I actually don't have much of a problem with other moms bragging about their kids. In fact, it has to hit a pretty obnoxious level before it strikes me as anything other than necessary, earned, and understandable pride. Not everyone feels that way about kid bragging, though, so there are just a few rules I think every parents should follow in regards to the times it's really OK to brag about your kid.
Even though I'm pretty lax on the whole "constantly bragging about your perfect kid" thing, there are days when my kid hasn't slept well at all, and I'm spending a lot of time in my head wondering when my kid is going to hit that one milestone that every other baby seems to have hit, as a result. On those days I wish I could wear a sign asking all other moms not to brag too much about their kid. It's important for us all to remember that not every kid hits every milestone just when you want them to, and that constantly bragging about certain situations only stands to make the parents around you feel like garbage.
The key to not making other moms feel bad by exclaiming about your kid's successes is to know your audience, and keep in mind that you're trying to express pride about your child, not make anyone else feel bad. So, with that in mind, here are a few times when it's absolutely OK to brag about your kid. You know, just in moderation.
When You're With Their Grandparents
Grandparents live for the moments someone brags about their grandchildren. When I call my parents I literally just spend at least 30 minutes listing all the amazing things my daughter has done lately (most of them barely news at all) and we are all pretty happy to have basked in the glory of the perfect child without any judgement.
When You're With Your Girlfriends Who Know Your Struggles
My girlfriends know the worries I have about my daughter and her development, just like I know their worries about their kids. When we have victories with our kids, we share them with each other and know that there's no goal other than to express joy over our children meeting milestones we hoped and prayed for.
When Your Kid Comes Into Your Life "Unconventionally"
I could be making up this rule all for myself, but I think when you adopt a baby, especially a baby whose entry into the world was less than ideal, you get a few extra bragging free passes.
When You're Talking To That One Friend Who Never Stops Talking About Their Own Kid
Hey, I say meet bragging with bragging. It's a great chance to sneak in some much-needed talk about your own kid, and without feeling guilty for a minute.
When You're Talking To The Snooty Aunt Who Side-Eyes Your Sticky Kid
Have at it. I mean, really lay it on thick when you're talking about how your kid is a real judge of character.
When You Know Your Audience
If you know your audience well enough to know that you won't be belittling another parent whose kid isn't excelling in whatever arena your kid is at the moment, it's OK to brag a little about your own kid. Knowing your audience is the key to not inadvertently hurting another parents who might be silently struggling.
When You've Got Just As Many Fails To Share
You've got to be able to balance your bragging with some of your kid's less-than-brag-worthy moments, because no one likes a mom who only ever brags about her kid.
When You Can Shut Yourself Up
You also need to know when to shut up and listen to the people around you. When it comes to bragging, get in, get out, and don't take up half an hour of your friend's time going on about how amazing your son is at potty training. Instead, give another parent a chance to brag about their kid, too.