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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

 

The Perfect Mum: I’m Doing It Wrong
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49 thoughts on “The Perfect Mum: I’m Doing It Wrong

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  • April 6, 2017 at 6:05 am
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    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!
    The Mum Project recently posted…What the F*** Is a Link Party (other names: linky, link-up)?My Profile

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    • April 6, 2017 at 6:57 am
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      Couldn’t agree more!!

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  • April 3, 2017 at 8:13 pm
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    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
    Lucy At Home recently posted…#BlogCrush Week 7: 31st March 2017My Profile

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    • April 3, 2017 at 8:58 pm
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      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

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  • April 3, 2017 at 2:38 pm
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    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

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    • April 3, 2017 at 5:42 pm
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      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

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  • April 3, 2017 at 6:54 am
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    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

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    • April 3, 2017 at 11:10 am
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      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

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  • April 2, 2017 at 6:28 am
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    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

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    • April 2, 2017 at 7:04 am
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      Aww thank you for such a kind comment, that’s made my morning! Xx

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  • April 1, 2017 at 2:56 pm
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    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
    Charlene | High Heels And Fairy Tales recently posted…Recipe | Banana MuffinsMy Profile

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    • April 1, 2017 at 5:40 pm
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      Oh for sure! And it makes me feel tons better knowing that it’s not just me!!x

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  • April 1, 2017 at 2:40 pm
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    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

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    • April 1, 2017 at 2:42 pm
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      I’ve been meaning to watch it for ages! Think it might be our Saturday night viewing! X

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  • March 31, 2017 at 7:51 pm
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    Wait til you have teens – you make decisions you consider bad parenting but do it anyway for risk management or a myriad of other reasons….parenting is hard and we are human. #Stayclassymama
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    • March 31, 2017 at 8:32 pm
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      No no no, I’m quiting around age 10!! haha!! x

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  • March 31, 2017 at 6:34 pm
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    I love this post, you have really summed it up beautifully! xx #stayclassymama

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    • March 31, 2017 at 6:41 pm
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      Aww thank you x

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  • March 31, 2017 at 3:33 pm
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    Does a ‘perfect mum’ even exist? I think being a mum and looking after our bubs day in and day out is a kind of perfection in itself. We all have bad days and good days and very bad days, but that’s all part and parcel of the parenting game, isn’t it? That’s the reality of motherhood. Fab post.
    #BlogCrush
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    • March 31, 2017 at 3:48 pm
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      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

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  • March 31, 2017 at 11:46 am
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    There’s no such thing as a perfect mum, your doing an amazing job. Sometimes we have to do what we do to survive and it’s OK.
    Amazing mama! #ablogginggoodtime

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    • March 31, 2017 at 11:47 am
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      Never a truer word!! Thanks lovely xx

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  • March 31, 2017 at 10:22 am
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    I think the majority of parents feel like this some of the time. Isn’t it amazing g how one day you can be on top parenting form but then the next your scraping the bottom of the barrel! No ones perfect but you sound like your doing an amazing job! #BlogCrush
    MommyandRory recently posted…How to Abandon Your Child and not Feel Guilty!My Profile

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    • March 31, 2017 at 11:46 am
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      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

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  • March 31, 2017 at 8:25 am
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    Some days it’s fun to try to be the perfect mom and other days are all about survival. It’s all okay, but I have no idea how to stop the mom guilt either.

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    • March 31, 2017 at 8:26 am
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      I don’t think it ever really goes away does it?!

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  • March 31, 2017 at 1:28 am
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    Great post! Off with “perfect mom’s” head! And keep her out of yours! Do what you do!

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    • March 31, 2017 at 8:25 am
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      Haha this made me laugh!!!!x

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  • March 30, 2017 at 11:15 pm
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    I think we all had aspirations to be that “perfect mom” but you know what? She doesn’t exist. We muddle through and do the best we can, good days and bad. And the kids survive, just like we survive. Enjoy the good, forget about the bad, and keep doing your best. It’s all anyone can do!
    ~Jess
    #StayClassyMama
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  • March 30, 2017 at 9:49 pm
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    It took me until I was almost 40 to kill that horrible “perfect mom” that tortured me with every “mistake” I made. I’m a much better mother without her and her unrealistic expectations.
    Anne – Just Only Home recently posted…Home Made Flour TortillasMy Profile

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    • March 30, 2017 at 9:51 pm
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      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

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  • March 30, 2017 at 7:29 am
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    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
    Intrepid bebe recently posted…Some days I just don’t want to wear the “MAMA” shirtMy Profile

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  • March 28, 2017 at 3:42 pm
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    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

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    • March 28, 2017 at 6:29 pm
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      So true, I totally agree x

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    • March 28, 2017 at 3:05 pm
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      Totally with you on that one!x

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  • March 27, 2017 at 7:50 pm
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    I don’t think there is such thing as a perfect mum. I had very similar opinions to you when I wasn’t a parent but now I am I’m guilty of doing a lot of what I thought I would never do! #bigpinklink
    Louise recently posted…Oliver’s favourite TV shows at 1My Profile

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    • March 27, 2017 at 8:39 pm
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      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

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  • March 27, 2017 at 10:51 am
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    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

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    • March 27, 2017 at 11:20 am
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      That’s so true! I love that. X

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    • March 27, 2017 at 11:20 am
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      Hear hear!x

      Reply
  • March 27, 2017 at 10:32 am
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    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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    • March 27, 2017 at 11:19 am
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      That’s so true! Amazing how your attitude changes, isn’t it? X

      Reply

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