Heidi Klum makes me glum...
...but that’s okay, because I’m giving up comparing, says Carrie Linder.
I have realised parenting can only be effective if there are very strict rules in place. Rules for the parents, not the children.

My parenting rules include: no guilt about being in pyjamas at midday (doesn’t happen often. Weeeell, not more than three times a week. Or maybe four. Max five). No shame in choosing to straighten my hair over folding the washing (straightening my hair is my Prozac. It makes me feel good). And my new Golden Rule:  no comparing myself with other mothers.

Especially: no comparing myself with celebrity mothers. Especially especially: no comparing myself with Heidi Klum. I saw some recent paparazzi shots of her playing happily in the park with her three kids and the comparison game kicked in. She managed to get three children to the park? She somehow got them all in their car seats, drove to the park, got them out of their car seats, and still looks calm and happy? How?!

I’m a frazzled wreck after driving one screaming, wriggling baby two minutes down the road to Pick n Pay! And what’s more, she’s about to pop with her fourth (fourth!) child and she looks like a supermodel!

Then I remembered, hang on, she is a supermodel! For all I know there are 6 nannies just outside the frame of the camera shot. For all I know, she hasn’t done a single night shift in her whole life. For all I know, she had a professional make-up artist do her face that very morning. For all I know, those children aren’t even hers and she just borrowed them for the photo shoot! Okay that’s not true. They are all obviously hers; beautiful mini Heidi’s and gorgeous tiny Seals, no mistaking who the parents are. But you get my point.

So I’m now trying to celebrate myself for the mother I am. And making an effort to encourage myself:

‘You’re out of your pyjamas and it’s only 11.30? Good going!’

‘You managed to go for two jogs this week? Even Elana Meyer would be proud!’

And it’s working. I am a mother to a tiny baby, and it’s largely unglamorous, tiring and frustrating; so it’s perfectly okay to feel unglamorous, tired and frustrated. With this new mindset, I am at peace with the role I find myself in and am becoming more content with motherhood every day. But not so content that if Heidi Klum wanted to swop lives I wouldn’t be a teeny bit tempted…

Do celebrities make motherhood look far too easy?


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