The pressure is huge sometimes, huh? Aside from being perfectly patient parents, offering our kids multiple opportunities, always being there, happy and smiling, cherishing every moment, we have to be cool mums, fit mums, in shape, with stylish outfits and trendy baby bags. Instagram, magazines, YouTube… social media and mainstream media have merged to create an idealised image of mum that most of us (at least, most of the parents I know) simply can’t live up to.
But you know what? It’s not normal. Here’s what most normal mums in my life look like: slightly frazzled, doing the best they can, loving their kids, doing the school run with their hair scraped back into a pony tail and roots showing. They juggle work deadlines and often unsociable working hours around children, PTA commitments and Eastenders viewing. They don’t wear designer clothes or go out to trendy restaurants every other night. Most evenings they can be found at home, in their pyjamas by 8pm, very probably sipping a well earned glass of wine. In my world, this is normal.
And you know what else? Normal is cool. And it’s so underrated, in my opinion. Normal mums work hard, sometimes raising families alone, sometimes alongside equally hardworking partners. They make decisions about where to go on holiday, what brand of cereal to buy the kids and where to go on a family day out at the weekend. They are raising thoughtful, kind and balanced kids who appreciate the opportunities given them – even if they sometimes kick off in the fruit and veg aisle at the local supermarket.
There is such a huge trend at the moment for mums to be told that, on the one hand, they’re doing a great job yet, on the other, they need to be just a little more in shape, with a better hairstyle, better clothes, more Instagrammable home. And the more we strive for this idea of cool, of perfect, of “aspirational”, the shorter we fall. And the more unhappy we become. And the more we lose precious moments of our kids’ short childhoods by stressing that we’re somehow not enough.
We are enough.
You’re enough. I’m enough. We’re all enough. We don’t need Pinterest-perfect living rooms and beautifully manicured nails and cool logo’d jumpers and kids who don’t rub jam into the carpet. What we do need is a big fat dose of reality and a reminder that the majority of parents are just like us – doing our best, juggling parenting and work deadlines and finances that won’t stretch to infinity.
When I blog about things like clothes or beauty or my home, I do it in a way that I hope will relate and resonate with “normal” mums just like me. I’m always honest about the fact my life isn’t a perfectly curated Instagram feed. You only have to watch one of my YouTube videos to know that. It’s mum life, uncut. A no-holes barred look at my life as a mum. And I’m happy to share it with you because I reckon, the very high chances are, you’re in exactly the same boat.
I hope you know that. And I hope you know how cool you are, just for being normal.
P.S. You know your kids think you’re a superhero, right? And that’s all that matters, really?