids accomplish amazing things, including your own. As you listen to the accomplishments of children who succeed, acknowledge your own child’s successes. In fact, your child accomplishes a great deal each day just by getting through his or her emotional trauma.
3. If it’s a really bad day, ignore the other moms. If you just can’t take it, bring a book or a magazine along. I’ve done it and the other moms still accept me back into the group the next time. You need to take care of yourself and know your limits—it’s the most important part of motherhood.
4. Focus on the game. Focus on your own child’s accomplishments on the field. No one can fault you for that!
5. Remember that you’re not required to share. It’s not a support group. Close friends are hard to come by as a mom of a child with RAD. If you feel judged or suspect other moms might gossip, simply keep your mouth closed and ears open. People love to talk about themselves. Don’t feel as though you need to carry the conversation with your own information.
I hope this helps you like the company of other moms more. They mean well—they just don’t understand your life. Learn to enjoy the stories of their lives. This skill will make you a better person. And if you ever need their support one day, they’ll probably be there to listen too.
Share your stories here. We’re moms of kids with RAD too. We’re here to support you!