I am a supermum.
Said no one ever, except maybe in jest. Or with full irony whilst opening a bottle of wine and ripping open a block of chocolate.
I most certainly have never muttered it in sincerity!
Just this morning, in pure desperation known by parents of difficult eaters, I offered Master now 7 ANZAC biscuits for breakfast. My logic? They are made of oats and that counts as a breakfast food. He declined the offer, but it was close.
Other times it has sufficed, and the boy has had a food item that resembles breakfast AT breakfast time.
What other parenting short cuts will I admit to?
I have shaken off an item of clothing, muttered “good enough” and dressed a boy child in them for a second day of wear.
I have happily gone down town with my child in pure dress up. Since it covered all relevant skin, it ticked my boxes as ‘clothing’ and allowed me to get out of the house without a scrap.
I have held back the laughter as my innocent offspring have uttered a perfectly timed, in context swear word, in that moment of silence when every parent in a 20 km radius will hear it.
I have fed oven warmed food more than one night in a row.
I have brought the wheelie bin inside to ‘clean’ the boys rooms up, with magical results of compliance.
I have smacked my kids, timed them out, roused on them and lost my proverbial shit instead of staying calm and reasoned.
I have uttered ‘Because I said so.’
I have bribed my children with treats.
Odd socks? Hell to the yes!
Teeth brushed? Well, mostly. Doesn’t it count if their mouth smells minty?
Hands washed? Usually only if visibly soiled.
Organic, non processed, macro nutrient balanced food? Um……
And as for the game show that parents seem to want to play: “My little one hit this particular developmental milestone at this age, what about yours?” ……ARGH!
Yesterday, we were walking through a shopping complex, heading to the toilets. Loooong corridors, perfect for running down, which my boys were doing. The only rule I had hastily called out was to “Stay to the left!”. Whilst they ran away, roaring like dinosaurs, I was pondering the almost feral nature of boys. Then two streaks of turquoise and pink, with ponytails, came screeching around the corner like drift racers, squealing and laughing. I looked at the dad and we both laughed at the situation and our kids, and let them run.
I am a super mum.
There is a whole heap of individual and societal psychology that goes into the ‘mummy wars.’
And I have made a conscious decision not to enter them. I was never an active participant, but now I am a vocal conscientious objector.
Everywhere I look, I am surrounded by awesome parents. Mums and dads doing the best they can with what they have. I mean resources, whether it be time, family and friends, money, skills and knowledge.
Parents with 4 kids, their kids, someone else’s kids, 1 kid, special needs, healthy, sick, duplicate (twins/triplets etc). Parents with supportive partners, absent partners, unhelpful partners, more than one parenting partner. And they are doing their best.
Remember when you were younger and playing sport? You were told “As long as you tried your best, honey.”
Aren’t we all trying our best? What’s the difference now we are parenting? Why the smugness?
Shouldn’t we just be cheering the wins, big and small, real and conceded? And giving each other a gentle push across the line when needed?
I don’t get to be the parent who volunteers for excursions or canteen. Invariably I wish I could send money to the fundraiser rather than a cake. I am often distracted and forget what day of the week it is.
But I am truly grateful for the parents that are on the ball, that do those awesome birthday parties, fully themed, with healthy snacks, brilliantly designed games and choreographed till the pick up time. I have NO resentment at all, nor do I beat myself up knowing I CANNOT compete. In fact I don’t even know the rules or where to start. You see, that is not where my skills lie. But the fact these parents do exist means my kids are exposed to some wonderful experiences.
Those parents that DO volunteer at canteen, P&C committees and bake sales are my favourite kinds of parents! Without parent volunteers many opportunities would not be available for my kids. Schools just can’t swing everything within their resources, so parents that volunteer are awesome.
The resource that these parents have at hand is time. Thank you.
Those parents that come up with creative solutions to things, that I can’t fathom? Thank you, for inspiring me at times.
Those parents who spare a kind word, or gesture when I am frazzled, flustered and achieving only what feels like a mummy fail. Thank you for your kindness and generosity. I will pay it forward.
I love the parents who do it different to me, for they remind me that ‘there is another way.’ And they provide options, alternate paths and a lesson in diversity for me.
My aim for parenting is not having Pinterest worthy moments, nor to win some parenting olympics that have unknown rules, but to raise well mannered kids that turn into empathetic, content adults. That. Is. it. Anything else is a bonus.
I do have a resource on my side, a fab hubby who is a truly awesome dad. That halves the load, and keeps the family balanced. Without that resource, my task as a working mum would be……
impossible that much harder.
To all the parents I encounter……well done, keep going, you are doing GREAT!