This week on Mommyish, I wrote about a realization I had that of all the different types of people out there, very few are eager to one-up their friends by saying that their shit is worse than their friends’. Sure, there are instances when you say, “My day was crappy,” and friends will chime in to “top” you with their crappy day stories, but in terms of population segments, mommyjackers are some of the most predictable “types” of people to do this. They really seem to enjoy the game of one-upmanship, whether it has to do with parenthood being super amazing or parenthood being a total drag. Usually, we hear about the parents who participate in marathon-bragging “mompetitions,” but what about the ones who do the opposite and make constant complaint comparisons? (aka “complarisons”)
What strikes me about this one-up pattern is that most people already agree that being a parent isn’t easy. No one ever said giving birth and wiping a kid’s ass every day would be all Cheerios and rainbows. And yet, mommyjackers still compulsively remind their friends of this fact as if they haven’t got a clue. It’s funny in that it’s kind of offensive, but also incredibly naive. Did you know that parenting takes a lot of work and isn’t always a walk in a cane field? It’s true! Some mommyjackers even act like other parents don’t know, either because their kids are different ages or they have different allergies or whaaatever, and I can only imagine those people squinting confusedly at their screens and thinking, “She does know that I have a kid, too, right?”
Here are some examples I pulled together from my mommyjacking “My Shit Is Worse” folder — including an example with an excellent reply!
1. Exhaustion Comparisons
Well, MartinandNatalie (if that is your real double identity), I guess you win this round! Except, all that Rebecca was saying is that five hours of sleep isn’t enough — a bland, yet relatable status update in which friends can commiserate without getting into too much detail. It’d be like saying, “One square of toilet paper is so not enough.” No one needs to know why; it just is.
2. Bladder Comparisons
Somehow in Purple’s world, “winning” a bladder contest between friends means determining who can hold their pee for the least amount of time. “You think you can’t hold 4.5 glasses of water without pissing yourself? Try doing that while pregnant! :) I almost peed myself on the way to the doctor so many times, I actually bought an old spaghetti pot at a yard sale that I kept on the floorboard just in case. It was CRAZY :)”
3. Count Your Blessings
I won’t go into the reasons that it’s dumb that Peter misspelled both Benzocaine and Novocaine because gum surgery sounds painful, but I will point out that Margaret’s comment makes absolutely no sense considering the circumstances. What are men supposed to say when a woman says, “At least UR NOT menstruating, pregnant, giving birth, or having vaginal reconstructive surgery, so count your blessings!”? Is that supposed to be encouraging? The man had surgery on his gums, not his balls.
4. Try Being A Mom
Yeah, STEVE. Call Aja when your nipples are sore and bleeding and you’ve spent over an hour scrubbing literal shit out of your child’s cloth diaper in your bathtub. Then and ONLY THEN can you even begin to converse with Aja. Right now, you’re barely granted whisper-speaking privileges, and it’s gonna take a lot more than some clever Final Destination analogy to graduate to talking at regular volume. Is your washing machine broken? Do your nipples look like chew toys? OKAY THEN.
5. The Best Way To Handle A One-Upper aka Mom’s Gold Star
What can I say? Heather just gets it. She rolls with life like it ain’t no thang. Got a single item for her to purchase at the grocery store? Heather can take care of it. Want to throw a little mom shade her way to feel self-important? She can handle that, too. When life hands Heather lemons, she puts them in a crate and goes about her day. As we all should. Congrats on your Gold Star, Heather. You really saved this ‘jacked up post.
Don’t forget to check out my column on Mommyish, which features a woman who one-ups her friend’s flu-like fever just for the hell of it.
(submitted by Anonymous)