You might not know this about me, but one of my biggest joys in life is playing bridge. That’s right I’m really an 85-year-old purple haired woman sipping sherry trapped in a 33-year-old body. The game means a lot to me as it was at the bridge table that I met Daddy Long Legs and the rest is history as they say, or at least the subject of a different post.

I like to win, no, I love to win, I will happily admit that! But recently I’ve been wondering if my priorities are in the right place when I throw myself at something that should only be a hobby or get worked up over a situation whether work or life related that in reality is not such a big thing, if I only take a step back and put it into perspective. I’m learning that I cannot succeed at everything first time around and for others to expect this of me is ludicrous, too. Things take time. Seeing how spirited Caspian is and how he will happily have a go at something over and over again whether it’s stacking building blocks, climbing stairs or mastering eating with cutlery is more than inspirational.

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm”  

Winston Churchill

Especially as mothers I feel we put too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect all the time. And I’m without a doubt a victim of this. I suspect hormones do play a part here. PMS is definitely a real thing, and even though I’m still breastfeeding and certain monthly visits therefore haven’t returned, I still experience an, shall we say, emotional imbalance from time to time, which might be easier to handle if those around me took it into consideration more. Now that my 15-month-old boy is cutting feeds I believe that it’s affecting me as well and it’s something I’m trying to work through in various ways.

One thing I’ve found is that I’m a lot more patient with people who are not close to me. If I play with a fellow member of our bridge club, that I have no relationship with outside the game, I’m generally a lot more relaxed and not too concerned even if they make grave mistakes that cost us the winning spot. Playing with Daddy Long Legs – or my mother back when I lived in Denmark – is a very different story. I know I expect a lot from myself, I’m definitely a perfectionist and this is not always a good thing, but I clearly expect a lot of those I love as well. It’s not all about winning. I’ve realised that I get upset if someone lets me down by not performing at their best. But it’s time I realised it’s not always personal and I shouldn’t take it as such. Easier said than done, but something to work on.

This has naturally led me think about Caspian and how I’ll parent him as he grows up. I think it’s important to support your children, be there when they need you and encourage them to follow their dreams. If something doesn’t work out for them it’s better to be the one they’ll happily turn to for comfort rather than the one saying “I told you so!” or “You could have tried harder!”. Having chosen paths in life that to others, especially my family, might not have seemed the easiest or most obvious ones I know first hand what it’s like to have someone question your dreams. I never want to be that person to Caspian.

He’s fascinated by balls at the moment. Yesterday at nursery he spent the day with an orange plastic ball clenched in his fist – you know the ones that fill a ball pit – occasionally offering it as a gift to the staff there only to claim it back seconds later. On Sunday when we visited the local pool he quickly spotted a beach ball with minions on and was in absolute heaven when the family on the patch next to us kindly let him play with it. Perhaps he’ll take to a sport like football or tennis when he’s older. But I never want to be the type of parent that pushes my son into something.

My beautiful boy who teaches me so much every day!

If he finds joy in kicking a ball around then that’s what he should be allowed to do with no pressure of performing. That being said do I think being competitive is bad? No! Wanting something gives drive, it shows you are passionate and it’s important to encourage this as well. It’s striking the right balance about being passionate about the right things and not letting the unimportant ones get to me. I see I can already learn a lot from my beautiful boy and hopefully I’ll get to teach him skills over time as well.

Do you have a competitive nature?

The Secret Diary of Agent Spitback
Petite Pudding
Pink Pear Bear


  1. Very interesting. I think there are positive aspects to being competitive, and I think it’s natural too (survival of the fittest) but there needs to be balance. I have always tended to hold quite strongly that I don’t necessarily think there is anything wrong with people being competitive, but I do think there is something wrong with being ruthless. I believe that, as long as people know to draw the line at being immoral or sabotaging others to get ahead, they are not dong anything wrong by being competitive. For me, I don’t think I am hugely competitive mostly. There are some exceptions, but largely if anything I shy away from competing with others. However, I can be competitive, perfectionist and hard on myself in my attitude to me personally, rather than in comparing myself with others. I agree with you about the kids – I don’t want to push my kids into certain activities and behaviours. I think I would like them not to be too fiercely competitive (which I think can make people unhappy and struggle with the inevitable times you will lose), but think having a bit of competitiveness and drive can also be good for them. #bestandworst

  2. I know exactly how you feel I am super competitive, although I rarely admit it, the only way I can handle failure is if I haven’t put 100% effort in, but if I have tried my hardest and still lost, it eats at me for days! I have tried to be a perfectionist raising my kids and have learnt (painfully) that you can’t be the perfect parent! I never want to push my kids into anything or make them feel that I am disappointed in them, on the other hand I want them to succeed at their endeavours and want to support them, its a difficult balance to strike. Thanks for linking up #PuddingLove

