Competition Kills Connection

I could finally exhale last week with a first glimpse of the female power group, The Highwomen, comprised of Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris and Amanda Shires. I had the insane experience of seeing Brandi Carlile at Red Rocks last year. Her tight 3-part harmonies and band who has crooned together for nearly her entire career caused goosebumps upon goosebumps.

Her press materials of this group’s newly released song didn’t disappoint either. Brandi implored all women to band together, shedding ego and bolstering one another so that we’re one community, included in The Highwomen’s vision.

YAS queen. As women (and men) we start sizing up our competition at a very young age. By the time we’re parents, motherhood becomes a professional sport. But here’s the tragedy of it all: competition kills connection.

I was recently at the Digital Summit learning the latest trends and information in marketing. I went to a breakout on advertising where the speaker said for psychology purposes, advertisers have to get down to humans’ few innate needs. The stuff we used to fight for back in the stone ages. He named food, shelter, and community.

Community? I tossed the concept around for a bit. I don’t think I need community, I don’t care if I belong, and it certainly isn’t an innate need. Then I attended Oasis, what I would coin atheist church. It’s a really cool service right by the Uptown, and mamas, they have a nursery, too. But I was surprised by how much it felt like a church. I didn’t expect greeters and involvement with those around me.

So, once again, I examined if I needed to belong to any sort of community. While I found I didn’t want to be a member of a church, I was also honest with myself this time. Lizzie, you wall builder, you. This is a defense mechanism. You’ve felt embarrassed when you went to story hours and the other moms seemed to have playdates and no one talked to you. You’ve been jealous when moms have bigger houses than you and their kids are in nicer clothes. You haven’t belonged, and you’ve felt competitive.

This is my first post as a Kansas City Moms Blog contributor, and I’m joyful to recently have joined a group that has already been so welcoming online. Do I have any fear about when we come together in person? Will anyone judge my parenting style or try to have a competitive edge over me? I refuse to go into this community with these woeful assumptions, nor do I expect any fears to be realized.

We live in a big city, 200 times bigger than where I’m from! Being adjacent to so many cool mothers has brought to my life connections I never expected when I set out as a former country mouse. The spirit of others has inspired me to drop the ego and offer whatever I can of my truest, kindest self. Competition hinders our ability to be our true selves, and it makes our community less inclusive.

Brandi reminded me of something really touching this week. She’s also a mother, and tears streamed down my face when she spoke about the difficulties of being a mother and lesbian last summer at Red Rocks. She then sang the gorgeous song she’s penned, “The Mother,” in front of me. Among the majestic rocks and starry sky it was easy to feel at peace in the world. I carry that feeling with me and hope you will, too. There’s room for every type of mom and all of our light. And when it turns to darkness, let’s be Highwomen mamas who lift each other up whenever we can. 

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Hi, I’m Lizzie and you could say…I’m a little wild at heart. I’ve tried on a lot of different jobs, 9 different towns, 3 marriages-but now I’m home. I absolutely love KC. I have my own business, Lizzie Scribbles LLC, where I offer a complete range of writing and editing services. My partner, Greg, and I live in North Kansas City with our 3 children – Grayson (8), Kase (7) and Adria (6). We love music, cars, and family date nights.