Thursday, January 20, 2011

Miranda Kerr and Motherhood as a Competitive Sport

To announce the birth of her son, Miranda Kerr took to Facebook and posted:

We have a beautiful little boy named Flynn. He was born on the 6th of Jan and I gave birth to him naturally; without any pain medication...

While the dawn of any new life is a time of undeniable joy, I found Miranda's statement deflating. When did motherhood become such a competitive sport?

"Oh, you were in labour for 8 hours and wussed out with an epidural?"
"Well, I laboured for 5 days...AND did it drug free....AND had a 10 pound heffer at the end of it!"

From your experiences in labour, it only escalates and becomes a whirlwind of smug one-up-manship as your performance as a mother is critiqued.

"Oh, you make junior's spag bol with a premade sauce?"
"Surely you know organic is best? The only ingredients I ever use are grown in our garden without the use of nasty chemicals and in sync with lunar patterns. And as for my pasta recipe - well, it was created by one of the worlds best Michelin chefs. Might I also add, I always perform triple back flips while preparing it to keep the rugrat entertained."

The way mums talk to each other and the loaded comments (like Miranda's) that ping-pong so freely about is doing nothing for 'the sisterhood'. We ought to measure our worth by our own accomplishments - not against others.

What are your experiences of motherhood as a competitive sport?


  1. That's just silly! Who really cares whether you did it drug free or not? Why on earth would you want to say that in the same sentence as announcing your sons birth? How sad. Sorry I get my knickers in a twist about this, but celebrities who go around spouting off things like that just make mum's having a tough time, lash themselves even more. It also contributes to the rosy picture of motherhood that is created by the media and then we get there and wonder why its not like that!

  2. i had the exact same reaction when i read that. i thought 'why did she need to mention that it was a drug free labour?'
    i can't imagine it being intended as having a go at anyone who does use drugs or has had a c section, but it didn't really need to be mentioned it all.

    i've never had a baby so i experienced this personally but you only have to read the paper to see how competitive women are and how easily one comment can make so many women feel shite about their own birth experiences.we can be really tough on ourselves and each other.

  3. ha, that is so true...Miranda seems like kind of a smug mom!

  4. She just likes publicity... sad.

    ***** Marie *****

  5. She's hogging the picture, haha!

    I had the SAME conversation with my husband last night. It doesn't matter if you had drugs or not, it's every womans choice.

    Society is terrible sometimes. Just because women had drug free births for 1000's of years, doesn't mean everyone should do that now in 2011... The risk of DEATH during labour was SO high back then.

    It's not about how the baby is born, but that the baby is born safely.

    I've never been a big fan of Miranda Kerr and I disklike her even more now. Phoeey!

  6. I thought she came across very smug as well. And I also don't understand why this first image is of her breatfeeding. Seems strange to me. A bit "look at me".

  7. I totally agree and thought the same thing when I read her comments, but then resigned myself to the fact that yes she is beautiful, but is seriously pretty daft. Women should feel safe, proud and celebrated no matter how they birth and parent their children.

  8. Oh thank you! Thank you! and... hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

    I too immediately thought "HUH?? How dare you be so smug about this you sanctimonious child! This is not a competition! You're not going to get points for this! Why are you always naked? Gorgeous photo though."

    I do love this photo, I didn't see it as "I'm supermum, look at me". It's the first time I have ever looked at Miranda Kerr and thought, wow, beautiful. I don't quite get her appeal but then again I don't care either way. Just please don't call her Kerr-vy.

    Ohhh... the Sport of Motherhood... ouch... it's scary...

    "my daughter sings Opera, plays the piano and violin simultaneously, dances with wolves and swims in Japan competitively and to save the whales and is studying psychology to better human nature"... "My son is actively campaigning to be the future PM and the Captain of the Wallabies and he volunteers at 10 charities a day and is working out a way to make it the Practise of Relativity and he's only 9."

    I have 5 kids. I've experienced this a lot. My response depends on the level of smugness because sometimes it is just maternal pride...
    If it has sunk to 'smugly' level and I know that this has become a cot fight :) ... I usually say that my husband and I have no need to live vicarious lives, our children are their own people.

    BUT... the competeing against each other to see who is the most harried and overworked mother of all, the constant whining about how hard being a mother is, etc*... that s**ts me!!!

    The harder the child the better the martyr, sorry... mother???

    I don't think Miranda was being deliberately smug. I think she just is a Gwyneth Paltrow type personality. Mollycoddled by their own genetic luck.

    *yes it is... but the 'rewards' are 'worth it'.

  9. Oh how I've loved reading your insightful, witty and frank responses. Thank you to everyone for taking the time to share your thoughts...this topic is such a heated one, and one that definitely needs airing.

  10. I am so glad you made these comments. It's like the thoughts in your head but you don't say them out loud! This is the reason I don't catch up with any women from my mother's group! Ha ha ha!

  11. That is so true, I've never thought of it that way - it's like they have something to prove! What the heck!

  12. Gah! Motherhood, pregnancy, child birth - all so loaded and emotive. Ripe for competition and a chance to finally "be better" than someone. Have really enjoyed reading everyone's responses to this post.

  13. I love the photo, but it's true that every mom wants to be the best :)

  14. I totally agree with you about motherhood sometimes being very competitive.. I found it happened most around the subject of sleeping.. "My baby started sleeping through the night at 6 weeks" etc... ahh!

    However, I had a very quick and natural birth and for a long time I kept my story a secret because I would be at mothers group and everyone was complaining about their 30 hour labours and I didn't want to be there saying "Oh my birth was just 3 hours and I went home the same day" because I would sound smug.

    But I have come to realise that I should be telling people about my birth because there is so much fear around the whole process and you hear sooo many stories of long, difficult labours and I wish more people had shared their positive experience with me when I was pregnant.

    I also think that every mother does it tough at some stage.. No one has a smooth run the whole way through.. I had an amazing pregnancy and birth but then had a baby who didn't sleep for the first 11 months. Every mother will have trouble at some stage.. either conceiving, pregnancy, birth, breast feeding, sleeping, the toddler years.. the teenage years.. and I always try and remind myself of that (especially when mothers are going on about how easy they have it!)

  15. Checks and Spots, you should check out PottyMouthMama who has posted on the same topic. Some interesting, vexed opinions:

  16. I personally don't think she is coming across as smug or competitive. I love the photo and thought her statement was short, sweet and honest. I'm more bothered by the fact that everyone is bagging her for this when she is simply stating what HER experience was.

  17. She just wants to share her news with her friends and family - just like any other mum. I think a mum should be able to talk about the birth, and feel supported, no matter what form it takes.

    She's beautiful, relaxed and in love with her newborn. More power to her I say.

  18. oh thank you so much for posting this! I am pregnant with my first at the moment, and was beginning to feel very inadequate cause of some comments from other mums. Where i was going to give birth? how? drug free or not? what doc? breast feeding and so much more! I have been feeling quite deflated and teary cause of some comments.

    This whole natural birth statement and photo hogging while breast feeding, of Miranda's made me feel worse! I feel so much better knowing i'm not the only one out there that thought this of her!

  19. I agree. It's a beautiful photo but she so didn't need to say that. I'm wondering how her stitches are healing and maybe ultimately, she would have been more sensible to have a C section as her baby was huge... Time will tell. Pxxx


Related Posts with Thumbnails