Someone on my timeline shared an article the other day about ‘Helicopter Mums’. Now, I had no idea what one of those was (turns out its someone who watches their child super closely, they hover and intervene before risk becomes an issue). But there are are so many terms for what type of parent you are it can get confusing. There are the;
‘Tiger Mums’ – These guys are strict. They’re instilling some sort of competitive edge in their children apparently so they become successful adults. Their kids are amazing at sport, they are amazing at maths, they are generally just amazing (or as I like to call them – little fuckers) and boy don’t they know it.
‘Consultant Mums’ – these guys bring their kids up on guidance and consultancy. Lots of love and logic but no real rules as such. These mums are more friend, less parent.
‘Drill Sergeant Mums’ – These guys are pretty ruthless. They command and direct every aspect of their childrens lives. No options or leeway. They could give the Tiger Mums a run for their money and can generally be found screaming from the sidelines of any Sunday pre-school football game.
‘The Super Mum’ – (secretly everyone HATES these Mums. And by hate I mean envy) These guys are the ones all over your social media feeds with the ‘perfect kids’. They always cook everything from scratch, they get the end of term presents spot on, they do arts and crafts at the weekends, they never shout.
‘Cougar Mum’ – These are the Mums who actively pursue sexual relationships with younger men…oh shit wait. Wrong post. Never mind.
Now…me? Well I’ve decided I’m definitely more a ‘Work In Progress Mum’.
For a start, my house is normally only ever 50% tidy. Ok, maybe more 40% (20% on weekends). I have three children, who don’t like to tidy their shit up or even seem capable of flushing a toilet. We have a lot of ‘stuff’. Which is fine, because I like stuff, but actually none of it belongs to me. There are bikes, and scooters, and balance bikes, and wobble boards (no idea either), and toy buggys and school bags and actually now school has started there are letters. And by god do we get a million letters a week. Now most of them are guff, or by the time they come home the event mentioned in said letter has passed and I’ve forgotten about it BUT some of them are important. So of course they get added to the ‘read me’ pile in the corner of the kitchen. And they stay there until the end of term when I just usually bin them all. I start each week with a mantra of ‘this week I’ll tidy the house and put all the ironing away’. Yeah…work in progress.
Secondly, I don’t cook enough. Now this isn’t because I can’t cook or don’t enjoy cooking. If I had it my own way I would make everything from scratch and buy organic and free-range and my kids would eat broccoli and sweet potato. Just not aubergine. Never aubergine. I just normally don’t have the time to cook. Monday-Friday we leave the house at 7:25am and I work until 5:45pm. On the days that I happen to finish earlier I can throw together a pretty tasty Spag Bol or Chilli but more often than I (or my bank balance) would like we eat take out pizza or the girls have a packed lunch at After School Club for their tea (thank GOD for hot school dinners is all I’m saying). Again, I start each weekend promising to batch cook and freeze it in appropriate portion sizes and whatnot, and sometimes if I’m feeling really adventurous I’ll threaten to dig the slow cooker out (it was wedding present (got married in 2008) and it’s still in the box) but these things haven’t happened as of yet. So yeah…work in progress.
Thirdly, I’m not massively organised. Some weeks I am shit hot, I nail the snacks, the kids wear clean uniform every day, I get up at 6am and they eat weetabix and banana for breakfast and I don’t forget about any after school activities. But some weeks I am less shit hot and more mediocre. I’ll forget to send water bottles to school, or there will be a ‘bring £1 to wear pajamas’ and my girls will be the only ones in uniform, or we’ve run out of milk so they eat chocolate twists for breakfast in the car on the way to work because I’ve snoozed the alarm and we’re running late. I try to be organised and two days into the new term I’ve not forgotten anything yet but definitely still a work in progress.
And lastly, well lastly, our life is a work in progress. Our whole working/studying/life balance changes quite a lot. We get used to one rota and then something happens and we have to adjust. The girls change month to month with attitude and age and what they like and what they eat, hell the baby has suddenly started waking up in the middle of the night and that in itself has thrown everyone off. Everything in our lives is a work in progress. It doesn’t make it wrong. It does make it superior to the super mum who has everything worked out (hell I wish I was that Mum most days). Nor does it make it less effective than the helicopter Mum who is monitoring her child’s every move (if all mine are in their beds by the time I fall asleep I call that a win). I wish my house was spotless 24/7. I wish I cooked every night. I wish I was organised every day. But I’m not, and I probably won’t ever be. There will always be something that throws something off and that’s fine. I am a Work In Progress Mum and I’m good with that…