School run mums are in constant competition with each other and do their utmost to ‘get one up’ on other parents, according to a new study.
Two thirds of mothers admit to bragging about their child’s early development such as walking, talking or crawling, or an elder kid’s classroom achievements.
Other common boasts include weight loss after childbirth, having a clean house, being super organised, and having a successful husband.
Despite 78 per cent of mothers acknowledging their competitive nature is ”ridiculous”, most said they ”just can’t help themselves”.
A spokeswoman for market research site www.MumPoll.com, which carried out the study, said: ”By nature women are generally more competitive than men and judge themselves against other women.
”So it stands to reason that when women become mums, they raise their game and strive to be the absolute best at everything to do with motherhood.
”Mums put an awful lot of pressure on themselves to be the best at everything.
”But it is impossible to have a perfect house, an attentive husband and make the greatest sponge cakes the town has ever seen all the time.
”And yet ridiculously, mums everywhere are trying to do just that.
”It is hard enough to cope with the lack of sleep, getting the children dressed and keeping them entertained all day, without worrying about what the world and his wife are saying about you.
”I’m sure that to most mums it would be a massive relief to go round another’s house and find it is just as messy as theirs, to find the children haven’t done their GCSE’s at age 7 and to find the husband is working late for the fourth night in a row.”
The study of 3,000 mums revealed the main area of contention for competing mums is baby’s development – with nearly half of mums being obsessed about having the first baby to crawl, walk and talk.
A further 39 per cent said they couldn’t help but harp on about their kid’s achievements, while a third always make sure they a clean and tidy house when friends come round to visit.
Losing weight the fastest after giving birth is another area of rivalry amongst new mums – with 27 per cent admitting crash-dieting and exercising vigorously to make sure they look their best.
The study also showed a quarter of mums try to be the most organised among their circle of friends
Another one in five revel in the fact their child got the hang of potty training quickly.
A fifth of mums said they liked to bang on about their ‘lovely husband’, while 19 per cent tried to be the best dressed, despite having little or no time in a morning to dedicate to themselves.
Other areas of competition regularly on mum’s minds include being unflappable when other mothers come to visit, throwing the best birthday parties and dressing the children in the best baby clothes.
Four in ten mums admitted they were insanely jealous when other mum-friends appear to be coping so well with motherhood when they struggle daily.
And four out of ten found themselves veering away from mum friends who seem to be coping brilliantly because they feel threatened and inadequate.
Sadly, 39 per cent of mums often feel like a complete failure, despite trying so hard to be a model parents.
But 70 per cent do agree that just because they can’t bake a cake, don’t wear a size 10 and can’t afford to give up work, doesn’t mean they’re not a perfect mother.
The MumPoll spokeswoman added: ”Mums need to remember that as long as the child feels loved and well cared for, they’ve done a fantastic job.
”All the other factors, such as having a plush house and fabulously dressed children are inconsequential compared to the happiness of the child.”
MAIN AREAS OF COMPETITION
1. Child’s development – being the first to crawl, walk, talk
2. Child’s achievements
3. A clean and tidy house
4. Losing weight after giving birth
5. Being organised
6. Potty training
7. Helpful husband
8. Being the best dressed
9. Having the best baby clothes
10. Throwing fantastic birthday parties
11. Romantic trips away
12. Lack of sleep
14. Ability to breastfeed
15. Being unflappable when mums come to visit
16. Deciding to be a ‘hands on’ stay at home mum
17. Still having a great social life
18. Buying great presents for other people’s kids
19. Owning the best baby toys
20. Still enjoying great sex