It’s been dawning on me for a while now. There’s something missing in my approach to motherhood.
I will never be perfect mother material. And when I say perfect, I mean perfect.
I’m not on about the obvious stuff, like regularly forgetting to make Frog brush her teeth, or occasionally letting her smear ketchup over her vegetables.
No, I’m on about something altogether different.
It’s a quality that starts for many women during pregnancy. These women are natural mothers. They are good at motherhood before their offspring are even born. The calm descends and they sit, zen-like, in a beautiful state of blooming fertility.
And as their child grows within them, they metamorphose into a Butlins Red Coat.
By the time the baby is born, these natural mothers are worthy of winning the X Factor. They ooze charm, charisma, fun. They can sing and smile and dance at the same time.
They are just so… happy.
Everywhere I go I am surrounded by just such mothers. Their voices are at a perfect pitch for toddlers. They don’t speak their words, they sing. Even a simple, “It’s time to put your shoes on” could elicit a little wiggle of the hips and a clap.
And I try to be like them. I do. But I fall short of the mark every time.
In the playground, I will use my best Butlins Red Coat Mother Voice to encourage Frog away from the swing and back into her buggy. I’ll even laugh a little as the warning signs of a tantrum start to flash.
But five minutes of demanding shouts from my 20 month old and all earlier pledges to retain my rosy jazz-hands exterior fly out of the window. Initial attempts at soothing with, “Now, stop being a silly billy” are quickly offset with, “Now STOP IT! Come ON! NO. I will NOT have that!”
I’m rubbish at being a Butlins Red Coat Mother. I wouldn’t even get through the first half of the audition.
So please tell me they don’t exist in real life. Surely no mother can be that happy, all the time? Really?