Today I have a guest post from the lovely Gemma over at Confessions of a Nagging Mother. I wrote a couple of posts a couple of months ago about comparing ourselves to things we see on social media and fitting into a category as a parent. In this post Gemma has tackled the issues surrounding The Mummy Race. I shall hand you over to Gemma for more. Enjoy
Hello! I’m Gemma and I blog over at Confessions of a Nagging Mother about my little life and my nagging ways! Why not pop over and say hello. This is my guest post for Rachel, I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed letting off steam.
You may not know about it. You may not have even heard about it. But mark my words, you have definitely seen it.
The time before your baby is even here through to their time at school. Mums competing with each other. Which baby will crawl first? Which child will string a sentence together first? Who will learn to read first? Who will pass their SATS with flying colours?
It’s The Mummy Race!
You will see The Mummy Race happening everywhere…the school playground, parents evening, sports days, baby groups, swimming clubs, on Facebook, in the park…everywhere! This race is something that I have only started to learn about despite seeing it for many years.
Several friends and a family member had babies at the start of the year and this is when my eyes were fully opened to this Mummy Race.
A baby at two months old should definitely (in my opinion and experience) still be at the stage of waking up all several times in the night, so why was I seeing Facebook status’ asking ‘Why is my baby not sleeping at night?’ I mean, really?! Come on! To this question, I simply replied ‘she’s a baby, it’s normal!’ Surely a new parent is fully aware of this big major part that comes with a newborn…sleeplessness!
However, my attention was brought fully to The Mummy Race when my brother and sister-in-law (living in America) were concerned that their three month old son wasn’t sleeping through the night and still waking several times. Again, I was dumbfounded. However, what shocked me more was that their doctor had told them that yes, at three months old their son shouldn’t be waking up several times during the night.
Are you kidding me?! I have never heard such utter rubbish in all my life! No wonder my brother and sister-in-law feel they are doing something wrong. That their little dude is not at the stage he should be/
It’s one thing for us as parents to put pressure on ourselves but when a health care professional starts putting pressure on you as a parent it is remarkably crazy! Especially when in my honest view, there is no need for the pressure at all.
So, why do we do this to ourselves? Why, as parents do we jump full pelt into the sprint of The Mummy Race and wonder when will our child start reaching certain milestones and why hasn’t mu child done this yet because Bobby next door has. Why do we compare? Can we not just be happy when out own child reaches milestones when they do, why compare with the little baby of the lady you don’t even speak to?
I believe that as a parent you should (however hard it may be) back off, stay away and do not step food on the track of The Mummy Race. Just turn round and ignore it. Close your eyes if you have to! Just have no part in it. Comparing your child with others will never end well. It will just leave you wondering and worrying if your child is falling behind and I’m sure that they aren’t but once you get into that world of comparing then you worry about stupid things. Babies, children, adults, we all do things and reach different milestones at different points in our lives. Who says that if you don’t reach and achieve it by a certain age or date that you are no better than someone who achieved it when they were meant to.
No human is better than another and that goes for you and your children. They are no better or worse than another child. Embrace when your child reaches their own milestones. Embrace how well your child does at school. Don’t worry about how good or bad Bobby is doing. Focus on your own children and celebrate their achievements, whatever they may be and whenever they achieve them.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to celebrate all children’s achievements but when you can feel yourself start to compare, back away. Mentally take your head out of The Mummy Race. Parenthood is tough enough as it is, why put extra pressure on yourself?Turn your back on the race track because once you are on that track it is blooming hard to get off.