What’s a Real Mum Anyway?
Mum bloggers often get a bad press, so today I wasn’t surprised to see yet another criticism of the latest trend of bloggers in the Daily Mail – asking why so many mums are now proud to be a so called ‘Slummy Mummy’.
In their article, they allude to the fact that it is no longer cool to be a proud parent, to have standards, or to celebrate our achievements. Instead, the rise of the Slummy Mummy has taken over, one, in their words, who celebrates the quick fix meals, tantrums and moments that their child has driven them to drink.
They described how even advertising is following this trend, with a recent Amazon advert featuring a Mum asking Alexa how many minutes are in 18 years.
As a blogger myself I read this with interest, because lets face it, I am probably guilty too at times, of celebrating ‘slumminess’ myself.
I am big fans of many of the bloggers mentioned, and actively read Hurrah for Gin, the Unmumsy Mum, and more local blogger Brummy Mum of Two. I love their posts – they’ve made me laugh, made me cry, and at times, made me praise the lord that I am not the only one.
Why do I love them?
Because for me, parenting isn’t perfection.
For a while, parenting blogs, for me, were too far in one direction. A direction which could cause more harm than good, putting doubts and feelings of inadequacy in the minds of already vulnerable new mothers.
Do I want to read every day about how wonderful another families life is? How their angelic children are tucked up in bed by 7pm whilst the parents enjoy a 3 course home cooked dinner before enjoying a bubble bath and having their children’ school bags dutifully packed by the front door? NO. Why? Because it makes me feel rubbish.
Do I want to feel like the only Mum in the world who spends the majority of her nights awake rocking their child back and forth in the dark whilst reading on my mobile the blog of a Mum who successfully got their child to sleep through the night at 4 weeks? GOD NO!
Do I want to feel like there is someone who is winging it just as much as I am in their parenting approach??? Who celebrates the highs whilst at the same time being brave enough to admit the lows? HELL YES! For me, these so called Slummy Mummy bloggers are relatable. Relatable because they help me remember that life isn’t always an Instagram filter. I am, and will never be a Pinterest Mum, and THAT’S OK!
However, Slummy Mummy or School Run in Heels?
Lets face it, both are exaggerated versions of reality.
With these more relatable bloggers, are we expected to believe that these kids are always naughty? That their house is always a mess, and that despite them being the now author of a best selling book, that they are always in their pyjamas by 5pm? No. Of course not. And anyone who believes that is missing the point.
To enjoy these blogs, you have to be able to take them at face value. They are funny, satire, and play to reality that parenting isn’t always perfect.
So what is a Real Mum?
For me, a real mum is a combination of both – the Love / Hate pendulum between perfect parenting and utter bedlam.
Some days I will totally have my shit together – having a great day playing outside or doing some craft. My girls are perfectly well behaved and my three year old eat all their dinner with a knife and fork – the illusion of perfect parenting.
Others? I am lucky if I have had a shower by midday, am wearing jeans covered in spatters of carrot puree, am functioning on an hours sleep and am officially a ‘shouty mum’ – having had many a day that my toddler made me cry.
In my mind, a real mum, blogger or otherwise, shouldn’t be afraid to be both –
- To one day be bursting with pride that your child took their first steps, wrote their name, told you they loved you or got star of the day, shouting from the rooftops and relishing in a job well done.
- To the next, crying into your cereal, being whacked over the head with a toy arc, threatening to call Father Christmas even in May and picking up discarded Wotsits from the floor whilst dodging the catapulted puree.
Some days I flick between Super Mum and Slummy Mum multiple times before breakfast, with an overall Super/Slum ratio of approximately 20/80. And that’s ok!
On my blog I will always try and be me. The real me, warts and all with the odd bit of pride thrown in. That said.. I can’t promise I wont be selective in which corner of the room I take my photographs or that I wont use a back drop for my photos. No one needs to see the Wotsit encrusted carpet or my pile of folded washing. And is that me again exaggerating reality? Erm, no. Unfortunately that’s just me!
What are your thoughts on the article? Do you think bloggers have gone too far in the Slummy direction?