It seems like everyone I know is obsessed with being a Good Mum, without even realising there is no such thing. If you’re like me, you’re just trying to do the best job you can. Sometimes, my mum skills are amazing and I feel like high-fiving myself for my patience, thoughtfulness, and ability to make a turkey meatloaf while my kids are throwing simultaneous temper tantrums. But other times, I’m thrilled there’s no “Yelp” review for my parenting because I’d surely get “0” stars.
One of the hardest things about being a mum is thinking everyone else has got it down, everyone but you. So I thought I’d share the 10 things good mums would never do, all of which I do. Don’t judge, peeps.
A good mum would never…
2. Not want to share a bed with her kids
Good mums want to be with their kids all the time, even while they're sleeping. Me, I want to be with my kids some of the time and never when they’re sleeping. Have you ever slept with a child? They move more than a hummingbird and only seem comfortable with a foot in Mum’s face.
3. Talk about something other than her kids
Good mums seem to want to talk about their kids all the time, to anyone who will or won’t listen. Me, I want to talk about anything but. That may make me a bad Mum, but at least my UPS man doesn’t have to hear about my kid’s nap schedules. It’s not that interesting.
4. Spend money on herself
Because a good mum is selfless all the time; she doesn't need things like a haircut (or colour god forbid!), clothes that fit, and a handbag that isn’t built for nappys. My kids have to come first, but it doesn’t mean I have to stop having needs. Or a haircut.
5. Go on vacay without her kids
The word holiday, by definition, should include relaxing. The word relaxing does not include children. So while I watch all those good mums spend hours chasing their kids with sunscreen, I’ll be finishing my book and ordering another drink. Bad mum = good holiday.
6. Show up unprepared
You know that mum who doesn’t carry baby wipes, who leaves the house without snacks for 20 kids, and who never carries water bottles for her kids? Yeah, that’s me. Boy scouts are supposed to be “always prepared.” Some of us mums are content to “always wing it.” Somehow the kids survive, even without that snack pack of Goldfish crackers.
7. Have no idea how to braid hair
When I had children, I did not get an instant beauty school degree. I’m totally cool with a ponytail and even the side pony, but it’s been a long time since I’ve done a braid, French braid, and fishtail. Can’t I just send my kid to school with brushed hair? Does a three-year-old really need to win a best hair prize each and every day?
8. Hate the park
There, I said it. I hate the park. I hate it because my kids don’t actually need me to be there other than to act as a highly underpaid security officer. Other than making sure no one takes my kids, the only thing I’m doing at the park is waiting to leave. That, and passing time wondering how come my kids don’t want to play with any of the trucks, shovels, and crap they made me lug from home.
9. Get cranky
Most mums seem so happy all day, like they are in a Disney cartoon all the time with birds chirping on their shoulders and a soundtrack playing wherever they go. Me, I get cranky and need a bit of quiet time toward the end of the day. Wouldn’t you be cranky if you had to listen to the Frozen soundtrack 14 times a day? No! I do not want to build a snowman. Phew, that felt good.
10. Have a babysitter on speed dial
I know, a good mum wouldn’t even have a babysitter. But that’s why I’m not a good mum, I’m just a happy one. I’m particularly happy when my babysitter shows up.
If I were to add a #11 to this list it would have to be: A good mum isn't judgemental, of others or herself. Being a mum is an everyday challenge that requires patience, kindness, and compassion for our chilldren. That same kindness and compassion should go to ourvselves and each other as well. We're all doing the best we can. So instead of throwing terms around like "good" and "bad" mum, maybe we can all agree to try to be the best mums we can be. We won't be good — we'll be just right!