There is no one who can make a Mum feel less sure of her parenting choices than another, critical, Mum! And being on the receiving end of competitive parenting is something which can cause a great deal of stress in our day-to-day lives.
Karen Brooks is a Mum as well as a well-respected columnist, author, academic and social commentator. When it comes to competitive parenting, her three main tips are:
1. Have confidence in your parenting decisions whether it's to breast feed, return to work, what you put in your child's lunchbox, how much time you allow on computers, or what school you choose to send them to or not. Remember: you're the expert when it comes to your child. Don't be influenced by what other parents do, what the media tells you, the latest fad, or what your child's friends tell them either! Stand firm and stick to your own
2. Avoid judging and gossiping about other mothers and fathers and their decisions wherever possible. Chances are you're being judged as well. Instead, offer support and the opportunity to share pros and cons. Parenting is an experience we should share, not treat as a competition with winners and losers. Our kids (and we) deserve better than that.
3. Parenthood is a forever job and a labour of love: hard-work, thankless at times, hilarious at others, but it should always be about raising responsible, resilient, caring, contributing adults who fit into society and who will make wonderful, loving partners and, possibly, future parents.
- Next week Justine shares her tips on how to survive the work juggle. If you missed last weeks article on defeating the daily housework grind you can read it here.