Is parenting becoming about competitive badness?

I’ve been wanting to write a post about, how sometimes it feels like parenting is about competitive badness for a while, but I haven’t because I didn’t want to cause outrage and a backlash. Do you know what I mean? Do you ever just get a general “my life’s worse than your life” kind of vibe whenever you scroll through Facebook? You know..  “I got 2 hours sleep last night” “Ah well I’ve had 2 hours sleep every night for a week.” Or that lovely phrase “My child’s feral”… “Mines more feral…”

Now don’t get me wrong. I know that some people, me included, find parenting tough. It’s not all a bed of roses. Hell when you have to clear up sick and pick poo out of a bath, life is not fun. Being a grown up, is literally shit sometimes (no pun intended). Sleep deprivation is a killer. A real life means of torture. When you’re so tired your eyes are stinging, life is definitely hard. But being a parent is one of the most amazing things in the world. And sometimes I think we feel bad for daring to share our happiness.

What sort of parenting blog is this?

So many bloggers have made their name by telling it truly how it is. They don’t sugar coat this parenting thing. Think of some of my blogging idols. Hurrah for Gin, The Unmumsy Mum, Brummy Mummy of 2. They are not only fabulous writers, but their honest and funny accounts of their parenting woes (and to be fair, their wins) has led to thousands, no millions, of followers. But I think the majority of people who like these bloggers and writers, like them, because they share the tough side to parenting very openly. They make people having a hard time, feel a bit better. There’s comfort in knowing you’re not alone. And that is so important. I’m not knocking it.

When I started this blog, I wasn’t sure what way I was going to write. Was I going to be funny, ranty, or wear my heart on my sleeve? I tried a few funnies, our spectacular shit bath time, and the time Miss Belle had a meltdown on our solo beach trip. These were honest accounts of funny scenarios that had happened to me. But then, I’ve also written about finding happiness and feeling content in an every day weekend in the garden. And my weekly round-up posts often include a snippet of something nice we’ve done as a family at the weekend. I couldn’t keep up just moaning or ranting. For starters I didn’t have enough material. And also, it’s just not me. (Though I was once told by a new work colleague that I moan a lot – yep, thanks for that!). I still haven’t really found my voice or my style I don’t think, so it’s a mixture of funny and some soppy stuff. (I just can’t help it, I’m a soppy kind of girl.)

Anyway, I digress..

Why it’s ok to record memories

Parenting Isn't All About Competitive Badness

My sister-in-law and brother gave us a memory jar for Christmas, and the other day I was sat filling in the cards to put inside. I wrote about our lovely cycle ride around Blickling to visit the bluebells and having lunch with friends and their kids. It’s a great idea. You write down what you’ve done throughout the year and pop them in a jar. Then on New Year’s Eve or at the end of the year, you open it and are reminded of the lovely things you’ve done. The label on the jar reads “we didn’t realise we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.” Awwww…

And it got me thinking about this competitive badness thing. Would I be judged if I wrote about how we were recording memories. Would the #blessed #makingmemories haters, hate me? I know that life with a toddler is anything but rosy at times. And if you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I’ve never actually used one of those hashtags. Hell, I want to forget the biting, the pinching, the tantrums and the nap refusal, like most people. But do you know what…

Parenting isn’t all bad!!

Sometimes, parenting is wonderful. You feel joy and so much unconditional, uncontrollable love, you feel like you could burst. Every day, at some point, I feel like the luckiest person in the world. Not all day every day, but for one brief moment. Like when Miss Belle says “love you” without me saying it first. Like when Miss Belle says “nice day” and grins at me when I talk about everything we’ve done that day before bed. Or when she screams “fatty bum bum!” and laughs so loud its impossible to not smile and laugh too.

So no, I will not apologise for recording some lovely days out, for writing soppy posts, or for having a good day. I will not apologise for being content. I will not apologise for feeling like I might explode with happiness watching my husband push my daughter, screaming “faster!” on her trike.

Yes, of course I will moan with the rest of them when I’m knackered and frazzled. Yes I will have a bad day (probably pretty regularly actually). But know this, parents-to-be. Parenting isn’t all about competitive badness. Being a parent is the most amazing privilege in the whole world, and I’m not afraid to say, it’s awesome!

