To the mother who breastfed her baby until they needed it no more;  I know the amazing feeling that comes with knowing your little one is getting everything they need from you. Your body is an incredible thing.  I know too, the sheer exhaustion you have felt when it’s all down to you, your nipples are cracked, and you don’t get a break.  

We are not rivals.

To the mother who formula fed her baby; I know the overwhelming rush of love you felt seeing your husband feeding your baby, and your mum feeding her grandchild like she did you all those years ago.  I know too, the guilt, the pressure and the judgement you have felt from the outside looking in.  I know you dreaded telling the health visitor your reasons. 

We are not rivals.


Sleeping Baby


To the mother who made every puree from scratch; I know the peace of mind you had knowing exactly what your baby was eating.  I know too, the crushing disappointment when your baby spits out your hard work.  Not to mention the sheer hell that is dicing a butternut squash.  

We are not rivals.

To the mother who stock piled the baby food from the supermarket;  I know that time is precious and a commodity you don’t have a lot of, as is freezer space.  I know too, your shopping bill seems to have doubled and that stuff smells gross.  

We are not rivals.


Smiling Baby


To the mother who co-sleeps with her children; I know the privilege you feel to watch their sleeping faces and wrap your arms around their cozy bodies.  I know too, the times you have wished for a queen size bed as you hang off the edge whilst your child starfishes.  

We are not rivals.

To the mother who placed the baby in the nursery after 12 weeks; I know you worried about rolling onto your child.  I know you relish the space that it your own bed.  I know too, the temporary panic you feel each time you pop your head round the nursery door to see if they are ok.  

We are not rivals.


Tired baby


To the mother who picks her baby up each time they cry; I know they aren’t little for long and these cuddles are precious.  I know too, the exasperation of a baby who won’t sleep when you are so longing to yourself.  

We are not rivals.

To the mother who teaches her baby to self sooth; I know you long to pick them up when they cry, and I know you will question whatever technique you are using.  I know too, your baby will wake up and smile at you in the morning and not love you any less.  

We are not rivals.


Curious baby


To the mother who returns to work;  I know the joy of adult conversation and the time to be yourself.  I know too, the guilt you feel and the sadness when you kiss your children goodbye.

We are not rivals.

To the mother who stays at home; I know the joy of a day filled with simple pleasures and giggles.  I know too, the relentlessness of the demands you have to meet and the need to justify your place in society.  

We are not rivals.


Cute baby


There is no wrong way.  There is just your way.  Sometimes it’s a choice, sometimes it’s a circumstance. We all parent differently.  But we are all the same in that we are doing our best.

We all agonise over the decisions we make.  We all feel the guilt that comes with being a parent.  We all occasionally wish we could leave the house with a smaller bag.  We all love our children with a passion we didn’t know we were capable of.  We all cry on their first day of school.

We are not rivals.  

We are mothers.


This post was featured on Huffpost and was number 12 in their top 20 most read posts of 2015.  It was also featured on Netmums and in the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail online.

If you liked this post please share the love on Facebook or Twitter and leave me a comment.

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Claire Kirby

51 Comments on We Are Not Rivals

  1. This is a fab post – we could all do with being a little more accepting of each other <3

  2. I haven’t read this post before Claire, but it is a lovely post. I really love it. thank you. No, we absolutely are not rivals. Pen x

  3. Absolutely beautifully put, as always. I am actually left nearly wordless because you have said it all. If we could all give each other a break, offer support and see the reasons behind the choices we would be one step closer to showing this warring world how it’s done. A community of mothers united in their differences is a powerful thing. #fridayfrolics

  4. I love this! Sometimes momma’s are hard on each other when really, we should be there for each other. Building other momma’s up instead of tearing them down. Thank you for this reminder of that. ❀

    • Thanks. It was featured by The Mirror and the Mail online. It did really well on Huff Post, 80k likes and 15k shares. Not exactly viral but it’s done really well. Quite humbling really to know that many people have liked something I wrote.

  5. This is so lovely, it made me a bit emotional because I’m starting back at work in a couple of weeks, was just what I needed to hear. Thanks so much for sharing on #fromtheheart

  6. great post! I surely don’t understand the rivalry that some mothers show. In the end we are all mothers, and no matter how we choose to live our lives, feed our babies, deal with crying, we are doing our very best for our little ones.

  7. What a beautiful post. We have so much pressure on us as parents to do things ‘the right way’ its great to see someone turning around and saying they are all the right way, thank you x
    #TwinklyTuesday #MyFavoritePost

  8. I have seen many ‘don’t judge mums’ posts over the months of course but I can honestly say THIS one is going to stay with me for a long while. What a well put together post. Just beautiful and bang on (!) from start to finish. I told you a few months ago I love your blog. This is why. Well done. Def have to share. #Sharewithme

  9. Hi Claire, I’m an antenatal teacher for NCT, please could I have your permission to share this with groups of expectant parents? Kathy

    • No problem at all. I would be honoured. Would love it if you could include my Facebook page or link to my blog. I may have some other posts that can help first time mums, or at least make them smile that it’s not just them!

  10. This is PERFECT so true and every parent mother, father and stranger out there should read it and know non of us are rivals. I don’t get why we judge or think one way is better than the other. I love this. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

  11. This is a lovely post. I can sit in a room full of mums and babies at any given coffee morning and we’ll all be doing things differently, but ultimately all the babies are happy and healthy.

  12. Very nice post! worth reading… made me feel better at some stuff which i felt guilty of, like returning to work and leaving babies as early as 9 months in nursery/childminder. Thanks for sharing! #TwinklyTuesday

  13. Pingback: What My Career Means To Me (And Why I Will Not Apologise For It) | the healthy doctor
  14. YES !!!! At last somebody has said what I’ve been thinking since I had my daughter…. Although you put it into words far more expressively than I could ever have done. Why are women always being poked by the media into competing – working mums vs stay-at-home, breast vs bottle (I’m looking at YOU here, Daily Mail) – when we could just all respect each other’s decisions. Great post!

  15. Beautifully written post that made me well up a little! I’m guessing that a lot of mums, like me, fall somewhere in between on lots of these issues. But life would be so much nicer and easier if we could all respect and support each other’s parenting decisions.

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