It's not easy being a duck.
From the surface of a pond, a duck looks like it has it’s act together. It calmly floats around, drifting across the water. But underneath, the duck is paddling frantically trying to keep moving.
If a duck were to look around at the other ducks it might be surprised, or even disheartened. The duck might assume that while it’s working like crazy, all the other ducks are serenely gliding along. That duck might start to think it’s doing something wrong. Or the duck might think that the other ducks know something that it doesn’t.
The duck may even start to believe it isn’t very good at being a duck.
It’s not easy being a duck, but it is easy to get discouraged if one duck compares itself to all the other ducks around. Especially if the only thing visible is below the water. This is the duck effect.
Being a parent can be a lot like being a duck.