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So Many Bad Mothers Out There - Join The Club

By Sally Collings - 14th October 2010

Have you noticed how many bad mothers there are in the world? There must be lots, because there are special clubs for them all over the place. Just do an internet search for ‘bad mothers club’ and you’ll see what I mean.

Most of these groups and their websites are an expression of solidarity amongst mothers who feel overwhelmed by the endless criticism that they experience as they go about their parenting business.

Much of the angst and the fiercest expressions of guilt and defiance involve breastfeeding babies to sleep or finding ways to get ‘me’ time.  Most of the best and most light-hearted instances of badness seem to involve food: like the mum who told her son that the lollipop factory burned down.

Going by our own self-perceptions, is there any other kind of mother than a bad one? Maybe I hang out at the wrong playgrounds, but I’ve never met a mum who can honestly say, ‘I think I’ve cracked this parenting gig. It’s a walk in the park and I never put a foot wrong.’

As we negotiate stretch marks and puke-stained t-shirts, broken Tonka trucks and bite marks on the cot railings, we get the unexpected bonus of an up-close encounter with one of life’s great truths. In our weakness and brokenness and frailties, we are truly flawed and normal humans.  In this broken, crazy life we are most closely bound with the universe along with its imperfections and beauty.

There is no perfect mothering life, filled with children with shiny, lice-free hair and perfect plaits, gleaming teeth and designer outfits, free of anxieties and insecurities. No charmed life of poised and balanced mothers enjoying a zesty sex life with engaged and understanding husbands. Not all the time, anyway

Mind you, we all have little fragments and crumbs of that perfect life. In the same way that I sometimes feel I have glimpses of eternity …

image freedigitalphotos.net Tina Phillips

Comments (3)

YvetteVignando's picture

Picture perfect - not

...and precisely why I like the approach of Gillian Martin who posted for us this month 'Who Wants to Be a Domestic Goddess?" http://www.happychild.com.au/blogs/gillianmartin/2010/10/31/who-wants-to...
We can all wish, but maintaining that facade comes at a massive physical and emotional price - I know - I have periodic bouts of this - lasts for about 36 hours ...

SallyCollings's picture

Perfect??

Thanks Jodie! As you can probably tell, I'm intrigued by the whole idea of perfection - like you say, good and bad are all part of the mix.

Jodie at Mummy Mayhem's picture

Lovely post..and spot on

This was great, Sally.

There are definitely people who try their hardest to portray a perfect life to others, but all parents know that's impossible.

And anyway...I kind of think that all the good and the bad that comes with parenting *is* perfect in a way. It's how life is.

:)

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