Super-mum I am not, and that’s ok.
It’s no secret that we live in this digital world of perfectly turned out, smiley children, posing against the most Instagram-worthy of backdrops, and mums who roll out of bed rocking the perfect ‘no make-up make up’ face.
I am by no means the first blogger to talk about this, nor will I be the last. And actually, the world of mum and parent bloggers is moving away from this is a massive way, in favour of a more honest, open and #IRL approach. While this is fantastic, and really helps to showcase what life is really like as a parent for many, there are still a thousand-and-one expectations put upon us as parents to be amazing.
So I am here to say that I am not super-mum, and you don’t need to be either. See that picture of my beautiful almost-three-year-old cracking a wicked smile on my Insta feed? Yeah, I shouted at her yesterday. More than once. Like, really raised my voice.
Yesterday, I did not get out of my pyjamas. Even when Amelia accidentally dropped the last of the toilet roll down the toilet and we had to run out for more, I threw on a pair of trainers and my coat and hit the shop across the road rocking my pj’s, a greasy mum-bun and this no make-up face.
And I went for a nap. I’ve been feeling so rough the last couple of days, so when Wills went down for his short mid-morning nap around 9:30 I set Amelia up on the Kindle next to me in bed, and I went back to bloody sleep for 45 minutes. I didn’t do any housework, barely kept the kitchen sink clear, gave in and bought chocolate for Amelia during that trip to the shop even after I specifically said I wouldn’t, and I lost my shit several times.
But don’t get me wrong, I would actually say that for the most part I am fairly with it as far as being a mum goes; yesterday was a bad day. I was feeling like death (barely) warmed up and as a result my fuse was short which in turn led to undesirable behaviour from Amelia. I know full well that when I’m not on my a-game Amelia’s temperament changes in reaction to me, so it’s like a vicious circle. Today, however, has been a pretty successful day! I woke up feeling loads better, we’ve been out and had a coffee (frothy milk when you’re nearly-almost-three), I’ve done some washing, we’ve been Valentine’s crafting, and I actually managed a whole 30 minutes at lunchtime with them both asleep!
Most of the time it is what you see; I love doing arts and crafts with the kids, I enjoy creating fun learning exercises, I somehow pull together well-balanced daily meals which Amelia actually eats, we laugh and play together, have meaningful conversations, we work together to involve Wills in our games (the boy already loves a good tea party), Amelia helps me with chores willingly, and I make sure the TV is off completely for good portions of each day. I sing silly songs, try to teach her something new each day, and neither of the kids are short of affection.
But the reality is that being told I’m a super-mum (cringe whenever I hear that) puts this kind of invisible pressure on me. Suddenly I feel like I have to do these things all of the time, not just because I want to, and if I have an off day it somehow makes me a terrible mum or a bad person. I am neither of those things; I think on the whole I am a pretty good mum, and a half decent person, but that doesn’t mean that I am perfect, or on form 24/7. And I am just as guilty as most at not opening up those days to public view, and maybe I should.
Because, people, we don’t have to be great mums all of the time in order to be great mums.