When you scroll through social media it’s easy to see a distorted version of reality. A perfect world where mums wearing make-up, showing no sign of mess or stress, proudly show off yet another hand-made fancy-dress costume or home-cooked meal. Their little darlings seem so well-behaved and there are never piles of laundry or washing up in the background.
Whether you’re looking at photos from celebrities you follow or people you know from the school run, these apparently perfect families can make you worry you’re not good enough or wonder if you’re letting your own children down.
These snapshots into other homes and lives are just that though, moments in time that don’t tell the full story. Far from being the only one who can’t keep up, you’re one of many perfectly normal parents. There is no need to beat yourself up and feel like a failure.
A post popped up in The Motherload® community on Facebook, a safe space where you can find non-judgemental support through the daily chaos of parenting.
Aimee said: “I see a lot of people criticising their housekeeping or parenting skills, naturally we all compare ourselves to others but the Instagram-perfect mum and home are a myth. Let’s share our ‘flaws’ so we can show each other we are normal and no-one is perfect.”
You might think that confessions of this kind would be slow to trickle in but momentum gathered quickly as more and more women came clean about their dirty secrets and bad habits. A range of anecdotes appeared with many MOLOs praising the thread and adding comments such as: “I thought it was only me who did that!” and “I could have written this myself!”
Without naming and shaming, here are some of those honest admissions that might just make you nod and smile in solidarity.
No Parent is Perfect…
- “I am pretty sure my 3-year old hasn’t eaten a vegetable this week.”
- “My daughter’s first word was Peppa.”
- “I never ever iron. I make my work shirt look half presentable by using hair straighteners on the collar.”
- “I sometimes pretend I can’t hear the youngest in the night so my OH has to get up.”
- “I let my 2 and 3 year old go to sleep without brushing their teeth because I hate the battle.”
- “When my 15 month old tries to get up for the day at stupid o’clock I put In The Night Garden on my phone, cuddle him and doze until either a more acceptable time or until I start getting hit in the face with the phone.”
- “I dropped the middle child at preschool and walked out only realising I had left the baby in the corner of the room in her carseat when I had driven halfway down the road.”
- “All my washing is tumbled and piled in my utility room where it lives until someone needs something clean to wear.”
- “I didn’t cry when my 2 year old started nursery like everyone said I would. I couldn’t wait to have the time alone.”
- “When our daughter goes to the childminder, I often dispense a kids jar/pouch/tray meal into Tupperware so she thinks it’s home-made food.”
- “My 5 month-old has seen more Game of Thrones that she should have, I hope it doesn’t scar her for life.”
- “I save the cobwebs in the corner of the rooms to add authenticity at Halloween.”
Join the Club
So there you go, just a handful from hundreds. It isn’t a bucket list to tick off to gain membership to the Slummy Mummy club and you won’t get a shiny Yummy Mummy badge if you can smugly claim to never have committed a single one of these not-quite crimes.
Spare a thought for the parents under pressure who resorted to these tactics to survive another hour on duty and remember, nobody’s perfect.