What makes parenting so competitive?
Two parents, two kids. One parent gives their kid an apple for snack, the other gives their kid a cookie. Is one parent better than the other?
Two parents, two kids. All are an evening party. One parent lets their kid stay up late so the parent can enjoy being with friends, the other parent leaves early to get the kid to bed at a certain time. Which one’s the better parent?
Two parents, two kids. One parent buys kids clothes at Target, the other at baby Gap. Which parent is better? One could argue, it’s better for kids to have “higher quality” clothing (although the quality argument is, in itself, highly debatable). Or one could argue, it’s better values not to spend so much money on clothes a child will soon grow out of. Again, which one’s the better parent? Which parent is doing it right?
It appears others’ parenting decisions are not their decisions but ours. What I mean is, parents often see another parent’s choices as a reflection of their own. So, what you do says something about what another does, or doesn’t do. One parent must be right, or better, than another. Like two athletes, one parent is in better shape, more “fit”, than another. I don’t think it needs to be this way.
Wendy has more thoughts about a related issue on her blog, and I’m guessing she’ll have more to say on it in the future.