I long ago gave up comparing myself to other parents. There was just no point.
When the boys came along, I quickly had to develop the attitude: So what if Felicity’s mum is thin, has perfect hair, perfect arms, kicks ass in the PTA and can control her children in public? I learnt to thank my lucky stars that I’d had time to brush my teeth that morning.
Experts say it’s human nature to compare ourselves – to size ourselves up against other mums who are prettier, fitter and better at juggling it all. Comparing can be a learned behaviour or a result of unrealistic expectations we see in the media – either way, it’s definitely not good for us.
As long as the kids are healthy, happy, safe and taken care of, you’re doing a great job as a parent and, anyway, who knows what Felicity’s mum’s life is really like.
My children, however, are unbelievably quick to go down the comparison rabbit hole. It’s something you’re never told about being a mum, that – day in, day out – you’ll get to hear why you’re such a mean mummy and what ‘everyone else’ is up to. Some examples from the past few days:
“But all the children on the bus have iPads!”
“Everyone else put their Christmas tree up weeks ago.”
“Drummond has Goldfish in his lunchbox.”
“Fritz is getting an Xbox for Christmas!”
“Will you come on the school trip? You’ve never been on a school trip Mum. Horace’s mum’s coming.”
“I want to wear a red shirt with a Christmas tree on for the sing-a-long. Everyone else has a tree on their top.”
Referring to a school project we did together, “Our volcano was boring Mum! All the other volcanoes actually exploded.” (Lord knows how)
And now it’s December, you can bet you’ll get to see exactly where everyone’s Elf on the Shelf is for the next couple of weeks – the mischievous little tinker!
You might also like: ‘WHY?’ and other annoying phrases
A Christmas Parody – Spoilt (Brilliant remake! Follow link, and press ‘Click to play’ at the top if it doesn’t start automatically)