Holding our babies in our arms, my friend casually mentioned that her little one was already sleeping through the night. Suddenly, I wanted to slap her across the face. I can only put it down to sleep deprivation.
Why, oh why, does parenting bring out this bizarre competitive streak in us? One mother posted this article begging her friends to please stop bragging across social media about how they’re winning at natural birth and parenting. She lamented over one friend’s recent post, bragging about her baby’s birth sans pain relief. Outrageous! And friends with perfect bodies posting breastfeeding photos that belong on the cover of Vogue magazine. How dare you?!
I get it.
I’m guilty of reading friends’ Facebook posts: ‘My boy just toilet-trained himself! And he can ride his bike without training wheels already!’ and fighting the urge to punch my computer screen. Why? Because parenting is jolly hard, and reading about how ‘easy’ it is for others just makes me feel like a failure.
But guess what? I bet they have their bad days, too. That’s what makes these achievements all the more amazing. And if my child toilet-trained himself, I’d want to shout it from the rooftops, too (because it’s soooo not happening here)! And as one who has had two epidurals (and for my first baby, my obstetrician turned it off without telling me!), kudos to any woman who can do it without pain relief. You deserve a medal, and you have earned bragging rights!
When our friends are winning at parenting, fight back the urge to punch them and instead give out a high-five! Chances are, this is one small win amongst a mountain of tough times – don’t you know it! So, let’s celebrate each other’s parenting achievements and also, let’s be honest with each other when we’re not winning, too. Share those moments and let us other parents know we’re not the only ones stuffing up every other day.
Oh, and I’m not kidding about the pain of childbirth.
Originally published at Mum Daily. Photo by Tatiana Syrikova.