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To not want my maternity leave to be one long NCT group competition

(83 Posts)
DollyDaisy Tue 16-Aug-11 10:40:33

First it was the birth, then which baby was drinking the most "hungry baby" milk, then which baby was sleeping through the night.....

We have now apparently moved onto weaning and which baby is eating the most carrot puree. Just to add that all our babies are between 4 and 5 months old and only 1 has been advised to start weaning early by their GP. As the lone "milk only" mother in our group I was asked over the weekend if I planned to breastfeed my son until he was 10!

AIBU or just bitter that so far DS and I have come last in each round

PenguinArmy Tue 16-Aug-11 10:44:49

just feel sorry for them instead and find a new group of friends

MummyDoIt Tue 16-Aug-11 10:45:00

Try not to think of it as a competition. It's natural for first-time parents to be anxious and worry that they're doing something wrong so they compare with others. This can be very useful as you can pick up useful tips to try but it can be damaging if you feel different and it affects your self-confidence. Basically, if you are happy and your baby is healthy, then feel good about yourself and just listen with polite interest to all the competitive talk.

I know it's hard, though. DS1 had severe speech problems, problems with his fine motor skills and didn't fully toilet train until the week before he started school! I got a LOT of stick for that last one.

itisnearlysummer Tue 16-Aug-11 10:45:47

Ah the reason why I had nothing to do with other mummies when I was on maternity leave!

worraliberty Tue 16-Aug-11 10:46:28

Why do you bother with these people?

I really don't see the need for all these 'groups' people attend just because they've given birth...unless of course they actually enjoy them and like the people in them.

smoggii Tue 16-Aug-11 10:48:23

I didn't do M&B groups either until LO was 6 mths so I could enjoy it and get past the initial big steps without having my decisions questioned.

Re the question about BFing just make it clear you are sticking to recommended guidelines - your choice

talkingnonsense Tue 16-Aug-11 10:49:58

Find a different group of friends!

TottWriter Tue 16-Aug-11 10:50:04

I would leave the group. I would imagine you'll be much better off without them if they are like that. At this age your DS doesn't "need" to interact with other children - go out and do things with him that you enjoy, like visiting a coffee shop or the library, or wander around the shops. Believe me, you will not want to do that when he is old enough to pester you!

I didn't bother with p&t groups regularly until DS was old enough to get something out of playing with the others, (so, moving on his own and able to hold/play with toys!) and even then I simply went to a local church group I got along with. I've been to others since, and if I don't get on with the people I go find a different one.

Are there any MN local groups near you? Might be another option.

SmethwickBelle Tue 16-Aug-11 10:50:18

Ahh, my DS1 was the last to walk, the last to talk... and DS2 still doesn't "sleep through" every night at nearly 2.

I was a bit confused at the time, it isn't nice to feel like there is something you "should" be doing or your son "should" be doing, even if rationally you know its all a bit irrelevant and they all get there in their own time. You're just becoming aware of something most parents do in time that your baby is an unique little human being who can't be whipped over jumps like a pony.

It sounds like you have your head screwed on, trust your own judgement and enjoy your baby - don't wish away the early months, they never come back. But it is bloody annoying though so YANBU grin

Humpletumple Tue 16-Aug-11 10:50:33

Find other friends. These loons needs to get back to work and have something else to occupy their overly competitive minds. I do sympathise - I have a competitive friend. We are now in to the second decade of her barely listening to anything about my dc and her going on in mind numbing detail about her child...........For various reasons I can't ditch her.

tethersend Tue 16-Aug-11 10:52:50

Run, save yourself, it's not too late. Don't look back.

dontjumplease Tue 16-Aug-11 10:56:37

Everything has a time to come to an end.
Our NCT group has naturally split into 2 groups.
You don't have to get on with people because you all have babies.
Stay in touch with the ones you like, and don't worry about the others.
It's taken me 15months to come to this realisation and not feel 'guilty'. Don't let it drag on if its upsetting you.
Good luck! smile

They all did the competitive weaning thing too. Sad but true, and only two of us were breastfeeding, which made it difficult at times, with insensitive comments.
Also they got into competitive weightwatchers, which was extremely dull to listen to, but on the up side left more cake for the rest of us!!!!! grin

QuintessentialShadow Tue 16-Aug-11 11:01:09

Dont look at it as a competition. Just sharing information about what you are doing and not doing, and feedback etc.

