I am what you would call a ‘Slacker Mum’.
Don’t get me wrong, my children are well cared for, sheltered, educated and loved. But I guess I have never been one of those mothers who gets excited by sitting down with my children to fashion a dream catcher out of macramé or bake a muesli bar out of entirely organic ingredients.
Because, if I’m honest, that kind of shit drives me up the freaking wall.
Yet recently I’ve realised that this anti-“good” mum just makes me just as much of an arsehole and no less annoying or sanctimonious as the so called ‘Smug Mothers’ I have always distanced myself from.
After reading this article, I realised that my attitude was not only lazy, it was probably making others mothers feel just as inadequate as those smug mothers originally made me.
This article from Babble probably sums it up best:
…Today’s bad mommies are as smug, and even sometimes smugger, than those good mommies they aimed to resist. These parents, products of a culture that thinks it is just so hilarious to tell parents to “Shut the F*ck Up” while telling their kids to “Go the F*ck to Sleep,” are the new sanctimommies. These women take real delight in being the “worst mom in the world,” “scary mommy,” the “world’s worst mom,” “bad mom” and “bad mommy.” Most of these women don’t really consider themselves bad moms (I doubt anyone who writes regularly about being a “bad” mom could really possibly be one), but instead take the position as a way to assert their superiority to the “good ones.”
See this parenting thing doesn’t come with a manual. I mean, we can read ‘What to Expect when You’re Expecting’ and ‘Raising Girls/Boys’ until our eyes bleed, but the basics of parenting aren’t always instinctive or intuitive. Often we are looking for others to show us the way. Yet if the people we are looking up to are putting on a carefully constructed front, then we can be very easily misled.
When my third child was a newborn, we moved into a new house and I met what would be considered, I guess, my very first smug Mum.
She had, from the outside looking in, the perfect life and the perfect children. In fact, she was the first person to introduce me to blogs and online writing, encouraging me to read her work. To read it, you would think her life was perfection.
Pictures showing her boys effortlessly striding onto the beach every early evening, eating zero sugar and falling in an unassisted slumber by 6:30pm. Adding to this were her posts about the anti-Christ that is the school canteen and the filthy children who “kept passing nits onto her clean children”.