For a long time I’ve been part of the indie community, (often spending more time helping others build their brands than my own), and one thing we always say is “community over competition“. At the end of the day we’re all trying our hardest.
Today has me thinking about how that phrase translates in to the parenting world. Why compete? How did we lose our community? How can we get that back?
There are a lot of campaigns out there to encourage mothers to build communities but sometimes it can still feel cliquey and hard to find your tribe; lord knows I’m still trying to find where I ‘fit’. The thing is to keep trying though, right? You’ll never find those who you can bond with if you never put yourself out there. Go ahead, give any parenting related hashtag a search on Instagram and you’ll find 100s of parents just like you.
Things is, it’s not just Mums who have this going on, but Dads too. Dad vs Dad, Dad vs Mum… why? What’s the point? It’s literally making our life’s uncomfortable. Does any of it really matter that much? Who sat and painted for hours with their child, who read the bedtime stories, who worked all day and barely got time for a big hug… why make it about who did what. When we’re all doing the best we can for our children.
Instead of focusing on how baby is fed, focus on the fact baby is fed and healthy. Both our children were bottle fed, but I had no choice because my body wouldn’t do what it’s ‘supposed to’, so saying breast is best is just a kick in the gut when you’re already down. For all you know that parent bottle feeding their baby in Nero’s has just adopted. Why make feeding children a competition? As long as they are alive and healthy, what more do we want?
Don’t compare parenting styles. I’m loud, blunt and wing it constantly. If my child wants to climb a wall, great. If they fall and hurt themselves, they learn what not to do next time. Hands off parenting isn’t for everyone though and that’s cool. Some parents like to stay close and make sure they can help with anything, and that is A OK! As long as you and your child have a relationship that is built on trust and love then where can you go wrong?
Some parents somehow (I can only assume it’s witchcraft) manage to be well put together every morning. Some aren’t. Both are fine. You have to make the choice that works for you; the choice that makes YOU feel better. If getting an extra half hour in bed and dosing up on dry shampoo is your way then run with it!
A lot of the parental competitiveness is projecting and on some levels, I believe a teenie bit of jealousy. “I could never…” is something I hear all to often, and that’s great; FOR YOU! Just don’t project how YOU would parent on to someone else.
At the end of the day we’re all trying our hardest… and there’s nothing wrong with that.