I’m one of those real mums. You know those that will admit to being short tempered, impatient and sarcastic at times. “Mum, can you carry my school bag please?” This while I’m carrying all 7 shopping bags up the stairs to save me a trip down again. “Yes sure, just put it on my head why don’t you?” The one that will totally lose her mind when her kid comes to her at 8pm with 10 math sums for tomorrow. I don’t even try to hold back the fire-breathing dragon part of me and you know why? Because this is real life, I’m allowed to get mad and hopefully that teaches them a lesson about procrastination.
But then, a lot of the time I wonder if this is detrimental to my kids? I have 3 kids and each of them has a few friends. So I am often in contact with quite a few other mums and parents and I’ve been observing them all for a couple of years now.
The Stepford Mum
This mum is always soft spoken, never a bad word out her mouth. Always calm, her hair is so neat and she bakes the best choc chip cookies ever.
The Corporate Mum
This mum has all her ducks in a row (while my ducks occasionally start with an F), her son’s projects are of boardroom quality and she hardly eats anything. Like at all.
The Fitness Fanatic Mum
She has so much energy; looks great even in track pants and her kids have healthy, nutritious lunch boxes. (Tinkies for mine)
The ones doing extra mock exams so their kids excel; those that throw huge, perfectly planned parties and those that remember every single thing that I have diarised but never remember to look at. The winners at every sports event, the tireless, never moody ones and the I-told-you-so ones.
No Mum is Perfect
Now I know what you’re thinking. I’m so judgmental and yes I am, but not how you think. I know in the back of my mind that these mums are not as perfect as I make them out to be. That sometimes they also cry themselves to sleep because it was a rough day. That sometimes they might have road rage for no reason and regret it almost instantly. That somewhere in the world, someone else also forgot to make change for that tooth fairy deposit under the pillow.
So maybe this is my way of getting someone to say “Everything’s going to be OK”. That I shouldn’t be too hard on myself (unless I leave my kid at Woolies again) and that I should give myself credit for the little things I do. Like bedtime stories with all 3 kids cuddled in my bed, even the teenager. Like special request dinners and helping colour-in when my son’s arm is sore. Like game nights with popcorn and milkshake, and laughing together till our stomach’s hurt, praying together and discussing the values of being a good person. And yes, making up mock exams and comprehensions, helping with assignments and having drawing competitions with my daughter. Priceless.
This article was originally written for Jozikids by Fatima Kazee in 2019.
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