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Why 'Slacker Mums' are just as insufferable as 'Smug Mums.'

I am what you would call a ‘Slacker Mum’.

Bern Morley: self-confessed "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that my attitude was not only lazy, it was probably making others mothers feel just as inadequate as those smug mothers originally made me.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.

Are "slacker mums" just as sanctimonious as "smug mums"?

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”.

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In reality I knew she was struggling with toilet training, her marriage, the 3 year olds temper tantrums and life in general. It irked me. It particularly bothered me that she was getting quite the reader base and these ladies, the ones reading her religiously, were trying to model themselves and their lives, on hers.

It particularly bummed me out because I knew there would be mothers out there who were simply despairing. Upset that that they were flat out changing the sheets on a regular basis, let alone redesigning their study.

Mainly, it made me upset that there were women who would think they were less of a parent as a result of reading this misleading blog.

I think then I almost became the anti-her. I started to write my own blog and this was full of tales of my lax parenting. Particularly showing off at my lack of ability to plan anything or due to work commitments, show up at scheduled school activities.

Little did I realise that this was actually making other parents around me feel just as left out as that of my neighbour. That they were now unsure exactly how they were supposed to parent. It turns out that I was being just as smug as the very person I didn’t want to be. And I want to apologise for this.

Because as pointed out to me recently, we are all just trying the best we can, with the circumstances that we find ourselves in.

Some are organised Mums. Some are freaking really disorganised Mums. Some, well, most of us, are just  ‘Juggling Mums'. Those Mums (and Dads) who are trying to keep all the balls in the air at the same time without dropping them. Parents who are simply trying to do the very best that they can.

What do you think? Have you been a smug or slacker Mum? Have they made you feel inferior?

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