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Kirsty McCabe says: "Parenting one-upmanship? Don't get lost in 'Boastbook'"

Our weekly columnist hits the nail on the head with a roundup of the most irritating social media habits. Serial attention-seeking uploaders, take note...

Posted: 14 August 2014
by Catherine Hudson

kirsty mccabe
A fine phallic-shaped, social media worthy, specimen

"As much as I love social media for staying in touch with far-flung family and friends, it can leave me feeling a little bit deflated. The logical part of me knows that everybody self-edits, so what you read is a flattering view of somebody else's life. And thanks to fancy filters, those selfies do not adhere to the camera never lies rule. Still, there are certain status updates that can leave me feeling jealous, sad, annoyed - and sometimes all three!

You know the ones. Those people who brag about being on holiday somewhere hot and sunny while you are either stuck at work or trying to entertain the kids indoors because it's raining again. Or the “Wow, I'm back in my pre-baby size six skinny jeans mere days after giving birth!”, when the last time you wore a size six was when you were aged six. Or the “I feel so blessed” updates, where people bang on about how amazing their relationships are and post pictures of the expensive birthday gifts they have received.

Not all my friends are guilty of these crimes. My favourite posts are from those who share unfortunate incidents in humorous ways, such as only realising late in the day that a wrap dress had unwrapped itself or the best way to survive a toilet training accident at soft play. Indeed, the only time I've posted a picture of my meal was because my courgette flower (I was at a veggie restaurant) bore an unfortunate phallic resemblance.

Have you got any tips for keeping your cool when you have had to read parents' one-upmanship posts on social media? Have you felt annoyed or bored by something you have read? Let us know by joining in our forum discussion...

Now I'm not saying you can only tell me things that will make me laugh or feel better about my own predicaments, but please don't make every aspect of life a competition. Especially if you aren't telling the whole truth. And don't use false modesty – we can see right through the woe is me with such a massive house and garden to maintain. To be fair, this may just be a tiny London home versus the rest of the UK house size issue.

The desire to compare is part of human nature but it often ramps up a notch during pregnancy; who has the bigger bump, who has got stretch marks, how long did it take you to get pregnant etc? Often the questions are posed so that they can reveal how neat their bump is and that nobody knows they are pregnant from behind, how they don't have a single blemish and did they mention it took mere seconds to conceive...

The one-upmanship just gets worse when it comes to labour. I've said it before and I'll say it again. There are no prizes or medals – the best outcome is the safe arrival of a healthy child. As for boy or girl preferences, I refer back to the safe arrival of a healthy child. If you want to give birth without pain relief that is your choice. Just like every pregnancy, every labour is different. The same goes for breast or bottle feeding. You might have a preference, you might end up doing the opposite. Do what works for you and the baby, at the end of the day what's important is they are getting milk!

Milestones are another source of irritation. I don't mind being told that your child is walking or talking (as long as it's proper words) and I love the pictures of their first day at school, but when it comes to well behaved babies that sleep through the night or toddlers that take to toilet training like a duck to water? Best keep that to yourself or at least tell me your secret!

If you find it depressing to read about people's allegedly wonderful lives then maybe it's time to get some new friends. Even better how about some friends you can meet up with in the flesh and share your highs and lows with. Although I draw the line at comparing lady bits to see who came off worse after labour – you know who you are."

Kirsty McCabe writes her weekly column here on www.juniormagazine.co.uk. Follow us on Twitter: @juniormagazine and watch out for the hashtag #somethingfortheweekend every Friday to join in with the conversation

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