Sometimes, parenting feels like a big game of compare and contrast. We’re all swapping advice, getting anxious about how our kid’s development/haircut/school uniform measures up to other people’s, berating ourselves for not being more organised - like the mum who seems to secrete tissues, apples, wipes and cooled sterilised water out of a special God given orifice.
But be wise. We are not each other’s enemies. We’re all fiddling around in the dark. Remember these words of Confucious style wisdom whenever you feel a wobble coming on, and try not to batter that annoying woman over the head with a Skylanders lunch bag…
The one who knows the most, knows the least
We’ve all met Gina Ford’s minion down at the playgroup. The one that blithely takes 2 babies swimming and reckons it’s fun, the one with all the nuggets of ‘advice.’ Nothing seems to phase her and her kid ALWAYS sleeps through the night, even when they’re getting a mouthful of jaggy new teeth. Yeah, right. So how does one approach this spewing font of knowledge?
And say: ‘You don’t half talk a load of old bollocks. Jaffa Cake?’
She who is prepared for any eventuality seeks control via organic snacks
See that woman over there with everything on page 62 of the Lakeland catalogue in her nappy bag? The only one who has a rain hood on the pram that doesn’t look like a tatty used condom left an alleyway? She is probably FLOUNDERING. She’s trying to apply some kind of control over parenthood, which is as futile and dangerous as trying to ride a sabre toothed tiger in the Grand National.
Be her guide.
Offer her one of your Jaffa Cakes and tell her to lighten up. (also, ask to borrow her Tupperware –it’s NICE).
One must not envy the one who dresses to the nines for she is dying inside
Do not give into your envy at her tresses of shining hair, unblemished by burped up milk. Set aside your jealousy as she waltzes into the church hall playgroup looking like Salma Hayek on Oscars’ night. In reality, that woman is in crisis. She is torn between her old life and her new life, and has no idea how to combine the two. Either that or she’s got a nanny and a really good hairdresser. (Sod it – we’re jealous.)
As long as one is boastful, one cannot know happiness
The terminally proud parent is only overcompensating for their own shortcomings. That Facebook photo of their child with ‘OMG SOOOO CUTE *25 heart emojis* looks to everyone else like a dismal King Edward potato in a clown wig. Personality wise, their kid is about as effervescent as an old shoe, yet somehow they are touched by genius. Their drawings look like the track marks of a drunken slug, yet they are destined for the Louvre. Pride is borne of insecurity, so one must take a deep breath, and allow them their moment in the sun. Also, sit on your hands so you don’t stab anyone.
She who over-parents like a demented hoverfly is afraid of life
You can already see the look of resentment on little Barnaby’s face as she grabs blocks off him and constructs them into the Taj Mahal. She is tormented by the idea that a little rain might fall in his life, or that he might catch trichanomisisis whatitsname from dog poo. And there’s too much sugar in Petit Filous – ARRRRGH! (Meanwhile, you think you might have left your baby outside the pub with a packet of Quavers, but you’re sure it’ll be fine.)
Reassure her that although life is full of pitfalls, their child will enjoy it a whole lot more if she wasn’t all up in its grill and shrieking ‘BE CAREFUL BARNABY’ as he tries to navigate a very low wall.
Confucious say: push her off something. It will give her perspective – and a much needed shock to the system.
We are all equal in motherhood, and there is no competition
The universe has chosen us to bear fruit from our loins and continue the human race. It is not a competition to decide who has the most complicated buggy, the skinniest waist and the largest people carrier. Instead, let us wallow on coffee shop sofas together, comparing stains, fat rolls, and stories about how we haven’t had sex in a year, while eating large amounts of flapjack.
A woman who loves wine will always be your companion
Womanhood is a blessing, and its lifeblood is the sweet, ancient tincture they call wine. As the talk flows, open up your third eye and experience the sheer joyful force of the goddess Gaia. (Also, go to the offy – we’re out of Blossom Hill).
Treat others as you would be treated
One must always show others the respect that you yourself deserve.
Apart from THAT mother.
She’s a bitch.