kids

The funniest mum fails you'll ever hear.

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“Hi Mrs. Morley? I have Jack here with me up at the school office.”

Of course I immediately go into panic mode, or with this kid, roll my eyes mode. What is it this time I silently wonder, another monkey bar collision? Concussion? WHAT? just tell me so we can get this show on the road.

“Is he okay?” I tentatively ask.

“Oh yeah, he’s fine, it’s just that there isn’t actually any school today. Or all of this week in fact…”

And that there is just one example of one of my many fails as a mother.  Look, I try okay? It’s not like I don’t give this parenting thing a red-hot go but sometimes I fail. And I fail hard. I don’t pretend to be a perfect Mum but try as I might; there are certain things (often let’s face it, natural instinctual things) that just elude me.

Plus, if I’m totally honest, I never read all those bloody emails from school because they never…seem…to…end.  For example: Just for your information, little Johnny has a stone and leaf-collecting lesson on Friday at 2:15. OKAY, that’s great but I’ve got lots of sh*t to do, so PLEASE, please just fill me on the important stuff that I, as a mother, need to be on top of.

I don't pretend to be a perfect mum. Image: Giphy.

From the outside though, I probably present as quite a normal, responsible mother to my friends, other school Mums and my colleagues. One who has her sh*t in a pile, so to speak? So I’m guessing they’d never know how close to the edge of failing I come to on a day-to-day basis. It only takes a power outage and ensuing alarm failure to turn my world into complete chaos.

For the most part though, I have it all together and for the most part, they turn up to school in their (ironed?) uniforms and with full lunch boxes. What goes on behind the veil of ‘parenting perfection’ though, well, sister, just take a peek.

Like the time I obviously read the note wrong and thought my daughter’s Easter Bonnet parade hat was meant to be constructed in class but in fact, was clearly meant to be a collaborative effort at HOME. This became apparent to me as I watched her classmates file out in front of her, sporting professional millinery level bonnets whilst my daughter walked the entire parade with a cardboard cylinder on her head that had a few limp fluffy chickens sticky taped to it.

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"From the outside though, I probably present as quite a normal, responsible mother." Image: Satin City Productions.

Or the time I sent my middle son to camp, which was an actual, in tents, camping kinda camp, without a sleeping bag. In the middle of a Victorian winter.

There have also been times when I have sent the kids to school with a lunchbox that contained taco shells, questionable yoghurt and cans of corn because we were seemingly from nowhere, out of bread and/or fruit.

I have, on more than one occasion, pulled up to my youngest son’s school to drop him off, only to see almost every other kid streaming into school dressed up. SHIT, Book Week – how had I missed this yet again?

I have turned to see my son, face drained of colour and panicking. In a moment of madness brilliance, I’ve realised he was wearing a tie and a blazer so I got out of the car, drew a lightning bolt on his forehead and some rounded spectacles around his eyes with a sharpie and picked up a stick from the ground and told him to walk into the school grounds like the Wizard that he was. (No, for the record, he did not win the prize for best dressed).

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Go forth my son. Image: iStock.

If you were to ask my now 16-year-old daughter how I failed her when she was young, she would say it was with her ‘legoman’ haircut. Sure, I attempted to cut a fringe into her then beautiful, white straight hair and YES, she did end up with, in hindsight, a very questionable hairstyle but it’s almost a rite of passage. And a REAL money saver.

Or what about the time I tried to go to a public toilet with my then three-year-old and you know, have some time alone in the cubicle, only to hear him say extremely loudly “Mummy has a big brown snake crawling out of her bottom!” Not a fail so much as total mortification.

My biggest fail, as a mother though, is my pure inability to produce a kickarse birthday cake. My mother was almost an Australian Women’s Weekly birthday cake cookbook guru and every year she delighted my peers with some elaborate design for our party. I present to you the difference between my mother’s and my abilities in cake making:

My pure inability to produce a kickarse birthday cake. Image: Supplied.

Does admitting any of the above make me a “bad Mum” or simply a real one? To be honest, I think not having everything go to plan when you’re a kid is quite good character building. Plus, sleeping bags in artic weather conditions are totally overrated right? (Before you call the cops, his teacher had a spare, he was fine).

At the end of the day though, we are all just trying to do our best and hide behind the façade that maybe makes it look as though we have it all together right? My advice? Perhaps reach out to that frazzled Mum you spot in the playground or at work and let her know she’s not alone. And that Costco does an amazing slab cake for $25.

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