So go ahead and “make memories” if you want. Life ain’t all bad with kids. Especially if you have a “Faaaaaatttttty BUM BUM!!!!!!!”

I’m linking up with some of my favourite bloggers: 

Pink Pear BearMummascribbles3 Little ButtonsTammymumMy Random MusingsHot Pink Wellingtonsthemumproject You Baby Me MummyMummy in a TutuMummuddlingthrough

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35 Comments

  1. 8th May 2017 / 7:14 pm

    This is a great post. I always feel like there’s a pressure to one up one another, when really we should celebrate our own motherhood, our own milestones and encourage mothers to do the same.

    • thisismenow
      8th May 2017 / 7:21 pm

      Yes! Is exactly that!! Thanks for reading xx

  2. 8th May 2017 / 8:36 pm

    I think you’re completely right Susie, there is a lot to be said for ‘telling it like it is’, warts and all. But sometimes, how it is, is actually quite nice – special, precious, and beautiful. So well done you for celebrating that fact with positivity!
    Cal at Family Makes recently posted…A Cheeky Beach TripMy Profile

  3. 9th May 2017 / 7:11 pm

    I totally agree we should be able to let off steam when we have a bad day but also equally I think complaining is the new trend for some, yes we all have crappy days but focusing on the negative isn’t good for anyone. You should never feel guilty for having a good day or appreciating the happy days. I say focusing on the positive in our life’s is the key to happiness. Yes life is shit sometimes but dwelling on it isn’t going to change things so my moto is focus on the little things that make you happy and they will become the big things xxx great post susie
    Caroline recently posted…Rubys 9th BirthdayMy Profile

    • thisismenow
      9th May 2017 / 7:27 pm

      That’s a great moto to have! Thanks so much for your lovely comment x

  4. 10th May 2017 / 6:41 am

    I LOVE this post Susie. Such a good read and well said. I also don’t have a problem with parenting blogs that ‘tell it like it is’ but I do also think there is a bit of a negative trend in moaning about parenting and like all things it can spiral a bit. We should all feel supported and feel that we are not alone in our journey as parents – but there is also a place for being positive and making the best of things. I really do think a positive attitude rubs off on our kids too. Of course we all have bad days and there’s nothing wrong with a moan now and again! But choosing how we handle difficult situations is one of the best examples we can show our kids. We should also all be able to celebrate our parenting success without feeling guilty about it. xx
    Rosie @ Little Fish recently posted…Living Arrows 2017 – 19/52My Profile

  5. 10th May 2017 / 4:38 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this because quite frankly I agree that it has become way too competitive on the bad side of parenting front. Oo I could go on but I won’t. There’s sharing and there’s oversharing. The thing is with blogging is that anyone can write anything without any editorial restrictions. Oh look, I did go on! But you hear what I’m saying. There’s a lot of bloggers and a lot of parents and a lot of kids doing similar stuff and parents experiencing similar rubbish but the good far outweighs the bad but the blogging world seems to be swamped with the negative – oh, there I go again! Anyway, fab fab fab post my lovely! #FamilyFun

    • thisismenow
      10th May 2017 / 5:51 pm

      Ahh thanks so much for reading and your fab comment! I know what you mean, after a few months of blogging I thought maybe I had to swear and moan about the crapper sides of parenting to have a successful blog. But that’s just not me. So even without a viral post I will plod on doing my thing! Xx

  6. 10th May 2017 / 9:59 pm

    I think it’s almost dangerous to mock your children too much… One day, they will read your blog and they will see how you see them, and that’s not always good. Public shaming of children really should only go so far – they didn’t ask to be on the blog. But I’m the kind of blogger who will always put a positive spin on things. And equally, sometimes I’ve read blogs which are just so smug and ‘everything’s perfect.’ There’s a place for honesty too.

    Lots of food for thought here – and congratulations for making Mumsnet blog of the day!

