Mums, don’t you just wish someone would come up with a list of “good mother attributes” that you could measure yourself against?
Well, good news. Your prayers have been answered. The team at parenting website ChannelMum.com have so helpfully compiled just that list. Yay!
Because that’s what the world really, really needed more of: standards women can try, and inevitably fail, to meet. Right?
Mums were asked by the website what they believe is the most important attribute of being a mother to create a list that has thankfully been published on the Daily Mail. We women are so lucky to be held to such absurd standards!
Here’s what they came up with:
1. Being there when your child needs you
2. Wanting your child’s happiness more than your own
3. Coping with all the highs and lows of parenting
4. Loving your child unconditionally
5. Being emotionally available for your child
6. Answering all their questions dozens of times
7. Doing the drudgery of domestic chores like washing, cooking and cleaning out of love
8. Going without so your child has what they need
9. Giving out hugs and kisses on cue
10. Being willing to scare monsters under the bed
11. Being up for a laugh – like putting music on and dancing with the kids
12. Taking the time to look after the children when they are poorly
13. Giving your time up for snuggles on the couch and bedtime stories
14. Being home to tuck everyone into bed at night
Yes, that’s right. Up there with always making yourself available to your child and being able to cope is another fine message of martyrdom: “Wanting your child’s happiness more than your own”. And just so you really get the message, they’ve helpfully included, “Going without so your child has what they need” as a separate entry.
Because everyone knows a good mum is a selfless mum, a sacrificing mum, a mum who might say, “Oh, no. Don’t worry about me, kids. You go off and play, I’m so happy cleaning up after you.”
And while they’re at it? The good mums should say, “No, darling husband! Don’t you dare lift a finger! I just love scrubbing the oven clean to make you a roast dinner later on.”
It’s so great that this stereotype has been reinforced for us. How else would we remember that being around your child at all times (especially bedtime) is the key to this thing calling motherhood?
Listen: Mum martyr syndrome. (Post continues after audio.)
It’s also so important to be reminded that doing all the housework isn’t enough unless you’re doing it “out of love”.
You know what? We think we can come up with a better list of “attributes” you need to be a good mum. How about:
1. You love your kids,
2. You try your best
What do you think of the list of “good mother attributes”?