Dr Richard C. Woolfson
Of course you’re happy with your baby’s progress and achievements. You want to tell the whole world how wonderful he is.
But there is a limit – an appropriate level of information shows that you’re naturally proud of his milestones; too much information could be a sign that you’re competitive.
And nobody wants to spend time with a mum who talks non-stop about her baby.
Here are five signs of a competitive mum:
1. You post baby photos few times a day, every day.
If you overuse Facebook and other social media platforms, then maybe you are more competitive than proud. Your friends will simply get bored – and may even “unfollow” you or hide your feed.
2. You talk more than you listen.
When you meet your friend, do you spend so much time gushing about your cutie’s development that you can’t remember what she told you about her baby? That happens when you don’t listen enough.
3. Your friends have stopped asking you out.
A competitive mum who keeps bragging about her baby can be a very boring person. Eventually, even good friends will start to lose their enthusiasm for a monthly catch-up, because they’ve heard enough. They feel you’re interested only in your baby.
4. You’re not satisfied until you share.
Every parent is thrilled when she snaps a gorgeous photo of her little one, or when Baby says a new word. If you don’t get derive satisfaction from these occasions unless you tell someone about them, your competitive drive may be too strong.
5. You are stressed when Baby doesn’t progress fast enough.
Sometimes your baby develops quickly and other times slowly, depending on his development stage. A proud mum accepts those different stages without anxiety, whereas a competitive mum becomes agitated as soon as she thinks her child isn’t progressing ahead of his peers.
New parents: Stop comparing your babies
If you think you’re a competitive mum, then it is time to change.
Otherwise, you’ll constantly be in a state of dissatisfaction because you want more and more “likes” on Facebook and Instagram. You’ll always be afraid that other babies his age will catch up or overtake him.
Your baby will eventually sense that his achievements have fallen short of your expectations, which will, in turn, erode his self-confidence.
To start, cut back the number of daily posts about your baby on social media.
You could even try to go a whole day without sharing a new photo on Facebook. This will be challenging because you are so used to boasting about everything he does, but you will adapt.
Next, think about whom you should brag to. While grandparents are fascinated by every minute detail about their grandchild, your friends have their own children to be proud of.
So reduce the number of people you inform about your baby’s progress.
Then, make a conscious effort to show genuine interest in your friends’ kids. They want to feel that you care about them, rather than that you are competing with them.
Ask questions and listen respectfully to what they tell you, without using that as opportunity to show how your baby is smarter than theirs is. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how your friends are happy to spend more time with you now.