The Bad Parenting Olympics


(The above picture has little to do with the actual post other than I reference Elsa and a goat, I thought it was apt.)

I know, I know, I’ve not been here very much at all, and the first thing I do is rock up with a big ass rant. I’m sorry for that (I’m not sorry really but it seems the right thing to say) however there’s something that has just been getting my goat recently and I need to do an Elsa and LET. IT GO.

Here goes…

Recently I have got to thinking that there seems to be some sort of oneupmanship (thats a word right?) of’ ‘bad parenting’ occurring. (By the way, that’s not ME calling anyone a bad parent…).

Facebook seems to be a constant trail of posts, groups and pages of people, generally woman, trying to out-do each other in the bad parenting stakes or quest to show the dark truths of parenting.  It seems very popular right now to put parenting down and WOE betide anyone who would like to break rank and post positively about parenting.

I’m part of several parenting groups on Facebook where people rant about others perfect little lives, with their perfect little children and joke about how behind the scenes everything is probably less than perfect, and that Cuthbert and Doris are probably screaming nightmares to deal with and mummy probably injects valium into her eyeballs while her husband is shagging his secretary somewhere.

Haters gonna hate of course but why is it terrible to post and share the positives about your life and parenting?

Now I am not saying that I am not guilty of this, I have of course been known to crack open the Pinot before the clock has even struck 5pm and yes, I use DANTDM as a babysitter from time to time, while I am more than likely busy catching up with friends lives via Instagram or messing about with Snapchat filters (rainbow barf FTW!) We all do it. But why, why, has it become the IN thing to make ‘funny’ remarks about how hard and shit parenting is all the time.

I generally try not to post about my children too much, and certainly not in a negative light. Imagine if they read it one day? But more to the point, for me, parenting really isn’t that hard or shit for 99.9% of the time. Maybe I am one of the lucky ones or maybe I am kidding myself as I have seen it suggested on other groups.  My children are well behaved, polite, interesting, funny and generally a joy to be around but now I feel like I can’t say that. I feel that I almost have to LIE!

As I sit here typing this rant, my 9 and 10 year old are sitting opposite me at the kitchen table, designing covers for their summer scrapbooks. I have a cup of tea and a piece of Red Velvet cake and I am immensely enjoying the school holidays. but I can’t say that in public, can I?

I have always sucked at sports and it seems I suck at this one too!

Clearly, I am totally alone in these feelings as these types of pages have tens of thousands of “likes” with mummies everywhere fawning over each and every new hilarious meme, and that’s okay, I don’t mind being the lone voice in the crowd.

Would love to hear others thoughts on this…

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14 Comments on “The Bad Parenting Olympics”

  1. It’s one of the things with social media, you get those that love to show their perfect lives and those that love to hate them. Parenting is hard, no-one can say it isn’t, but it’s also the most perfect thing you could ever imagine. Even after a really difficult day when you look at your little monster tucked up in bed asleep you can’t help but think of them as a little angel. I’ve been around a while (yes, even before Facebook) and the best way to deal with all of this is to ignore it, post whatever you want, and if you see something you don’t like, or someone doesn’t like what you’ve put…IGNORE’s easy 🙂

    1. Yes, I do tend to ignore as generally I am talking about the blogs that have become popular for being sarcastic and purporting to show ‘the real side of parenting’. Their experiences generally aren’t mine though (perhaps I’ve just been very lucky?!) and so I do choose not to read these blogs – though they often get thrust into my Facebook feed by people liking and sharing etc.

  2. I’d like to think we’d all like to do the best parenting we can, otherwise why take on the job in the first place? Now and again it’s nice to let off steam about a bad day or even a bad week. Generally though I want to do my parenting well and I like to think I’d look for ways to improve what I do.

    1. Thanks for your comment. We all have bad days, weeks, months…but I am talking more generally about blogs showing ‘the real side of parenting’, the bad mum memes that go around etc. I find it all just as contrived as people making their lives look uber perfect on Instagram and the like. I’m just feeling ranty, ha!

  3. Social media is one of those things I find that has to be taken lightly when it comes to commentary or opinion on the way we each live our lives. No-one’s life is perfect, but by showing a ‘perfectly staged’ photo of darling well dressed kids with the washing basket hidden out of view, is the person who posted it trying to say that it is? Or are they just making the best photo they can and should they be judged on that? Likewise when someone says how they are a ‘bad parent’ for doing (whatever it was they did but isn’t really that bad because they wouldn’t have posted it otherwise!) Aren’t they just looking for some companionship in their statement, to reassure them that they aren’t the only ones who’ve had to hold the door shut on the screaming toddler in a room, so they don’t do something they may regret at the end of their tether?
    The parenting competitions don’t bother me because I don’t feel that I am in them. I choose not to participate and don’t expect that anyone notices either way – everyone is too concerned with what they are doing to worry about other people. I hope that your writing this post helped you to ‘let it go’! Have a full blast sing of that song if it helps – I do enjoy that tune too!!

    1. Oh I agree absolutely in the looking for reassurance and companionship – they’re not really the ones that are irking me, it’s the all the memes and ‘funny’ blog posts and now there’s the recent ‘Bad Moms’ film too to join in. It’s just like it’s become ‘uncool’ to actually praise your children or say something nice, unless you add a dose of sarcasm into it. I can’t fully explain without naming and shaming and I don’t really want to do that, because it’s my issue and not theirs!

  4. I think you are right, there is a bit of a gang of “too cool for school” blogs and facebook pages with a quip and glass of wine or gin for every occasion. I think most parenting is probably just a a bit boring and middle of the road which never attracts much attention does it so people find something to spice it up a bit that works for their online persona.

  5. I know exactly what you mean!

    I tend to only share the positive about my life but that’s not because I want to come across as perfect but because that’s what I choose to share. I could tell everyone how I’ve just had a blazing row with my teen after telling her to do something for the millionth time but that’s between me and her.

  6. I have no idea who DanTDM is for a start – hope he is a good babysitter ;0) – I think each to their own. I do hate all this parent bashing on social media, most of us do our best and we all have those days where we want to curl up in a ball and gently rock in the corner

  7. I hate the whole Mum bashing thing. I have been singled out my a national paper this week for being a smug mummy. It really doesn’t matter to me how people parent, I guess we are all going about it the best way we can.

  8. Oh I do wish we could just all get on with parenting our own children! It is no-ones business how anyone does anything, is it? I too have loved the holidays – I do my best at parenting and don’t give a fig what anyone thinks! Kaz x

  9. I have to say I agree with you completely!! We need to remember that what we put out there about our kids will always be there and it is something that they could potentially see in the future. We all have great days and we all have shitty days, that is how parenting is. We should all support each other x

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