There’s a lot of kerfuffle on the internet at the moment, I am seeing it on Facebook, and other places about mums and how much they share about their lives, and that some mums are very honest and open about the imperfections in their lives and parenting, and that it’s becoming trendy to be a “bad mother” and live in mess, and all sorts of other stuff.
I wanted to add my thoughts.
For a start. I don’t think that the majority of parents who blog honestly and share that their lives are not picture perfect, and are open about that, are trying to make it trendy or acceptable. If they are like me, they are trying to make the picture of parenting a bit more realistic. It’s not about being a slobby parent and being proud of it. It’s about admitting that it’s bloody hard, sometimes, to be a parent and that keeping the house clean, children amused, and ourselves in any kind of good shape mentally and emotionally is challenging and because life has changed since our parents had children, it’s not done the way they did things and we often struggle. It’s OK to share this stuff. The internet can make you feel like you really are a rubbish parent because of what you read. We can’t help it. We compare ourselves to others, and we see that perfect house, that perfectly dressed set of toddlers, that immaculately dressed mum, that fabulous meal, those amazing crafts and we feel inadequate. When I read a blog where a mum like me says “hey, my kids are eating cereal for dinner, I might have grouched at my husband, and the cat puked on the carpet” it helps me to feel that I am not alone in the struggle to try and keep things together and running in any semblance of order. It makes me feel better.
That being said, if you do blog or share and you are super organised, your house is clean, and your life runs smoothly, I have no problem with your life. In fact, whilst sometimes you make me feel a bit inadequate, that’s normal, and I need to get over that. I also admire you, and occasionally will feel spurred on to try and improve some areas of my life. If you are able to do things better than me, that’s great. If you have worked hard to get keep your home and life in perfect order, that’s brilliant, and you can feel free to share that, because sometimes we need to share the triumphs. In fact, if you could come round and help me, that would also be great too. We all do things differently, and if you are being honest about your life and it’s all going well then that’s cool.
What I will say, is that I am Mrs Average, Normal Mother, my kids are doing OK, and we are mostly healthy and happy. It makes me sad when I see people attacking each other because of “standards”. If your house is immaculate, that’s great. But really, there is no need to tear down the mother who may not have the shiniest kitchen floor, or the toilet seat you can eat dinner off. Also, if your house is a mess, or your kids may have slid into school slightly late, more than once last week, and you are struggling, that’s fine too, but don’t attack the person who is at school on time, or might post photos of their tidy house, because they have found a way to make it work for them. We need to own our own lives and parenting, and support each other not rip each other apart because we all do things differently. If your kids are happy and thriving, I don’t really care if your kitchen is magazine article worthy or if you fed them McDonald’s last week for supper.
I am average. Sometimes my house is clean and tidy, and life runs smoothly, and sometimes (more often) it’s messy, and a little chaotic. We are sometimes later for school than I would like and there are days when I dress nicely and wear make up, and other days where I might borrow my husbands only other clean jumper, and remember to brush my hair and put deodorant on. My children often do crafts that I share with glee on Instagram, but they are usually from a Toucan box. I do bake with my kids, I do cook for my family. But I also fed my children popcorn and pretzels one night last week when I was still recovering from flu and my husband couldn’t be home to help, and my son went to school in a jumper that did have traces of dinner on it, the other day, because I was trying to get us out of the house, on time, he got himself dressed and I didn’t notice until we were at the school gate and it was too late to change it.
Live and let live I say. Help and love each other, support each other, back each other up. Your house is tidy, mine isn’t. I made a home cooked meal, you didn’t. Really, haven’t we got better things to be squabbling about?
I am average, and that’s OK and I am fine with whatever you are and however you parent, as long as you and your children are happy….
As Father Ted would say: