The perfect mum? Does she exist? I’ve never met her.
But we keep hearing about her don’t we? On social media. In magazines. On Facebook.
The fact is I have actually never met anyone in real life who is perfect and I have never met anyone trying to be the perfect mum.
Most mums I know just want to get to the end of the day with everyone still alive.
I say f**k the concept of the perfect mum.
Let’s relegate her to the benches with the helicopter mums and the lawnmower parents. Let her rest with the ‘soccer moms’ and the ‘dance mum’.
Let her go.
Perfect mum, we know you are a figment of our imagination.
These are the types of mums I know. They aren’t perfect. They don’t want to be perfect. They are too happy being themselves:
The busy mum:
She has lots on and for good reason – she likes being busy. Her life is a timetable of drop-offs and pick-ups decorated by dozens of little Tupperware boxes of fruit consumed in the backseat of the car.
The thing with the busy mum is her kids generally like being busy. You won’t find this family having a lay in on a Saturday morning. They are too busy criss-crossing their city meeting their team obligations.
And they thrive on it.
Laid back mum:
This mum doesn’t plan much past the next day.
Her life is as-you-see-it.
Dinner? She will see what’s in the pantry.
There's a party this weekend? Oh that’s alright. We will pick up a pressie on the way.
The laid back mum is a joy to be around because nothing is a stress.
A few things might get missed. A few library books forget to be returned. A few play dates get forgotten, but it all works out in the end.
This mum is amazing. The role was made for her. Nothing is too hard. Nothing is too much trouble. She glides from breast to bottle to slings to scooters. Never judging others. Always happy to be a mum.
You’ll never hear her complaining about how the baby doesn’t sleep – even if he doesn’t. You’ll never hear her complaining about how her hair is filled with vomit - even if it stinks.
She is right where she wants to be.
She’s the mum you want to be; if only you hadn’t been up all night with the baby you might have the energy.
We aren't jealous, just full of admiration.
Sometimes there are just two types of mums - those who can pick up a dummy and suck it and those who need to sterilise it. Post continues after video...
She is a mum, but she doesn’t want to be defined as one.
She is more than just her offspring. She values the work she does outside the home and defines herself through it. She doesn’t think of herself as being someone’s carer – rather she has a variety of roles.
Oh don’t get me wrong she loves her kids and does as much for her kids as every other mum out there she just never quite saw “mum” as her only job title and that’s okay for her.
The fun mum. I remember being the fun mum back when I only had one child. Baby numbers two and three leeched it out of me.
She’s ALWAYS got the energy to play hide and seek.
She ALWAYS remembers to bring a bag full of matchbox cars.
She is ALWAYS up for pushing that swing.
Craft? Hand over the staple gun.
A last minute playdate? Count her in.
She’s not doing drop off and pick up at the birthday parties she might miss the piñata.
Ready for the next stage mum:
It’s been an experience this baby stuff. The never ending feeding and the never starting sleeping but this mum is ready for the next phase.
She’s ready for her kids to grow and for her to grow with them. She’s primed to be a school mum, a mum of teenagers - an empty nester and is thankful to have that baby stuff in the past.
She’s got a meal planner like you’ve never seen. A freezer the size of a refrigerator truck and a wall chart of activities that a mere by-stander would need an FBI decoder to understand.
Her kids have pegs and shoe holes. They have bag racks and homework charts. Nothing is left to chance and for her it works.
Even the socks are colour coded. She's a wonder.
The helpful mum is a gem.
She’s the first to volunteer in the classroom. The first to suggest, and buy, the teacher’s pressie.
She’s the first to drop off a casserole on your doorstep when you are sick. She’s the mother that is often mocked for being always present, always volunteering – but we know she is just naturally kind. We all need one of these mums in our lives.
Battling through mum:
She is getting there.
She vows to make each day better and she does in some little way even if she doesn’t quite realise it. She collapses into her bed at night questioning how she got through the day and yet smiling at the thought of doing it all again tomorrow.
She’s hard to define as she is willing to try absolutely everything to make this parenting gig work.
Some days she is fierce and hovering. Others she is relaxed and resigned. On the tough days she is a frantic scramble of just getting to bed-time.
She's a helicopter-mum on the weekdays and a free-ranger in the holidays. She's a bits-and-pieces-scraping-through kinda gal.
Like all mums she loves her kids to pieces and like all mums I know she is doing the best damn job she can.
What type of mum are you? What type do you strive to be?