I grew up in a home without clear gender roles. I grew up in a country where parental leave is shared and “stay at home Dads” are as common as female homemakers.
My husband grew up in a home where the opposite was the norm. As a result we clash in our beliefs of who should do what. As I’ve been lucky enough to be able to work from home the childcare and housework has fallen on me. I’m the one who does everything from hoovering to bedtime! In between I work and study as well as try my hardest to provide my children with play dates, activities and memories. Life is busy.
I don’t feel I’m ever “done” whereas my husband seems to have never ending free time, when his workhours are up! Some times it gets on top of me and I feel completely exhausted, other days I feel on top of the mummy mountain.
Most days however, I feel like I do today, that I’m never enough. The kids are fighting and crying, the husband complaining. The toys aren’t good enough and the house isn’t clean enough.
Not long ago there was an article expressing the despair over “scummy mummy’s”, criticising the fact that some mothers have “pride” over not providing the best, at all times. Is it really pride? Or is it just a way to try and add humour to a life which can be repetitive and bland.
” Writing about our flaws can be therapeutic and humorous!
If someone feeds their kids fish fingers and another has a glass of wine, is that really something we should throw our arms up over? I know I’ve got plenty to do without spending time analysing a strangers dining table! Why is there this constant need to put other mothers down? Is it how we make ourselves feel better when we are unsure of our own contribution?
Putting others down to make ourselves feel better is a practice most of us partake in fairly early unfortunately. In fact; in the school ground we would consider it bullying and interventions would be put in place to stop it! Campaigns have even been started to support the children’s right to individuality- yet when we partake in bullying as adults our harsh words can somehow be justified because Edith* over there fed her kids MacDonald’s and finished her evening with gin and you would NEVER even consider doing these.
But then Edith may spend 2 hours every evening cuddling her little one to sleep and make her clothes from scratch out of organic cotton, do you? Why would our choices be more valid then Edith’s? Why would it be justifiable to consider our own priorities as superior?
Why would someone have the right to mock Edith’s choices in a public forum? Should I be allowed to criticise her choices because they aren’t my preferences? The answer is quite clear! No!
We all judge and judgement in itself is beneficial. It helps us evaluate the choices we make and grow as parents. Assessing life helps us make positive changes in our own bubble. Ridiculing someone for having another coping strategy is however, poor taste.
Taking the time to write an article about how you’re better than others because you don’t drink gin, is not on! It’s bullying in the “playground” of mothers and someone needs to intervene! Maybe we should have a mother’s “head teacher” who could bring back old disciplinary methods. We could make these bullies write lines- maybe 500 “I will not put other mothers down for doing their best with the tools they have” will do, or maybe it won’t. Maybe we will continue to rip in to each other until there is no longer any inkling of support and community left.
Mothers feel lonelier then they ever did. Work harder in several different roles and have more responsibilities. There is little community compared to the one our mothers and grandmothers had so friendships are more often created online with busy lives getting in the way of socialising. Some mums have their entire social network online and on mummy forums. Therefor it’s quite reasonable that when we feel we aren’t enough we turn to the internet for support. The last thing needed when we get there is a bully picking on others for likes and shares. The last thing needed is someone receiving recognition on the back of someone else’s challenges- so what if fish fingers is on the table for another night- they are not dished up for you.
Do not measure others with your measuring stick- we come in all shapes and sizes. Lengths and widths. Focus on your personal growth and let others focus on theirs!
And hey, mum! You are enough.
Much Love ❤️