Dear the perfect mum, you do not exist. Social media might suggest that you do, but you don’t. Your perfectly edited selfies and impeccable make-up may suggest that you got 12 hours sleep last night – but that doesn’t mean you did. The photo of your 100% organic homemade baby courgetti does not mean you haven’t said “f*ck it, fish fingers it is” for the third night in a row because you’ve had a long ass day and you can’t be arsed. Your seemingly immaculate house may suggest that you’re at the top of your mum-game, but that doesn’t mean you didn’t just throw all the toys behind the door because you were sick of the sight of them but too tired to move them.
Your Instagram page may suggest that you have your sh*t together, but I know for a fact you have balled your eyes out at 3am because you’re so exhausted. I know for a fact you’ve doubted your ability to be a parent numerous times, and have thought “I am way out of depth here”. You know how I know? Because it is effing normal and I am just as guilty as you are.
How many times in one day have you warmed up your cup of tea before thinking f*ck it and pouring it down the sink? My record is 4. How many times have you left the house with baby sick on your jeans and just not given a sh*t? I’ve lost count.
I am usually the first to praise social media and it’s ability to bring communities together, but tonight I made the decision to leave all mother and baby groups on social media, after one page I was a member of hosted a ‘debate’ night. Conversations about drinking alcohol during pregnancy, co-sleeping with babies and disciplining children were amongst the topics, and it’s fair to say some opinions were stronger than others. However, I soon realised that actually by taking part in these ‘debates’ we weren’t debating at all. We were in fact ramming our opinions down each others throats, shaming and outing other mums, even if we didn’t point the finger.
Whose business is it if I decided to have the odd shandy whilst I was pregnant? Absolutely nobody’s. Who actually gives a sh*t what my opinion on co-sleeping is? The thing is, we all want people to think we’ve got it together. We know what we’re doing here because we’re pros… Right?
I realised that the pursuit of happiness no longer seems to exist, and in fact everyone is on the pursuit of perfection instead. Which would be fine if perfection existed, but it doesn’t. Why are we all striving for something impossible?
Come on mama, quit while you’re ahead.
Okay so you slept with your child until he was a year old, who cares?
Your bump took 3 months to go down, but remember you grew another human being inside your body… Not everyone gets the privilege of growing a miracle.
Do your stretch marks really seem that significant when you look at your beautiful creation and realise he/she is yours to love and nurture forever.
Do you think your little person worries about the state of your house when they’re building the den? Or that they just rubbed jam into your new crushed velvet chair? Or that they are covered head to toe in mud? No. They’re having fun and they’re happy, so what else in the world could possibly matter? Who cares what the snotty neighbour thinks. Or the woman who doesn’t have kids but is judging you anyway because she doesn’t know how f*cking hard it is to be a parent. Don’t listen to the “if that was my child”, because it is not their child, it is yours.
What you see online is merely a fraction of the truth. You can’t see the chaos that is happening at the other side of the lens. We only let people see what we want them to see. Social media has destroyed our perception of what is important in life. It’s not the expensive pushchair, the designer baby clothes or how quickly you got back into your jeans. It is the pushchair that you scraped the money to afford, so that you could take your baby on adventures and create memories that would last a lifetime. It is the clothes that kept your baby warm in winter months. It is your incredible body that you don’t give enough credit for giving you the gift of life. Stop comparing yourself and start loving yourself, because when you do what you can, love will do what you can’t.
Perfect mama, you don’t exist, but let me tell you this: your little people think you do. You are the centre of their universe and they love you unconditionally, so just keep doing you and be happy. x