I hate sport. Don’t get it. I have a tendency to run away from flying balls and always forget the rules. In primary school I was made to leave the compulsory netball team and at every high school cross-country event, I found myself at the back of the pile with the smokers and asthmatics.
Yep, not my thing.
And I got through life and my career pretty well until I hit parenting land where it seems, I’d entered a new competitive sport, only 1 I didn’t sign up for AT ALL.
It’s like those Facebook groups you get added to without permission and start getting annoying notifications from. Only this one has no “unfollow” or “unlike” option so I’m stuck with it, and I’m not happy.
And really it starts when the kid is still in utero with parents-in-law clucking about your birth plan, what’s “best for the baby” when all you can think of is how this watermelon is going to get through your teeny tiny vagina. We’re still not really on speaking terms. My vagina and I that is. Totally understandable, really.
Then the baby is born and is starts in full swing because then there are set milestones to meet and EVERYONE has an opinion.
When my first baby was born, it was like being thrust into a foreign country with no map, serious language barriers (what does that mean?????) and really, no frikin clue.
So I relied on my friends, family, 300 Facebook groups, mothers groups, maternal health nurses and even the odd app for advice.
And honestly, it was just too much and instead of empowering me with information, it just overwhelmed.
Oh, he should really be rolling by now.
He should really be sleeping through the night by now. Both my boys slept through from 7 weeks.
Great. Feel free to pop in around 3am and shoosh till your heart’s content. I’ll be in the foetal position, somewhere small and far away.
My son has 200 words, how many does yours?
Oh, was I meant to count my son’s words?
Missed the memo on that.
<Insert crying baby>
(Mother in law) Oh, when I had my babies, they never cried like this. Ours boys were such good boys.
Thanks. That’s just super for my self esteem.
Oh, (insert name) is already toilet trained. We did it in 3 days.
And on and on.
And I get that we need milestones to help guide the way but at the end of the day, the number one thing I’ve learnt is that there is no normal.
In fact normal is a pretty dangerous word that just messes with our already fragile souls and throws us into a spin because every child is unique and finds their own way, in their own time.
So, how about we put down our competitive commentary, pack away our well meaning words and walk away from the net.
And if you really want to take part in a parental sport, try refereeing a 3 year old playdate where there is only 1 sparkly pink tutu.
And your time starts….now!
Have you experienced competitive parenting? Tell us your story below.
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