Em was asked: “Do your kids even know what you look like anymore?”

Em Rusciano with kids.




To finish up the year that was, we’re going to bring you the most popular 14 Mamamia posts of 2013. It’s like a countdown, an advent calendar of sorts, but one that gets your through the post-Christmas blur and into the new year. We’ve been lucky to have some truly wonderful writers join us to share their thoughts on Mamamia this year. This is the very, very best of what they had to offer. Enjoy.

Of all the things that fire me up, and let’s be honest – the list is a long and detailed one – nothing turns me into a pile of simmering rubble like someone insinuating or flat-out accusing me of being a bad mother.

In fact, if I see anyone doing it to any mother, I light up.

How VERY DARE they judge me/her/us. You don’t know how I stayed up late last night, hot-glue-gunning my kid’s Halloween costume. Piss directly off!

You see, I had someone say to me yesterday: “Out again! Do your kids even know what you look like anymore”?

I was at the Melbourne Cup and had also seen that person at Derby Day celebrations, two days earlier. They were referring to that fact and insinuating that I had been partying hard, therefore neglecting my babies.

I should have just laughed it off, I should have just walked away.

I should have, but I didn’t – because fuck them.

I got real close to this person, I was all up in their grill, and violently whispered the following:

“Yes they do, because I look after them by myself. Every day I drive them 45 minutes to and from school, wash their clothes, make all the lunches, dinners and breakfasts. I drive them to their extra curricular activities. I make them costumes, cakes and sometimes they are my only company for days at a time because I don’t have a babysitter. I am with them on my own 24/7. Their father sees them once a fortnight and on long weekends. They are with him now, I get them back tomorrow.”


This woman (who is also a mother of FOUR) slowly backed away from me, both hands raised, assuring me she had just been joking… but the damage had been done.

Em with Odette

Upon reflection, I obviously had to think about why her comment had affected me so much. The obvious answer is: I am afraid she was right.

Am I a bad mother for going out and having a good time? Should I have been at home knitting their winter scarves and planning the weeks meals instead of touching Dr Chris Brown inappropriately on the dance floor? (You KNOW I had to throw that one in!)

I saw a mother yelling at her child in the supermarket just this morning. The kid had just wanted to be picked up out of the trolley and given a hug.

My first reaction was to think, ‘bloody hell lady just give him a squeeze and be done with it’ but I caught myself.

For all I know, she had already embraced him 10 times in the frozen section. For all I know she had been up with him all night and had run out of love to give at that point.

I didn’t know and so therefore I wasn’t in a position to comment. What’s that saying? Something something walk a mile in my shoes something shut your face hole something something you don’t know me something.

Who was the person that decided what made a “good mother”? Who came up with the prototype?


That we should be with the children at all times, own Tupperware and cook organic meals? That our kids should never, ever scream in public, that we must attend every fecking school meeting and working bee? I want a name for who came up with the rules. And then I want to throat-punch them.

Em Instagrammed this pic: “Washing done? Not always. Healthy dinners? Sometimes. Tupperware? Nope. Getting my kids ready for a costume party? Hell yes! Odette is a dandy clown with the ebola virus!”


1. Did your kids eat cereal for dinner last night? GOOD MOTHER!

2. Do you work full time, so that they may eat? GOOD MOTHER!

3. Did you send them to school in bather bottoms because you’ve not done the washing in a week? GOOD MOTHER!

4. Do you sometimes skip pages in books because your kid can’t read yet and is none the wiser? GOOD MOTHER!

5. Do you make healthy organic meals every night for your kids? GOOD MOTHER!

6. Do you stay home full time with them? GOOD MOTHER!

7. Do you HATE going to the park with a blinding passion? GOOD MOTHER!

Enough with the judging, I mean it. Unless there is a blatant case of abuse or neglect happening, leave mothers well alone. Especially if you are actually a mother, you should know better. Instead of judging, offer to help.

We are ALL doing our best, or a version of it.

For an example of the standard we SHOULDN’T hold ourselves to, we give you… Superior Mummy tweets. 

Em Rusciano is a comedian, singer, writer and entertainer. She previously hosted the popular Mamamia Today afternoon program on the Austereo network. You can follow her on Twitter here and take a look at her website here. You can also find her Facebook page here.

Agree with Em? Then pass this post on. Share it on Facebook, send a tweet and show the world that there are new ‘Good Mother’ rules and they’re here to stay. *Fist pumps*