  7. 10th May 2017 / 10:04 pm

    It is the day funny stuff that makes the terrible times worthwhile. I try to share both sides on my blog to show the real experiences I have, the triumphs and failures. #bloggerclubuk

  8. 11th May 2017 / 8:44 am

    I think it’s important to show the ups and downs of parenting. Because life with children isn’t all good or all bad. Why should a record of it on your blog be?
    Great thought-provoking post.
    #sharingthebloglove

  9. 11th May 2017 / 10:54 am

    Parenting is both the best and worst of times – and it’s great to share those as knowing that it isn’t just you can be really helpful. But it’s about balance. Too much emphasis on the crap is just as bad as too much on the unicorns and rainbows. I also think it’s important to remember that one day our children will read our blogs – and I don’t mine to get any ideas that she was never anything but loved and wanted. 🙂
    Tubbs recently posted…A Bedroom Tour (Including Dressing Table and Beauty Stash Stop)My Profile

  10. 11th May 2017 / 12:01 pm

    I think it’s all about balance. I do tend to share a lot of the wahhhhhhhh! side of parenting but also try to show the nice side too. But I think it depends on the type of blog you have and there is absolutely no problem with recording beautiful memories because as you say, although parenting can be challenging there are a lot of beautiful times that go along with it! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub with this xoxo

    • thisismenow
      12th May 2017 / 8:24 am

      Thanks Talya. Absolutely, it’s not all a bed of roses and I’ve written my fair few moaning posts about the terrible twos and biting etc. Sometimes it’s like therapy to get it off our chest. But like you say I do want to share the good bits too because it’s definitely not all bad!

  11. 11th May 2017 / 9:20 pm

    All in moderation, as they say? I blog (I think?) a pretty balanced perspective on parenting. I try and squeeze a little positivity into even the shittiest of days, just in case my kids read it one day ha ha!
    The most important thing in representing yourself in a blog has to be being yourself right? We ALL love our kids so the haters can go and follow another blogger. I on the other hand will be here smiling 😉
    Thanks for linking to #coolmumclub
    MMT recently posted…Comment on DECLUTTERING by WinnettesMy Profile

    • thisismenow
      12th May 2017 / 8:26 am

      Thanks. Yep, parenting is not easy. It’s one of the hardest jobs ever and I get tired and frazzled and sometimes I write about that. But I also write about the good and always will, even if they are the less popular posts!

  12. 11th May 2017 / 9:38 pm

    Yeah I’d say this is pretty spot on. I like to read a ranty life is hard post and I like to read a soppy one too. What I like most of all however is to read the honest ones. The people who are writing them from a place of genuine belief. If that makes sense. It took me a long time to find my voice, although I am not 100%aure I have it yet. I think, for what it’s worth, write about what is true to you as if you enjoy it there is a much better chance your reader will too. Brilliant post lovey xx
    Tammymum recently posted…Back to ButlinsMy Profile

    • thisismenow
      12th May 2017 / 8:23 am

      Thanks, you’re so true. I do try to write from the heart and hope I’m on the road to finding my style x

  13. 11th May 2017 / 11:13 pm

    I’ve had a very similar post on my mind for a while now. It’s literally like it’s not cool to say you love it. Only the cool girls say parenting is shit and need wine everyday to get through it. Lol. Then there’s the sickening, I just love my bundle of joy so much they never ever displease me. I’m neither. But I totally get it. If I post how wonderful my day and my child is on Facebook I get less than 10 likes. If I post that my child is driving me bat shit crazy and making me want to run away and turn to alcohol then suddenly every woman I know is my bestie and I’ve got likes flying in from all over the show lol.

    • thisismenow
      12th May 2017 / 8:22 am

      Yes it is exactly this!! It made me think that I have to rant and moan and constantly be a comedy genius to get more followers or readers. It’s like no one wants to read good stuff, we all just like to see other people struggling and having a worse time than us! And whilst I get that does make some people feel better, it’s kind of sad to me that we can’t be happy with what we have. It’s also just not me. Thanks so much for your fab comment x

  14. 11th May 2017 / 11:55 pm

    I couldn’t agree more… As if there wasn’t already enough competitiveness out there for parents, now it’s like we have to coincide being the best with being the worst! Or having the worst kids! I know one person in particular who will always, without fail, comment on Facebook statuses or photos of how their day/kid has ABSOLUTELY been worse! Even when I post something good she’s all “well you’re lucky they ate that pasta, mine hasn’t eaten any food for like a year” Whatever, seriously! Life’s hard, but we’re all in the same (ish) boat aren’t we?! Love this post #ablogginggoodtime
    Aleena recently posted…Memory: Have I Lost Sight of What is Important?My Profile

    • thisismenow
      12th May 2017 / 8:19 am

      Hahaha I hear you! Thank so much for your lovely comment. And do you know, take that pasta eating as a win and don’t worry about anyone else!

