Parenting

4 Ways to Handle Parents Who Make You Feel Like the Worst Mom Ever

We all know 'em. We all hate to know 'em.

The minute you open your mouth to say, "I'm really tired, baby hasn't been sleeping," or "potty training sucks," they take the opportunity to jump down your throat and tell you how by THAT age, THEIR precious Little Billy was doing complex geometry.

I understand the urge to brag about your kid. I also understand the urge to throttle someone who is bragging about their kid.

Here are some nice easy steps I've mastered to ignore those people who are dead set on making you feel like the worst parent ever. Because hey, your kids are doing a good enough job making you feel impotent as it is.

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1. Redirect 'em. Treat people who try to make you feel like a lesser parent like they're overgrown toddlers who need to be gently redirected to another activity, lest they melt-down all over the place. This is what I do for those people who I actually like. Respond to things like, "So YOUR baby isn't solving the Fibonacci sequence, yet? Hrmph." with something like, "I really like the color blue."

If they persist, go on to step two.

2. Remind 'em. If you haven't had a good night's sleep in nine months and they're bragging about how Little Tommy slept through the night at two weeks of age, remind them of another baby who's been keeping his poor mother up for six years. Like my kids! You can always use me as a reference here.

If they persist in bragging, go to step three.

3. Shut 'em down. This can be done in a couple of ways. Say something snarky like, "How kind of you to notice! I'm so glad your baby is better than mine." Alternately, you can retort with some other failing of their perfect baby, "Well, at least my daughter has hair."

If they persist, go to step four.

4. Enter witness protection. Really, there's not much you can do besides change your phone number, name, address, and, well, whole life. Someone that determined to rub in how much better their baby is than yours is determined. There will be very little you can do beyond stop taking their calls, block 'em on Facebook, and hope they forget where you live. After all, they're going to be too busy taking their perfect baby to MENSA classes, right?

Any other suggestions for how to avoid the bragging parent who just won't shut up?

 

Image via sabianmaggy/Flickr

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