Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Advice and the Mummy Competition

We all do it, even if it's subconscious. Comparing our babies and our experiences. It starts during pregnancy; 'I have the worst morning sickness.' 'Oh, I had none at all, didn't even feel sick!'

I'm not saying it's a bad thing, we are just proud mummies and want everyone to know it. But it can lead to feeling like you've failed. Especially if your baby is later at doing something that someone else's is. I have found this with sleeping; specifically sleeping through the night. Many mums are all too quick to shout from the rooftops about their 3 week old sleeping through the night. But we don't hear about the majority of us who are the 'norm' and have a baby that wakes, a lot, for feeds!

All babies are different, we shouldn't compare. But I think this is particularly hard for the first time mum. Especially today with the internet, facebook groups, forums etc. We have too much access to too much information, a lot of which is conflicting, then the mummy competition on top of that can leave you totally overwhelmed. You can feel out of your depth and start second guessing things you'd got the hang of! 

Advice can turn into competitive boasting and not be helpful at all. We end up asking mums how their baby is doing just to say how amazing our own is! When it comes to competitiveness masquerading as advice we should take it with a pinch of salt. 

Really we should be going with our instincts. We know our babies like no one else. Our own mums would have had just one book and their mums to guide them through and we all turned out ok. What works for one mum and baby won't work for another. I want to enjoy my baby and not stress if he hasn't had a nap in his cot for a week, I'm enjoying a cuddle and it isn't going to impact on his future... Look at the bigger picture. I'm trying to stick to that and go with the flow as much as possible. 

That being said I think competitive mum syndrome is natural. It has always and will always be there, but the key is too not let it get to you and try not to do it too much yourself! 

What are your experiences of advice and competition?

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