The Perfect Mum: I’m Doing It Wrong

In my head exists the perfect mum. She’s been there since long before I had children, only the problem is that since I’ve had the kids, she’s stayed there – in my head (and here). In real life exists a kind of watered down, shit version of her, or at least that’s how it feels some days.

I had all these ideas of things that I would and wouldn’t do as a mum. I was full of opinions, ideas, plans, and expectations of myself. I was under no illusions that sometimes children are difficult, and I was fully aware that I would encounter my fair share of tantrums, arguments, biting, scratching, snatching, refusal to eat and everything else in between and beyond.

perfect mum tantrum

I Thought I Would Handle It Better

Despite growing up with a nagging feeling that I’d never be good parent material as a result of my short temper and cold temperament, when I found out I was expecting Amelia I had all these ideas of how I was going to totally handle my shit (and hers!) impeccably and without resorting to some of the shit tactics I had witnessed over the years.

I expected tantrums, but I knew that I would handle them with grace and poise. I would exchange mildly amused “that’s life, eh?” glances with other mums in the supermarket while my kid thrashed on the ground over a kinder egg or something.

I expected demands for said kinder eggs when I had quite explicitly said “no” already. But I knew that I would stand resolute in my decision making, and never ever would I allow a child to change my mind simply by moaning.

I expected there to be days when I could not wait for bedtime and some peace and quiet, but I knew that I would never bribe my kids to be quiet with electronics and food. I would encourage my children to develop and use their imaginations, and I wouldn’t dream of rewarding or bribing them with food for fear of promoting negative relationships with food.

I Had All The Answers

Prior to having my own kids, I’d spent years watching other people doing it wrong. I’d watched my own mum tell my younger brothers “just eat this much and then you can finish” while sectioning off a part of their plate. I knowingly told her that my kids would know that if I had put it on their plate that meant I wanted them to eat it. There’d be no picking and choosing at my table.

I had seen mums in coffee shops responding to tantrums with soothing tones of “Oh Dear. Is that a nice way to behave? When you are ready to talk to Mummy nicely I’ll be over here waiting” while shaking my head and tutting. Someone needs to tell that kid off… I knew this.

I’d seen Mums on their phones on the train while their kids sat next to them head resting on their arm while they watched the world rush by out of the window. I had known, then, that there was nothing more important than your child. there was nothing so important that you should be missing this golden opportunity to have a conversation with your child. I had known that I wouldn’t spend time on my phone when I was with my children.

perfect mum im doing it wrong

Some Days Are Better Than Others

The reality is that some days I come really close to being the mum I think I should be. Some days I come close to being the mum I thought I would be, and more often than not those are not the good days. And some days are just a complete write off. The kind of parent that I want to be has changed and adapted as the days, months, and years have passed.

Some of the things I was resolute about in the beginning I am now horrified that I ever believed. Others have stuck with me, and the rest has adapted and morphed into a new set of parenting ideals. But it doesn’t matter how many parenting ideals I have, how many of those I am resolute about, and how many have changed over the years. Because the true reality is that sometimes even I am going to go against my own ideals, because I am human (and probably tired/hangry/stressed). Sometimes I’m going to do it wrong, and sometimes it just isn’t black and white.

Humans learn through experience, so I can only hope that as my experience grows, so does the ratio of getting it right to getting it wrong! Maybe one day I will be the perfect mum, or maybe it’s just enough that I’m striving to get there.

x

 

45 Replies to “The Perfect Mum: I’m Doing It Wrong”

  1. Aw man I have gone through the same though process, I had visions of being the perfect mom. I wasn’t going to give him a dummy, I was going to get him on a good routine, I was going to make sure he ate all his food on his plate and I was never going to be on my phone while he is sitting there. All of them, #failed. But I’ve decided it’s okay because before becoming a mom I had no idea what it was actually like, basically I was an idiot and my visions were massively incorrect haha. I love this post for your honesty! Thanks so much for sharing with #StayClassyMama!
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  2. This is a fab post! Before I was a parent, I saw everything in black and white (and like you, picked my mother up on her leniency to my younger brothers). I still do my best to stick to my ideals, but life is messy and times can be hard. We just have to do our best with the situation we’re in and the resources we have to hand. #blogcrush
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    1. I think you have those pre-parent black and white tinted glasses don’t you?! And it’s so easy to be black and white about things when you’re a bit more on the outside… I totally agree with you xx

