4 Things I Gave Up To Become a Better Parent

Mothers Groups are toxic.

Joanna Mitchell
5 min readJul 11, 2021

Source: Brittany Collette, Unsplash

1. I Gave Up Trying To Make ‘Mum Friends’

Have you made any new ‘Mum friends’ yet?’ — a question I was frequently asked during the first year of my son's life.

I’d heard you could make ‘lifelong friends’ from the local Mothers Groups, but they didn’t really work for me.

What I saw was a gang of anxious, insecure new parents all trying to find their groove with their own baby while comparing themselves to each other.

So, I passed on the Mothers Group invites.

My alternative? Trying to ‘pick up’ new Mum friends in the playground — which was way out of my comfort zone as an introvert.

So, I took the pressure off making friends and instead…

I focused on building a relationship with my baby.

I spent a time alone getting to know him — going for walks, playing, feeding etc, where I could be fully present and building attachment.

I was still keen to learn from other parents and connect, but at a ‘safe’ distance, away from judgement and without the pressure of playdates.

I searched for information and online groups that spoke to the way I wanted to parent, and in doing so, I was able to lean into topics and parenting discussions that resonated with me.

I became a more confident parent as a result.

Making new Mum friends became easy and natural from there.

2. I Gave Up Schedules And Deadlines

From the minute our children are born, we are presented with a set of documented milestones — growth charts, milk schedules, sleep patterns etc.

At first, this seemed to satisfy my need to be organised, but any plans and timelines went out the window early on.

My baby refused to follow schedules, and I began to see how these society-driven expectations were (mostly) not realistic.

So instead, I chose to parent to the rhythm of my child’s unique development.

Joanna Mitchell

Writer | Thinker | Modern-day hippy — I write about wellness, relationships and life hacks for working Mums.