It's not about what you do, it's about finding someone who does it worse.
Since kids were first invented, mothers have been wondering whether or not they're doing a good job. That's why sales of beautifully designed but basically useless parenting aids are so enormous. That's why I live in the shadow of the possibility of Government Kid People taking my beautiful wee ones away and locking me up. That's why I'm thinking of changing my kids' names to Worry and Doubt.
But before one goes out and spends hundreds of dollars on Mummy-facing prams, polysyllabic flash-cards or genetically-modified replacements, one must remember this:
Someone else is doing a crappier job than you.
I know this from hearing Paramedic Hubby's stories of kids with three-day-old fractures.
I know this from friends who've done Family Day Care and had kids turn up without shoes or breakfast and a scar from "playing with Daddy's razor".
I know this from school teacher friends who chase homework from kids who spend their after-school time cooking dinner for their siblings.
Sometimes, too, I'll get a first-hand glimpse, like the father and daughter who just strolled past my front window on the way home from the local primary school.
She was very upset about something, and sobbing to the point of hyperventilation.
He was saying, "Shut UP! All this sh*t about a f*cking pushbike! Jesus!"
Makes Mitchell's stumbling over verb-tense agreement kinda pale in comparison.