  3. Oh I know exactly what you mean and I couldn’t applaud you for sharing this more. Parenting looks so simple and straight forward from the outside, and it’s so easy to say “Well you just need to do this and your child will of course immediately stop thrashing about like a wild thing in the middle of the supermarket!” The thing is that all of these things are easy to do when you aren’t in the middle of them. It’s easy to take a rational approach when you haven’t been up all night with a screeching twoodler (Because his curtains are blue and he doesn’t like blue tonight.) It sounds to me like you are nailing it and being an incredible mum. Thanks for sharing with #DreamTeam x
    Rhyming with Wine recently posted…Maybe Just A Touch Less Cake? #1My Profile

    1. Haha! This is so true! Can’t count the amount of times we’ve had tantrums over the “wrong kind of” whatever it is that night/day! Thanks for your lovely comment xx

  4. I often think that I don’t “look like a Mum”. I see other Mums and think they look so much more grown up than me (I am nearly 35 too so in fact older than some of them!). It’s all just a massive learning curve, and a constantly changing one. The way we suddenly perceive ourselves messes with the mind – ha! There’s no way you can prepare for it – just got to learn as we go! It sounds like you’re doing just fine though 🙂 #blogcrush

    1. Haha I think that all the time! I remember as a kid always hearing adults say “I don’t feel any different than when I was 18” and wondering what on earth they meant!x

  5. Sounds like you’re an incredible parent, adapting and changing is one tough thing and if you’re achieving that in parenting then I always think you’re doing great. There really is no ‘perfect’ parent, we’re all just doing our very best however we chose to parent. Thank you for sharing with #bigpinklink x

  6. The perfect mom is just a myth. We all do the best we can, with and for our kids. And we make mistakes along the way, because we’re human. Loved this post! Had such a giggle at all the things you knew you’d never do, before you actually had a child – I think many of us were silly enough to think that way before we had kids. 🙂 #blogcrush
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  7. I think this is very poignant as I think every mother feels this way to an extent! Have you seen he film ‘Bad Moms’… i entirely recommend it! #stayclassymama

    1. I totally agree! And yet I feel like we’re ‘sold’ this idea of perfection that so many of us feel we have to strive for. Thanks for your lovely comment x

    1. Aww thank you! None of us are perfect that definitely true, and I think the fact that we care so much about it is proof of the good job we’re (trying to do) doing!x

    1. It’s so true that when we allow ourselves to just be mum and forget about all those expectations we put on ourselves, that we really start to shine!x

  8. There’s definitely no such thing as the perfect mum BUT I can relate to a lot of what you say. i wanted to be my very best all the time. And reality is, when i am sleep deprived, or screamed at, or nagged, or but plain bored and frustrated, my best falls pretty short. I can’t imagine any of us are the Mothers we thought we would be, but equally I can’t believe many Mums havent coped with things, show determination, strength and love they never even knew they were capable of. Lovely post #bloggersclubuk
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  9. There are no perfect moms. Even the ones who appear perfect have bad days when they hide indoors. We’re all just trying to get out alive after raising half-decent humans.
    You’ve got this!
    #bigpinklink

    1. I think back to when I used to roll my eyes at my mum saying “you won’t understand until you have kids of your own” and cringe now!!x

  10. no -one can be perfect all the time! I’ve a quote on my blog at the moment…the fact that you worry about being a good mum means that you already are one!
    #bigpinklink

  11. Being a mum is hard work, there’s no denying that. I remember being childless and thinking “bloody kids” every time one was having a meltdown in the supermarket, now I just share sympathy!! Thanks for joining us for #marvmondays x

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