We all know that Mum. The “Keeping up with the Jones” Mum. Otherwise known as Instagram Mum, Pinterest Mum, or ‘My Children are Angels’ Mum.
“Mrs Jones” can be characterised like the following:
For her child’s birthday, Mrs Jones makes a 3 tier cake representing her child’s favourite character. The icing is smooth, the sponge is fluffy, and every single element was made from scratch in her pristine “Good Housekeeping” style kitchen, with photographs taken at every stage to showcase her talents.
Me? I attempt to make my child’s birthday cake. I take 3 attempts, but the final result is something more of Peppa Pug than Peppa Pig. It leans ever so slightly to one side, and the sponge is a little burned around the edges, but hey, at its home made, and my daughter will love it anyway. I eventually resort to a visit to Mr Sainsburys – and hope that the other Mum’s wont judge me for cheating.
Mrs Jones’ house represents a show home, with toys neatly stored away at the end of her children’s playtime. Her carpets are clean, her floors are mopped and her bed linen is always fresh.
Me? Our lounge has become a cross between a play room and a laundry, with an almost permanent pile of clean washing ready to be put away. It’s sorted into piles of whom it belongs to, but never quite makes it up the stairs before the next load of washing comes out to be dried. My daughter’s toys are scattered into every crevice of the room, from next to the TV to under the dining table. No more than 5 steps can be safely taken before stepping on a Tsum Tsum. The vacuum is a vague memory. I can just about remember what it looks like, but more often than not opt for the “picking fluff off the carpet with my bare hands” approach.
Mrs Jones always looks immaculate. Her hair is always clean and blow-dried, her nails are always freshly manicured, and her clothes are clean and fashionable, hanging perfectly on her slim “non mum bod”. Despite having minimal sleep, she appears fresh faced with just a quick brush of mascara and lip gloss.
Me? I have opted for the “dragged through hedge backwards” look – with my hair left to dry naturally and a wealth of grey hairs popping through at the roots. I can’t yet fit into my non pregnancy jeans, so the look of the month is currently leggings, which lets face it, are no ones friend! I try and wear a nice dress, only for me to end up with a large wet patch on one side after a slightly over zealous breast feed. My mascara has clogged up through lack of use, and I am lucky if I have had a shower by lunch time. When friends do come to visit, I spend four hours getting ready, only to pretend that I have casually thrown said look together.
Mrs Jones’ children are always impeccably dressed. The siblings never squabble and hold hands adorably, contently sitting quietly during dinner, colouring in or playing with stickers. Her children ask to go up to bed at 7, and sleep through unassisted until morning, where they wake up bright and breezy and full of smiles.
Me? My daughter has just learnt the art of dressing herself. Some mornings it takes half an hour of high level negotiation just to prevent her from wearing a Belle Dress to preschool, so if he wants to wear blue leggings with a red top and a green jumper then its not worth the battle. Oh, and its completely normal to wear sunglasses in November.
During dinner, my daughter is the one who normally likes to stand up mid meal, sing Let it Go at the top of her voice, or exclaim that she “needs a poo” just as dinner is served. She goes to bed, reluctantly, at 8/8.30pm, and occasionally asks Daddy to stay on the floor with her if she wakes up in the night. She wakes up bright and breezy, but Daddy has a crick in his neck.
Mrs Jones’ children are wonderful eaters, and have been ever since their baby lead weaning days. During dinner, her children will clear their plate of meat and two veg, before they enjoy their treat – a piece of fruit or yoghurt. They use their cutlery correctly, and ask politely if they can leave the table.
Me? My daughter is the pickiest eater known to man, to the point where her eating some sweetcorn and 2 pieces of raw carrot is classed as a success. Given the choice, she would have chicken nuggets for every meal, and can often be seen using her fork as a Dingle Hopper rather than its intended purpose. My daughter has to be bribed with a treat before she will finish her sandwich or threatened with imaginary phone calls to Father Christmas.
It’s very to try and Keep up with The Jones’ but do you know what, I really can’t be arsed.
Why? Because we all know that the version of reality that people share on social media is often far from the truth. The “bragbook” status updates that are shared are the reality that is chosen to be shared, and is a rose tinted glass view of the world. The constant desire to compete with their fellow Mum’s says more about her than it does about me, and is probably a result of low self esteem rather than arrogance.
My children are far from perfect, and I will NEVER be a supermum or super housewife, but I am normal, and am not ashamed to be so!! That said, I wouldn’t mind Mrs Jones to let her guard down occasionally!
Do you know a Mrs Jones?