Super Mum fails: The 10 worst things I've done as a mum and never told anyone.

Studio Canal
Thanks to our brand partner, Studio Canal

When I became a mum I thought I was going to be so much better at it than my own mum. I was certainly going to be a lot better than the women I see screaming at their kids in the supermarket or crying in the car at the school kiss and ride. But I’m not. There’s a pretty big gap between the picture of the mum I post on Insta and the mum I actually am.

It feels like no-one ever tells the real story. At mother’s group all I ever heard was mums whose babies slept through the night. How their kids all ate broccoli. None of them used screens to scab a 10-minute sleep-in.

You know what? As a mother of five, I don’t believe them.

At some point, when no-one is looking , our perfect mum facade falls and clonks our poor sweet baby on the head. With a phone.

A bit like Charlize Theron’s character does in the trailer for her new movie Tully. I’ve done this, by the way:

Video via Studio Canal

I’m the dumb mum who’s dropped my smartphone on my sleeping baby’s head as I struggled to take a call while breastfeeding. Try explaining that bruise to the early childhood nurse.

So, in the spirit of mum realness and oversharing, here are the 10 worst things I’ve done as a mum and never told anyone.

1. One morning I had such a bad hangover, I told the kids they were sick and couldn’t go to school. I made them bring me cold packs and massage my feet. Then I made the eldest child ring up the woman who I was supposed to do canteen duty with and tell her we were all really really sick. (In reality I was. I was really really sick of canteen.)

Reality. via GIPHY

2. Once my daughter Zoe put a battery in her mouth. I told her to take it out because it was toxic and she asked “will I die?” I said “Probably”. I weirdly enjoyed watching her freak out. She’s got a neurosis about touching batteries now. I did that.

3. When I was travelling overseas with my baby, I ran out of money for nappies so I had to use my t-shirts. I told fellow travellers I had given up disposables for eco alternatives, but in reality I was broke and I was running out of t-shirts.

4. I realised the night before my daughter’s fourth birthday that I forgot to buy her a card. So I took one of her older sister’s cards and whited out her name and wrote ‘Sophia’. I didn’t bother changing the message. Same same. I have another daughter who’s also been given that card. See, I am eco.


Well, obviously. via GIPHY

5. I once let my kids watch The Ring. I don’t know what happened, but I thought because it had a kid in it that it would be fine. And then I couldn’t just stop it because I really wanted to know how it ended and they were too scared to go to bed on their own. I told my kids not to tell anyone, but they tell everyone this story all the time.

6. I regularly swear in front of my kids. Especially in the car. I just never swear in front of my little kids when other adults are around. When my daughter was ‘role modelling’ my behaviour at school I stopped her by saying: “Sweetheart, did you know every time you swear a fairy dies”. She never swore again. But for years she cried herself to sleep and felt it was her fault there were no fairies.

7. I told everyone I had stopped breastfeeding my son when he was about two, but in reality I did it in secret when no-one was looking. He was three when I finally weaned him. When he went up to a strange woman in a supermarket and pointed at her boobs and said ‘titty’ I thought it was time to stop.


8. I never taught any of my kids how to sleep on their own. I can’t stand babies crying. I would sit on the floor and cry beside them. When my second eldest daughter was only a few months old after a few hours of screaming in the cot I took her back to bed with me so I could get some sleep. When I woke up she was gone. I panicked. Then I found her. She’d fallen out of bed onto the floor and was sleeping on the carpet. I didn’t want to wake her so I put a blanket on her and got another half hour sleep.

9. I have found nits in my kids’ hair and sent them to school. Of course, I put a hat on them and told them not to scratch.

10. I tell lies to make my kids do what I want them to do. Or I trick them. Once when they wouldn’t get ready for school I said, “Hey kids, Mummy is going to make you a memory!” They were really excited. I’m not the sort of mum who makes stuff. They screamed “What’s a memory, Mum?”, I said “I am going to take you to school in the nude, and you will never forget it.”

So guess what? I have five reasonably functional, happy kids. And guess what we have in our family that’s better than Insta-perfect pictures? Stories!

Got stories like this to tell? Of course you do! Hit the comments section below and overshare…or just share. Whatever tickles your fancy. It’s a safe space.

This post is brought to you by the comedy-drama Tully, which is all about the realness of parenting. Oh yeah, THAT! It’s in cinemas May 10.

This content was created with our brand partner Studio Canal.

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