What’s a Real Mum Anyway?

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?

Real Mum Reviews

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12 Comments

  1. Emma

    This! I agree totally that it’s ok to be both of the types of mums mentioned. I am definitely someone who gushes over how cute my kids are one moment and then screams in frustration the next when they won’t stop fighting, or cries in the middle of the night when my youngest just won’t go back to sleep! I read the article and just felt the writer was totally bitter and jealous of the other writers whose books have done better than hers – she came across as a miserable cow x

    Reply
  2. Debbie - Hello Deborah

    I can definitely admit to being both. I haven’t read the article as from the comments people made it sounded like a bit of mum bashing and that’s not okay.

    Reply
  3. MANDY

    Parenting is exhaustion and no right or wrong you quite rightly say. The reality of it is that it’s simply not glamorous and we get all the wrong impressions from celebs today of how perfect it looks when reality it’s far from that. I can relate to a lot of what you have written haha!
    http://www.onesliceoflemon.com/

    Reply
  4. Debbie Sharratt

    No parent is perfect but the least we owe our children us to try our best x

    Reply
  5. Debbie Sharratt

    No parent is perfect but the least we owe our children us to try our best x

    Reply
  6. Vicki Coombe

    I am 100% both, because life isn’t always insta-perfect! Seeing that other people struggle at times too is important as sometimes it’s just what you need to feel less of a failure!! #HumpDayLinky

    Reply
  7. kate

    I agree with your post, there are two sides to being a parent and I think that it is good that there are blogs that represent both of these sides. Sharing in both the highs and lows can only help us to be happier parents (which is only going to benefit our children isn’t it?). #HumpDayLinky

    Reply
  8. Charlotte Zealey

    We always know that we can not be perfect but we always want to be the best it does not help in the age of social media because of the fact we can make it seem like we have a perfect life and when we see other people doing this we could feel like more of a failure

    Reply
  9. ruth cartwright

    If people don’t believe that these blogs aren’t written with a pinch of salt, then they are missing the point. #humpdaylinky

    Reply
  10. Laura

    I think you’ve got it spot on. I thought the article was ridiculous but equally I would agree that feeding kids frozen fish fingers is a bad idea. But I also get that it’s highly unlikely that they did that. Those blogs are a little tongue in cheek but equally they reflect a reality that people find helpful. I think the article was really just to get views and to be honest, I’m a little annoyed that we’ve all wanted to talk about it! #HumpDayLinky

    Reply
  11. That mummy blog

    Ugh, that article was just cruel. I honestly believe the ‘slummy Mummy’ Parenting ‘craze’ is helping people see parenting without rose tinted glasses, it’s helping Mums with PND, it can only be a good thing!

    Reply

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Hi, I’m Lucy, a thirty something mum of two from Birmingham. A memory maker, tradition keeper, stationery addict and Mr Men fanatic. HR Advisor by day and sleep deprived Mama by night!

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