  3. Brilliant quote and it’s so true isn’t it. I think I want to see a certain fighting spirit within each of my children but not to the extent where they are competitive over every aspect of their lives. I know a child who is like this and whilst he is very successful at sport, he is mostly unpleasant to be around because he turns everything into an “I want to be better than everybody at everything” competition. So I guess, it’s all about balance at the end of the day. Thanks for sharing this interesting post on #fortheloveofBLOG X

  4. I think playing bridge is a european thing as my Oma in Holland even has a room in her house which is a dedicated bridge room! You have a brilliant way of looking at it. Some competition is important in life but you need to have people there to remind you that you’re no less of a person because you didn’t come first. Thanks for linking! #bigpinklink

  5. I think a little competition can be great! Especially in sports and games. Although I must admit, I do feel a little bit ashamed that when I beat my (much, much younger) cousins in a quiz at Christmas I actually let out a victory roar. So maybe I could do with calming it down a bit.
    On a serious note though, I don’t think that competition is a positive thing when it’s not taken in the right spirit. Every aspect of life can’t be competed.

  6. There’s competitive and there’s ambitious, different but similar. I think you have to have a balance; a bit of competitiveness is useful and also makes playing games more fun – if all the players of a game or sport didn’t care about winning, how boring would that be?! Nothing in excess or obsessively is going to be a good thing, though, and it’s important to know how to lose, or know how to fail, without breaking down or going into a tantrum. #passthesauce

  7. Interesting post. I’m probably a bit too competitive at times, but only when it comes to myself and my own goals. With my son, I really don’t like the idea of being a pushy parent and I doubt that I will be. I just want him to be happy. #fortheloveofBLOG

  8. Great post – what I thunk is sad is that people see competitiveness as a bad thing and almost shy away from omitting they are lest they are shunned by society – so who doesn’t like competitiveness – the person who is competitive or the person who loses? If someone wins but hides his competitiveness well is he deemed not competitive – surely there was a level of competitiveness present to make him win? If someone loses but is a sore loser how do we view them? The questions go on and on with leads me to the conclusion that there has to be a balance and a healthy drive to do well – very interesting read! #fortheloveofBLOG

  9. I’m not a competitive person,but Hubs certainly is! We will have to see who the girls take after! Great post 🙂


  10. I honestly don’t know if I’m a competitive person…I don’t like the way competition makes me feel so perhaps not, but then perhaps that means I am, I’ve never been able to work it out! Their personal thing is funny…the ONLY person I have ever actually, or wanted to, throw a board game board on the floor with is my sister! Grrr.
    From a parenting perspective this is something we think about a lot…my husband is a professional sportsman and so competition to some degree is part of our lives. He has a wonderful balance though…which I’m sure stems from his parents (and he now coaches and sees the damage from that perspective that pushy and competitive parents can do!). I mean he must be competitive to do his job but you wouldn’t know it. As you say it’s about balance…he has perspective and kindness…his attitude is not ‘look after number one’. Perhaps in his career this isn’t the best approach but in life I think it is and I think that’s the balance I’d like for my children…if at all possibly anyway! An interesting read Nadia! #fortheloveofBLOG

  11. I think I am competitive but not as much as my hubby and not to the degree where I make it obvious, you could say I’m quietly competitive……perhaps, ha! Thanks for linking up #bestandworst

  12. I think being competitive goes hand in hand with giving something your all, which I believe is a good quality to encourage in a child. However, I think it can go too far when parents use their children to live out their unachieved dreams and push them into something they don’t want to do. It’s a fine line and one that probably isn’t easy to navigate, but I think it’s important to listen to what the child wants and encourage them to pursue something they love
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂

  13. I don’t think I am really. okay, okay, I do want to win at certain things but it’s only natural. I don’t push my children into anything but I do support them 100% when they do choose something. It’s a matter of balance, I guess. Thanks for sharing with #PasstheSauce. I had to laugh at you being 85-year-old purple haired woman sipping sherry.

  14. Hello! I don’t think I’ve commented before on your posts but this is brilliant and has made me think. I am really competitive and being a mother has calmed me down, for sure. I hope some competitiveness is healthy (as Gemma says above) but absolutely not at the expense of making people upset. If you’re trying to do the best you can for yourself, I don’t think you need to worry though 🙂 Thanks for posting – it’s a great piece. #bloggerclubuk

  15. My mummy has a competitive nature and also loves to play bridge!!! Don’t think there’s any harm in it, just as long as it’s not extreme! #BloggerClubUK

  16. I am competitive no doubt about that and I have always taught my kids nobody remembers second rightly or wrongly it’s what I believe really good post #bestandworst

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Sarah. I’m sure competitions are a lot of fun in your house (as long as you win 😉 )

      Nadia – ScandiMummy x

  17. I let my kids just get on and with life and dont push for anything from them. Ive always taught them not to brag too as i dont like ‘bragging’ people. I think ive done an alright job with them so far. I think a little competition is healthy to motivate to do things but not at the expense of hurting someone that then thinks there not good enough. Did that even make sense?! ha ha #bestandworst

Comments are closed.