I think a good mum is a good mum. FULL STOP. We come in all different guises: Sporty mums, fashionista mums (not me ?), uber chilled mums and mums that like Pringles a little too much (that’s me!)
How those memes have haunted me over the years! Personally, when I have a clean and tidy home it makes me happier, which means I am a calmer mum. But according to these memes that pop up on my feed, the fact that I don’t spend all my time building lego with my boys, means I am failing in my mum mission.
These statements have at best made me think twice about how I prioritise my days and at worst have made me feel like I have somehow been falling short as a mum – there’s that mum guilt again, we feel it if our house is a mess and we feel it if our house is too clean! We can’t bloody win!
I am sure that you have seen these memes too – the ones about having a messy house, sticky floors but happy kids. Whenever I read them I feel pretty shitty about myself and I feel judged.
I would never EVER go into someone else’s house and assume that just because their house happened to be a little on the messy side that day that meant they were somehow failing as a parent. So why do these memes make me feel as though I don’t prioritise my kids as highly as I ought to?
The Truth is there is a MASSIVE irony behind these memes. Often the purpose behind them is to ease another exhausted parent’s mum guilt. It is a comforting statement for the mum who has been up feeding her baby all night and is too tired to even contemplate getting dressed, let alone scrub the oven (sleep deprivation anyone?)
We’ve all been there (you might be there right now – if that’s the case please make yourself a cup of tea and carry on reading).
I remember looking around the house the first day the Health Visitor came to check on me and my newborn. The place looked like their had been a fight in Mothercare – nappies, burping cloths and new born paraphernalia everywhere! I felt that mum guilt pang when she asked to use the loo and I jumped up (episiotomy stitches and all) and said I’d just go and check the loo was clean first. In my new mum haze I was convinced that she would think I was a bad mum because the bathroom wasn’t super shiny. She stopped me dead in my tracks and said:
“As long as YOU and your new baby are fed, clean and HAPPY you are doing a fabulous job. The rest is just sprinkles on the cup cake”
Read that statement again and let it sink in.
I could have hugged her, because she gave me permission to be imperfect.
So why do we feel the need to justify our actions and parenting choices, all the way down to the way our home looks? All this judgement makes my brain ache.
Mum guilt plays on our inherent instinct to be the best parent we can possibly be. But in all probability the only person who is judging you in YOU!
My brain is still aching … so I am going to put something out there ….
If you like a clean home, if you feel less stressed with everything organised then do what makes you happy.
If you couldn’t give a stuff if you have cobwebs hanging from the ceiling and you would rather go and play in the park – then go and do what makes you happy.
If you want to eat a whole tube of Ready Salted Pringles at 10:30pm, whilst watching Friends then go knock your socks off … just me?
Give your self permission to give the sprinkles a miss and take the cupcake as it comes!
Be happy with yourself just the way you are!
Be your own lobster (just wanted to throw that Friends reference in!)
Big LOVE Gem x
If you want to find out how I try to balance it all then take a look at The Organised Mum Method