friendship

The 5 ways I was a bad mum today.

When I first started out in this motherhood gig, I was determined to be the perfect mum. I’ve since learned, the hard way, that there’s no such thing. Setting yourself up to do everything perfectly is setting yourself up for failure. So, I decided to be ‘good’.

When our first born was tiny (and not the terrorising nearly two year old he is now) ‘good’ meant homemade food, no screen time, loads of play and interaction, stories and baths every single night before bedtime, and more.

Oh, how things have changed!

We’ve all had one (or more!) of ‘those days’. You know, the days when you child won’t stop whining, all day, for no perceivable reason, or won’t let you get anything done, or won’t stop throwing tantrums.

Nearly two years on, and with our second bub in the household, I’ve learned that what we mums can consider ‘bad’ is sometimes just necessary. Some days, it’s more than ok to do something you’d previously thought was not on, just to get through.

These are the ways I was a ‘bad mum’ to my toddler today:

I gave my child a dummy just to shut him up.

Yes, he’s nearly two years old and probably shouldn’t be using a dummy, but I just kind forgot to wean him off it in between growing and birthing another human and getting used to two kids under two. He usually only uses it for sleep. But shove that little piece of plastic in his mouth during the day and, boy, do I understand why they call it a ‘pacifier’. Ahhhh, the relief that a bit of quiet can bring.

Image via iStock.

I let him watch TV, again.

Uh huh, we went over the 'recommended’ amount of screen time just so I could sit down for ten minutes (by the way, why the hell don’t The Wiggles make longer episodes?!). Screw the recommendations. Yes, he’s probably getting addicted but I’ll deal with that later. Just then, Mummy needed a goddamn break.

I fed him packet food.

I made all of his food right from when he started on solids. The result? At one year of age he turned into an extremely fussy feeder, despite having always been fed a wide variety of wholesome food. Go figure. Now, the only meal that’s guaranteed to actually be eaten is a jar of baby bolognaise (that’s meant for nine month olds!).  Then there are the times I’m too busy or just forget to actually cook for him. Cue the good old frozen baby meal or pouch, beans on toast or oats for dinner.

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Image via iStock.

We skipped his swimming lesson.

Yes, activities are important. But so is mum’s sanity. I'd been up all night settling both kids. So, we ditched swimming and went for coffee in the park instead. Because some (errr, most!) days caffeine is the number one key to mum life!

I cried in front of him.

I was so frustrated with his tantrums and behaviour that I broke down into tears. Right there in front of him. I’m not proud of it because it scared him a bit. But I guess it shows him that I have feelings, too, and that his behaviour has consequences. He stopped what he was doing, we cuddled and made up, and he was a happy chappy after that.

We've all had days where we tear our hair out. Image via iStock.

You know what? All of the above are all good. Sometimes you just have to do what you gotta do to get through. There is no such thing as a ‘bad mum’ - if you care enough to think you might have been one, you are a GOOD mum.

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