‘I worry I’m being a bad mum at Christmas – Facebook makes me feel so guilty'

A mum has been left doubting herself after seeing what other parents on social media have done for Christmas, but people have reassured her she isn’t a ‘bad parent’

Mum stressed at Christmas, sat in front of laptop, bills and calculator
Social media has made her feel like a bad parent (stock photo)

Christmas can be an expensive time of year, especially if you insist on going the extra mile and splashing the cash on the very best festive experience for your family.

And while excessive spending isn’t necessary, those who do decide to go overboard can leave others feeling inadequate.

That’s what happened to one mum on Mumsnet, who said she feels like a “bad parent” after seeing posts on social media from other parents who have bought expensive advent calendars, Christmas pyjamas and Santa experiences for their kids.

She wrote: “I did not get them a toy advent calendar like many people have posted on Facebook. They have chocolate ones. They seem happy with that, but what if their friends have the toy ones and they realise they don’t?

She feels guilty for buying chocolate advent calendars instead of toys ones


Getty Images)

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“We have an Elf on the Shelf, but he isn’t half as adventurous as some. He often just sits on the shelf or climbs on the lampshade. We didn’t buy one of the fancy balloons people bought to welcome him back.

“We don’t have matching Christmas pyjamas. I don’t plan to do Christmas Eve boxes. I haven’t booked a Santa experience, a Winter Wonderland or any other things.”

The mum said she even feels guilty for not having over-the-top Christmas decorations and has been comparing her outdoor display to her neighbour’s.

She added: “We do have our decorations up. We have been out looking at the neighbour’s lights the last few nights.

“My daughter did see Santa at a winter fayre, but it was a quick whip in and out grotto. We’ve been to look in the local garden centre which is amazing at Christmas.

“They’ve got a fair amount of presents each on Christmas Day itself but is all the extra leading up to it essential?”

And fellow Mumsnet users were quick to reassure the mum that not going overboard at Christmas doesn’t make her a bad mum – and she shouldn’t compare herself to others.

One person wrote: “Comparison is the thief of joy! You’re doing a great job.”

While another said: “You do not have to do those things! You are not a bad parent.

“We don’t do any of that stuff either. Christmas is still magical for my little ones, and we still have a lovely December and fantastic Christmas.

“It’s great if you’re one of these people who does all that stuff but it’s also totally fine if you’re not.”

And a third posted: “Oh my goodness, don’t even worry. Most families do one or two of the over-the-top things. That’s it. But it feels like everyone does everything because of social media.”

Other commenters also insisted they don’t follow the lavish Christmas traditions either.

Someone said: “If all that you described makes one a bad parent then I am one too.”

As someone else posted: “Being a good or bad parent is not decided on materialistic things. It’s much, much more than that.”

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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