I had no idea that parents could be so competitive! Is it just me or do you come across other mums in particular who like to one up you all the time? Iv’e really noticed this lately especially now that A is getting bigger and shes on the move. I have other mums who, some of which I would say are friends others acquaintance’s like to reinforce that their child is doing/did this that and the other thing way before mine! Or way better! If I said “A” can handstand backwards now whilst singing opera, particular individuals would say oh well my little one did that when they were 4 months and juggled fire this morning at breakfast.
Ugh! It’s exhausting and makes me feel as if I want to avoid mentioning what me and A have been up to or what she’s done because i feel as if i am encouraging the competition when really I just want to have a mummy to mummy chat. Being 21 years old when I got married and 24 when we had “A” I am really the only one out of all my friends who is this “settled” and I don’t have that many friends who have little ones so I used to look forward to talking to other mums in same stage of parenting as me or with little ones who are older but now it’s something I often dread depending on the individual.
I have found it’s often these individuals who feel the need to give me/force “advice” upon me all the time which isn’t really advice but basically them telling me I should do it their way! Everything is their idea, they come across as if every parenting decision I make is because they have set the example for me or suggested it or simply they did it first no matter what it is. If I do/did something they didn’t do I get a barge of excuses of why they didn’t/ don’t do it and why I shouldn’t. For example cloth nappies, I am considering switching to these and we are in the middle of building up our batch and experimenting which works best, but a particular individual who likes to think she is a parenting guru has got wind of this and has given me 100 reasons why she doesn’t cloth bum and why disposables are so much better etc etc etc. In reality this negative attitude is only because I am choosing to try something she has not. If this person had decided to do it before me I would be getting cloth nappy advise day and daily. I can never win.
I have also found this in regards to my decision to stay at home and to start my little baby business. I have had so many negative comments from “friends” about my decision to stay at home, how i am going to “loose myself” etc etc and this is simply because they are going back to work if the shoe was on the other foot! Same with my little business I made the mistake of saying to a few people early on that i was starting my business and surprise surprise they have or are going to do the same a few have even made items similar to mine :( ! Now don’t get me wrong i think creativity especially as a stay at home mum is fab, but simply doing something because another person has is ridiculous.
Twitter has been a great thing for me though, I feel as if I have found a lot of fabulous people on their who are supportive and positive about parenting and they aren’t trying to out do each other they support each other which is key for me. I’ve built up a little network of online “twitter buddies” who I feel comfortable asking silly teething questions, tweeting for advise about cloth nappies or talking about what our little ones have done or are doing in a non-competitive supportive way. I know a lot of people diss online social networking like this but for me as a newbie mum the twitter buddies have reignited my hope that not all mums/parents are competitive. If only my real life day to day friends would take a leaf out of my twitter buddies book!
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