Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be what my inner critic calls a ‘proper mum’.
And as I wonder that I ask myself what a ‘proper mum’ would be exactly. Somewhere, in the recesses of my mind I think that a proper mum doesn’t work and she certainly does not own a business. She leaves the house with proper hair and there is always, always a full biscuit tin and a hot meal in the evening.
Proper mums don’t get frustrated when their kids pile up washing on the bathroom floor, they chortle quietly and pick up up. They iron, they clean, they smile and they do coffee with friends maybe after tennis. Proper mums volunteer for canteen and reading duty and are front and centre at P&C meetings. They play both Monopoly and Barbie Dolls and don’t mind a spot of french cricket.
When a dad lives with a proper mum there aren’t fights over house cleaning because she’s already done it. He doesn’t need to feel insignificant because she earns more money than him because she doesn’t. The kids of proper mums don’t need to suffer the mother going away on business trips nor juggling the school play versus a late night coaching call because proper mums don’t do that.
As I write I realise that if I was to be this ‘proper mum’ I’d need to attach a drip to the bottle store, or at least have a prescription for some heavy sedatives at hand. Sorry, I’m SO sorry world but that’s just not going to be me in this lifetime.
Wherever do these ideas come from I wonder? My mum worked hard and progressed in a career all throughout her working life so it doesn’t stem from childhood observation, my heroes are all gainfully employed women and even if I was to get my hair to sit in a perfect form it would spiral out of control in protest within 30 seconds. I have NO idea where my iron even is in the house and I love that I can provide a decent income to share with my family.
And yet there’s a yearning to play out this fictitious role, even if I have been hamming up some of the above-mentioned ‘symptoms of a proper mum’.
Of course this is fodder for much debate and analysis but actually, I’m not going to go there. I’m just making a decision for me right her, right now.
Today, here, now I claim the fact that I am an outstanding mum
I concede defeat in the house cleaning department and admit that no amount of Shannan Lush books is going to enhance my cleaning abilities, and I’m OK with that
I will bake for enjoyment, not for obligation
The closest I’ll ever align to my former image of a ‘proper mum’ again is indulging in the spectacular retro wardrobe.
And most importantly, I shall support and encourage other mums to believe they are doing the best they can right now and that is spectacular.
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