  15. 12th May 2017 / 9:21 pm

    Ah what a great sentiment and message. I’m so in agreement. Funnily enough I very much started out blogging to document the ‘real’ side of parenting in a comic way (God I’m so embarrassed…what a cliche) and to be honest I can’t do the ‘our lovely day out to such and such place’ because it just wouldnt be me (plus there’s sod all to do in Malta!). I hadn’t even heard of Unmumsy or Hurrah for Gin or Brummy Mummy. You know why? I started blogging before them!! Very talented ladies and good people but I’m with you on the not managing to keep up the moaning ALL the time (not referring to them…just the whole concept I mean). I think it’s a sad day when parent blogging becomes all about moaning about hard it is and it’s seen as the crime of the century to actually shock horror enjoy being a parent! So you own your blog posts documenting your happiness. Your blog, your life, your family #CoolMumClub

    • thisismenow
      12th May 2017 / 9:25 pm

      Ah thank you so much Prabs, I love your blog and I love funny writers. I wish I was so talented! I will continue to share the good the bad and the ugly! Thanks so much for reading xx

  16. 12th May 2017 / 11:03 pm

    Parenting does seem like a competitive sport at times. The one up on how ‘good’ my life/kids are to the how ‘bad my life/kids are. #familyfun

  17. 12th May 2017 / 11:35 pm

    Great post. I just do what I want to write. I’m definitely not a comedy writer, and the funniest bits probably aren’t suitable for sharing or that funny to others #sharingthebloglove

  18. 13th May 2017 / 12:44 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with you. I think there’s been a real backlash lately, both against the ‘perfect mummy bloggers’, with their immaculate homes and adorable children, and also against the ‘tell it like it is’ bloggers – it seems whichever way you go you’ll probably upset someone out there. But in real life I think it’s natural to want to remember the good things, the things that made you smile. Although I hope I’m honest with my blog and my writing, I’m not going to be ashamed about the fact that generally my posts are about enjoying being a mum – I love it, and I love the joy my son brings to my life. Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  19. 15th May 2017 / 9:39 am

    It’s funny, I had noticed the same thing but not really put it together in my head. You’re right- people do compete on whose life is more s**t. I’m afraid that I can’t join in because generally if you’re in that headspace its a race to the bottom. And I know that actually, I have a great life and a great daughter who I love being a Mummy to.

    I have to say that I ADORE your memory jar. Did your sister in law make it? I blog about memory-keeping and memory-making and this has been on my radar for a while but I haven’t seen anyone blog about it before. The jar is so lovely! Great post! #ablogginggoodtime

    • thisismenow
      17th May 2017 / 12:58 pm

      Thanks very much. No I think she bought it somewhere online as they have one too. I think it’d be fairly easy to do one yourself though. Thanks for reading x

  20. 16th May 2017 / 10:52 am

    What I love about blogging is that it’s your blog and your rules, you can choose to write whatever you want to write. Some people have a very particular niche and that works for them and others are more of a mixture. I document all the moments I want to remember, the ordinary moments that I know I would forget otherwise. I write about the adventures we go on and I share my thoughts on being a mummy. I basically download everything that is in my head! Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove
    Laura – dear bear and beany recently posted…Adding The Personal Touches With Canvas Champ…Plus a Giveaway!My Profile

    • thisismenow
      16th May 2017 / 8:26 pm

      Ha I thought that when I saw it today!! I have to say I’ve got both their books and love them and there’s definitely a place for them. It’s just something I’ve been wondering about a lot recently and whether you need a certain style to be popular.

  21. 17th May 2017 / 7:51 pm

    I have a fatty bum bum and am also about to start my fifth memory box for Alyssa and she is only almost 2… yeah I am that person!
    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime Please join us next week too!
    Mummy in a TuTu recently posted…A Meal at The Crown – Bransgore: Our ReviewMy Profile

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