Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Dear All The Bad Mummies

Dear all the Mummies out there,

Have you had that conversation yet? The one where you admit to some mum friends that you think you are a rubbish mum? If you haven't I really think you should.

Why?

Because all mums think they are rubbish at some point. If you are reading this and thinking "I've never thought that, I'm perfect" then please contact me, I would love a chat. I honestly think it is part of parenting to doubt yourself and to make mistakes. 
Canva image of an old fashioned type writer with text "dear all the bad mummies"
Whether you have just one child or a houseful being a mum means juggling a whole load of responsibilities. Yes women are great at multi tasking, but children can be very challenging. Add to the mix that you are probably chronically sleep deprived and chances of doing something stupid are high.

But hang on a minute. Aren't we meant to be perfect? We selflessly spend 9 months not touching alcohol, giving up some of our favourite foods (rare steak, yum) and eating only wholesome nutritious food harvested under a full moon by an elf in silk gloves. Then, post birth, we all nurse our babies without any problems learning how to latch or establishing a milk supply. Our babies barely cry as their every need is met instantly by our amazing mother's intuition. Oh and of course we get our babies sleeping independently and for long stretches before tiredness destroys half our brain cells.

Sorry, but back in the real world being a mum is a steep learning curve and whether we make mistakes through our innocence, through bad luck or just by being pulled in too many directions at once; we all make mistakes.
A baby and a kitten looking into an open washing machine
Why yes that is a wet paw print on the back of my daughter as she climbs in the washing machine
Like many bloggers I am happy to talk about myself and I'm pretty honest about what I've done wrong. Let's face it I've done a lot of stupid things. The number of daft errors has increased since having my second daughter. While many of them aren't parenting related (I keep going in the shower with my glasses on for instance), a lot do involve lapses of sense affecting my children. I accept a lot of these things as just part of the way I am. If there's no harm done I brush most things off, but I know others take their mistakes more to heart which is why I'm writing this post.

When talking to other people about their "bad mummy" moments I can tick most of them off on my own list. Those which I can't I can easily imagine doing in the future so I offer no judgement.
Spilling food on baby while eating? That's part of having a nursing newborn and the reason I ate cold food.
Accidentally bashing your baby/ child with a hard object? From walking into door frames while holding them, hitting them against the car seat while getting them in the car or knocking them with my camera swinging from my neck I can tick all of these off with my clumsiness.
Baby temporarily dunked under water in the bath or swimming pool? A split second is unlikely to cause harm as their instinct is to hold their breath. I always make sure they are breathing ok and haven't breathed in any water though. 
A whole list of objects have been retrieved from the mouths of both girls, a few of which I've had to google the toxicity of. So far no medical treatment has been necessary.
I went to start the car engine once only to hear M say "aren't you going to strap me in?" in a very sad voice. Forgetting to strap your child in the car seat? Check.
I've left knives and scissors in stupid places and caught little hands just in time.
I've taken them out in inappropriate clothes for the weather, let them stay in night clothes all day and left them in dirty clothes.
I've assessed the danger levels of the random item being chewed and left my baby if she was happy: cardboard boxes, bottles, chair legs.

Then there are little things a mummy should know better about like when you forget baby wipes and end up using a pair of socks to wipe a snotty nose. I've been known to check if a nappy needs changing by sticking a finger in it. Why? Why? Why? I ask myself as I have to go wash poo off my hand. Oh and there is the too frequent howls of my children when I've lost track of time when we are out and I haven't brought any snacks to help their little tummies last until we get proper food.
A baby reaching up to pull a bottle of wine our of a wine rack
Mmm wine
Of course I've made bigger mistakes too. 

There are a few times which have stayed with me:
The time I dropped my eldest on the floor when she was a baby. I was more upset than she was and there was no lasting damage.
The time I left my youngest on the sofa to go get something and she crawled off with a thud on the hardwood floor.
The time my baby crawled off and found the cat litter. This was a couple of days after finding cat litter in her nappy after my partner did the same.

But so far we have avoided major harm and my children are developing well.

Ok now are you all thinking "she's such a bad mum, I'm calling social services"? Or maybe you're thinking you aren't such a rubbish mum after all.

I hope it's the latter.
Best of Worst
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3 comments

  1. Oh gosh this reminds me of the time I dropped my baby down the stairs. I went to get her up after her nap and I was wearing these wedge sandals. I slipped and on automatic reflex I let go of her and she went bouncing down the stairs and hit her head on the stair gate at the bottom. We had to take her to hospital where she was observed over night but thankfully she was ok. I only ever pick up babies when I'm wearing flat shoes now. You live and learn ;-)

    (Unhinged mummy stopping by from #bestandworst).

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  2. I LOVE LOVE your post =) We are so hard on ourselves!! I laughed at your not strapping the little in. Been there, done that. #bestandworst

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  3. PHEW! I thought I was the only one who had dunked a baby in the bath when I was distracted! We are all good Mums really - all of this comes with the territory. Great post and thanks for sharing with #bestandworst xx

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