Nothing gets on my nerves more than a bragging mom.
However, there is a time and a place for everything, even bragging. Read more for my very opinionated guide to bragging etiquette.
Cool: “My Kid is Awesome” bragging statements
It’s perfectly fine to say that your kids are awesome. Let your kids know that you are proud of them. Show others that you are proud of your children.
“OHMYGARFOOGLENESS! Johnny just sat up for .29 seconds! He is the best baby everrrrr!”
Enjoy the milestones, and enjoy spending time with your children. They are only this age once!
[dis]honorable mention: Exhaustingly long home videos of your child doing absolutely nothing.
Try to keep them under 2 minutes. Three is a maximum unless your child is actively performing something. Bottom line: If your baby does something that lasts 5 seconds, don’t make your friends watch a video as long as a movie trailer.
Oh, and if you are making a video slideshow of photographs, NEVER keep the photo up longer than 4 seconds. A 2.5-3 second duration per slide is where you want to shoot for. Exception: A shot featuring more than 6 people. Don’t give more than one half second for each Very Important Person.
Not Cool: “My progeny is more awesome than thine own” bragging statements
What is not acceptable is to chase one parent’s “My Kid is Awesome” statement with a statement that not only robs the first mother of her brief spotlight, but also punches her in the ovaries and digs through her pocket for loose change.
“Suzy spoke her first word today. She’s only ten months old! I thought that she would have been at least a year before she said anything!”
“Marcus just memorized Hamlet’s soliloquy from Act III, Scene One. He’s only two! Marcus! Come show mommy’s friends how refined you are!”
This is the quintessential bragging that has caused plenty of passive-aggression amongst women. This is common in person, but even more common online. I can’t tell you how many times I see this happening on Facebook! I keep quiet out of niceness, but part of me just wants to reply,
Wow, your child is so advanced! He must get that from his father’s side.
For some guilty-pleasure reading, check out this article from ParentsConnect.com: Best Comebacks to One-Upping Moms (My favorite is slide #9)
Not Cool: “My Kid is Awful” dragging statements
This is the opposite extreme of bragging. I call it “dragging” because you are dragging your child through the mud when you say such things. I CAN’T STAND IT when people complain about how awful their kids are.
Rant directed towards those who complain about their children:
- “Concern” is not “complaining.” You can genuinely be concerned about a behavioral problem, and talk about it as a concerned parent.
- Suck it up. That is your child, not a mobile phone. You can’t upgrade.
- You child is not Satan or Hitler or the Marquis de Sade. Things could be worse.
- You ungrateful, spiteful…Do you know how many people would die for the chance to have a child?
- That child is half you. Try loving her half as much as you love yourself.
- [OR] You accepted that child into your home and your family. Man up to that decision.
Even Less Cool: Trying to one-down someone else (as opposed to “one-upping” them)
I don’t know why humans do this, but it is terrible that we so easily get into a competition of complaining about our children or husbands.
“Your child threw up on your computer? That’s nothing! My youngest smashed my iPad over his brother’s head!”
“Your husband got you a vacuum for your birthday? How awful! My idiot husband gave me a diet book!”
While it might seem like you are just sharing a laugh, usually the end result is bitterness against your family members.
Stop this pattern before it starts, otherwise someone will top all of you:
“Your husband complains about getting older? That must be really hard. I don’t know what that’s like…my husband died three years ago.”
Not so funny anymore, is it?
Ways to stop the vicious cycle:
- You could say something nice about your own husband/child, but that could come off as a “more awesome than thine own” statement.
- Better: compliment the person that was just dragged through the mud. “My daughter is so lazy!” “She must be exhausted from school and Volleyball practice. Hey, that was a great game last week! She did so well!”
- Remain quiet, and don’t seem amused. Don’t contribute. If you feel the urge to say something, imagine your family talking about your faults.