Apparently we all are.
You see, for just about every perceived “win” I have celebrated as a mother, there is someone online or someone who has written a book, someone who is a sleep expert or a feeding expert or a settling expert, someone who is a being-a-dickhead expert trolling parenting articles or forums or facebook groups… All who happily extoll (unsolicited) opinions and expert advice, scientifically proven by highly official, passive aggressive I’m-right-and-you’re-wrong factoids pertaining to how my way (or your way or someone else’s way) is wrong.
In short, there is basically always someone willing to tell you “actually, you’re crap”.
Even when you write an article about one of your most epic mummy fails to date, confessing to the whole entire internet how crap at motherhood you can be, there are still people who will eagerly misinterpret it as very serious and in depth commentary about what an amazing mother you are (how dare you!!!!!), not to mention an outrageous slur on the generous philanthropic balloon giving scheme of a large chain hardware store and thus feel the need to remind you that you’re actually crap.
Thank you altruistic stranger, I already had a fair idea that I’m equal parts crap and incompetent, but the reminder was timely.
So, I’m a mum.
I’m also a woman, wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a fan girl, an idiot (true story!) and apparently I’m a writer too. Sometimes of articles, sometimes of One Direction fan mail (I’m kidding…..), more commonly of shopping lists and wildly hilarious text messages.
It’s a tough gig trying to be all things to all people, and truth be told frequently I do feel like I’m not quite nailing the starring role in my own life but rather bumbling through as a comedic supporting cast member who falls over things in plain sight, has inappropriate thoughts and says stupid shit at inopportune moments powered by coffee and delirium. That’s kind of how I roll.
Of my many roles, the one I question myself on most is motherhood. In all my other permutations I have a resonable amount of experience. I’ve been a daughter, sister and idiot my whole life, a wife for 5 years, an ever evolving fan girl since I was 15 and first laid eyes on Taylor Hanson.
Motherhood however is still pretty new to me, I’m just three and a half years in with twins and 8 months with our littlest.
Finding my own way as a mother I’ve tried to figure out how to do it “right”. How to do it “well”. Or at the very least, how to be less crap than I was the day I took my kids to Bunnings.
I’ve done things the way I’ve felt most comfortable and I think that, for the most part, I’ve done an ok job of it so far. Cue angry comment from random expert opinion giver yelling at me for daring to suggest that occasionally I’m a good mother.
Anyway, I like to think I’m a good mum despite the many things I do and will probably continue to do that make me a crap one. I have also watched friends and loved ones around me become mothers, doing things their way, differently to the way I’ve done things.
Differently, but equally as crap.
I’m surrounded by absolutely amazing mothers, most of whom think at some point, if not daily, that they’re doing it wrong.
And that thought has lead me to wonder what even makes a good mum.
So I decided to write a list of some of the things you might do that make you a “crap” mum, when actually you’re a great mum. I couldn’t possibly list everything, because the amount of ways mums are crap (amazing) is immeasurable.
Ways to be a great crap mum – according to a panel of expert experts with expertise in the field of excellence
Have one child
Have two children
Have more children
Have as many children or as few children as you want
Have a small age gap between your children
Have a big age gap between your children
FEED your baby
Sleep in the same room
Sleep in a different room
SLEEP at some point, whenever, however you can! Just get some sleep!
Use a baby monitor
Don’t use a baby monitor
Be a stay at home mum
Work part time
Work full time
Work from home
Be a single mum
Have a partner
Have a husband
Have a wife
Wear your baby
Carry your baby
Put your baby in a pram
Make home made baby food
Buy baby food
Feed your baby with a spoon
Follow baby lead weaning
FEED your baby
Let them get away with things
Don’t let them get away with things
Use cloth nappies
Use disposable nappies
Follow attachment parenting techniques
Give a dummy
Don’t give a dummy
Pat to sleep
Rock to sleep
Feed to sleep
I think you see where I’m going with this.
So after all that, you know what I’ve figured out? We’re all trying our best to be great mums and do the “right” thing, because we actually give a shit about not being crap.
And if you care enough to want to be a good mum, to strive everyday to be a good mum, then you probably already are. Because like me, and like all the other mums out there questioning their decisions and their parenting, you love your kids a crap-tonne. And that’s the absolute best kind of crap.
Either that or we’re all just as crap (amazing) as each other.
But not quite as amazing (crap) as me the day I took my kids to Bunnings 😂