Saturday, 28 March 2015

My baby is worse than your's : parenting wars hitting new lows?

Does anyone else notice that the mum wars aren't just limited to the judgmental and the gloating?

Everyone knows that mum who always feels the need to post every excellent thing their baby did on Facebook and boasts about how fantastic their baby is compared to all the other babies every time you see them. You know the one I mean. The one that posts 5 times a day. The one that posts photos of everything their baby does 'look how cute Bobby is when he eats', 'look Bobby rolled over', 'look Bobby got his nappy changed'. The one that tells you about how advance their baby is and how they've slept through since 5 weeks. The one that always one-ups your joy ... sigh .... really? your baby can't be that perfect! And frankly, I'm a bit tired of reading about how perfect your life is. I like real people. I like people who take an interest in the life of others.

But just like there are mum braggers, the parenting wars have also seem to have spilled over into showing off how bad their life is compared to yours.

I have to admit, I'm guilty of this too. I am quick to splash over Facebook how we had a horrible night sleep as the koala was up all night teething. Yes. I do this. But somehow, I always seem to get some sort of comment 'well, by baby has been teething for 5 years and has never slept. Not one night. Ever.' Ok, so this is a bit of an exaggeration, but you all get it.

I mean, this also seems to go for ordinary people as well. Yes, I am implying here that mums are somehow not ordinary people... we're special! :) I remember from before I was pregnant.... because that was soooo long ago (just over a year. Its clearly ancient history)... there was always someone who's Facebook status was consistently 'my boyfriend dumped me', 'I lost my job', 'I just spilled the milk. :'( Crying'... When you complained about your cat dying, that would always come back with something worse that had happened to them. This isn't to say that some people don't genuinely have horrible experience, that life isn't harder to some than others, but sometimes it just seems like people just need to compete on who is having a worse time while those truly experiencing hardship try their hardest to look on the bright side. Why do people need to one-up other peoples bad times.

So my question is, why do we feel the need to compete at all? Why do are babies either need to be better or worse than all the other babies? Is it a sympathy dash? A hope that people will comment on your Facebook status about how it'll all be ok and how great you are?

Is this something we really need to compete on? Whose baby is keeping them up the longest? Whose child threw the most tantrums? Why can't we all just be honest? We all have good days, we all have bad days. Every baby cries at some point. They all have the odd bad night sleep, some more than others. Toddlers all have tantrums. Every parent will as some point experience a poo-explosion or projectile vomit. But babies will also smile, laugh, cuddle, develop, eat, sleep.

Then there's the veiled braggers. 'Oh I look like a whale :(' as they post their most glamorous 8 month pregnant photo where they hardly have a belly and look like a model or the one who complains 'omg Bobby is 2 months old and woke twice last night, I'm so tired I just don't know what to do!' I'm sure any mum who could barely move their giant belly when pregnant or who consistently got up 4 or 5 times a night find these veiled braggers particularly frustrating. It is like they are saying, 'imagine how perfect everything is usually that these are my worst problems'.

No one's life is perfect and chances are those that always complain, just like those that always brag, are just in need to some attention or are bored with their lives or maybe things aren't as they seem. I may be wrong here, but for some reason I've always felt extra annoyed with these people. I think it's because they make me feel so inadequate that my baby is just 'normal', not especially bad, not especially brilliant. Is there anything so wrong with this? Not at all. My baby is fantastic, most of the time, but she has also had her fair share of sleepless nights and still has her daily 'witching hour'. I think it's those bad times that make me appreciate the good.  It's as though you either need a rotten child of a perfect child as long as you don't have a normal child.

Let's stop the competition and just focus on whats important. Parenting our children!

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