I love my nct group. We are "celebrating" our 10th anniversary this year!
Our oldest are 9 now. And we have all gone on to have two and three children. It is 5 of us. In the beginning we met up weekly. When the children started school it became less often, now we go out in the evenings, for meals, lunch without the kids (when I am in the uk) etc. I would never at the time imagine that these women would become such an important part of my life.

AlpinePony Tue 16-Aug-11 11:05:18

You don't need to mix with these people.

You don't need to take 12 months maternity leave and you certainly don't need to spend it with a bunch of arseholes.

NoobyNoob Tue 16-Aug-11 11:05:53

Totally agree with worral

It's as if you must attend these groups because you've had a baby. I wouldn't bother to be honest. Anyone who makes me feel like that simply doesn't deserve my time or my company.

geraldinetheluckygoat Tue 16-Aug-11 11:06:41

that is precisely why I didn't join the NCT. It just sounds painful in the extreeme, with the exception of Quint's group which sounds rather nice, are the five in your group still all of the original members, or did some drop out along the way?

jeee Tue 16-Aug-11 11:09:27

I think that it's easy to be swept up into the competitiveness - and often your child seems to be struggling when you hear all about the fabulousness of the other babies in the group.

I remember when my eldest was 6 months old coming home from a M & B group and crying because every other baby in the group was interested in books, and loved being read to, and the only interest mine had in books was chewing them. I was convinced that I was doing something wrong.

I can laugh at it now. And of course I now realise the other babies didn't sit there sweetly smiling while their devoted mummies read to them. But at the time I was genuinely upset by it.

And yes, I did get caught up in the boasting sometimes. I was genuinely proud that my child was the first baby to get teeth blush

QuintessentialShadow Tue 16-Aug-11 11:11:47

It is the same group, nobody has dropped out, aside from moving overseas. Me in Norway, and another one in South Africa. When the one in south africa is over, she makes arrangements to meet up, and me likewise. Some have brought their children over to visit us here. But over time we have all started to blend in with the wider group of friends and family, for birthday parties, and other celebrations, such as anniversaries, housewarming etc...
But I dont think there was ever any "competitive parenting". Just chat and support.

GingerbreadGiraffe Tue 16-Aug-11 11:42:07


My grp is the same. In my case, I actually dont think that its malicious alhough it feels it sometimes. I too have been last on all milestone points right from the start. Not that bothered but I dont like it when I get i get the "is your DC doing x yet?, no? oh what a shame" type comments.

We now meet at night mainly and sometimes the whole chat is about the kids and it drives me mad. I dont want to know whos kid is doing the biggest poo!

Think you need to decide if you can live with it. If not ditch them !

toniguy Tue 16-Aug-11 11:48:41

I Found NCT great for preparing for the birth; hopeless from a social point of view. Find other friends. You might also want to consider an earlier return to work if being on ML isn't as enjoyable as you expected. I returned at 6 months and was thankful tbh- not that I didn't enjoy my time at home, but it's natural to reach a point where you want to discuss more than babies

Quenelle Tue 16-Aug-11 11:48:57

Don't worry about your baby's milestones vs others'. Be the confident, assured mother who doesn't need to compare herself or her baby to others.

Then you will have won NCT.

Angel786 Tue 16-Aug-11 11:52:47

Thank God I never bothered with NCT. I see them all sat in the local coffee shop comparing notes. Not my bag at all. We do have a cried who is v competitive... Is she crawling, teething, talking? Am tempted to say she's just finished writing her first novel (at 8 months).

Why not take a break from them? There are plenty of alternative things you can do like story time with open drop in groups (and you don't have to go every week).

Angel786 Tue 16-Aug-11 11:53:12

Friend not cried*

Woodlands Tue 16-Aug-11 12:00:39

I find it interesting to see what other babies are doing at the same age. In my postnatal thread on here nearly all the babies are walking (apart from my DS) whereas in my NCT group, similar number of babies at similar ages (13 months), only 2 out of 9 babies are walking, and a couple aren't even crawling yet. I just find it interesting.

VeronicaCake Tue 16-Aug-11 12:03:52

The breastfeeding till ten comment was crass and stupid. I can understand why that annoyed you. But it takes two people to compete. If you feel happy with the way you are doing things why fret about what other people are doing? You could even be smug right back at them because you are the only one still breastfeeding and following the official guidelines on weaning (don't do this obviously because that would make you a twat too).

Round here the convention is not to boast but to disparage our children's achievements whilst praising others in order to get them to reciprocate. It is a complex social art this stealth anti-boasting and every so often I balls it up and say something like 'Ooh DD is walking really well now!' and then after a pause remember that I have to add something negative to balance it out.

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