I don’t claim to be the perfect parent, far from it. I wouldn’t go as far as to call myself a slummy mummy. But, I am happy and willing to admit to my parenting downfalls in many a public arena.
Slummy mummy comparisons are crap
I know I am not alone in understanding this slummy mummy status. It’s also easy for lots of us to draw comparisons between it and our lives. I do it to maybe offer some comfort or a little laughter to parents who feel like they’re drowning. The pressure to be perfect is huge when it doesn’t need to be. Even Mary Poppins claimed to only be practically perfect in every way and she flew off on an umbrella.
So, when the Daily Mail runs an article slamming into some of today’s most iconic, celebrated and welcomed modern mums, a backlash was inevitable. This came from the people who revere rather than revolt their fish-finger feeding ways.
The Unmumsy Mum Sarah Turner, Katie Kirby behind Hurrah for Gin and all the other crew who are making a name for themselves at the moment have got me (and millions of others) through some tough times. I have read their books and roared with laughter at the similarities which could be drawn between our experiences. Sarah also got addicted to hearing white noise after using it to calm her baby to sleep. Katie called her child 50% dick and 50% amazing – something which echoes in my mind whenever I ask TJ to stop licking the sofa.
It’s about survival of the fittest
The horrific Daily Mail article claimed that the slummy mummy celebrates neglectful parenting. We run our days to maximise social media opportunities and relish being thought of as a bad parent. We think that we’re above the basic duties that raising a child brings, apparently.
Not only is that utterly wrong and ridiculous but the Daily Mail missed one vital ingredient. Parenting may drive our exhausted selves to the freezer for dinner options. But, not one of us would change it for a single second. It’s like landing your dream job, then having a really tough day in the office so you moan to a mate that evening. So, the slummy mummy is actually a fucking amazing mummy who puts her heart and soul into parenting. But, we just have to vent for a while about how hard it is.
Mothering is amazing isn’t it?
I desperately wanted TJ. Even though I was one of the lucky ones, it took me a good while to conceive and an awful birth to get him into the world. I ache with love, adoration and happiness when I hold him in my arms. But, that doesn’t stop me from despairing when he throws a tantrum because I asked him to stop putting food in the washing machine (true story).
The fabulous Selfish Mother hit the nail on the head by saying we need to look after ourselves in order to look after our kids too. It’s also not like we have a choice in the matter. With a crushing weight on our shoulders to juggle careers, relationships, homes and little people, we would be pushed to utter failure if we didn’t take some ‘me’ time.
So, it’s the best mums who can relate to those famous counterparts. The slummy mummies are the hard workers. We know what it’s like to spend a day at a soft play centre before heading to rhyme time and then onto a play date. So, we may just need a few minutes of CBeebies respite to recharge our batteries and keep up the pace.
So, Daily Mail and all the hundreds who commented on the article, we’re celebrating our #solidaritea over a dinner of frozen tapas and we won’t let you or anyone else bring us down. Hurrah for the slummy mummy – and screw the rest of you.